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View Full Version : What Was Your First Laptop? This Was Mine...

Jason Dunn
06-16-2010, 11:28 PM
<p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1276645979.usr1.jpg" style="border: 0;" /></p><p>My first laptop was a <a href="http://ts.fujitsu.com/products/mobile/notebooks/lifebook_e.html" target="_blank">Fujitsu Lifebook E-Series</a>; an E-6575 to be exact. Above is a photo of a 6000 series model that's very close to what I had. I wasn't sure if I had any photos of it - I bought it back in 2001, almost a decade ago (boy, <em>that </em>makes me feel old) - but I scoured the archives of my photos and discovered one image... <MORE /></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1276647232.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>Look at that beauty! Note the equally old Compaq iPaq Pocket PC and Sprint flip-phone also on the shot. I purchased the Lifebook from one of the few Fujitsu resellers in Calgary at the time...a little company called <a href="http://www.voodoopc.com" target="_blank">Voodoo Computers</a>. If memory serves, I paid around $2500 for it, and I bought it in preparation for the <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2001/may01/05-10metourpr.mspx" target="_blank">Microsoft Mobile Experience Tour</a>. Specs on this then-cutting edge machine included a 14.1 inch screen, 1.2 Ghz Pentium III M CPU, 256 MB of RAM, and a 30 GB hard drive. WiFi? Only via a PCMCIA card. Bluetooth? I'd don't think I'd heard of it back then. The Lifebook weighed in at a hefty 6.5 pounds, and lasted about 2.5 hours on a single charge. But the really cool thing about this laptop was the fact that it could host a second battery!</p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/lpt/auto/1276716934.usr1.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>Above is a closer shot of the battery/drive bay. You could pop out the optical drive bay and put in a second battery - bringing your run time up to a then-awesome 4.5 hours. I have to roll my eyes a little at laptops today that only offer one battery option - my second laptop had a secondary battery bay, and so did my third laptop. It wasn't until my fourth laptop that I had to give up on having a secondary battery, which was frustrating after having gotten used to amazing battery time.</p><p>I have a lot of fond memories of that laptop - I took it with me to 11 different cities across the USA, and used it for several years after that. It's still in the family - I sold it to my parents when I wanted to upgrade to something new. Now that I've waxed nostalgic about it, I think I might ask for it back and keep it in my technology archives collection. My son will laugh at what was cutting-edge technology back in 2001 when I buy him his first laptop-like device around 2027. Actually, that's a good idea for another post - what laptops will be like, or if they'll even exist, by that point in time.</p><p>What was your first a laptop? Tell me about it, and what it meant to you.</p><p><em>Jason Dunn owns and operates <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Inc.</a>, a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys <a href="http://photos.jasondunn.com/" target="_blank">photography</a>, mobile devices, <a href="http://www.jasondunn.com/" target="_blank">blogging</a>, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his wonderful son, and his sometimes obedient dog. He wishes more laptops had the ability to accept a second battery.</em></p><p><em></em><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p><p><strong>Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Review Team</a>! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com/reviewteam.php" target="_blank">Then click here for more information.</a></strong></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//ppct/auto/1240336793.usr1.gif" /></p>

David Tucker
06-17-2010, 01:58 AM
The first laptop I used heavily? The one I'm using right now...my work issued Dell D810. Once I'm sure it was pretty decent. But at 8.5lbs, 2 GB of RAM, and a 60 GB HDD, I'm dying for a new laptop for work.

My first personal laptop though was my Dell Mini 9 that I purchased almost 2 years ago and met a watery grave 3 months ago.

Oh well...clearing out space for my upcoming M11X :D

Jerry Raia
06-17-2010, 02:03 AM
This was mine. It came out in 1984. Anyone else remember the "The Portable"made by hp?

Hewlett Packard HP 110 computer (http://oldcomputers.net/hp110.html)

Yes I had the HP-9114B portable floppy drive shown too :o

It was one of many HP products I had in the early days including the 75C, 71B and even the HP9807 Integral that ran HP-UX. The HP-110 was pretty special because of its size and ability in its day. I was one of the first on the block to have anything like that.

06-17-2010, 02:44 AM
My first personally owned "laptop" if you want to call it that, was an Osborne I! Yeah that beast that could be barely called portable.

My first real laptop was an IBM Thinkpad that I bought used from a friend. I believe it was in '97 because it was my last year in the Navy before I retired. It had 4 megs of RAM (yes, megs), a B&W screen and a 20 or 40 MEG hard drive. It came with Windows 3.11 on it, but I wiped that and put a real O/S on it - OS 2 Warp 3.0. I was an OS/2 head at the time and OS/2 performed wonderfully on this machine. I've always loved Thinkpads as their keyboards are totally superior and they're rugged. Fortunately, my job provides us remote analysts with ThinkPads so I've had a ThinkPad to use for the past 10 years.

Ed Hansberry
06-17-2010, 04:57 AM
The first one I used regularly was a Toshiba of some sort in 1996. Had an upside down trackball instead of a track pad and no optical or floppy drive. It wasn't an active matrix screen either.

The first one I owned was a Dell Latitude CP366 I purchased in 1999. It actually still works and has XP SP3 on it with 512MB of RAM - the max the MoBo supports, though it is far too slow for anyone to use anymore.

Darius Wey
06-17-2010, 06:41 AM
The first laptop I used regularly was a maxed-out Dell Inspiron 8600 that costed an arm and a leg. It rocked a Pentium M 1.6 GHz, 768 MB RAM, an ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo, and a killer 15.4" 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA) display. Even today, not many laptops can boast a display of that size and resolution.

It ran XP for the most part. I remember installing Vista on it at one stage, but with 768 MB RAM, let's just say it didn't work out too well.

