Having recently gotten my new phone and being very happy with the shiny newness of the Samsung Galaxy S5 I got to thinking about my first computer while doing some setup the other day. For the record my first computer was bought at a department store. It was a Timex Sinclair 1000.
This was a joint venture computer between Timex and Sinclair (a British based firm). The base computer what a whopping 2K of memory – that was shared between both ROM and RAM mind you. It had a Zilog Z80A processor running at a whopping 3.25 MHz. The system, new in 1982 when I got it was under a $100, at $99.
It was limited, as the only storage was a cassette drive. It also had a limited graphics set that was not ASCII based. And the O/S was some hybrid BASIC, in which you could also program the system. I learned a LOT of my initial programming skills with that little system and the membrane keyboard that you could shift and such to get the BASIC commands, especially after I added the 16K memory expansion module.
Compare that just briefly to my phone which comes with a stock 16GB of internal RAM, ability to handle a 128GB SD card. Has a full color screen, with awesome graphics and is a touch screen interface (that is, I suppose somewhat similar to the membrane keyboard). In addition, it has wi-fi, bluetooth, data connection over the LTE based Sprint network, and a built-in front and rear facing camera. We have come a long way in a little over 30 years.
Wonder what a TS1000 goes for these days? On eBay a low of $5, but highs as much as $99, the average, around $49. Guess when you start really low it is easier to hold your value!
** – Image is from Wikipedia.com.