Trivial Fun - What and when was the 1st personal computer?

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by WinXP_Powered, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. This should be interesting and fun.

    What was the name, manufacturer, and year of the 1st personal computer?

    NO, it wasn't the IBM PC 5150 in 1981!

    Good Luck All!!
     
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 20, 2006
    #1
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  2. Poor question. You need to be much more specific about what constitutes a
    personal computer and when. Here is a link to a site that attempts to
    clarify and answer this question.

    http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml

    --
    Carlos

    "WinXP_Powered" <> wrote in message
    news:43f97cf2$0$28055$...
    > This should be interesting and fun.
    >
    > What was the name, manufacturer, and year of the 1st personal computer?
    >
    > NO, it wasn't the IBM PC 5150 in 1981!
    >
    > Good Luck All!!
     
    Carlos Antenna, Feb 20, 2006
    #2
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  3. WinXP_Powered

    J. Clarke Guest

    WinXP_Powered wrote:

    > This should be interesting and fun.
    >
    > What was the name, manufacturer, and year of the 1st personal computer?
    >
    > NO, it wasn't the IBM PC 5150 in 1981!
    >
    > Good Luck All!!


    Define "personal computer". Term is too vague to allow an unambiguous
    answer.

    IBM claimed in 1957 that the IBM 610 was "IBM's first personal computer" but
    by modern standards it was neither personal nor a computer. The Xerox Alto
    in 1973 pioneered many of the user interface concepts that go into a
    contemporary personal machine and was designed for individiual use but it
    was the size of a refrigerator and never offered for sale. The DEC PDP-8
    was small enough and inexpensive enough that someone who had a good job and
    wanted one really badly could buy one (cost about the same as two Cadillacs
    or half a Ferrari or a third of a house), so in that sense it might have
    been the first "personal computer".

    There were various homebrews in the late '60s--friend of mine who was a tech
    at Burroughs was working on one based on TTL when the micros hit--most of
    them had names known only to the designer and his close friends--they were
    "computers" and they were "personal" but whether you want to count them as
    "personal computers" is up to you. The same people who were doing that
    were quite capable of cobbling up a microprocessor-based machine when the
    micros became available but I don't know of any who did, which doesn't mean
    that there weren't any.

    The first inexpensive microprocessor-based machine to actually go on the
    market was the French Micral, but it didn't do too well. The Scelbi-8 did
    a little better, but the first to achieve widespread recognition was the
    MITS Altair--unfortunately MITS wasn't prepared for the demand and some
    customers are _still_ waiting for the last parts kit to arrive <g>. Still,
    the MITS also gave Microsoft their start, so we had an Intel-based micro
    running a Microsoft OS (more or less--the BASIC ROM functioned pretty much
    as the machine's control program) and aimed at the consumer/hobbyist
    market, which means that we have the first machine that is incontrovertibly
    a "personal computer" by today's standards.





    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 20, 2006
    #3
  4. WinXP_Powered

    SBFan2000 Guest

    all in one unit, called it a "green machine" because it had like a 12" green
    mono monitor. 5 1/4 floppy with 10mb hard drive and 640kb of ram.


    "Spammy Sammy" <> wrote in message
    news:1140521867.72340@teuthos...
    >
    > "WinXP_Powered" <> wrote in message
    > news:43f97cf2$0$28055$...
    > > This should be interesting and fun.
    > >
    > > What was the name, manufacturer, and year of the 1st personal computer?
    > >
    > > NO, it wasn't the IBM PC 5150 in 1981!
    > >
    > > Good Luck All!!

