I'm a System Administrator / DevOp from Germany. The classical systems from the past are what got me involved with computing. They also helped me learn English and some math and logic.
My first contacts were with the Micro-Professor MPF-I, the KC 85/2 (a computer from the GDR with a Z80 clone CPU) and the Commodore 64 through my father, that is, I did not own them myself.
My first own computer was a Robotron BIC A 5105 (also based on a Z80 clone CPU) on which I did a lot of BASIC programming.
Some years later I was able to get an Amiga 500 along with an Action Replay Mk III from the brother of a school mate who was upgrading to an Amiga 1200. With the built-in monitor commands of the Action Replay module I learned a lot of MC68000 Assembly. Later, I replaced the good old Amiga 500 with an Amiga 600 with memory expansion to a total of 2 MiB chip RAM and Kickstart v37.350 (AmigaOS 2.05). Over the years I added a hard drive, an accelerator board with an MC68030 and due to frequently opening it, the keyboard ribbon interface cable was beyond repair at some point, so I modified the system by soldering an Amiga 500 keyboard to the board (that also gained me the numerical pad which the Amiga 600 normally lacks and allowed me to play Cybercon III, where those keys were essential). During those times, I programmed several BASIC dialects (AmigaBASIC, BlitzBasic, AMOS Professional), some Assembly and a lot of Amiga E (later called CreativE).
My Amiga years are what I hold dearest, as I had so much fun with games, applications, demos, programming and music and they all taught me an enormous amount of technical details which are the basis of my skills today.
On my venerable expanded Amiga 600 I also did my first steps with Debian GNU/Linux, laying the foundation for my current professional career. Soon after, my accelerator card failed and I didn't have the money to replace it, which more or less marked the end of my involvement with physical Amiga hardware. I was then mainly using PCs, where Linux was somewhat easier to deploy.
The last phase of contact so far (May 2016) with hardware that would now be considered retro was with gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Advance, the GameCube and the PlayStation 2. Later I also owned successors of those systems, likely not fitting the retro bill yet.
Presently, due to lack of resources (like money and time, for instance), the only classical systems that I still own are a KC 85/3 and a KC 85/4. Emulation is now my companion when I want to relive the blast from the past. And of course the Retrocomputing StackExchange here.
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Last seen Jan 19 at 18:46