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What was your Dream Computer as a kid?


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Always a quality presentation from this channel. Capturing the nostalgic awe and wonder of the time, regardless of your own machine of choice, we can all relate to that first computer that really got us into the hobby. 

 

Video embedded for your convenience.

 

Retro Dream - Description: 

My own experience with the brand new Atari ST in 1985. A video full of nostalgia. Join me on this trip down memory lane, where I recreated the scenes of the past using AI and my actual machines. Let's explore this fantastic time period, the Golden Age of video games. Let's have a look at some of the best Atari ST games, including the most outstanding of all: Dungeon Master...

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer
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He's wrong about one thing I know for sure. It was $1,000 with the color monitor. Monochrome monitor was the $800 package. I miss my 520ST till this day.. back when the disk drive was external and the mouse and joystick ports were on the right side of the machine.. I was all about Atari in the 80's. 2600 to 800XL then the 520ST. The ST was my first computer with a monitor,mouse and modem. It was a magical time for sure. Funny thing is, my dream machine for a few years was the Amiga 1200 till games like Doom came out then I moved to a 486 machine.. 

He's right about the games for sure... Mmmmm Dungeon Master is one of my all time favorites too.

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The 800 was my dream computer, and I had it. I really never did covet any other home computer -- sure, I was jealous of the C64's massive support and commercial software library -- but the original machine was ugly as sin and I disliked its colour palette. I probably would have bought a C65 for its beautiful styling alone, had it been released, but oh well on that one. 

 

I've been on the order list for a Spectrum Next for the past three years. That's the first home computer that I've wanted in ages.

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The family had an Atari 800 and was introduced to several other computers. The schools had an Apple II gs, but no games of any kind, unlike the previous Apple IIe that had LOGO and Oregon Trail. I cannot remember seeing a C64 in person, but I was aware they existed, and the games just seemed comparable to the Atari 8-bits. The local computer club had Atari ST playing games like Captain Blood and Carrier Command. These looked amazing compared to something like Solo Flight.
 

But the computer I really wanted to have was and Amiga. I cannot think of what game I wanted to play for it, but I was wowed by the paint programs for it and the huge amount of colors.

Deluxe-Paint-IV-v4_005.png

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As a kid, I was just happy to have a computer.  Though, as we jumped onto the TI as it was closing out, there were "better" machines available.  At school we had Atari and Apple labs, and while I enjoyed working on them for what they were, they did not stir me.  I really liked the Commodore 64 and eventually bought one with lawn mowing profits.  If you call 16 years-old a kid, that was when I developed my taste and desire for the Amiga.

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26 minutes ago, OLD CS1 said:

As a kid, I was just happy to have a computer.  Though, as we jumped onto the TI as it was closing out, there were "better" machines available.  At school we had Atari and Apple labs, and while I enjoyed working on them for what they were, they did not stir me.  I really liked the Commodore 64 and eventually bought one with lawn mowing profits.  If you call 16 years-old a kid, that was when I developed my taste and desire for the Amiga.

I forgot to mention, my grandfather had an Atari 520ST on which he used (I think) GFA Draft for his work.  This was eventually my gateway to the Amiga as I liked the graphical interface.  My parents got me GEOS 2.0 for my 64, and that worked well enough for me for the time.  But, again, it was the Amiga that captured my heart at that tender young age, the threshold of boy and man.

 

One of my customers had an Apple IIgs, which I thought was really neat, but still too Apple for me. :D

 

I met a guy running a BBS on his, and it was the task switching between the BBS and some other stuff, then some of the demos he showed me, I was pretty damn sure.  My mom worked at the BX which had a Mac, an Amiga, and a 64C system on display (also an Atari Portfolio at one point, some IBM stuff, and a Laser 128.)  I spent a lot of time at the Amiga while it ran the NewTek Demo Reel, and once I saw Shadow of the Beast, oh man, that was it for me.