    >
    > The first personal computer was called "Computer". Manufactured by the
    > United Federation of Planets and installed aboard the Constitution class
    > vessel USS Enterprise, aka NCC-1701, sometime between 2262 and 2264.
    > Information regarding it's capabilities are limited due to the classified
    > nature of the subject matter however it was based around a Duotronic
    > operating system and had a processing speed of approximately 1,204,702
    > kiloquads per second.
    >
    > This computer is classed as personal because in addition to the standard
    > displays and data readouts it was equipped with a voice recognition input
    > and female voice synthesised output. (Personal note - the voice

    synthesiser
    > sounded like Martina Navratilova with a cold).
    >
    >
     
    SBFan2000, Feb 21, 2006
    #4
  5. That was the point of this "fun exercise"--to leave it up to your
    interpretation.

    As for MY answer, you guessed it right off. I was going to refer to the
    blinkenlights.com timeline.

    As we can all see from the varied responses here, the interpretation of
    "personal computer" is something we can't seem to agree on. If that
    makes it a poor question, oh well.

    I posted the question so we could take a break from the seriousness of
    the rest of this newsgroup and inject a little fun here--not to start an
    argument or debate.

    Once a techie, always a techie, huh? No wonder they call us GEEKS!! LOL


    Carlos Antenna wrote:
    > Poor question. You need to be much more specific about what constitutes a
    > personal computer and when. Here is a link to a site that attempts to
    > clarify and answer this question.
    >
    > http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml
    >
    > --
    > Carlos
    >
    > "WinXP_Powered" <> wrote in message
    > news:43f97cf2$0$28055$...
    >
    >>This should be interesting and fun.
    >>
    >>What was the name, manufacturer, and year of the 1st personal computer?
    >>
    >>NO, it wasn't the IBM PC 5150 in 1981!
    >>
    >>Good Luck All!!

    >
    >
    >
     
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 21, 2006
    #5
  6. WinXP_Powered

    SBFan2000 Guest

    OH, I'm sorry, I didn't read the OP correctly. I thought this was a "what
    was everyones first personal computer." Not "what was the first computer."
    There were computers that didn't even have hard drives, not to mention those
    that used reels. Clearly the computer I posted about wasn't one of the
    first it was just the first one I owned!

    Sorry for the mix -up


    "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > That came years after the Altair, and since the Altair clearly
    > qualifies, isn't the answer.
    >
    > The real question is whether or not there is any computer prior to the
    > Altair that qualifies, and in my view the only possibility is the Mark 8.
    >
    >
    > Mark wrote:
    >
    > > the first personnal computer ... in real terms was surely the zx80 ...
    > >
    > > followed by the 1k zx81
    > >
    > >
    > > "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > >
    > >>The question is subjective as there is no really good definition of what
    > >>constitutes a personal computer.
    > >>
    > >>The answer that I would say is most correct is that Altair 8800 from

    1975.
    > >>It clearly qualifies by virtually any reasonable definition, and very

    few
    > >>if any earlier computers do, but another answer often given is the
    > >>"Mark-8" from July of 1974 (a construction project from Radio

    Electronics
    > >>magazine based on the 8008).
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>WinXP_Powered wrote:
    > >>
    > >>>This should be interesting and fun.
    > >>>
    > >>>What was the name, manufacturer, and year of the 1st personal computer?
    > >>>
    > >>>NO, it wasn't the IBM PC 5150 in 1981!
    > >>>
    > >>>Good Luck All!!

    > >
    > >
    > >
     
    SBFan2000, Feb 21, 2006
    #6
  7. WinXP_Powered

    J. Clarke Guest

    Michael A. Terrell wrote:

    > WinXP_Powered wrote:
    >>
    >> That was the point of this "fun exercise"--to leave it up to your
    >> interpretation.
    >>
    >> As for MY answer, you guessed it right off. I was going to refer to the
    >> blinkenlights.com timeline.
    >>
    >> As we can all see from the varied responses here, the interpretation of
    >> "personal computer" is something we can't seem to agree on. If that
    >> makes it a poor question, oh well.
    >>
    >> I posted the question so we could take a break from the seriousness of
    >> the rest of this newsgroup and inject a little fun here--not to start an
    >> argument or debate.
    >>
    >> Once a techie, always a techie, huh? No wonder they call us GEEKS!! LOL

    >
    >
    > I am not a GEEK! I have never, ever bit the head off of a live
    > chicken while working for a circus, or for that matter, at any other
    > time. The term was Nerd when I was growing up.


