How much did a personal computer cost the year you were born?

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This list does not have any machine listed for the year I was born, but I can assure that the CaveArt 1, was a great unit.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...born/36156373/

Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    That's cool.

    I was thinking about this the other day...

    When you look at those old computers that took up a whole room/wall and think how low performance they are by todays standards and then look at server farms like Google is running today... in a few decades the technology of Google server farms today will most likely fit in your hand.

    That's pretty wild.
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    • Profile picture of the author Odahh
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      That's cool.

      I was thinking about this the other day...

      When you look at those old computers that took up a whole room/wall and think how low performance they are by todays standards and then look at server farms like Google is running today... in a few decades the technology of Google server farms today will most likely fit in your hand.

      That's pretty wild.
      or if not in your hand in a little autonomous robot that can follow you around or that are just around .. everywhere so if you need something they will respond to the request ..and show you marketing or products based on all the activities and you do .. that's if you get the free version of the service bots of course ..

      as for answering the question.. ..I am 40 so personal computers where a thing geek like was and bill gates had to build at home from spare circuit bored .. other than that there where mini computers that cost a few hundred grand or mainframe that cost millions ..

      20 years ago when i got my first pc..it was like 2,000 dollars for a 66 mg hz amd processor
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      That's cool.

      I was thinking about this the other day...

      When you look at those old computers that took up a whole room/wall and think how low performance they are by todays standards and then look at server farms like Google is running today... in a few decades the technology of Google server farms today will most likely fit in your hand.

      That's pretty wild.
      Don't forget that your mobile phone has many times more computing power than the first space flight's on-board computers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        Don't forget that your mobile phone has many times more computing power than the first space flight's on-board computers.

        I remember when "computers" had to be fed punch cards.

        And when I was about 21, I remember getting the first "pocket sized calculator" from Texas Instruments (I think). It must have weighed 2 pounds...and cost me $250.

        In high school, I learned mechanical drafting with a slide rule.

        Remember the science fiction space travel movies made in the 1950s? When they had no idea what it would be like?

        Astronauts smoking in space, drinking coffee from a cup...with (of course) the cute token lady there serving coffee. And they would have a wall with simple dials. Space ships doing sharp 90 degree turns in space,

        And of course space ships had wings..because..you know...science. And all space ships looked like a bomb with fins. And you could get to any star in the galaxy (at the time we thought there was only one galaxy) in a rocket...in just a few days.

        I love those movies.
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        • Profile picture of the author whateverpedia
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I remember when "computers" had to be fed punch cards.

          And when I was about 21, I remember getting the first "pocket sized calculator" from Texas Instruments (I think). It must have weighed 2 pounds...and cost me $250.

          In high school, I learned mechanical drafting with a slide rule.
          I was going to say the only "personal" computers back when I was born were called abacuses, then you pointed out slide rules. By the time I got to the point in school where a slide rule might be needed, calculators had become available so I never learned how to use one of them.

          In tests and exams though we weren't allowed to use calculators. Everything had to be worked out using pen and paper and you had to show all stages of how you arrived at your answer. For trigonometry though we were allowed to use printed tables, but you still had to transfer what was on there to paper and still show each step of the calculations involved.
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        • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I remember when "computers" had to be fed punch cards.

          And when I was about 21, I remember getting the first "pocket sized calculator" from Texas Instruments (I think). It must have weighed 2 pounds...and cost me $250.

          In high school, I learned mechanical drafting with a slide rule.

          Remember the science fiction space travel movies made in the 1950s? When they had no idea what it would be like?

          Astronauts smoking in space, drinking coffee from a cup...with (of course) the cute token lady there serving coffee. And they would have a wall with simple dials. Space ships doing sharp 90 degree turns in space,

          And of course space ships had wings..because..you know...science. And all space ships looked like a bomb with fins. And you could get to any star in the galaxy (at the time we thought there was only one galaxy) in a rocket...in just a few days.