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9 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

As a kid, I was just happy to have a computer.  Though, as we jumped onto the TI as it was closing out, there were "better" machines available.  At school we had Atari and Apple labs, and while I enjoyed working on them for what they were, they did not stir me.  I really liked the Commodore 64 and eventually bought one with lawn mowing profits.  If you call 16 years-old a kid, that was when I developed my taste and desire for the Amiga.

Our primary school had a lone PET, which was wheeled out for Very Special Events and the occasional game of Lemonade Stand for the nerds (translation: ten year-old me). The "office" computer was an Apple II, which the staff kindly let us kids use for after-school games of Hard Hat Mack. Most of my friends ended up with home computers, but I note that none of us chose (or were given) an Apple (or a PET, for that matter, not that you could find them after 1984)...

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I'd have taken anything I could get. I used Apple IIe's and a TRS-80 Model III at school. I almost got a Vic-20 at a yard sale for $20, then a TRS-80 Color Computer 2 at another yard sale for $10, but my mom, who knew nothing about computers, was sure they didn't work. If I had the money, I'm pretty sure I would have ended up with a Tandy Color Computer 3, and I have one now.:)

Edited by KG7PFS
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On 11/18/2023 at 12:01 PM, OLD CS1 said:

As a kid, I was just happy to have a computer.  Though, as we jumped onto the TI as it was closing out, there were "better" machines available.  At school we had Atari and Apple labs, and while I enjoyed working on them for what they were, they did not stir me.  I really liked the Commodore 64 and eventually bought one with lawn mowing profits.  If you call 16 years-old a kid, that was when I developed my taste and desire for the Amiga.

NGL, I missed out on a lot when my dad chose the TI. The C64 came out exactly the week we got the TI, and soon a lot of other kids had one. Among the kids who had computers, I was the only one with a TI. I saw the Apple II variants in the mall but I was never too attracted to them at the time.  

I would have had a very different life if my dad had bought the C64. But like Bill Cosby said, it's very easy to get people to buy a computer by giving them $100 to do it.

I have a deep nostalgic attachment to the TI, but if I could go back in time I would have told my dad to spend more on a C64. This is because the TI required the huge PEB that my dad would never invest in. 

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8 hours ago, Boschloo said:

NGL, I missed out on a lot when my dad chose the TI. The C64 came out exactly the week we got the TI, and soon a lot of other kids had one. Among the kids who had computers, I was the only one with a TI. I saw the Apple II variants in the mall but I was never too attracted to them at the time.  

I would have had a very different life if my dad had bought the C64. But like Bill Cosby said, it's very easy to get people to buy a computer by giving them $100 to do it.

I have a deep nostalgic attachment to the TI, but if I could go back in time I would have told my dad to spend more on a C64. This is because the TI required the huge PEB that my dad would never invest in. 

I cannot go so far to say I missed out on a lot.  Between my elementary school's Apple lab, my junior high's Atari lab (1200XLs, really nice,) and my friends which had Commodore 64s and 128s, I had plenty of exposure beyond my TI.  At home, I learned basic (no pun intended) skills on my TI via COMPUTE! Magazine, which then translated to other platforms.  Around '87 a girl who had a crush on me (Theresa) loaned me her dad's E/A manual, then in '88 I picked up a Mini Memory and started in assembly.  Shortly afterward, frustrated with the limitations of the console with no disk drive or expansion, and the cost to outfit them, I picked up a VIC-20.  Almost immediately afterward I bought my first C64 and Enhancer 2000 disk drive from my dad's buddy who ran a local BBS (cannot remember the BBS name, but his handle was "Addison" and his wife went by "Blue Thunder.")

 

I was also to blame for having the TI for so long.  Turns out my dad wanted to get us a 128 but I rejected the idea (something I did not remember, but Dad reminded me not so long ago.)  We did get a CoCo 3 at one point, but neither of us could grok it.  It also lacked a disk drive.

