From: Adrian Vickers <>
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 21:06:11 +0000

Born 1973, currently 31.

First experience/sight of a computer was at around age 9-10 at primary
school, when the class got to use a loaned BBC 'B' for a day. I was hooked
there & then.

I didn't see another computer until I went to secondary school. The
computer lab there had: about 8 ZX Spectrums in a network (of sorts), 1 BBC
'B' (which spent most of its life playing Revs), and one Sharp MZ-80K
(which I acquired a few years later).

Sometime between 1982 and 1985, Dad had an Apple ][ Europlus on loan from
works; he learned DBase, I learned Apple Basic - which I've long since
forgotten. I do recall a rather good helicopter game though (one rescued
soldiers or somesuch from burning buildings. Also a flight simulator game,
which ate many a child-hood hour.

In February 1984, Dad ordered a Sinclair QL, which eventually showed up in
about June or July. I used that in its barebones 128k twin MDV setup for
about seven years, before finally buying disk drives (Well, a 5.25" single
drive), then extra memory, then a Gold Card, then twin 3.5" drives, before
finally retiring it for good in about 1994. I still have that QL, & most of
the accessories I ever bought/acquired.

Between 1986 and 1990 - I have long forgotten the actual dates, and I
almost forgot the actual machine! - I owned a ZX Spectrum - which I later
swapped for a CBM Plus/4 + games. During the same period, I had a BBC 'B'
on loan; with a very flakey keyboard connector which I eventually had to
replace myself, using ordinary stranded ribbon cable. Euch. It never was
quite the same after that.

At sometime between 1990-1992, someone (I never met them) asked me to write
some software on a Commodore PET 8032SK; I got to play with the complete
system (it included an 8040(?) double drive unit & printer). Around this
sort of time I made the fatal error of selling the Sharp MZ-80K for ?10 to
a mate. Oops. The PET system eventually went back to its owner in about
1993 (I think) - software un-written.

In 1994, I finished college & went to work, starting on a 486DX33. I got my
own PC the same year (a DX2/66), and have used PCs to work on ever since.
My classic comps collection, though, didn't really get going until 2000,
when I bought another QL. And another one.... I have about 7 now. Also a
BBC B, a BBC Master, a Spectrum or 4, a ZX81, a pair of Osborne 1's, a
collection of PETs (including an 8032-SK), a pair of MZ-80K's, 2 -80A's and
an -80B, and so on.

Big iron wise, I would covet a Vax 8800 (as used at N. Staffs Polyversity),
but have to make do with an HP 1000F & an A700.

So there you go... I am currently slimming down my oversized collection
somewhat, as it's getting to be a PITA to haul around everytime I move
house (4 times in 5 years so far).

Received on Sun Feb 27 2005 - 03:45:51 GMT

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