          I love those movies.
          "I remember when "computers" had to be fed punch cards."

          Dan Riffle's first computer had punch cards
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
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          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I remember when "computers" had to be fed punch cards.

          And when I was about 21, I remember getting the first "pocket sized calculator" from Texas Instruments (I think). It must have weighed 2 pounds...and cost me $250.

          In high school, I learned mechanical drafting with a slide rule.

          Remember the science fiction space travel movies made in the 1950s? When they had no idea what it would be like?

          Astronauts smoking in space, drinking coffee from a cup...with (of course) the cute token lady there serving coffee. And they would have a wall with simple dials. Space ships doing sharp 90 degree turns in space,

          And of course space ships had wings..because..you know...science. And all space ships looked like a bomb with fins. And you could get to any star in the galaxy (at the time we thought there was only one galaxy) in a rocket...in just a few days.

          I love those movies.







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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Born before 1971 so not on the list. Wonder what the old main frames cost in the early 60's
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I'm not saying Claude is old, but his first computer was an Abacus 2000.
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    • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      I'm not saying Claude is old, but his first computer was an Abacus 2000.
      Claude's first computer was the Riccar 1. It was an analog device that held it's memory storage in Vacuum tubes
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  • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
    Computers I have owned since 1980:

    British 8 bit Micro's: Sinclair ZX81, Sinclair Spectrum, Acorn Electron, Sinclair QL,

    Moving on to a US 16 bit: Commodore Amiga (first edition)

    First PC, British made (store's own): Patriot MMX 200 mhz (first Pentium) Win 95

    Second PC , British made (store's own): Advent 400 mhz Win 98

    Third PC: E-Machine 887 mhz Win XP

    HP Quad Core running Vista 2.6 Ghz (my first top of the range for its day in 2008)

    Current PC: Dell i5 (4th generation) 3.00 Ghz Win 8/10

    I have owned 7 laptops including a dos one from the 90's, a, Toshiba, Gateway, a Sony, 2 x HP's, and currently have a Asus 7th gen i5

    Been through a lot of tec.

    Never owned anything by Apple, never owned a tablet. I have had 2 personal digital assistants, a Palm Pilot and another device, the name escapes me.Never used them much.

    My ownership of Smart Cell phones only really started a year ago.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by lanfear63 View Post

      Been subjected to a lot of low-tec.
      Edited for accuracy.
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      • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        Edited for accuracy.
        Would be interested to hear about your list of Apple or other devices you have owned over the years.
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by lanfear63 View Post

          Would be interested to hear about your list of Apple or other devices you have owned over the years.
          1977 - Apple II

          1982 - Dot Matrix Printer

          1983 - ImageWriter

          1984 - Macintosh (128k) w/ ext. disk drive, Modem 1200

          1985 - Macintosh XL, Apple LaserWriter, LocalTalk connectors.

          1986 - Macintosh SE (Platinum)

          1988 - Macintosh IIx, LaserWriter II SC, Apple Scanner

          1989 - Macintosh SE/30, Portrait Display

          1990 - Macintosh Iisi

          1991 - PowerBook 170

          1993 - Macintosh Color Classic, LaserWriter Pro 810

          1994 - Power Mac 8100/80, Apple Quicktake 100

          1996 - Power Mac 8200

          1997 - Power Mac G3, Apple ColorSync/AppleVision 750 Display

          1998 - Apple Studio Display

          1999 - Power Mac G4 (Graphite), Cinema Display (22")

          2001 - Power Mac G4 Quicksilver, iPod (1st gen)

          2003 - Power Mac G5, iPod (3rd gen), iMac G4 20"

          2004 - (2) Cinema Display (30")

          2005 - Power Macintosh G5 dual core, Mac Mini

          2006 - Mac Pro, iPod Shuffle (2nd gen)

          2007 - Mac Mini (Mid 2007), iPhone (1st generation) (8 GB)

