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    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 ]

    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]

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

    Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often considered the world's first computer programmer.

    How it Works: Computers 1971. I don't understand what these early computers were FOR. What were they used for? Just basic math?

    a computer

    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 :: Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak launched the very first Apple computer in April, 1976.

    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]

    Adele Mildred (Milly) Koss was an early computing pioneer who worked with Grace Hopper and was responsible for developing Editing Generator, a problem-oriented language for computer-generated reports, in 1952.

    Texas Instruments Home Computer. My Pop had one of these. i loved playing games on it

    DEC (Digital Equipment Corp)Rainbow 100 PC - [ I wrote power-up diagnostic software for the Rainbow 100 as a contractor circa 1983/84. With a few changes, this PC could have conquered the PC world. It had several innovative design features (which were mostly invisible to the user). The most bizarre, and potentially useful feature was it's TWO incompatible CPUs from different manufacturers. (No, I'm not kidding.) The Rainbow sold well off-shore but failed miserably in the USA. - PSC]

    TRS-80 Model 100 Portable Computer - [ Another Tandy(Radio Shack) PC from the early 80s. Not the first laptop, but the first one that was actually useful and popular. It was WAY ahead of it's time. Like all Radio Shack PCs of those days it started expensive and got cheaper on a regular schedule. I think mine cost just under $ 400. It was also a hacker's dream. I've seen small companies that had dozens of them - one or more on every workbench. - PSC]

    Soldering Iron - [ OK, so this one is a RIDICULOUS example, but it's the kind of traditional plumber's iron my dad used when he taught me how to solder. He must have done a good job, because when I was a computer tech in the Navy, they had me teach all the new guys how to solder (but I taught them with modern electronics soldering irons instead of those huge old 5 pound plumber's monstrosities). -PSC ]

    SYM-1 (Synertek SYM Model 1) - [ This inexpensive SBC (Single Board Computer) was the sharpest tool in my toolbox for nearly 20 years. It was based on the same Synertek 6502 microprocessor used in early Apple and Atari products. - PSC]

    I totally had one of these when I was a kid.

    Garage-born, Apple’s 1st Computer shell in 1976

    NO, I'M NOT THAT OLD, but these were actually used in hilariously slow, stupid computers. It's a stepping relay & they were invented in the 1890's and used to automate (sorta) telephone systems. In the 1960s they were carting off tons of these. I grabbed a hernia inducing panel of these that escaped a trip to the salvage company and showed it to the techs in the Data Systems shop. They thought I was kidding them, but it really did come from an ancient computer.