Through the years, it's endured a dead battery, an international battery recall, and a collapsing display hinge, but is still going strong. I donated it to my parents around three years ago, and they still use it pretty regularly, though I've since discovered that they're using it at a non-native 1280 x 800, because their eyes just can't handle the sheer awesomeness that is WUXGA.

And that's my story. :)

Jon Westfall
06-17-2010, 02:10 PM
My first laptop was a CTX that went on sale over Memorial Day in 1998. I remember Best Buy had it for $999. The stats were a pretty mundane: Pentium, 16 GB of RAM, Windows 95, 12 inch screen (Not active matrix!). Swappable CD Rom Drive/Floppy/Battery bays. I was in 9th grade at the time and remember begging my dad to buy it for me. He relented, and I was the first person I knew to have a laptop! Great machine - after I was done with it my mother used it for a few years, and now it's sitting in the attic at home. Last I checked (2 years ago) it still booted fine, although the battery is long dead. Up until 2005 I think I still had it in use periodically, although with no built-in Ethernet port, it wasn't as useful as other machines. In my "graveyard" I also have an old Acer notebook, and a bunch of other machines. I seem to have no problem acquiring laptops, just problems getting rid of them!

The Yaz
06-17-2010, 02:11 PM
My first personal laptop was a Compaq Presario 710. It had a whopping 192mb of ram (the 2nd memory slot could not handle another 128mb chip so Compaq offered an "upgrade' with a 64mb chip). It had wireless through the PCMCIA slot, DVD Drive, 3.5" floppy, 40GB Disk Drive, LPT Parallel port and three of those newfangled USB ports.

If I didn't install the external Iomega disk drive (powered through the PCMCIA port) I could get just over 3 hours on a single charge.

The battery died a while ago but its still serviceable plugged into an outlet. Its running for my inlaws with a minimum install of Win XP and no Antivirus (there's not enough memory).


Tony Rylow
06-18-2010, 02:10 AM
My first laptop was a Dell XPS M140, bought around the end of 2004. I had many desktops before that and really hadn't much need for a laptop. It was more of a "Oh, hey, I have a full time job with a real paycheck now, I can buy cool stuff!!" purchase than a real need for it.

06-18-2010, 02:20 AM
I spent the the outrageous amount of 1,500 on a Gateway Colorbook in 1993 based on the same excuse I use each time I buy a new one - I can work from home rather than spending more time in the office. It had a slide-out track ball which was awkward but, I thought, cool. It was the days when WordPerfact was still a force and was easier to format becasue of its 'reveal codes'. The Colorbook worked well on DOS 6.2 & Windows 3.11 & I have never understood why MS dropped the two-pane Explorer view. Every computer I have owned since has an alternative file manager with dual pane view & I still swear under my breath that the company I work with doesn't permit such customisation in teh workplace.

The photo in the original post remineded me that I got an iPaq 3600 about the same time that I moved up to a newer Gateway 4-5 years later. That Gateway was a pig & and the last of their products I owned. I'm no power user, so I usually get a new laptop when the previous one dies. My favourite to date was an IBM R40 with a removable optical drive. I usually had the additional HDD module installed, or the extra battery if away from power too long & on trips replaced with the plastic weight saver when possible. Great flexibility.

Craig Horlacher
06-18-2010, 01:43 PM
Mine was a Toshiba Satellite. I think I got it around 1999. I think it was a 300MHz PII with 64MB of RAM or something like that. I'm pretty sure it was an active matrix lcd but it was probably 800x600 resolution. It ran Windows 98 pretty well!

06-18-2010, 05:04 PM
My first laptop was an IBM Thinkpad something. It only had a 600mhz processor?, CD burner, 40GB harddrive and a nickel battery that lasted less than 2 hours. It ran windows 98 well. I got it in 1999 just intime for college.

My favorite was a Dell 4100 I bought after the IBM bit the dust. It had the removable optical drive and a second battery to put in. It was an amazing computer. 1ghz pentium, 1GB of ram, ran windows Me (crappy), later XP and the track ball plus track pad. I love the track ball.

06-18-2010, 07:49 PM
My first laptop was a company provided Compaq in late 1990. I've never owned a laptop, since work has always given me one.

Lee Yuan Sheng
06-23-2010, 07:05 AM
Hah Jason, in that year, I also had a Fujitsu: a S-6652, I think. It was thin, light, fairly fast, but I hated it because it placed the right shift to the right of the up arrow key. Guessed what I pressed when I wanted to use it?

Brad Adrian
06-29-2010, 08:39 PM
Think I might have a lot of you beat, with my 1987 Tandy dual-floppy, no hard drive 8088 PC!

You put the program disk in A: and the data disk in B:
It ran at 8 MEGAhertz! Whew!
And, believe it or not, I got it during my last year of graduate school and it SAVED my life due to what it allowed me to suddenly do!


Brad Adrian
06-30-2010, 12:02 AM
This was mine. It came out in 1984. Anyone else remember the "The Portable"made by hp?

Oh, MAN! Those pics and that description take me back. I love the terms like "enormous 256k of RAM" and "80 x 16 text LCD."

I don't know what you paid for yours, but I paid about $1,000 for my Tandy 1400LT. And, if I wanted a 10MB (yes, that's an "M") hard drive installed, it was an additional $900.

Mine had 640k of RAM, with an additional 128k to use as a print spooler (which I never did figure out how to do), and was running on DOS 3.X if I recall correctly.

Steven Cedrone
07-02-2010, 12:10 AM
But this was mine:


A "Luggable"! Sheesh.........

And "yes", those are dual 5 1/4 inch floppies!