Bill Gates and Paul Allen Retake a 32-Year-Old Photo

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cokebabies

That's not Paul Allen, that's Marcus Halberstram.

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KLund1

Lived in Palo Alto in 1973, and my father signed me up for a computer 'class' over that summer. I was 8 years old. It was a PARC. I had 'my own' Alto, with a turtle robot attached. The Alto was names Mindy, as I recall. Leaned Smalltalk, & turtle graphics. It was lots of fun!

The first one I really owned in my home was an Atari 800 from late '1979. It came in a brown box (not the later silvery boxes) 8K, with 8K more on back-order. It had only the CTIA graphics IC, I later took it to Atari's main repair center in their Sunnyvale headquarters, for a GTIA chip in '80!! Loved that machine, way ahead it's time!

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Ledoubleu

Class of 75' thank you very much!

Our computer lab had a "Mini Computer" and used punch cards.

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wcallender

My First PC was an Epson 'Apex' 8088, that my parents bought me for $900 in 1986. It had two (2) 5 1/4 floppy disk drives and a 14-inch CGA monitor, running MS-DOS 3.3!

...and in one of the few times that an extended warranty was worth it's value, my mom took it back to the department store that we bought it from to get it repaired, and they damaged it, so the store gave us a brand new Epson 'APEX Plus' (my first PC with this amazing thing called a "hard drive" that could hold more than 18 floppies worth of stuff!) in exchange because they no longer sold the model that we had originally bought.

I can still remember typing my first book reports in "PFS: First Choice" software (think the precursor/competitor to Microsoft Office)...
Man, good times...

Amazingly, my current PC is cheaper (when factoring in inflation) than my first one, even-though it's many orders of magnitude more powerful.

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pastorbob

It was a Heathkit H-89 AIO running a 2 Mhz Z80 with 48 Kbytes of DRAM and a SSSD 5-1/4" floppy drive (100K per disk) and the CP/M OS. The Heath version that I had was a kit that took me a couple of weeks working in the evening to assemble. A lot of soldering and testing. When Zenith bought Heathkit they adapted the kit to mass production and produced the Z90. The Zenith in the center foreground of the picture was the factory assembled version of my computer.

While my friends and coworkers were using casette tapes to load their programs I was loading at blazing floppy disk speeds. :-)

I upgraded in '83 to a 4 Mhz CPU, 16K of additional RAM and added dual external floppy drives with quad density (800K per disk).

A 10 Meg hard drive was available, but out of the question since it cost $3,000.

There was a lot of software available as well as an 8080 assembler, Microspft BASIC, and a COBOL compiler. But I was really able to write some good stuff when Borland came out with Turbo Pascal. Using that and inline assembly code was the best of both worlds.

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kevjohn

I fondly remember my Commodore 128. It had TWICE the... something or other of the Commodore 64!! (A common statement amongst 128 owners was that we never/rarely used the "128 mode".) I did quite a bit of gaming on it: Karateka, Bruce Lee, Paradroid, Hardball, Druid, too many others to name. I also learned BASIC I guess, and some weird graphics sh*t where you drew lines and shapes by inputting screen cordinates. Such fun.

Before that we also had some nearly useless POS that I believe was a Sinclair 1000. That belief is based on me Googling "worst keyboards ever", and the pictures of the 1000 is making terrible memories flash into my mind.

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T-man0717

Fist computer I touched was a TRS-80 made by the Tandy corporation and sold through Radio Shack. Now this is making me feel old. Thanks a lot Paul, lol

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TrollBot5000

Let's see I was born a year too late. 82' The first PC we had was a Tandy that we didn't have for very long. I remember playing ghostbusters on it like someone else mentioned. Then we got some HP with windows 98 which became littered with viruses.

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ApathyCurve

In 1981 it was an Apple ][. Didn't get a PC until 1987 when I was deployed to Okinawa. A Model 25 PS/2, if I remember correctly. It was the "all in one box" model. I got it so I could cram it into a seabag -- which I did, on many occasions. That comp went all over the world with me. It was indestructible. Sold it in '94 and bought a Packard Bell. Ugh. Wish I still had the PS/2.

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Jeffredo

I was 20 and couldn't care less about computers back then. I was in college, watched TV, went to the movies, read books and magazines, hung out with friends and family, listen to Punk Rock and New Wave music (cassettes!), cruised around California in my 1977 Toyota Celica. Come to think of it, life was pretty good in that low tech era.

