I broke into the world of computers and technology at around the ripe old age of 10. Not so amazing really, but remember…that was in 1984…back when most people on the street didn’t know what a computer was. The day my father came home from Radio Shack with a brand new Tandy 1000 was the beginning of what has turned into a passion for technology.

The Tandy 1000, introduced in 1984, was manufactured to compete directly with the IBM PC. The one I had came standard 128Kb of RAM, one double density 5.25″ floppy disk drive and a 16 color RGB monitor. As add-ons, dad had the foresight to also purchase a matching dot-matrix printer and a Tandy joystick. The system ran on MS DOS 2.11 (maybe the most stable Microsoft OS to date?) and came bundled with DeskMate 1.0. DeskMate was pretty remarkable for it’s time. It was a word processor, spreadsheet, database and calendaring suite that fit on a single 5.25″ floppy…let’s see Microsoft Office do that!

Messing with DeskMate (not me and version 2, but still the same DeskMate)

That’s what I cut my teeth on. There was nobody to ask questions to, no classes to take. I taught myself BASIC programming from the rudimentary manual that came with the system and hours of trial and error. We still had this system up until last year when an unfortunate flood at my parents’ washed this part of my past away…but the memories remain.

What was your first computer? How did it all start for you? Leave a comment and share with the community at large. I would sure be interested in hearing about it.

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