          2008 - Mac Pro, iPhone 3G (16 GB), LED Cinema Display

          2009 - Mac Mini, AirPort Extreme 802.11n (3rd gen)

          2010 - Mac Pro, iPhone 4 (GSM) (16 & 32 GB), Apple TV (2nd gen)

          2011 - Mac Mini, iPhone 4S (32 & 64 GB)

          2012 - Mac Pro, iPhone 5

          2013 - Mac Pro, Apple TV (3rd gen Rev A), AirPort Extreme 802.11ac (6th gen)

          2014 - Mac Mini , iPhone 6 Plus (128 GB)

          2015 - Nothing

          2016 - Nothing

          2017 - iPhone 8 Plus

          2018 - Nothing

          2019 - Time to replace everything. :-)

          Lots of monitors, mice, trackballs, webcams, external drives and all that jazz. For a while I was buying used machines and refurbishing them to sell to quick-print shops as desktop publishing became the range. Those were the days.
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  • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
    I did not mention peripherals:

    A Shekoha serial dot matrix.

    A Citizen 24 pin 4 color dot matrix.

    A Canon portable inkjet printer

    An Epson color inkjet, 600

    An HP 930 inkjet

    A Canon all in one inkjet.

    A wide carriage HP 9800 inkjet

    An HP printer scanner (wireless)

    Of these we still have the wireless HP and Canon, the 9800 is faulty

    A green screen 12" monitor for the QL

    A 14" (tube monitor)

    A RGB monitor for the Amiga

    A 17" Tube Monitor

    A 21" LCD monitor

    A 24" HP LCD monitor

    Currently have a 28" Viewsonic LCD/Led monitor

    A couple of scanners including an HP

    Various mice, keyboards and webcams

    Currently have a wireless Logitech Keyboard/mouse combo.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by lanfear63 View Post

      I did not mention peripherals:
      We assume that anyone with a computer has peripherals. No need to itemize and embarrass yourself further. :-)

      BTW - I did buy a nice PC rig, once. Someone convinced me that I wouldn't be able to run a legitimate business without it. It sat, untouched, forever. Finally gave it away.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        BTW - I did buy a nice PC rig, once. Someone convinced me that I wouldn't be able to run a legitimate business without it. It sat, untouched, forever. Finally gave it away.

        Lmao, throwing the PC flame in there.
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          Lmao, throwing the PC flame in there.
          Every person is responsible for creating their own joy, in life.
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      • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
        Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

        We assume that anyone with a computer has peripherals. No need to itemize and embarrass yourself further. :-)

        BTW - I did buy a nice PC rig, once. Someone convinced me that I wouldn't be able to run a legitimate business without it. It sat, untouched, forever. Finally gave it away.
        Well you certainly listed them.

        So you owned an Apple Lisa? (or is a Lisi something else), did that get used much?
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by lanfear63 View Post

          Well you certainly listed them.
          No. I mentioned them. I listed what qualifies as hardware, not peripherals.

          Try to keep up.

          So you owned an Apple Lisa? (or is a Lisi something else), did that get used much?[/QUOTE]

          No. Never owned a Lisa. I wanted one, but in 1983 or so they were close to $10k, if I remember correctly. Maybe that's in today's dollars. Either way . . . . .
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I have a question for 'computer folks'.


    A woman I know has not worked at all for 21 years but said she gets job offers frequently through LinkedIn, etc. She was an IT on mainframes way back when and said there is a tremendous demand for IT's for those old systems.



    Is that right? I've been curious ever since she told me that. Anyone know?
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Is that right? I've been curious ever since she told me that. Anyone know?
      I would find that very hard to believe. While a Google search brings up many places to buy them, as collectors items, I couldn't find a single job offering.
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    • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I have a question for 'computer folks'.


      A woman I know has not worked at all for 21 years but said she gets job offers frequently through LinkedIn, etc. She was an IT on mainframes way back when and said there is a tremendous demand for IT's for those old systems.



