That damn file explorer in Windows 3.1 and most games send you straight to DOS
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.
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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.
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)
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!
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!
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.... 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. :-)
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).
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.