Ah, the memories. The first computer I ever lay hands on was the now famous TRS-80 Model I. While I was probably only about five or six years old, I remember it like it was yesterday. I wanted a computer, bad, as my father used them in his line of work as an engineer, and got me hooked on them. He had acquired quite a collection of old TRS-80 memorabilia from garage sales, and set me up with a TRS-80 Model I. All I really did was type at the command prompt, for after all, I was only five, but you gotta start somewhere right? I soon learned a little BASIC language, inputting simple programs, but alas, the expansion interface was defective, and wouldn’t communicate with the 5 1/4″ floppy disk drive. However, the cassette interface still worked, so data could be saved to, or loaded into memory from a cassette tape. I’ll never forget the sound of data being read and written to a cassette tape (if you’ve never heard this, listen to a fax machine transmission to get an idea.)
From the TRS-80, I moved directly into working extensively with the Tandy Color Computer line, which kept me occupied for at least the next few years, until Dad finally got that Pentium 133Mhz Swan laptop (yes, Swan… that was the brand.) You can guess the natural progression after that, but as I look back on it, I’m glad I was lucky enough to start with one of the first personal computers in production, and was able to follow the evolution of what is now the personal computer.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of vintage computers, check out oldcomputers.net