Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My First Computer

My First Computer

My first computer came in a non-descript cardboard box, which opened up to reveal 32 kilo-bytes of good, British BBC Model B goodness.

Then, having filled the thing with swears, we almost immediately sent it away with a cheque for £100 to have a Disc drive added to it.

This addition was 100 per cent vital. With the disc interface, I could play Samantha Fox Strip Poker without losing vital wood as the images loaded from cassette tape.

At that stage in my teenage years, the maintenance of wood paramount, and it took five-and-a-quarter inch floppies, combined with a startlingly well-indexed collection of Fiesta magazines to achieve this goal.

In fact, my computerised cross-referencing system was later adapted into a college computing project which scored particularly high marks. If only Mr Rose knew of it's original use.

It was a good, solid computer that served me well in my quest for low-quality smut until I sold it to a man with only one leg for an outrageous sum of money which paid for my cutting-edge desktop PC. 25MHz - just feel the quality. Ashamed that I'd spend the best part of a grand on it, I told everybody it was 33MHz.

The Beeb was as nothing compared to the machine I learned the BASIC programmer's art.

20 GOTO 10

It was a Research Machines 380Z, a large, black box that was sold to schools up and down the country, which contained a pile of nuts and bolts held together with string, with the whole affair giving about 30 miles per gallon.

The power of the beast was something to behold: a full 4kB of RAM memory, with the operating system loaded in from cassette tape every time your switched the thing on with its mighty ignition key.

One day, somebody - who shall remain nameless - pressed "Record" instead of "Play".

Mr Dupre had neglected to make a back-up copy.

Naughty, naughty Mr Dupre.

I can hear him now: "This tape's taking a long time to load, isn't it?"

And that was the end of School Computer Club.

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