Watching Computer Scientists Recall Their First Computer Is So Adorable

By Jamie Condliffe on at

Your first computer is (kind of) like your first kiss: exciting at the time, deeply memorable later in life, and yet still potentially embarrassing when recounted in public. For those reasons, watching dozens of computer scientists recall their first (computer) in this video is oddly compelling.

Computerphile has been asking every single interviewee it’s spoken to about their first computer during the course of the year, and it’s cut them together into the video below.

Unsurprisingly, the firsts vary depending on the age of the contributor—so ex-Bell Labs employee Brian Kernighan recalls an IBM 650, whereas James Fowkes simply remembers something “with Windows 3.1 on it”. There are some gems referenced along the way through, including an Acorn Electron, a Sinclair Zx81, an Amiga 500, the BBC Micro and... wait, someone’s first computer was a Compaq?

You can enjoy 15 glorious minutes of this kind of nerdy insight below. What was yours? [Computerphile]

Top image by Paolo Valdemarin under Creative Commons license

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