That First PC

While my grandkids are true "digital natives,"  we "digital immigrants" remember where and when we entered the digital age of personal computing.

Not much earth-shattering to write about at the moment, so here's a recollection for you. If you're like me, the recent “celebration” of the 30th anniversary of the commercial release of Apple's Macintosh PC made me recall my earliest involvements with personal computing around that time.

My first home computer purchase in 1983 was an IBM XT model. Its out-of-this-world specs included 4.77 MHz processor, a fancy-dancy 10 MB hard drive, 128 KB RAM, a 360 KB 5-1/4-inch floppy drive, and CGA color CRT monitor. I was living in Europe then, so the exchange rate of the time might skewer this a bit, but it cost roughly $6,000. I gasp at that to this day.

A year or before I bought my PC, I was at a coworker's house when he unveiled his recently purchased Osborne 1, touted as the world's first portable PC. Well, it did close up to look like a plastic suitcase with a handle. It easily weighed 25 lbs. Under the hood there was a 4 MHz processor, two 5.25 in. floppy drives for 90 K capacity disks and a 5 in. monochrome CRT. It cost about $2,000. It also wasn't IBM-compatible, so neither it nor its maker lasted very long on the market.

Take a moment here, and share some of your recollections, regardless of where and when you entered the digital world. Some of probably you can make me look like a late-comer kid to the game with your tales of playing with pre-cursor toys in the '70s. Other of you are thinking, “Gee, I didn't think he was so old.”  

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