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The first time I actually got to interact with a computer was in high school. Computers were quite exotic at the time, and it was only because ours was a "magnet school" that we had such resources. I started on the Altair Time Sharing Basic version of the Altair 8800 talking to serial terminals at 300 baud (Other students later upped that to 9600):
Ours did not have the front panel switches and LEDs but did have an 8 inch floppy drive in a separate enclosure about the size of a modern mid tower on its side. We also had a DECwriter hard copy terminal, some old teletypes, which were also connected. One of the teletypes had a punch tape reader/writer. We also had a section of core memory. But that was just sitting on a shelf collecting dust.
There was a Data General Nova, mentioned in the Widipedia article, upstairs. But it was nonfunctional.
Our school also had 2 TRS-80s. One in the physics lab and one in one of the math classrooms which sort of doubled as a computer science classroom.
Kids today, brought up on the Internet, have no conception of how things were in the late 70s and very early 80's. Of being 16 years old before touching a computer for the first time, and feeling privileged to do so at so young an age.
Alas, if IBM found a bug in Z/OS which had gone undetected since the advent of OS/360 it would not quite predate me. Edited 2008-05-11 18:47 UTC