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I started to use a computer regularly at the age of:

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / November 30, 2012 8:31 AM PST
I started to use a computer regularly at the age of:

-- 1 to 10 years old
-- 11 to 20 years old
-- 21 to 30 years old
-- 31 to 40 years old
-- 41 to 50 years old
-- 51 to 60 years old
-- 61 to 70 years old
-- 71 to 80 years old
-- 81 to 90 years old
-- 91+ years old

No need to disclose your age ;-)... but please tell us what make and model was the first computer you used (then we can have fun at guessing your age Happy .)

My first computer was running Windows Vista, I mean Commodore 64.... Happy

Cheers and have fun with this!

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Did you mean computer or personal computer?
by wpgwpg / November 30, 2012 8:59 AM PST

My first chance to use a computer was in 1961 with a Univac SS80 when I was 22. if you just meant any kind of computer. If you meant personal computer, it was a Commodore 64 in 1984 when I was 46. First PC was an IBM PS/2 55SX in 1989 at the age of 51. I've been around a good while. Grin

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by oceaneagle / November 30, 2012 12:50 PM PST

Sounds about the same for me. I am now 70 years old. I remember getting a Pentium 90 and the 3 guys from the Computer Store coming to my house excited to see one working.

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Univac 1050-II
by uesspo / November 30, 2012 1:57 PM PST

I started using the Univac 1050-II in 1972 entering data while serving in the USAF, Supply, then went on to personal computers with the TRS-80 Mod-I in 1978. I would say for each 2080 hours of work I've done each year, I've probably logged another 2080 hours per year since 1978 equaling 33 years using and programming computers for various causes and simple utilities and web pages, and their databases. Both of my sons can say they have been influenced by my efforts at being a computer user, and a major part of their educations came from the use of computers. My youngest son is now working in IT and computer programming in Southern California. Many members of my immediate and extended family are, in some way, computer professionals. (I'm not sure of the implications of that.)

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What he said
by mal_aus / November 30, 2012 2:43 PM PST

Commodore 64 for me also and learnt to write programs using it's form of basic. Went on to using and designing user end specifications for telecommunications programs on main frame's. Now simply pushing buttons on an old desktop. Too old to keep up LOL.

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No personal computers in 1958.
by truckee_tango / December 1, 2012 1:34 AM PST

I worked on an IBM 1620 in college in 58' with typewriter and punched card input. I think it had 20k memory which was later upgraded to 60k and punched cards were a big upgrade from paper tape. First personal computer was an Apple II bought for our son. What huge leaps technology has made from those days.

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It depends
by ladamson / December 1, 2012 7:53 AM PST

I started with computers in 1981 as a comp sci major in school, but that lasted a couple of years and I had to go back to work.
My first personal computer was a used Radio Shack something or other, no internet access at home at that time, but I used it for word processing--crucial when one is in grad school as an English major.
In terms of internet and daily use, skip ahead to 2002 (I live in the sticks, and even dial-up was a big deal) with a basic Gateway running XP. Except when bad weather cut electricity (Rita, Ike, a freak snow storm), I've been online daily though the Gateway has been replaced.

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Long time ago!
by suewri / December 8, 2012 2:36 AM PST

My first was a BBC B

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First computer that didn't use punch cards
by Mikebiker / November 30, 2012 12:53 PM PST

I used a Zilog cpu based 4K memory machine that was custom built in the early 1980s. The first computer that I owned was a Commodore 64.

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OMG this reminds me of the distant past I had with punchcard
by dmbflorida / November 30, 2012 2:22 PM PST

The mention of punch cards made me remember the earlier times I had in computing or doing research. In 1968, I started with a huge desktop calculator... I had to enter data, statistical formula and then hand crank the large lever on the machine. If I was not careful, I sometimes had to start all over because I was not sure if I had entered the last data. I was working on my doctoral dissertation with this approach but at the end of my research in 1971, I was able to use punch cards..

