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My dad was a lifelong neophile (he loved new things), so we had one of the first home computers available in the US, a Timex/Sinclair 1000. It had 2 KB of RAM -- two kilobytes, about enough for a book page or two. My dad soon sprung for the 16 KB external RAM expansion, which you had better affix to the main unit with a big rubber band if you didn't want it to wobble loose and destroy an afternoon's work.

I would later have a variety of other computers, most prominently the Commodore 64 (64 KB RAM). I lusted after, and eventually got, the Commodore 128 -- yes, 128 KB RAM.

The new iPad, it occurred to me -- I mean the 128 GB model they just announced -- has a million times as much storage as that Commodore 128. And it's in color, slimmer than a magazine, and runs all day on a battery. I love living in the future.

(OK, for the picky among you: yes, I'm deliberately conflating different types of storage. I was just struck by the number. Strictly speaking, the new iPad has "only" 8,192 times as much RAM as my C-128 and "only" 800,000 times as much nonvolatile storage as my Commodore 1541 disk drive. I still love living in the future.)
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read necrophile the first time I read that. Very confusing. 
 
I hope not! 

My dad is a luddite, but we love him anyway. 
 
Fascinating to put this all in perspective!  I still have a box 'o floppy disks and keep an old PC in the shed that will run them, if needed.  As if.
 
I think my dad bought a Sinclair 1000. Did that have a cassette drive? I don't think he did anything with it. It wasn't until he bought an Apple IIc that he got going.
 
+Andy Dillon I don't know whether they sold an official one (as Commodore did), but we just used it with some random cassette recorder my dad bought at Radio Shack or whatever.

If you still have it, I'll take it. :-)
 
I wouldn't be surprised if it's still buried somewhere in his basement.
 
I pulled out the old commodore 64 a while back and it amazingly still worked.  Although I really have fond memories of my 386 (with the turbo button) and 486.  Learned a whole lot on that thing, especially how to load hi-MEM to run Wing Commander!
 
We had an NCR Centurion, with dedicated phone lines. My brother had a Trash-80.
 
My first (in '79) was a TRS-80 mod 1. 64k ram and we sprung for dual floppies. I think that sucker cost several grand.
 
Yup, I had the Timex/Sinclair 1000 and I got the 16kb expansion so that I could play frogger, which I loaded by hitting play on my cassette tape player.  

I wouldn't ding you on the medium mixing as you could consider your single c60 cassette tape to be 64kb.  So if you splurged for a c120 cassette tape to double your storage, you get the 128kb you'd used.  In fact the t1000 was better than an iPad as you could always replace the tape with a new one and iPads still don't have an SD card slot. :)
 
Even with their now-laughable limitations (I had a VIC-20 with 3.5K), those computers were amazing. They were just capable enough to show us why computers are awesome, and just dumb enough that we had to work hard (and learn a lot) to make them do anything at all.

I personally owe a debt of gratitude to the author of Introduction to BASIC and the Compute's Gazette magazine. Typing in all those programs encouraged me to learn what they meant, and later make some of my own.

The closest thing I can find today (for my own geeklet) is a Raspberry Pi, which still knocks the socks off anything Commodore made but has that half-unfinished feel that (hopefully) will encourage him to fill in the rest.
 
+Chris Radcliff +1 +1 +1. I bought a Raspberry Pi and have been overjoyed to find it's rekindled my love of just-for-fun programming. It now lives in the kitchen, driving a display that shows weather (including an animated weather map) and scrolling news headlines.

I just bought two more.
 
+Scott Maxwell Wonderful! I'm glad to hear the Pi is earning the excitement around it. Now if I could just get my hands on one... (I'm on the Adafruit waiting list.)
 
Yeah I just found the pi this week too. It looks like a fun little device.
It's on the short list as a gift for my son on his birthday!
 
When my stocking was found Pi deficient, I donned the Santa hat and ordered it myself. I've been unable to work on it yet, or anything else this month, but February should be a different story. And I'll likely grab an Arduino or two.
 
+Chris Radcliff +Brian Layman Supporting Adafruit is a good thing, but I ordered my latest two Pis from Amazon. I have Amazon Prime, so the total cost was just a little more than Adafruit charges, if you include Adafruit's shipping  -- and I get it in two days. Indeed, they're supposed to show up today!

+Andy Dillon Be sure to let us know what you come up with! I already have uses in mind for my two new ones, so I might need to order yet another as a general-purpose hacking box. (That one I'll order from Adafruit, since I don't really care when I get it.)
 
I have to admit creating a Mame console is pretty darn tempting..
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