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2 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

I cannot go so far to say I missed out on a lot.  Between my elementary school's Apple lab, my junior high's Atari lab (1200XLs, really nice,) and my friends which had Commodore 64s and 128s, I had plenty of exposure beyond my TI.  At home, I learned basic (no pun intended) skills on my TI via COMPUTE! Magazine, which then translated to other platforms.  Around '87 a girl who had a crush on me (Theresa) loaned me her dad's E/A manual, then in '88 I picked up a Mini Memory and started in assembly.  Shortly afterward, frustrated with the limitations of the console with no disk drive or expansion, and the cost to outfit them, I picked up a VIC-20.  Almost immediately afterward I bought my first C64 and Enhancer 2000 disk drive from my dad's buddy who ran a local BBS (cannot remember the BBS name, but his handle was "Addison" and his wife went by "Blue Thunder.")

 

I was also to blame for having the TI for so long.  Turns out my dad wanted to get us a 128 but I rejected the idea (something I did not remember, but Dad reminded me not so long ago.)  We did get a CoCo 3 at one point, but neither of us could grok it.  It also lacked a disk drive.

What about the 128 turned you off? I'm thinking of getting into the Commodore 64, but was considering doing so through the C128 instead.

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I would say that I never desired any one computer per se.  But, I can tell you that I was super stoked to get our first PC (compatible) that was an actual IBM machine in December 1992.  Our family had a TI99/4a, but since no one (neither myself) learned its BASIC, the machine was only limited to the few games we had for it.  But, with the PC I utilized that thing to death before my parents replaced the machine with a Compaq laptop in the summer of 2000 for me to use at college.  Wish I still had kept it, but one doesn't (necessarily) think about doing that in one's youth.

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On 11/25/2023 at 6:36 PM, Boschloo said:

The 128 looked like it was for old people.

Your comment reminded me of this advertisement. Translation of the texts:

 

If you feel like this in front of a PC ...

... or like this with a home computer ...

... we can promise that you and our C128 will become a matching couple.

 

c128-omakapar.thumb.jpg.9f2f2136c149e5b45ea57d5f20c8d6c1.jpg

 

Unmatched couples rarely enjoy each other. Sooner or later someone gets tired and regrets their choice. If you already now know that a regular home computer gets too small and a powerful personal computer gets too big, the choice right in the middle is close at hand. And right in between the home computer and the personal computer, you will find the Commodore C128. It combines the best of three worlds. The price of the home computer and accessibility, the powerful machine's opportunities for advanced programming and the personal computer's operating system for professional data management.

 

The C128 has a memory of 128 KByte, expandable to 512 KByte. Most peripherals and programs intended for our C64 can also be run on the C128. Also the operating system CP/M opens nearly endless opportunities to use advanced professional software.

 

Commodore C128 exists in two versions. The specs of the two are identical, but the D-version also has a separate keyboard, built-in floppy drive and carrying handle in case you would not be able to stay away from your newly made friend.

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What I wanted to do was pick one system and learn it in depth (kinda like @pixelpedant with the TI-99/4A). But I struggled to find which one would be the one. 

 

I really, really, REALLY wanted it to be the TI. 

 

It can't be the TI. I love it to death, but my kids would find it limiting. It also doesn't help that TI went with the most limited version of BASIC possible. Not even PEEK or POKE.

 

I own a couple of Apple IIe computers (one Platinum, one Enhanced), and an Apple IIGS. The IIe computers can't go above 4 colors. The IIGS is awesome but it really never caught on beyond its Apple II roots. Software developers just developed for the lowest common denominator and didn't really do much for the IIGS. This is kind of like what happened with the C128 in that developers chose to cater to the larger C64 market.

 

But I decided that my sons would likely enjoy the C64 the most. Because of all the games.

So I have decided that I will take the time to learn the C64, even though my heart belongs to the TI 99/4A, because I know there's tons of fun games for my sons. My wife and I will incorporate Commodore Basic into their homeschool curriculum, and the C64 is going to be in their bedroom with the 1702 monitor. In my office I will have a C128 for research and development. So I can put together lessons plan in my own Commodore, and then go teach it to them on their breadbin. 

 

I'm totally new to the Commodore ecosystem. My C128 arrives next week, I can't wait to put it together. 

