A generation of change in PCs

Opus PCV0001

I was clearing out some old computer magazines and files the other day when I came across a flyer which brought back memories…from 1988! I had saved up enough to buy my first computer and decided on the Opus PC V AT-compatible. Had to drive up to the city to a small supplier – no computer stores in those days, just the occasional small tech shop. Needless to say, the machine was state-of-the-art at that time.

In those days PCs weren’t for everyone. Pre-Windows and no internet so why would you want one. Apart from us geeks, PCs then were the preserve of business and were mainly used for word processing, spreadsheets, databases and DTP. But what really shocked me were the specs… and the price I paid for 1988 state-of-the-art tech. This is the flip side of the flyer:

Opus PCV0002

I’ll pick out the ‘best’ points:

30MB hard drive – that’s 0.03GB in modern money! And that was big enough.

5.25” floppy drive – Disks had a capacity of 1.2MB.

1MB memory – no, not 1GB but 1MB. And that was just about enough.

6MHz clock speed with Turbo button taking it to …10MHz. Modern PCs are a gazzilion times faster with the latest Core i7 processors running at 3.33GHz clock speed.

14” display – amber on black ( I subsequently paid out even more for the optional colour display).

And the price – yes, only £1295 – that’s currently equivalent to US$1960.

And remember, there was no GUI in those days, just a command line – I think it was running Microsoft MS DOS 3.2. But it got the job done. And just for good measure, here’s a selection of 5.25” floppy disks with some of the programs I used in the early 1990s:

Floppy disks

Tech has come a long way in a generation – in specs and price!

What was your first computer?

2 Responses

  1. Nick Says:

    It is amazing how much technology has improved over the years and how much it has got cheaper as well!

    My first computer was a very old mac, don’t remember the model number, it was like a tan color, the screen was mostly black and white with some color.

    But now I only use PC, since I don’t care for Macs all that much.

    Great post!

  2. Dana Says:

    I also only use Macs now. My dad bought my first computer in the 1980’s – a Tandy 6000. I was so excited. He taught me how to use DOS.

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