From: Jim Brain <>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:32:25 +0000

To help keep the median age down:

I became on 1971 (34)

First PC was a VIC-20 in early 1982, because my Dad would not let me buy
an Atari 2600. Fate just seemed like a mean Dad back then. Paid for it
myself. $300 got me the unit, 2 games, no storage. Played the games,
put it in a box, and forgot about it until late '83, where I found my
7th grade homeroom filled with VIC-20's. The math teacher (it was his
room) took me under his wing, showed me the PET 8032's in the high
school with a 300 bps direct connect TNW-103 modem. Dialed my first BBS
at the time. That was the start of the love affair. Bought a 64 in
1984/5, and used it until my senior year in college, 1992, where I had
to break down and get a PC. The University of Illinois got me exposure
to Sequent (undergrad accounts) IBM RT-11, RS-6000, and PLATO, for those
who know what that is. Used to dial into the local modem bank to the
machines from the C64 using Novaterm to do homework, and had a PLATO
emulator for the 64, but can't find it anymore. I also developed a
taste for UNIX in college. I managed a student lab at one point. Before
I took over, we swapped out some funky 80186 3Com server hardware
running the lab for OS/2 1.3 (No workplace shell). Later, MS came and
talked to us about the greatness they felt was Windows NT for powering
the labs.

Left UIUC with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, but
software jobs paid more, so went that route.

I skipped the Amiga train (paid for AmigaWorld magazine for years, but
never got an actual unit), so mainly I collect CBM 8-bit stuff. I had
some Northstar stuff for a while, but never got into it. I try not to
buy new PCs, creating Linux boxen at the house from parts I get
upgrading other's people's PCs. They make great peripherals for my
CBM units.

I've never seen a real PDP of any vintage, though I did get a private
tour of the NCSA building with the Cray and the Thinking Machines
hardware (NCSA hired undergrads to admin the boxes)


Jim Brain, Brain Innovations                      
Dabbling in WWW, Embedded Systems, Old CBM computers, and Good Times!
Received on Sat Feb 26 2005 - 16:24:45 GMT

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