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pastorbob

+1

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Exarkun1138

1981, I had my first computer. It was a Tandy Radio Shack Color Computer Model 1. 4K of RAM (yes, 4 KILOBYTES!), a total color palette of 16 colors, and mono sound! HORRIBLE chiclit style keyboard! But it got me into computers! I also had a Mattel Intellivision game console, still one of the greatest consoles ever made!

I was 15 and just gotten my Learners Permit, so I could drive!

But that Tandy CoCo was still a great learning experience, and had some pretty cool games too! One in particular was Dungeons of Daggorath. A really cool first person adventure game with Vector Style graphics.

I moved on from there to an Atari 800XL, then an Atari 520ST and an Amiga 500. Got my first true DOS based PC in 1989, one that I built!

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timmyw

Hmmm. 1981. Let's get in the Wayback Machine, Mr. Peabody.

I would have been in front of a TI-99/4a. My C-64 came a bit after that.

Earliest computer I played a game on would have been on an Apple II although I didn't own one.

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GenMasterB

This goes back to 1981.
1st pc (if you could call it that) was a 4k CP/M Z80 w/cassette backup and thermal roll printer..
But in '83 I got my 1st Apple ][.. Was in hog heaven..
I built my 8086-10Mhz turbo w/DOS 2.1 in '83. Orig 128k Mac in '84 , worked for Apple/IBM Dealership.. (remember those like Computerland)?. After Win 3.1 I stayed PC and left Mac around System 7.1.

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pearson101

In early 82 went to a friends house who had just bought a Commodore 64. Played Zork for 2 hours and went out the next day and bought one. In 84 bought an Apple IIe, 86 a Woz IIGS. In 91 made the switch to Intel with a gateway computer and have stayed on that side of the fence ever since.

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Overkill2017

I was born in 83 so limited to how much older equipment we were exposed to. Remeber playing Ghostbusters on the C128D, and learning my way around DOS, constantly playing around with the autoexec.bat and config.sys lol miss those days. Dont particularly miss having to map every device's IRQ and DMA by hand with jumpers - especially when you have devices that just didnt work no matter how hard u try. First cool PC we got our hands on was a Packard Bell 286-12 - with a whopping 40MB hard drive and 1MB of ram. Remebering the days of Gizmos and Gadgets and Treasure Cove in full 8bit glory. All of those years troubleshooting PCs and building them from scratch/scrap sure paid off.

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yardGNOME

Our 1st true PC was the brand spankin' new IBM 5150 and we got it for free in 81.

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Dartht33bagger

Considering I wasn't even born until 1992, I didn't experience any of the older PCs.

The first PC we had in the house was some junk 90's computer that my mom got from her work so that she could do her work at home. Oddly enough, she never actually used the computer, so the only time it was plugged in was when I wanted to play hearts on it.

Anyways, it was crap. Windows 3.1, floppy drive and no internet. No one ever used it because there was nothing to do it.

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Radix

My first computer, as a high school sophomore in '82, was a Franklin Ace 1000 which was an Apple II clone (before they were sued out of existence by Apple).

Wow, the memories are flooding back from all the late night BASIC programming sessions on my own text-based role-playing game. That seems to be a common fond memory among us MaxPC members, the early programming days when we were just learning the basics. *sigh* Those were the days.

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The Mac

yeah, i think my 1st progam i wrote was a Dungeons and Dragons random charactar generator.....

i did it on a Packard-Bell - Also an apple clone.

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Neufeldt2002

Was playing around on an Atari 400 that was my friends at the time. I was also going to the local RadioShack to ogle the Tandy at the time as my family couldn't afford any of those machines. I was 9 then, and was always daydreaming about what I could do with a computer.

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Jimi James

I was rockin' on my first PC at school with a Vic 20, then we got an TI-99/4A at home. The schools graduated to C-64's and we had the Tandy 1000 ordered and waiting to be picked up at Radio Shack and the salesman ticked my dad off and we got a c-128 with a floppy drive,mouse and joystick at another store. Still remember only running two programs in the 128 mode F-19 stealth fighter and a word processing program. Everything else was type "go64" or hold down the Commodore button as you cut it on for the c64 mode. Wow the memories of Test Drive II and F-15 Strike Eagle.

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AFDozerman

Born in '91. First computer was a hewlet packard running 95. I'll never forget playing hover and going through that educational 3D dinosaur game as a little kid.

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majorsuave

I was 8 then.
I probably had seen some TRS-80s by then and maybe Vic-20. Though the first PC to enter my house was probably a PCJr.

