I thought it would be great to start a thread about the old days of the computer. There are some guys on here that were around when it all started. Me for one. So this is what I remember of those first days.
My first real computer was a Commodore 64. It came with nothing. No monitor, no tape, no floppy, nothing. All it did was allow you to type stuff, but there wasn't anything to store it on or print it on. I bought it at Wards for about $300. The second thing I bought was the printer. A 9 pin basic printer. With that I made a DOS program that would print checks. The next thing I bought was a cassette recorder and some basic programs. It took over 15 minutes to load a basic program into the 64K of memory it had. You had to use a black and white 13" TV (not monitor) to use with it. But it was so much fun to play with. All in all I had about $1000 in to it. The next thing I bought was a Commodore 128 and a colored monitor from Sears. Then I bought a 5 ¼" floppy drive and man that was such a wonderful thing to have. Now you could load programs in just a minute or two. Then the most awesome thing to ever come out for the computer; a 1200 baud modem!!! The world was at our hands and we were masters of the universe. In those days we didn't have the actual internet yet. But what you could find were BBS servers. These were Bulletin Boards for people to post stuff to and you could download copies of it. My first black hat hack came from one of them. The infamous "War Dialer". I found lots of servers with that thing. The problem in those days was the constant telephone ringing. Your phone would ring, you go over and answer it, and click, it was gone. It was horrible for many years. I joined a group up in Portland, that exchanged hacks and programs, and we were together for over 20 years. Back then the software wasn't encrypted and protected like it is today. So people had copies of everything. That's what it was like back then. The Amiga was the top of everything, but they were really expensive. It came with full motion, full color animation. The programs were very expensive but the first POV shooter game was an Amiga product. It looked very similar to Wolfenstein 3D. This was about 1985.
1987 saw the IBM AT and XT start taking command of the PC world. The IBM PC Jr. came out. It had two floppy drives and Lotus 123 and it was used mostly for desk work. All these machines still used DOS 3 to DOS 5. 1989 saw the birth of Windows 3.0. The world went ballistic. The birth of true PC accessories started then. I bought a new PC that came in a box. It was an IBM 386 and it had a HDD, 3D video, 3½ floppy, Windows 3.1, 13" Color Monitor, Keyboard and mouse. IT WAS AWESOME ! ! Somewhere around 1991 or 1992 the CD came out. It required special connectors and audio hookups. So now instead of 10 - 20 floppy disks for a program you had 1 or 2 CD's. The writeable disks came about 1994 or 1995. The PC went to 486 later.
The PC that changed everything came in 1996 or so. The first Pentium 586 as it was called then. It was about 90-100MHz then came the newer ones 133, 166, 200, 233, etc. Then the Pentium 2 came out. Along with the very first true server board from intel. It had two P2's running at 233MHz in Series. The P2 was also the first true dual cpu with a dedicated math coprocessor. The P3 was the first dual processor running in parallel with a co-processor. This was huge. It made the game makers step up and use the full potential of the cpu. About this time Duke Nukem came out and was an actual brain melting game. At this time I owned my own PC business and was building game systems by the hundreds. A company came out with Sound Blaster 16 in order to take control of the 16 bit audio that the games were using. A huge program came out 1995 or so called Flight Simulator. So Sound Blaster came out with a complete setup of pedals, steering wheel and true to life feel. I built over 20 systems just for this one program. It had an airplane in it that was the exact match to the one they used for test and pilot practice where I lived. Many guys passed their flight tests by using that thing.
From that point on most of you know the rest of the story. Apple got big, PC's went into the GHz speed and memory got cheaper and bigger and better. My first 386 had 8mb of memory which cost me almost $200. Now I can buy a thumbdrive of 32GB for 19.99. Harddrives were listed in MB in levels of 20MB, 40MB, 80MB etc. Now 4 Terabytes is the norm. It is funny to think that the original Pentium 100 was used up to the Quad intel cpu. It was just sped up beefed up and multi-cpu's were installed into a single chip. I will be amazed when the next generation of PC cpu's come out, that are built on AI and not transfractional thinking. The speed of those chips will be warp 10 compared to what you use today. But the software is the key to speed. Always has been. We have to surpass the 1's and 0's of digital thinking.
People have asked me what I thought the biggest thing to computer history was, to me ? I would have to say the burnable CD and DVD. It gave us so much. Storage, cheaper programs, faster and faster access to data. It gave us a way to safeguard our precious memories and documents without the worry of losing it in magnetic space. It gave us the ability to watch super HD movies in the theaters, thanks to lasers and laser disks.
Let us build upon my little story here. I would love to read about Red Baird's history and others out there. Maybe someone remembers the K-loc or had one? I would love to hear the story of their Apple stuff.