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Your first experience with a computer
7 October 2016
9.30am
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Zig
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Silly Girl said 

Joe said
One of them became a penpal for a while (do people still have penpals nowadays?).

I do, although I am supposedly very old-fashioned so that's not saying much. pepperland and I corresponded frequently (first through this site, then switching to email when our messages got too numerous). 

@Beatlebug  When you say you have a penpal, do you mean someone you actually write letters to versus emails? Or were you considering pepperland a penpal since you both trade emails?

Just curious. a-hard-days-night-ringo-7

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7 October 2016
11.35am
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Beatlebug
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 @Zig said

When you say you have a penpal, do you mean someone you actually write letters to versus emails? Or were you considering pepperland a penpal since you both trade emails?

Just curious. a-hard-days-night-ringo-7  

Well, in the post by Joe which I quoted, he referred to corresponding with someone via email as having a penpal, so I meant it in the same sense. To my mind it amounts to the same thing as proper old-fashioned letters (albeit a lot faster). 

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7 October 2016
1.22pm
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sgtpepper63
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Zig said
My first experience with a computer was as a kid - I'm thinking mid to late 1970's. Is that possible? Anyway, my uncle used to work for a small local communications firm. Once, during someone's birthday party (one of my cousins, probably - the same ones that turned 4 year old Zig on to The Beatles), he brought out a computer he was repairing and the only thing I remember was that we all took turns playing solitaire on it.

As far as regular use, however, I did not start using one until I got a job that required using one. This would have been somewhere around 1993-1994. Up until then, I had no desire to own one. Our training class for that job learned how to use a computer by...playing solitaire.

I think we owned our fist PC a couple of years after that.  

1. What computer did your uncle bring over, my guess is an Apple II, as it was the only popular PC from the 70's.

2. Why did they use Solitaire to teach you how to use a computer

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Zig
7 October 2016
1.47pm
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I have no idea about the brand of computer. I just remember being in my early to mid-teens and I'm not really sure what year it was. It's just one of those memories.

If I recall correctly, solitaire was used to get us comfortable with using a mouse. You know, right click, left click, click & drag...that kinda thing.

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7 October 2016
3.00pm
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sgtpepper63
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Zig said
I have no idea about the brand of computer. I just remember being in my early to mid-teens and I'm not really sure what year it was. It's just one of those memories.

If I recall correctly, solitaire was used to get us comfortable with using a mouse. You know, right click, left click, click & drag...that kinda thing.  

You'd think they'd give you a game with a keyboard to show you how to use a computer, such as King's Quest or Doom.

7 October 2016
3.13pm
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Minesweeper was also a game used to that end.

A space invader port would be a good way to learn about the keyboard.

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7 October 2016
4.31pm
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AppleScruffJunior
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To answer Joe's question: I still have penpals, ones from Austria, the other is from Iran but now living in Germany. We mostly correspond through letter but sometimes we talk on Facebook.

 

It's good fun.

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7 October 2016
5.13pm
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natureaker
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Since I wasn't born around the time computers were first being made and sold, the oldest computer I remember using was some sort of Dell computer (that I still have, but no longer works). It was quite fun to use, though I really only used it to play online games, like Club Penguin.

7 October 2016
9.56pm
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WeepingAtlasCedars
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The first time I ever used a computer was most likely when I was five or six. We used to have (perhaps we still have it stored away somewhere? a-hard-days-night-paul-10) a really slow HP desktop, probably from the very early 2000's or the mid-late nineties that we used as our family computer. It was a real pain to use; the keyboard was kind of awkward for me (having tiny children fingers and all) and the thing was as slow as molasses going uphill in January. I remember one time when it actually took an entire day to load Club Penguin.ahdn_paul_01

Since then we've packed up that dinosaur (as we used to call it* a-hard-days-night-george-10) and bought a super-snazzy brand-new Apple desktop that works like a charm. As for me, I've got an Acer laptop from around 2011-ish that isn't half bad. It can be quite slow at times, but I really only use it for the BB (like right now!), PFS and MS Paint stuff anyway. His name is Humboldt. a-hard-days-night-john-1

*And I actually believe we also had a tiny post-it note that read "archaic" placed on the monitor. ahdn_george_08

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9 October 2016
1.42pm
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The Hippie Chick said
Our first computer was a Micron, 1995. Looked a lot like this:

 

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Ran Windows 3.1, we were on dialup (oh, Lordy LOL) through AT&T. We tried AOL but that was VERY brief, hated it OMG.  I had a page on Geocities AND on Angelfire. Both long gone, but I'd love to look at them again and laugh.   

Our first computer looked a lot like that as well. Can't remember the brand though.

We had internet relatively late. I think I was about 11. Before that we had stuff my dad used for work, probably and we had games on CD Roms, such as Pippi Longstocking. 
My uncle and aunt had a reeeeally old computer until 5 years ago which they had even before we had ours and which only had stuff like Tetris, that game where you are a bat and need to destroy blocks and stuff like that on it. I loved playing on that as a child.

Anyway, before we had internet I had never even seen it, but I had this wonderful dream image of it in my head.

9 October 2016
4.40pm
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The Hippie Chick
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sgtpepper63 said

Impressive, I didn't actually think you guys would still have your first computer and up and working like that, as PC's are a pain in the ass to set up. For example, my son is a retro gaming collector born in 1985 and he decided to buy an IBM 5150 (the original DOS computer) and it was hell to get up working. Even my old Windows XP doesn't work anymore.  

That's not my computer, just a photo I found online of the one I owned or extremely similar model. I don't keep my computers when they give out. I take them in to be recycled.

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