Price: about $200
My first non-game computer was the Radio Shack Color Computer 2 (affectionately called the CoCo). I really LOVED this machine and the great experiences I had on it are what motivated me to learn more about computers. I received this machine during Christmas of 1984 while I was in the 8th grade. My CoCo 2 had 16K of RAM and (initially) only a cassette recorder for MASS STORAGE :) Eventually I bought a floppy drive for it. The speed of the CoCo 2 floppy made a lot of Commodore 64 owners envious.
Thanks to eBay, I now have a few of these sitting around in storage at my house.
Price: about $330
My first modem was a 300 baud Hayes Smartmodem. It was built like a tank! The external casing seemed to be made of stainless steel. It was difficult to find a modem back in 1985 in my hometown. I had to drive about an hour to make the purchase (in Pittsburgh). A bigger difficulty was trying to find the proper cable that would allow my CoCo to interface with the Hayes. My first BBS was built as a science fair project using this modem.
Price: about $3,400.00
I soon outgrew the capabilities of the CoCo 2. My Mom was working for AT&T at about the time AT&T announced their first entry into the PC world with the AT&T PC 6300 . She was able to get a nice little employee discount on this machine. My PC 6300 came with the Intel 8086, 128K RAM (I expanded it to 640K), a color monitor at 640x400 (16 colors), and two floppy drives. For my high school graduation in 1988, one of my presents for this machine was a 40MB hard drive.
I still have this machine for sentimental reasons. This was the machine that I built all of my science fair projects on and used it to run the first BBS in the northern panhandle of West Virginia (I wrote the BBS software myself when I was in 9th grade). It also was with me through ALL of my undergraduate years at WVU. It has not been turned on since 1993.
On the Home Shopping Network one day, I saw the Sanyo MBC-550 being sold for around $1,000. I called my Dad at work and tried to convince him that this was such a great deal. He fell for my sales pitch and to this day I am still reminded by him about this since the Sanyo MBC-550 was a BIG DUD. This machine had 128K, ONE floppy drive, and monochrome graphics. I sold this machine, but, unlike my desire to own a CoCo 2, I have no wish to see this machine again!!
The TRS-80 Model 100 was a neat little machine! I still have mine, although my electric razor has more RAM than this machine did (the Model 100 came with 8K of RAM). But, to talk about battery life, my Model 100 would run for over 15 hours on jut 4 AA batteries!!
The Model 100 had a 110 baud internal modem and a "suite" of applications stored in ROM. Isn't it amazing how much they could pack into a machine back in those days!?
Price: about $299
My first printer was the epson RX-80. This printer served me throughout high school and undergrad days and was used to produce many of my school papers.
(Note: LaserJet 4 info goes here)
(Note: HP OfficeJet G55 goes here)
1993 Price: $2,500.00 1995 Price: $4,500.00
For Christmas of 1993, I bought a Gateway 2000 50MHz 486. It had 8M RAM and a 810M hard drive while running Windows 3.11. In 1994 I added a 4x CD-ROM to its configuration.
I used this machine to write my MS thesis while at WVU.
In December of 1995 I bought another Gateway 2000. It was VERY LOADED at that time with a 133MHz Pentium, 32M RAM, 2M HD, 17 inch monitor. However, despite the price I paid for this, I have encountered numerous problems with the machine and Gateway 2000 customer support. All of my subsequent machines were Dells. While away on Thanksgiving in 1997, this machine was hit by a huge surge that wiped out the whole motherboard. It was fixed (with an upgrade to a 56K modem) and was used to type the first version of this web page.
I really researched laptop computers before I obtained my Winbook FX. This is a 166MHz MMX Pentium with 32M RAM and a 2M HD. There is also a 33K internal modem with this machine. I really like this machine and it was a life-saver when the GW2K was hit by lightning. Unfortunately, it does not have the same battery life as my TRS-80 Model 100! My brother in-law, Wendell, now owns this machine and using it in Ireland.
In early 1998, I retired the Gateway P133 to my parents and upgraded to a Dell 300XPS. This machine has 128MB with a P2 300MHz processor. My father and mother in-law now use this machine.
In September, 2000, I retired the Dell 300MHz to my parents and upgraded to a Dell Dimension 4100. This machine has 256MB with a 1GHz processor, DVD-ROM, CD-R, and zip drive. It is still being used in my down-stairs office (as of May 25, 2004)
This page retired on May 25, 2004 - it feels too geeky to continue this....