The First Computer I Owned

This is a follow-up to I was a PC Before I Was a Mac which I wrote back in May. It was about the first computer I bought which was a PC and not a Mac. I had used a Commodore 64 before this which was my brother’s, but this was my first computer. When I wrote the article, I couldn’t find a decent picture of my 386. Recently I had uncovered one I took myself.

Pack-Mate 386/25 by Packard BellIt was a Packard Bell Pack-Mate 386, 25 Mhz. It had a 95MB hard-drive which was huge by 1991 standards. It had 1MB of RAM which I eventually upgraded to 8MB. It came with a keyboard and a monitor. I had to buy the mouse which I purchased at Egghead Software.

I had Windows 3.1 on it, and besides from wasting time on Leisure Suit Larry, I spent a lot of time playing with CorelDraw! There are many features which Corel had that I wish Adobe Illustrator would copy or steal. For instance, the extrusion tool was wonderful in that version of CorelDraw. It still stinks in Illustrator.

It looks like a clunky machine, but it was wonderful, and I learned a lot figuring out vector art on my own. I did freelance illustration on it which were mainly technical illustrations and designed our wedding invitation on it. I couldn’t find any of the work I did other than some of the scanned printouts displayed in the last article. If they turn up, that will be a post for another day.

Unfortunately, my 386 didn’t last the decade. Some time in the late ’90s, I went up to turn it on and nothing happened. It could be that the hard-drive died, but I’m not sure. By that time, I had my first Mac which was a 7300, and I was doing most all of my work on it. Still, it was nice having Corel on that old PC. It could warp and extrude type much better than the Illustrator 7.0 which I had on the Mac. Both PC and Mac had floppy drives at the time so I could trade EPS files back and forth between the two machines.

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2 Responses to The First Computer I Owned

  1. Joe_Williams says:

    Thanks for commenting!

    I used an Apple II in school and an Commodore64 back in the 80s, but the behemoth pictured above was the first I owned.

    I use mostly Macs now, but I am getting more and more involved in Linux.

  2. James Smith says:

    Mt first computer that I owned was an Atari 130 XE. I had several others prior to 1986 when I bought my first Mac, an SE with 1 MB of RAM which I upgraded to 4 MB (the maximum possible at the time). It had a 20 MB hard drive and I added a 40 MB external drive. Since that time I have used Macs and Windows systems side-by-side on a daily basis.

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