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Old 09-14-2012, 04:51 AM   #1
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Default I'd like to get started, but don't know where to start.

I have recently found myself being fascinated with old computers that rely directly on command prompts ever since I saw my friends dad using his old dell . I can't re-call the name currently but it ran on windows so it post dated '85. I would really like to get an old computer that I could use to familiarize myself with these "mysterious" commands you type in, and one that i could even take appart to help me understand the inner-workings of the computers. I would like to get one relatively cheap so that as far as risk of breaking things go, my monetary loss would be low. I also don't want to go too far back and like i said i know the aforementioned dell was still operating on windows, so there is that level of familiarity. Please post some suggestions on what you think would be a good first computer and feel free to shoot back some questions if you think it would aid the process.
With much gratitude, NHC

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: I'd like to get started, but don't know where to start.

I think your best bet would be to scan EBay for an older model PC. Then Google "MS-DOS" to find tutorials and manuals to code in DOS.

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Old 09-14-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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Default Re: I'd like to get started, but don't know where to start.

You could install DosBox on your present computer and use it to learn all the DOS commands you want. Another alternative is to install VirtualBox or VMWare Player and install a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu that will allow you to get your fill of the command line.

You could even open a command prompt on any computer running Windows and use/learn DOS commands or Windows Scripting Host or Windows Powershell.

As far as having an old box to tear apart, you could check eBay as suggested but the issue there would be shipping as it would probably cost more to ship the old computer than it's worth. You might try Craigslist to see if you can find something local that you could pick up. Another option is to look locally for computer recyclers that may have older systems that you could pick up cheaply. I checked Craigslist and found a local, 10 year old working computer with AMD Athlon CPU, running Win XP complete with monitor, keyboard and mouse for $50. Saw another working P4 computer by itself for $30.

Heck, if you lived close by, I would be happy to give you an old computer.
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