Unfortunately i didn't have the chance to try the old versions of Microsoft operating systems like 95. I started using computer when the XP was released on an old PC and i was using it only to play games and browse the internet.
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My first OS has to be Windows 98. It was a self assembled computer and it costed my parents about 45,000 INR. They made around 20K INR combined at that point of time, but my father was crazy about the personal computer and he was saving for a long long time to get one.
While my father dabbled with some C++ on it, the only thing I did was play Roadrash and Dave and browse the internet from time to time. Can't believe 19 years has passed already since the release of one of the world's best Operating Systems. Of course, my father tried dual booting the computer by installing Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional for reasons best known to himself.
A few years passed and then came XP. :D Just when you had thought 98 couldn't be bettered, MS amazed the world with XP. It's been a long time since I used a Windows computer, but I think I am indebted to Bill Gates and Microsoft for placing a computer in every kid's room in the 90s.
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Does a C64 count? If so, that was my first. However, I’m not that old; 286 machines were already available at the time, we just couldn’t afford it.
Fast forward few years, and we bought our first IBM XT; it had a nifty 8088 processor in it. It had MS DOS 5.0 on it, and I loved it so much.
However, by the time I actually started to learn programming, our home computer was a 286 (this was around the 486 era). It had MS DOS 6.22 (I still have the installer disquettes (yes, floppies); I wonder if they still work). I used DOS Shell on it, and Norton Commander (sometimes Volkov, it was much smaller), and a bit later, Microsoft Windows 3.1 (for which I still have the floppies). Oh, and I will never forget my mom’s face when I first tried what the FDISK program can do…
It’s funny to write about all these OSes on my notebook, which has more CPU power and RAM inside that all my childhood computers altogether (including my first AMD Duron machine that I bought, with 512MB of RAM) in a box smaller than my first programming book.
Technically, the first computer I used was an Apple 2 GE back in 3rd or 4th grade. But our first computer came with MS DOS 5 and Windows 3.1.
We had a Radio Shack TRS 80 way back in the day - that was my first experience with programming, but I didn't know I was programming (just reproducing what was in some book) and I don't think dad thought it would lead to an entire career for me. Had to save programs to a cassette tape and it hooked up to a TV, haha.
Not sure if the TRS-80 had so much of an operating system as it was just sort of a stateless BASIC interpreter. Hours upon hours of painstaking copying code from a physical magazine GONE when powered down. It was plugged into a really bad colour tv. Eventually I got a cassette tape backup! 💾
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My first operating system was Windows 95, and I used it for the first time back in 1998 when I was 3.
My dad got a PC custom built for himself in his office. He didn't even have a monitor back then. It was just a black and white CRT TV with an external VGA card.
He used to take me to his office every once in a while and I would use MS Paint or play those 8 bit games on it. I strongly believe that to be the seed of whatever I am today as a tech enthusiast and a Software Engineer. :)
Dating myself here.... As a teen I learned to program on an Atari 800XL
Was loads of fun. Got my first paying programming job on that machine. Wrote a starfield simulation for the end of show credits for a cable TV show. :-) Went on to get a degree and now have over 30 years experience in everything from C++ to Ruby on Rails. :-)
First OS I used was an early version of DOS on my mum's XT. First on a computer of my own was AmigaOS on an Amiga 600. Although I really only used them for games and writing assignments, so they don't feel like they count.
First OS I properly got to grips with, customised and messed with, was DOS with the 4DOS extension and Windows 3.11 for when I needed a GUI.
The first OS I used was Windows 95, which ran on my first computer, which I assembled together with my father back in 1996. I was 4 y/o then :) I had a separate card for my mouse, because the MoBo didn't have mouse support...
Since then, the only Windows I didn't install on my computer is Windows ME, and I don't even feel bad about it. Though, as most of you might know, Gentoo Linux became my primary OS during the past few years (mainly because of the rise of telemetry data and deliberate data collection)
It's so great seeing all the 8-bit love in this discussion!
My first interaction with a computer was in the second grade. My teacher had been taking a night school programming course and the staff wheeled in the school's new – and only – computer, an Apple II. She put the disk in and booted it up, and there was an ASCII picture of R2D2 along with a beep-boop rendition of the Star Wars theme. I was hooked, and I was determined to learn how to make a machine do that. I read lots of "programming for kids" type books and played around with the Apple at school until we got a Commodore 64 at home.