      Is that right? I've been curious ever since she told me that. Anyone know?
      There may be a few Ma & Pop shops around using old systems on the adage, if it aint broke..dont fix it. Most modern companies will upgrade every few years though given the pace and power of new equipment and software. I suspect some are just going there and typing in the name of their systems to find anyone available.

      My mother worked in a Solicitors office that had the same system for years, when it broke the supplier company was hard pressed to find anyone who had worked on these machines but they fortunately managed to do so.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I have a question for 'computer folks'.


      A woman I know has not worked at all for 21 years but said she gets job offers frequently through LinkedIn, etc. She was an IT on mainframes way back when and said there is a tremendous demand for IT's for those old systems.



      Is that right? I've been curious ever since she told me that. Anyone know?


      Looks like it might be true.

      Stuff like COBOL is still used on old systems.




      You'd think a computer programming language created in 1959 would be outdated -- but you'd be incredibly wrong.

      Most people know Java and C++, but good ol' COBOL is still alive and kicking. In the US, around 80 percent of in-person transactions and 95 percent of ATM swipes are based on programs written in COBOL. The problem is there's not enough people to maintain the current COBOL-based systems.

      According to Reuters, around three trillion dollars in daily commerce flow through COBOL systems. Many major financial corporations and some parts of the federal government have built their entire infrastructure on COBOL bases from the 70s and 80s.

      That Reuters article mentioned is dated 2017.

      Although few universities still offer COBOL courses, the language remains crucial to businesses and institutions around the world.

      There's over 250 COBOL jobs on indeed paying over $100k.

      Kind of funny a long forgotten programming language is in demand. Probably easier to get a COBOL job than working at Google, Apple, etc... and the same or better pay.

      Some of the businesses hiring on indeed are JP Morgan Chase, Mastercard, Citi (banks/ATMs).
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I have a question for 'computer folks'.


      A woman I know has not worked at all for 21 years but said she gets job offers frequently through LinkedIn, etc. She was an IT on mainframes way back when and said there is a tremendous demand for IT's for those old systems.



      Is that right? I've been curious ever since she told me that. Anyone know?

      It might be but there's a catch:



      The impression I got was that once you worked on these old mainframes for a few years, you've basically pidgeonholed yourself for the rest of your career.



      Think about it for a second:
      where else but very large old school institutions do you work on old mainframes?
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Thanks guys - that's sort of what I thought.


    The woman is a friend of family - and last month I was stuck with her for 3-4 days while she was in town (and family out of town).


    She's smart, friendly, etc - but next time she's here I'm going to go on vacation. That woman never met a silence she couldn't fill and some of the stories are a bit much.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Wow - looks like she had a point. She has told me two years in a row that she's 'thinking of going back to work' - and when she said 'after 20 years' and '6 figure income' I thought she might be delusional.


    Sounds like that could be a business op for anyone able to recruit retirees to go back to what they 'used to do' and work on a contract basis or part time consulting work. I love the COBOL Cowboys name...smart man.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    They did not even have calculators when I was born that I know of, the first pc i played with was a punch card system in high school, we got it to print our names on trcactor feed paper of some sorts and it was like some real magic sheite back then.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      They did not even have calculators when I was born that I know of, the first pc i played with was a punch card system in high school, we got it to print our names on trcactor feed paper of some sorts and it was like some real magic sheite back then.

      You young kids...

      Ours chiseled out "Hello World" in stone.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian5
    Perhaps it costs more than 1 thousand dollars, but I'm not sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author lanfear63
      Originally Posted by Ian5 View Post

      Perhaps it costs more than 1 thousand dollars, but I'm not sure.
      lan5 is my grandson by the way
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  • Profile picture of the author TweetSpecialist



    >Notable computer: Compaq Portable II
    >Price tag: $3,499
    >Inflation adjusted price: $7,570
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