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Radio Shack Color COmputer
by mwooge / November 30, 2012 12:56 PM PST

Bought the store's demo the day they got it, serial number 20. I still have it. With the comaprativly advanced 6809 CPU it should have been a better computer than it was.

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I started using a computer regularly when I was 31-40 years
by mdblocher / November 30, 2012 1:30 PM PST

It was a Monrobot.
input was punched paper tape, storage was on magnetic cards the same size and shape as IBM's punched cards.
Also had an IBM Selectric and a Model B output devices.

The first personal computer I used was a Digital VT180, aka a Robin. Computer and memory cards added to the VT100 terminal. Had a double bay floppy disk drive that sat on top - 5 1/4" floppy discs. CPM os.


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I first started using a computer sometime in 1983-84
by Greenar / November 30, 2012 1:43 PM PST

My PC was put together during the time that they were constructed from scratch, part by part. The monitor screen was black with green characters, about 12 X 8 inches wide, and the CPU had a huge 20 megabyte hard drive, with two floppy disc drives for storage and installation of software programs. My package came with a 14-inch wide daisy wheel printer, at a total cost of about $1200.

I wish I'd saved it as a reminder of how far we've come since then.

Art G

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Mainframes and Commodore
by MikeCom1 / November 30, 2012 2:00 PM PST

My first experiences were working in the computer lab in college. The
machines read Hollerith cards that were punched first.

Later I used a mainframe with a keyboard and printer.

A year or two later, early 80's I had a commodore 64 with a tape drive.

Since then I have upgraded ever few years and now have laptop, desktop and
soon a tablet.

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My first computer
by sandrita45 / November 30, 2012 2:08 PM PST

I started using a computer at work in 1969. My first personal computer was a Texas Instruments TI99 in about 1983. It was great for its day. It had a voice synthesizer and great graphics. I wrote a computer game in BASIC for my kids that they actually liked to play

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My time with the p.c. from 1985 to now
by dmbflorida / November 30, 2012 2:12 PM PST

I retired early at age 50 in 1985. The p.c. was just getting popular so I bought an IBM computer and monitor. This had dual floppy drives and no Windows operating system. The screen display was in black and white. This was the latest technology I could obtain and bought it from the university from which I retired. As the years went by, I upgraded or changed to the newer technologies. At present, I have two desktops and a laptop with OS XP, WIN 7 and Vista. I learned almost all that I know now from the internet. Looking ahead, I am wondering what mobile devices will be used by the ordinary person in everyday life because "things" are changing so fast. I think that one year into the future will reveal tremendous changes with a big swing away from desktop computers.

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Custom built in 1991
by msecour / November 30, 2012 2:21 PM PST

First computer was assembled by a friend who was a computer tech. It ran Windows 3.0 and had a whopping 120mb hard drive. (Yes, "mb.") "More hard drive than I would ever need" is what he said.

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This Survey
by Hforman / November 30, 2012 2:50 PM PST

Actually, you could have just asked us: "How Old Are You?" because that is going to govern a lot of this. For example, anyone born in the last 20 years, probably started using a computer at an early age, while some of us who are over 60 years old, probably started at a later point in time. For example, I was 17 when I started using a computer. But, that was back in 1967 and I was the first person in my H.S. (Brooklyn Technical High School - Class of '68). It was a General Electric computer somewhere else in the country (Georgia comes to mind) and I was programming in BASIC on a TWX (Teletype) machine. Then I worked on a strange IBM "mainframe" that was really small - about the size of a large desk). I also worked on TAB equipment: card readers, punches and sorters and developed a student registration system using them. In college, I used an IBM 360/30 (OS/PVP) followed by a Univac 1108 MP mainframe.

I never got a personal-sized computer for myself until there was something interesting to do with itbut I did work on Commodores and Atari. At work, I got an IBM PC running DOS. My first "home computer" was a Gateway desktop (386) with a Stacker Co-Processor.