Computers back then were pretty simple. There wasn't really an "operating system" in the traditional sense. That changed with software like GEOS which implemented something approaching a proper OS kernel (with drivers for peripherals!) on an 8-bit micro.
I loved GEOS. It had a text editor called GeoWrite that used proportional fonts. GEOS 2.0 included a new thing called a "spell checker". I did so many school projects in GEOS.
When I went to high school, we got a Packard Bell with a 20MHz 386sx processor and a 40mb hard drive. It came with MS-DOS 4.1, which was ok. MS-DOS 5.0 was a huge step up, and MS-DOS 6 took it further.
I saved up my cash for Windows 3.1 when it came out. I remember my mom driving me to Egghead Software to pick it up and asking why I needed a graphical operating system and how it would make the computer different. I think she was surprised I was spending money on something besides a game or a word processor and genuinely didn't understand how this one piece of software was going to make the other software I owned better.
I called my first BBSes on MS-DOS, but I took my first steps on the Internet in Windows 3.1, using Trumpet Winsock and a 9600 baud modem.
Those were magical times. I still tinker with Commodores and Apple IIs. Half my office is filled with old computers, books, and other tech memorabilia. But I also love how far we've come, and there's so many exciting developments in the tech world today I can't stay focused. I just want to experience it all!
Mine was something calling CPM. I think I used it for some Pascal stuff. To move files I believe the command "pip" was used.
Later went on to DOS 2.3 and using luggable Compaq portables. In which I booted from floppy, and proceed to boot DBase III+ from floppy.
My age clearly is showing.... :(
My first operating system was MS-DOS, in School. It was 1997. I was in third-grade. I remember learning LOGO; how computers maintain time, etc, etc... But best of all we used to play a lot of DOS games — Dangerous Dave, Bumpy, Prince of Persia.
Fast forward a couple of years, my dad got a Pentium II; it came with Windows 95! Ah, sweet nostalgia!
I'll never forget that day, my 12th birthday.
I had a brilliant year at school and my parents wanted to reward me.
They knew I loved those "videogames" of old. Back then, we had those ancient console things like Pong / Tennis / Squash / Pelota. My little cousin had a Mattel Intellivision, an incredible piece of technology back then.
So, they went to one of the handful electronics shops in town and purchased me a Commodore VIC 20. A true masterpiece of technology, with "vast amounts" of memory (all of 3583 bytes!).
The vendor did not tell them this was not a videogame.
When I opened it and connected it to the TV, I could not find a way to start any game. VIC 20 came with a true break-through idea: a massively simple and illustrated manual that would teach BASIC even to a rock. At the end of the manual itself, there were several pages with simple video-games source code.
Yes, it was normal - back then - to spend 4 hours manually copying a source code from a written book into a computer. A computer with no storage, every time you powered it off, all was lost.
This "write source code" thing, got me hooked with computers. Forever.
Shortly after, I put together my little savings and purchased a Commodore cassette recorder and later, a massive 8 kilobytes memory cartouche.
Since then, I have learned so many languages and technologies, from VAX to XENIX, from Commodore 64/128/16 to Apple II. From (some days worth of) AS400 to military systems. One hit concepts like NeXT and BeOS and staying workhorses (DOS / Windows / Linux).
However... I'll never forget that feeling of manually entering HEX machine language codes in my VIC 20... type "sys 2081" and see my first language machine routines and videogames run. Stuff I, now 13 old, imagined and created out of thin air, stuff that simply did not exist before. A young boy could create - alone - a whole video game including "high res" graphics, sound effects and music.
VIC 20 and Commodore 64 were huge influencers, there have been whole generations of developers born of those magnificent machines of old.
My first OS was Windows 98. My dad bought a computer when I was 9 years old. It had cost him around 45,000 INR. It came with a 128 MB RAM, around 900MHz Intel Processor and a 20GB hard drive. The only use we had for it was movies and music for my parents and games for me and my brother.
We spent our days playing Prince of Persia, Road Rash, Dave etc. Although I didn't even know what programming was or what it could do at that time, I did frequently experiment with settings inside the computer and in the BIOS menu and see what they did. This caused the system to crash, hang a few times.
When my dad upgraded the PC to a bit more RAM and hard drive, I installed XP in it and it was mind blowing.
I use Arch Linux all the time now and Windows is reserved just for gaming (some things never change :D).