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On 12/1/2023 at 9:06 PM, Boschloo said:

What I wanted to do was pick one system and learn it in depth (kinda like @pixelpedant with the TI-99/4A). But I struggled to find which one would be the one. 

 

I really, really, REALLY wanted it to be the TI. 

 

It can't be the TI. I love it to death, but my kids would find it limiting. It also doesn't help that TI went with the most limited version of BASIC possible. Not even PEEK or POKE.

 

I own a couple of Apple IIe computers (one Platinum, one Enhanced), and an Apple IIGS. The IIe computers can't go above 4 colors. The IIGS is awesome but it really never caught on beyond its Apple II roots. Software developers just developed for the lowest common denominator and didn't really do much for the IIGS. This is kind of like what happened with the C128 in that developers chose to cater to the larger C64 market.

 

But I decided that my sons would likely enjoy the C64 the most. Because of all the games.

So I have decided that I will take the time to learn the C64, even though my heart belongs to the TI 99/4A, because I know there's tons of fun games for my sons. My wife and I will incorporate Commodore Basic into their homeschool curriculum, and the C64 is going to be in their bedroom with the 1702 monitor. In my office I will have a C128 for research and development. So I can put together lessons plan in my own Commodore, and then go teach it to them on their breadbin. 

 

I'm totally new to the Commodore ecosystem. My C128 arrives next week, I can't wait to put it together. 

Sounds like the 1980s all over again in your house.  Enjoy the C64 and C128.  You will have to give us updates on how everything goes as well.

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A 1200XL.

 

The best trade I have ever made in school as a kid was a gameboy and some carts for this guy Eric's (thanks dude!) 800 and mountain of software and mags. I remember drooling over the adverts. I'm a sucker for sleek black/chrome 80s design anyways, and the 1200 (and 800xl) line just looked so much sleeker than my boxy (but beloved) 800.

 

Fast forward to 2004 or so. This guy I worked with walks into my office and says he heard I liked Atari stuff. Turned out one of my staff mentioned it in passing. He asks me if I am free on lunch, so I say sure. We head over to his place which was around the block. He proceeds to throw three large boxes at me, refuses to take money either. In them, are two 600xls and a mint condition 1200xl. Mind=blown. Later that day I ran by the local music/game/movie place and right as I am walking in some guys drops of 40 8-bit carts.

 

That was a *good* freaking day.

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I don't think I had one. The PC/MS-DOS/Windows standard had dominated the industry by the time I was coming of cognizant of computers. So I guess whichever of those ran the best games, so probably some kind of 486 with VGA graphics and a snazzy soundcard. 😜

 

Very early on I occasionally encountered old holdovers like Apple IIcs and Commodore 64s, and was fascinated by them. And I remember being curious about the Amiga, from screenshots on the backs of game boxes of the time. Later, I was all about Pentium systems because the "Intel Inside" commercials were cool.

 

But when I was 10 or 11, I got an old 286 from a rummage sale. It turned out it didn't actually run as-is; my dad put a new 3.5" floppy, probably a new hard drive, and got me a gently-used Magnavox amber monitor and Okidata printer for it. It was my first computer that was just mine, and I frickin' loved it! I played crappy old BASICA games (which interestingly ran from .exe files), wrote scripts for the comic books I was drawing (mercifully, none survive), and even wrote school papers with it. One of the few true regrets I have in my videogame/computer collecting life is letting that thing go in a garage sale when I wasn't using it as much and my parents wanted to clear up space in the house.

 

A few years later I got a Compaq Armada for Christmas (or Birthday?), my first laptop. That was great, too! And that one, I still have. It even has full versions of Duke Nukem II and Raptor: Call of The Shadows on it!

 

 

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Mine was a ZX81. Of course at the time it was the only one I knew of due to school friends getting them. But parents got me a VIC-20 which blew my mind compared to the ZX81. But during the big explosion in home computers in the early 80s, l lusted after a Sharp MZ-80B because it looked like a 'serious' computer and it was listed in my mother's catalogue. Then I saw a TRS-80 Model III in the Tandy store and lusted after that. All way out of my price range at the time. 

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