    Pity. A geek gets it done and a nerd doesn't. Or so say the geeks at
    Earthlink <eg>.

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 22, 2006
    #7
  8. WinXP_Powered

    J. Clarke Guest

    Michael A. Terrell wrote:

    > "J. Clarke" wrote:
    >>

    >
    >> Pity. A geek gets it done and a nerd doesn't. Or so say the geeks at
    >> Earthlink <eg>.

    >
    >
    > How many years have you repaired computers? Are any of the computers
    > you've worked on oddball industrial equipment with little or no
    > documentation? What do you know about the Motorola MC68340 series
    > CPUs? The Motorola "Exocisor" bus, the Intel "Multibus" Motorola's
    > "VME" bus? How about the PC-104 bus? I've troubleshot and repaired all
    > of them, along with some mainframe and minicomputer equipment. My
    > server rack was a NCR 2600 minicomputer, and I tested and certified the
    > embedded controller in one of the communications systems aboard the
    > International Space Station.
    >
    > I am back in the computer repair game after becoming 100% disabled. I
    > needed something to occupy my time, so I repair donated computers and
    > give them away to local disabled veterans.
    >
    > I also built a commercial TV station abut 10 years ago, and was an
    > engineer at two other stations.


    You might want to retrace your steps and see if you can figure out where you
    left your sense of humor.

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 22, 2006
    #8
  9. LOL That reminds of the story of the fried chicken head in McDonald's
    Nuggets.

    Stick to live bats--they're smaller. Just ask, Ozzy!!


    Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    > WinXP_Powered wrote:
    >
    >>That was the point of this "fun exercise"--to leave it up to your
    >>interpretation.
    >>
    >>As for MY answer, you guessed it right off. I was going to refer to the
    >>blinkenlights.com timeline.
    >>
    >>As we can all see from the varied responses here, the interpretation of
    >>"personal computer" is something we can't seem to agree on. If that
    >>makes it a poor question, oh well.
    >>
    >>I posted the question so we could take a break from the seriousness of
    >>the rest of this newsgroup and inject a little fun here--not to start an
    >>argument or debate.
    >>
    >>Once a techie, always a techie, huh? No wonder they call us GEEKS!! LOL

    >
    >
    >
    > I am not a GEEK! I have never, ever bit the head off of a live
    > chicken while working for a circus, or for that matter, at any other
    > time. The term was Nerd when I was growing up.
    >
    >
     
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 23, 2006
    #9
  10. Then I'm sure you remember the old 1540 drives (if memory serves me
    right) with the fast flashing red light. I remember that as one of the
    most common failures on the old C-64s. Those C-64s sure were cool for
    their price and time.


    Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    > Barry Watzman wrote:
    >
    >>Re: "The term was Nerd when I was growing up."
    >>
    >>Based on that, you are likely in the wrong thread. You should be in the
    >>"any other 50+ yr olds ???" thread.
    >>
    >>:)

    >
    >
    >
    > No, I've been in best buy, and I do believe their "Geeks" do eat live
    > chickens. Their store in Orlando screwed up a lot of computers, and
    > charged a lot of money for it. One that was brought to me for a blind
    > man supposedly had a bad hard drive controller. I found three AT IDE
    > Interface cards set for the same base address. They apparently put in
    > the second card and it didn't work, so they tried again before they
    > charged him labor and parts and gave it back not working. I saw dozens
    > of others from that store, bout only a couple from all the other
    > computer stores in the area.
    >
    >
    > BTW, I am 53, a disabled veteran, and I have repaired computers since
    > 1982 when you needed a oscilloscope and gold soldering skills. I was
    > repairing Commodore 64 computers before there was a schematic or parts
    > on the market, and I still repair some motherboards and other computer
    > parts. in other words, a nerd. A geek just tosses everything into the
    > dumpster.
    >
    >
     
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 23, 2006
    #10
  11. Very impressive, Michael, and AMEN to Disabled American Vets. You guys
    have done more to get other vets their due. God Bless You! :)


    Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    > "J. Clarke" wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Pity. A geek gets it done and a nerd doesn't. Or so say the geeks at
    >>Earthlink <eg>.