OK, I did start using an adding machine when I was really little. My mother also bought me a "toy" that was actually a binary calculator before she had any idea what that was.

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First computer at age 62 in 2003
by juanhacko / November 30, 2012 3:20 PM PST

My first computer was a non-working custom built tower running Windows 98SE purchased at a junk resale store on Senior Tuesday in November of 2003.
The set-up included the tower, mouse, keyboard, crappy speakers and a 19" CRT Dell Monitor. The unit would barely boot and then BSOD.
My only previous computer library experience was an afternoon visit to the local library in 2001 for research and the librarian had to turn on the computer, pull up the document, and show me what the mouse was used for.
A person 20 years my junior caused me to buy the junk that day because they assumed the computer would never work and I would pass the 19 inch monitor to them when I threw out the rest of the equipment.
Somehow before I actually learned to use a computer I managed to replace the harddrive and re-install Windows.
Being an electrician--NOT an electronics expert--I managed to ask enough questions to get it up and running.
I know how Frankenstein felt when the monster came to life.
Since then I have built 3 towers--1 XP Home and 2 Windows 7 pro and am the go-to senior citizen in the neighborhood.
Certainly I have upgraded the monitors, but the old Dell 19" CRT was still working when I relegated it to the bottom of the closet.

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I started to use a computer at the age of 51.
by eliezermoses / November 30, 2012 3:25 PM PST

My first computer was locally assembled. It had Pentium IV with windows 98. I had some difficulties learning how to operate it. But I wanted it for my business and so I learnt .

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It was a classic, non-PC
by decobabeone / November 30, 2012 4:18 PM PST

My first computer was NCR and had two 5.5" floppies and no hard disk. You could buy tools like Dbase, but almost no programs, so you had to write those yourself or pay someone to do it. This little gem went for $15,000 including a loud, enormous printer and on site instruction on how to use it. I don't remember the year, but it was not too long before the PC was born.
I was not a fan of Windows because since I had always used DOS and C and Basic I could explain to newbies how the computer worked and how they should treat it. They really wanted the cute pictures so I eventually caved. With each new generation I have felt less in control of my machine and I often regret those early days when the computer did exactly what I told it and nothing else.
When you write about how to introduce mommy to computers, remember that it was mommies like me who embraced the computer when it wasn't cute, singing and colorful and made it possible for developers to find and please a market, you in fact.
I remember my first connection to the internet, GE it was, and typing in amber letters on a black ground, "Are you there? Is anyone there?" and there was! The connection was 14,000 bauds.

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Sanyo MSX
by darrenforster99 / November 30, 2012 4:30 PM PST

My first computer I got for my 6th birthday, however my dad despite being a TV engineer was always too busy to put the plug on, so I had this computer sat there for months that I couldn't use.

Finally at about 7 I thought forget this I'll give it a go, it can't be that hard to put a plug on, just follow the instructions and it should work.

It was then at age 7 I realised how simple electronics is! Live (Brown), Neutral (Blue) and Earth (Green) and how easy it is to wire up a plug - this was something that not even my mum could do, she was really worried I was going to blow up the house or something.

I put the plug on my computer and voila that was my first ever computer.

It was a Sanyo MSX, my dad got it me from the TV firm he worked for at the time, they were selling them cheaper than the British versions like the C64 or Spectrum to try and get their foot hold in the door.

I actually like the MSX it was a good computer, and was very easy to program. The main thing with the MSX was it contained Microsoft Basic (hence the name MSX = Micro Soft X - why do Microsoft like the letter X - MSX => MS X-BOX/MS X-BOX 360)

The only bad thing about the MSX was the actual computer was a flop which was a real shame.

I liked the MSX, and always thought the best things about it was that many of the games were coded in basic and not machine code. So games like Vicious Viper (Snake) and Toshiba Golf could be loaded up then you could press the Break key and have a look at how the code worked, and modify the code for some fun - for example on the Golf game I ended up with things like Blue golf courses instead of green, just by modifying the code slightly. It was great how basic it was and how easy it was to learn different things from it, very much like modern day Open Source programming.

