I thought it would be good to start a thread so all on here can reveal the first systems they used I’ll start…
My interests in programming actually started in 1984 (yes, I suppose there is a parallel with George Orwell’s novel, but it wasn’t intended) and I started out on one of these
At the time, my year of school was the very first to sit the new GCSE. My Computer Studies teacher offered me a chance to write my own application for my exam, so I did. It was in tandem with the Geography department, who at the time, were studying rainfall over the course of a 6 month period. I collected rainfall data every day (I distinctly recall having to go into school an hour earlier to do this every day), and then added that to a database. I then wrote a front-end (all in BASIC) that allowed you to query the database, and return results. When printed, the entire program list stretched 5 lengths of the classroom! The final part was for me to highlight the various sections of the printout to explain what they did, and why they were there.
I have fond memories of this. It was DOT Matrix 3-part NCR paper, printed by a Daisy Wheel. For those who aren’t sure of what that looks like, here it is.
Oh, I remember this well. It printed NLQ (Near Letter Quality) - long before fonts were even a thing. It was as noisy as hell - and S U P E R slow
I submitted my program, and got an A
Our school was a bit behind the times in terms of hardware. At home, I had one of these
This is the machine that I actually learned BASIC on. For those interest in what BASIC stands for, it’s Beginner’s All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
I spent HOURS writing code on this machine. One of the “applications” I wrote was over 5,000 lines - at the time, this was unprecedented, and in fact, the computer crashed because it ran out of memory as soon as you typed run…
Oh, those were the days. Seriously though, looking back on this now, it’s amazing how far technology has advanced.
What systems did you use ?