    >
    >
    >
    > How many years have you repaired computers? Are any of the computers
    > you've worked on oddball industrial equipment with little or no
    > documentation? What do you know about the Motorola MC68340 series
    > CPUs? The Motorola "Exocisor" bus, the Intel "Multibus" Motorola's
    > "VME" bus? How about the PC-104 bus? I've troubleshot and repaired all
    > of them, along with some mainframe and minicomputer equipment. My
    > server rack was a NCR 2600 minicomputer, and I tested and certified the
    > embedded controller in one of the communications systems aboard the
    > International Space Station.
    >
    > I am back in the computer repair game after becoming 100% disabled. I
    > needed something to occupy my time, so I repair donated computers and
    > give them away to local disabled veterans.
    >
    > I also built a commercial TV station abut 10 years ago, and was an
    > engineer at two other stations.
    >
    >
     
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 23, 2006
    #11
  12. Mister wrote:
    > On Wed, 22 Feb 2006 13:55:42 -0500, "J. Clarke"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    >>
    >>> "J. Clarke" wrote:
    >>>> Pity. A geek gets it done and a nerd doesn't. Or so say the geeks at
    >>>> Earthlink <eg>.
    >>>
    >>> How many years have you repaired computers? Are any of the computers
    >>> you've worked on oddball industrial equipment with little or no
    >>> documentation? What do you know about the Motorola MC68340 series
    >>> CPUs? The Motorola "Exocisor" bus, the Intel "Multibus" Motorola's
    >>> "VME" bus? How about the PC-104 bus? I've troubleshot and repaired all
    >>> of them, along with some mainframe and minicomputer equipment. My
    >>> server rack was a NCR 2600 minicomputer, and I tested and certified the
    >>> embedded controller in one of the communications systems aboard the
    >>> International Space Station.
    >>>
    >>> I am back in the computer repair game after becoming 100% disabled. I
    >>> needed something to occupy my time, so I repair donated computers and
    >>> give them away to local disabled veterans.
    >>>
    >>> I also built a commercial TV station abut 10 years ago, and was an
    >>> engineer at two other stations.

    >> You might want to retrace your steps and see if you can figure out where you
    >> left your sense of humor.

    >
    > I am neither a geek or a nerd, I am a computer guru who has found his
    > inner Zen by spinning CDs on all of my fingers and playing the
    > harmonica. For I have now joined the circus and have gotten real
    > hungry for some chicken heads after reading all of this!!!
    >
    > ,~.
    > ,-'__ `-,
    > {,-' `. } ,')
    > ,( a ) `-.__ ,',')~,
    > <=.) ( `-.__,==' ' ' '}
    > ( ) /)
    > `-'\ , )
    > | \ `~. /
    > \ `._ \ /
    > \ `._____,' ,'
    > `-. ,'
    > `-._ _,-'
    > 77jj'
    > //_||
    > __//--'/`
    > ,--'/` '
    > '
    >


    ROFLMBO @ visual of you spinning CDs on ALL your fingers, whilst blowing
    a blues harp being held up by an antique harmonica holder (a la early
    Dylan), and, oh yeah... doing ALL this on a small stage on a circus
    freak sideshow!

    ASCII art, even! There's the icing on the cake for you!!

    Psssst... showing your age with that ASCII art, Mister. LOLOL
     
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 23, 2006
    #12
  13. WinXP_Powered

    J. Clarke Guest

    Michael A. Terrell wrote:

    > "J. Clarke" wrote:
    >>
    >> You might want to retrace your steps and see if you can figure out where
    >> you left your sense of humor.

