I used to dial the work BBS (free NTL->NTL evening call) which I'd configured so I could flip it into SLIP gateway mode and then get out to the net via the 64Kb leased line. Was the days of Gopher, Cello, or reading Usenet (a *full* usenet feed from Pipex fit down that 64Kb line for a while, then MP3 happened) etc. Remember going to Cern with a web browser once, because there just weren't that many places to go that weren't RFCs or some student mug-shot plus text about their course + hobbies.
Arcade: Ready Player 1; have small scars on the third knuckle of the middle finger of my Joystick hand (mostly Defender's fault); folk allegedly being able to jam fingers in the coin reject hole/slot and flick a penny up it so it would fall down the other 'valid 10 pence' way and give you a credit; hours of playing then lots of suiciding in Asteroids to get the max score before it wrapped round to zero; Tempest sucking me in and scrambling my brain; BattleZone always beating me in no time at all.
Spectrum: Manic Miner, Jet Set.., Knight Lore, Underwurlde for which I very prettily drew a big complete map (still have it) for some mag competition I didn't win; hacking the silly s/w protection double speed loader thingies without the aid of gadgets so I could make a normal tape that would load more reliably as opposed to pirate it; Forth; Z80 assembly and fun with those alternate registers.
Lemmings is installed on my home PC now and is one of Sprogette's favourites (gets my vote given it's brain engaging 'puzzly' nature).
Joining the programming club at school and having to fill in circles on cards with a 2B pencil to represent each byte and then cycling down the local "tech" to have them run and pick up the results the following week - and usually finding you'd made a mistake on a card and the whole job failed - arggghh
Also - pre mobile days when I used to have to carry a pager and when it went off, hunting for a non vandalised BT phone booth to call the office secretary to find out what the problem was.
I used to have a ZX81 and then a ZX Spectrum at home. These set me on my way to the career I now have.
In my first job in a Undergraduate Physics department we used BBC Model B & Archimedes for teaching programming, control and data logging. It was so easy to get them to do all those things.
We then started to move to PC's, initially we had a serial link to a Gandalf packet switch. Eventually they installed a 10BASE5 and 10BASE2 Ethernet network. That gave me access to Gopher predating, then I discovered Mosaic and all that the web could bring.
I had an unusual IT upbringing...born too late for the home computer craze, yet around 1990 when everyone else was getting a NES, my parents decided to give me their old BBC Model B instead. Annoying at the time, but at least I got to understand things a bit more, and learn a bit of basic, even if it was after everyone else!
Acorns at school but never knew much about them, wish I had understood more at the time because they were great machines.
At home I had a 486 until about 1998 then an original Pentium 100Mhz until about 2001 when I finally had enough money to buy myself a modern PC! But those old computers were the ones that got me interested in hardware, taking them apart, praying they still worked so I didnt get into trouble with my dad, upgrading bits and being amazed that you could make them go faster!
At school had BBC Micro's then extra year with ZX Spectrums with Speech synthesizers (allways a competition in the class room to get the most convincing swear words from th speech boxes, boys will be boys).
Since this is the old gits thread, I expect that someone here might be able to help me work out what computer my school had.
This was in the early 1990s. One room had RM Nimboids, the other had a computer that I can't identify. The keyboard was built in to the computer, BBC B style. It was a black solid metal case with black typewriter keys. I remember thinking what a bag-o-shite it was even then because it could do almost nothing. I've not got much more to go on than that at the moment. Any suggestions what it might have been?
Just had a quick browse on the intertubes, and this looks vaguely familiar, except it wasn't this:
Commodore Educator 64 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It had the same style keyboard and case, including that ridge and the peculiar grey function keys down the right hand side. The screen was not built-in.
Pick operating system. Now there WAS an operating system. We used to run 48 users on a McDonald Douglas Sequal machine, 128K memory. Ah happy days! There was a 7" single released of the Pick song too, which if I can find, I'll link here. I know Ed Doolan has played it on Brum radio.