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The Mac

my computers of that timeframe in order of aqusition: Sinclair ZX81 (later rebranded to the Timex-Sinclair 1000), Atari 800, commodore 64, then an Amiga 1000.

Got my 1st x86 in 1988, an Amstraad 8088 with a paperwhite CGA monitor.

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big_montana

My first computer was a Tandy TRS-80 that I received as a Christmas present in 1977. I used it mostly for BASIC programming

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LaughingGravy

TRS-80 Model III. Bought it in Feb. 1982. I believe I paid extra for a serial and parallel port, also bought a 300-baud modem and a cassette recorder to load and save programs. The first software I bought was SubLogic's Flight Simulator - a tradition I continued, the first program I bought for every new computer after that was the latest version of FS.

I wanted to upgrade the memory from 16K to 48K, but Radio Shack's price was extortionate, so I bought a kit at a fraction of the price at a little store/office up in a skyscraper in downtown Chicago. I still remember the terror of removing that one screw that voided the warranty. I nervously pulled out the old chips and put in the new ones, and when I closed it up and it actually worked, I was ecstatic. I was so excited I had to tell somebody, but I didn't know anybody who knew anything about computers and would understand the thrill - so I called my mom. "Oh, that's nice, dear." Good old Mom.

And the lesson I learned that day was - "Wow, computers aren't that hard." That lesson has served me well for thirty years.

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wintercoder

I purchased a TRS-80 Model 1 with paper route money in '76 or '77 as well. It's the computer in the front, right in the picture above.

I did BASIC programming (w/tape recorder for storage, then upgraded to external floppy drives/expansion bay) for a couple of months then dove head first into Z-80 assembly language programming.

In 1986/7 I made a big mistake. I was a Systems Engineer (basically tech support) for Tandy when one of Tandy/Radio Shack VP's came to visit our region and said he had come from a meeting with this young snot nosed kid who spewed big dreams about computers. His name was Bill Gates with a small company called Microsoft. The VP said that if we were smart we would dump a bunch of money into Microsoft stock.

I didn't.

Big mistake.

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doorsmaniac

Pc jr nuff said

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Satchboy

The first computer I ever used was a PET just like the one in front of Gates.

I learned how to program in BASIC on that machine... and play games of course.

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wumpus

Anyone notice the one machine that isn't shown on the new one is an AppleII? The other machines seem to never quite match (the thing right of young Bill is an Osbourne, I have no idea what is next to old Bill).

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jgottberg

I hadn't touched an x86 based PC until 1988. It was an original IBM 8086 with dual 3.5 floppies with 64k of RAM - up till then, I was on a Commodore64 and a Vic20 coding rudementary programs that were in the back of the Commodore magazine. lol

Like the original pic though... Gotta love the naive ambitions of a PC pioneer back in those days. Back before They had to answer to a board of directors or report quarterly earnings, they just created what they wanted to make and hoped for the best.

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alabasterdragon

Remember that back then Bill Gates said "640k of memory outta be enough for anyone."

I remember back then I was also coding those programs from Commodore Mag on my C64 and later on my C128. I even printed out some code from IBM and Apple IIc programs and recoding them on my C64, with limited success.

I never touched any x86 machines until I got an Acer with a 486dx-33. Got that because the dx2 had just come out and the sales person convinced us that the double of the DX2 was an idea that would never last.

I also remember falling in love with DOS 5 on that Acer. After years of dealing with Commodore's OS DOS was heaven sent. But now I've forgotten more about DOS than most people ever knew about it.

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wumpus

Pretty much my experience, although the PCs were some sort of clones a few years later and the 8bits were Atari 400 and 800 machines.

The kicker is that before I touched an 8086 (and through the PCs and ATs) I was using SunOS machines (3/60s and early RISC machines). This showed me what computers could actually do (as apposed to what DOS and Windows did) and it took years of running Linux before my seething hatred of all things Microsoft died down.

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jgottberg

Funny how we used those things back then without much of a GUI and STIL enjoyed it. Good stuff... I'm a firm believer in the saying "if your always looking in the rearview mirror, you'll never see whats ahead" but every now and then, it's nice to go back :)

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kenneth_ewing

The Oregon Trail, it was an addicting game at the time. Lol

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PiEGuY

Was I playing with PCs back in 1981? Nope, wasn't even born yet in '81!

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jgottberg

Youngster :)

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PiEGuY

I was born in '82, I'm not THAT young.

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The Mac

i graduated highschool in 1982.

yes you are that young...

lol

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GenMasterB

Class of '80 myself.. hurts to type! lol

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