I guess I’ve been a “computer geek” since 1980 (UPDATED after Ten Years)


Radio Shack TRS-80, Model PC-1

My first computer was the Radio Shack TRS-80, Model PC-1, in 1980. 

Introduced in July, 1980, The TRS-80 was priced at $230, had 1.5k of RAM and stored data on an attached Cassette recorder.

This new TRS-80 Computer is another “first” from the company which brought you the best-selling, world renowned TRS-80. A truly pocket-sized Computer (not a programmable calculator). Of course it is an ultra-powerful calculator too… And it “speaks” BASIC – – the most common computer language, and the easiest to learn. You’ll soon be impressed by the phenomenal computing power of this hand-held TRS-80 – – ideal for mathematics, engineering and business application.

Radio Shack advertising

 Next was the (first) IBM PC in 1982.

IBM Personal Computer (PC)
Released:September 1981
Price:US $1,565 ~ $3,000
CPU:Intel 8088, 4.77MHz
RAM:16K, 640K max
Display:80 X 24 text
Storage:dual 160KB 5.25-inch disk drives
Ports:cassette & keyboard only
 5 internal expansion slots
OS:PC-DOS v1.0

(Note: Thanks to Steve’s Old Computer Museum for the photos and specs above!) 


I borrowed $7,500 from my bank to buy the PC, a wide-carriage dot-matrix printer, spreadsheet, word-processing, and “Client Ledger System” (accounting for multiple businesses) software. My PC came with PC-DOS v1.3. (I still have the 5 1/4″ diskette and manual.) With this powerful machine, I was able to start my accounting practice.

Over the years since then, I have owned many DOS-based and then Windows PCs. When my accounting practice had grown to five employees, we had as many as seven PCs running. Now that it’s back to just me, I only have a couple computers in my home office.

My latest computer, (and by far the best ever!) is my iMac. After all the years and frustrations with Windows, I finally broke down and bought a Mac in 2009. What a joy it is to use a computer that actually does everything it is supposed to do. I do have to keep a Windows PC to run my tax software (and play an occasional game of software.) However, I am gradually moving everything else over to the Mac.  


Oh, and I shouldn’t fail to mention my latest “pocket computer,” the iPhone 3G[S].

I have been unbelievably happy with both Apple products! I look forward to my next Apple, the iPad tablet?

Allen W. Forrest, December 13, 2009


Ten Years Later, September 3, 2019

In the past ten years, I have continued to use and love Apple products. I strayed over to Android mobile phones for several years, but continued to use iMacs and iPads. I still have a Windows PC for tax preparation, but I came back to Apple for everything else  for communicating and computing. I own and love my iPhone XS Max, Apple Watch, iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, and I’m still using an iMac at my desk. I always look forward eagerly to the lastest and greatest announcements coming out of Cupertino. I guess you could call me one of Apple’s biggest “fan-boys.”

I Welcome Your Comments!

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5 thoughts on “I guess I’ve been a “computer geek” since 1980 (UPDATED after Ten Years)

  1. Excellant article Al, I can’t believe the cost of the first PC $7,500 WOW, That will get you a dozen high end PC’s now days. As aggravating as Windows can be I’m not ready to go MAC yet maybe one day


  2. That $7500 covered the cost of the PC, wide-cartridge dot-matrix printer (around $900,) plus the software. It seems to me that the Client Ledger System software ran around $2,000. I think my loan was less than the full cost of everything. I had to put some money down as well. I may be wrong about the details, though. That was a long time ago!


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