    >
    >
    > My sense of humor is fine. So is my right to disagree with you.


    Disagree with me about WHAT? Is it your assertion that Earthlink does not
    claim that "a geek gets it done but a nerd doesn't"? If not then on what
    point do you disagree with me?

    <remainder snipped>

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 23, 2006
    #13
  14. WinXP_Powered

    J. Clarke Guest

    Michael A. Terrell wrote:

    > "J. Clarke" wrote:
    >>
    >> Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    >>
    >> > "J. Clarke" wrote:
    >> >>
    >> >> You might want to retrace your steps and see if you can figure out
    >> >> where you left your sense of humor.
    >> >
    >> >
    >> > My sense of humor is fine. So is my right to disagree with you.

    >>
    >> Disagree with me about WHAT? Is it your assertion that Earthlink does
    >> not
    >> claim that "a geek gets it done but a nerd doesn't"? If not then on what
    >> point do you disagree with me?
    >>
    >> <remainder snipped>

    >
    >
    > Now look who has no sense of humor! ;-)


    I'm just trying to figure out what you got so defensive about.

    I'm starting to feel like I inadvertently walked into the middle of a Monty
    Python rehearsal.

    --
    --John
    to email, dial "usenet" and validate
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
     
    J. Clarke, Feb 23, 2006
    #14
  15. WinXP_Powered

    SBFan2000 Guest

    "Michael A. Terrell" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Dave Hardenbrook wrote:
    > >
    > > Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    > > > BTW, I still have about 20 1541
    > > > drives, and just got two more, along with a C-128 and a 1701 monitor
    > > > given to me a couple weeks ago. I also have a working SX-64 and a

    couple
    > > > C-128D computers, along with a couple dozen C-64 computers in one of

    my
    > > > workshops here at home.

    > >
    > > My first computer was a C64, and I'm glad to know there are still
    > > working ones in the world.
    > >
    > > BTW, I'm in my 30's, and I remember the term "computer nerd" -- When I
    > > was in my teens, a "geek" was an insufferable prat, like Anthony Michael
    > > Hall's character in the movie _Sixteen Candles_.
    > >
    > > --
    > > Dave, who looks nostalgically upon 5-1/4" floppy disks the way my
    > > parents did at 45 rpm records.

    >
    > I had collected most of the Commodore PET line, but lost them with a
    > warehouse a few years ago.


    This reminds me of the Mac that I accidently pitched. It was one of the
    first personal macs, all-in-one unit with like a 8" monitor. I was cleaning
    out the attic and I never used it so I pitched it. Then about a year later
    I saw it in a tv special as "one of the first macs available to users"
    Since then I've seen it in a musuem. I hate to think what kind of $ it was
    worth. Hopefully not much!
     
    SBFan2000, Feb 25, 2006
    #15
  16. Dancing cows... Monty Python rehearsals...

    What's next??!!! ROFLMBO

    John


    J. Clarke wrote:
    > Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    >
    >
    >>"J. Clarke" wrote:
    >>
    >>>Michael A. Terrell wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>"J. Clarke" wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>>You might want to retrace your steps and see if you can figure out
    >>>>>where you left your sense of humor.
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> My sense of humor is fine. So is my right to disagree with you.
    >>>
    >>>Disagree with me about WHAT? Is it your assertion that Earthlink does
    >>>not
    >>>claim that "a geek gets it done but a nerd doesn't"? If not then on what
    >>>point do you disagree with me?
    >>>
    >>><remainder snipped>

    >>
    >>
    >> Now look who has no sense of humor! ;-)

    >
    >
    > I'm just trying to figure out what you got so defensive about.
    >
    > I'm starting to feel like I inadvertently walked into the middle of a Monty
    > Python rehearsal.
    >
     
    WinXP_Powered, Feb 25, 2006
    #16
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