Towards the end of the 1980s, a time which seems recent until I count on my fingers and realise that it was over 20 years ago, and in techie terms is therefore ancient history, I finally bought my own home computer – the C64, Spectrum etc boom of the early 80s passed me by, mainly due to me not having any actual money at the time.
Anyway, after much dithering, I decided that the toy for me was the Atari ST – in particular the 520STFM, a machine with 512k of RAM, a double-sided disk drive and a 68000 processor, as used in the Macs of the time. When plugged into a portable TV, it gave me hours of geeky fun over quite a few years. It had a usable GUI, and thanks to the OS being in ROM, it was actually usable with the single disk drive. I did all sorts of odd stuff with it, including trying to write programs (I am so not good at this), running the then popular “ray trace renders” – getting software to generate a sort-of realistically shaded image, which took ages – and Mandelbrot sets, and generally fiddling about.
But time passed, and I moved on to Windows computers, and the Atari was left aside. I no longer have it, so I couldn’t remind myself of those computing days if I wanted to, but I did see this article the other day:
Inside the Atari 1040STf (25th Anniversary)
Inside the Atari 1040STf – the dissection
This is the model before mine – I had the one with the modulator, which allowed it to be plugged into a TV rather than the moderately expensive special Atari monitors (they had a colour one and a “high resolution” monochrome one, which was popular with serious users).
All good fun, and a look at a previous era. And a reminder that we used to be more patient with our computers – things did take a while to load in those days, and somehow we managed not to get upset about it, unlike today when a delay of a few seconds seems outrageous. Or maybe that’s just me…
 Well, not really
 Waits for abuse from former Amiga owners