I still have my MSX today, although quite often use an emulator rather than the original machine. It was a very nice computer to use. After the MSX I was given a C64, which I was never overly impressed with, and then a ZX Spectrum, which I always thought that even though it didn't have the same graphics capabilities than the C64 it was far more better, and was easier to program, the C64 you had to get a hefty manual out to find what the basic commands were, where as on the Spectrum they were on the bottom of the keyboard (on the MSX they were on the Function keys).

And then finally I upgraded to the Commodore Amiga - which was amazing, I still prefer the Amiga now to the PC. Workbench was so simple, and entire operating system on one 880k floppy disk as opposed to Windows which takes up nearly 10Gb to do the same thing, and dedicated GPU's and APU's which took PC's many years and a company called 3DFX and Creative to invent.

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IBM 360/67 with MTS at University of Michigan
by Doh_1 / November 30, 2012 5:11 PM PST

Using the MAD language (Michigan Algorithmic Decoder) long long ago in galaxy far far away.

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My first computer
by hiltondec / November 30, 2012 5:35 PM PST

Commodore 64 bought in UK linked to a Sony 14inch TV
I added their disc drive and cassette player as most games were on tape cassette at that time.
The dot matrix printer was very noisy and used tractor paper.
However, I did learn basic and had a lot of fun at home as well as being a few steps ahead of my colleagues professionally. At work, in R&D, there were Commodore desk top computers supplied, 1 between 8 people.....

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My fisrt computer
by Irshad Siddiqui / November 30, 2012 6:47 PM PST
The first computer I used regularly was a ZENITH laptop running Windows 3.1
It was not a new one but second hand.
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Time Office Computers
by rbanfield / November 30, 2012 6:51 PM PST

The first computer I used was a Z80 powered machine with 96K of RAM. Digital Research CP/M was the O/S, it had to be loaded every time the machine was switched on from a 720K 5.25" floppy disk. I learnt to program it using Basic and dBase 2.

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by stevevic57 / November 30, 2012 8:29 PM PST

I started out by buying a Sinclair ZX-81 computer. At the time, I lived in a remote area, and bought it for something to do. Many times I saw the sun rise, as I worked to debug small basic programs written for other computers. There wasn't a whole lot out there (that I was aware of) for the ZX-81. Less than 1K of memory and you had to use a cassette for program storage. I moved leaps and bounds a few years later, and moved up to a Tandy Color Computer.

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My first computer
by whuffer / November 30, 2012 8:29 PM PST

The first computer that we used was a TI 44-9A. It was fun to use and had several casset programs.

The next one was an IBM Aptiva with a 1 Gig hard drive, using MS DOS 3.1.

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My first computers
by Gretpass / November 30, 2012 9:08 PM PST

My first computers were a Tandy Radio Shack Model 16 at work and a Tandy Color Computer that hooked to the TV for a monitor at home.


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First computer
by batman79 / November 30, 2012 9:48 PM PST

My first computer was a Commodore 16. I also owned a Camputers Lynx, Amstrad CPC464 then an Amstrad PC1640 before moving on to Windows 3.1 on a 386 based PC. Now happily running Windows 7 on a tailor made PC.

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by kjpjr / November 30, 2012 10:09 PM PST

My first home computer was an IBMpcjr. I was a teacher and our school was one of the very early ones to have a computer in every classroom. We had a K-6 building and about 25 classrooms. We had Ataris in every room by the late 70's. Atari made computers, these were not the TV games. I ended up a few years later with an Apple and two PC's in a class of about 30 students (6th grade) so I had a lab:) In the early 90's I changed buildings and brought a computer from home. As I was setting it up I found a phone line that no one seemed to know anything about except it worked! I had internet in the classroom - a dialup but that was common at that time. Now retired (69) and have a HP desktop, wife has a laptop, we both have kindle fires,and a smartphone. We have come a long way from that PCjr!

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