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    • Paul Coleman

      Univac Digital Trainer - [ The first computer I ever used. (1968) The UDT was totally useless for anything other than training in machine language programming, a bizarre specialty even in those days. It was 'state of the art' technology - transistors instead of vacuum tubes. - PSC ]

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    H632 General Purpose Digital Computer System, 1968 by colorcubic, via Flickr

    Teletype Model 33 - [ I was qualified (in theory at least) to work on these. In the U.S. Navy, they had a reputation for being bulletproof (reliable). I don't really know that for sure, because I never saw one that was heavily used. But they were a big seller in both the military and civilian versions for many years, and eventually enjoyed an active used market for computer hobby nerds. - PSC]

    Cash Registers - Non Computerized These fascinated me when I was young... Those cashiers could get their fingers to fly over the keys. It was machine magic.

    How it Works: Computers 1971 - these aren't computers but key punch machines. They pinched the rectangular holes in IBM cards that were used as computer memory. Key punch operating was a huge career field for women in those days.

    Texas Instruments Computer Game - Parsec. Wow... this totally brings back memories.

    Ada Lovelace, Ada Augusta Byron King. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine; as such she is sometimes portrayed as the “World’s First Computer Programmer“.

    Shugart SA 400 minifloppy Disk Drive - [ The FIRST 5.25" floppy disk drive (1977). By today's standards it's totally laughable (measly 100Kbyte capacity & slow), but very useful for hobby computers and early PCs. I tested it thoroughly for Honeywell Information Systems, and it performed perfectly. It annoyed me that most people (even the other engineers) would take one look at a mini-floppy drive and call it "cute" - PSC]

    1976 - Apple I - The very first Apple computer in April of 1976. Launched by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

    The first computers used batch operating systems, in which the computer ran batches of jobs without stop. Programs were punched into cards that were usually copied to tape for processing. When the computer finished one job, it would immediately start the next one on the tape.

    TRS-80 Pocket Computer - [ A fun toy from the early 80s. It was REEEEALY SLOW but Tandy(Radio Shack) was smart enough to make it, and all their computers, programmable in Basic (that helped make their stuff sell). IT was not particularly useful, but fun. - PSC]

    TRS-80 Model 1 - [ TRS-80 & Apple both started in the late '70s, but comparison is confusing(early Apples were kits). A LOST FACTOID - Tandy captured 40% of the PC market early on, and held the leading share for about a decade. The only competition was for 2nd place. ||| Mine was a very low serial #, bought used & was a cheap source of much fun & frustration(the early ones were PIGS). I habitually moved the keyboard as I worked, & that often crashed the system & zapped the disks(FUN!). - PSC]