Commodore DOS (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_DOS). It was really before the time of Operating Systems as we know it. You didn't start a computer and load an OS, you started your computer and it ran the bios which gave you a simple command prompt and that was it. Starting programs usually involved loading them off of disk, and to do that, you basically had to tell it what hardware device to load things from, so you basically issued this command:
LOAD . ,8,1
Then about 10 minutes later something would start running, like King's Quest or such. It also had cartridges like an Atari, so I played a number of games that way.
My really first OS was a basic interpreter on Oric-1.
Then, my first real computer was an Atari 520 STe if I recall correctly. Best computer I ever had.
I remember dumping the memory in binary to find the mouse pointer and redraw it on the fly ^^ (in GFA basic). It was the best moment of programming for me.
Since then, I program for a living, but the blast is passed. Though some languages give me some good feels sometimes too (lisp, elixir, haskell).
Dating myself here... My first operating system was an Atari 800XL when I was a teen. I learned BASIC and wrote my first program I got paid for at 16.
A star field simulation that was used as a background for a television program credits screen (something like below).
It was lots of fun but very challenging to program back then. Very different from today. :-)
The first OS I used is Windows 98 in 2002. At the time, the computer was bought by my uncle and it only had a pentium second generation CPU, 4.3G hard disk and 64M memory. I don't know how I survived with this surprisingly slowly computer, but it leads me towards the area of computer science. While others were using computers to play games, I used it to learn the operating system such as installation, disk partition and so on. Finally I would say, without it, I would have not been interested in programming.
Windows 95. It was an IBM my dad brought from work. It weighed a ton, white metal case, yellowish plastic where the floppy disk went. Floppy disks...remember those? A big game took 5 floppies (Jazz Jackrabbit anyone?). I remember the sounds that HDD made as it made booted. My parents sent me to an "Intro to Computers" course that was taught by this 70 year old guy who smoked 1 cigarette every 5 minutes (inside of course). He was an MS-DOS god (I was 7. He typed stuff and got stuff back as a response. Godlike right?). 2 weeks later I knew how to create file, directory, move a file and format my HDD to reinstall Windows in cmd. Guess which one I did first? After that Win98 and Me. I think it was the millennium edition.
First time I realized I was using an operating system the first PC arrived our home. It was in '98 and the thing had Windows 98 installed in it. There was also Johnny Herbert's GB 98 bundled with it so that was the first PC game I remember playing.
Of course few years before that we got an Amiga 500 but I had no clue that there were an operating systems at all.
First computer I ever messed with was a college's Burroughs B5500, when I was in high school. Monster room-filling thing with tape drives with vacuum columns and a massive Hollerith card punch that did a row at a time -- all eighty columns. The operator showed me how to punch a lace card (all the hole positions punched out). That made a racket that got the department head to tell him to knock it off.
They let me goof around with it after hours. I don't remember the OS; I'm sure it was a supervisor that ran the compiler and loader.
Mine was also Windows 95 in 1997 on a old HP computer, I switched to Windows 98 the next year, I was kid back then but I remember after playing Aladin game from a 2.5" floppy that I was overjoyed that my next computer had a CD cd drive so I could Install Warcraft and StarCraft at that time.
I was pretty young so the memories are fuzzy, but our first computer was a Compaq with Windows 3.1 on it. I'm pretty sure all I did was play Duke Nukem on it. After that, we had Windows 95 and I remember playing solitaire and some matching game. We also had this learning game called Rodney's Funscreen that I played a lot. Can't remember if that was on Windows 3.1 or 95.
I believe it was DOS3 on a Zenith PC compatible (~7mhz, 640k ram). I 'upgraded' to DOS5 at some point so I could get the fancy DOS Shell GUI. I inherited this computer from my uncle who used it for comp sci at university so it had all kinds of interesting things on it :)
My first computer was a VIC20 which I think was the precursor to the C64. But it was the C64 that I actually started using. I remember spending hours copying the code from those old computer game books. After that, moved to DOS, windows 3.1, windows 98, windows XP, then to Ubuntu, which is where I am today.
System 6! This would've been sometime around 1991/92 I think.
My father worked at a newspaper where he had a Macintosh II that was running this. The video card in that thing was something like 35cm long.
Pretty shortly after that we got to System 7, by '93. Somehow we started collecting Macs in the mid-90s, from Macintosh Pluses with 1 whole MB of RAM to LCIIs and even a Performa at one point.
Right around 1995 we got a Windows 95 machine, and had a parade of old hardware being thrown out from a local university running various DOS versions.