I bought my first PC in 1988 AFTER I graduated from college with my B.S. I really needed to get one while in school. I can remember driving to a local computer shop quite often to drool over the Leading Edge Model D they had while I was in college--just couldn't afford it.
When I got out of school and started earning a paycheck, I was finally able to get an IBM PS/2 Model 30 286. My best friend's father was the principal of a middle school, and he let us tag along onto his order for his school for the educational pricing. I think we ended up paying about $2300 for each system. It had a sweet 12" VGA monitor that was amazing to me at the time--I'd only seen the green or amber monitors our word-processing people were using (the engineers didn't do their own typing in those days). The computer had a 20 Mb hard drive--IBM wanted an additional $700 to upgrade to a whopping 30 Mb hard drive.
That I PERSONALLY owned?
IBM XT-Compatible 5-1/4" drive and full height 10MB hard drive. SO glad my uncle steered me away from Apple...
Before that, my parents had multiple computers, mainly for work, but some gaming and the like could be done.
Relatively late entry for me. My first was a Dell XPS that in 1998. 400mhz, 128mb, 12.9gb, Turtle beach Montego sound, and nVidia TNT (not 2) card.
Pulled the dinosaur out of mothballs last Spring with plans to get it running again for old time sake. Then the weather got nice and decided to spend time outside instead. Actually still have all the software. Even found the IBM 12.9gb HDD which tests OK. Never opened the Win95 pack. Went over to Win98 almost immediately.
To think I paid almost $2,500 for it with 20" Trinitron monitor. Checked off all the top end components on the Dell site at the time. Three days later it was at my doorstep. Friends were amazed how fast it was. One even came over just to see how this new nVidia thing worked. Like a lot of people at the time, he thought you needed a 3dfx card to render 3D games. Funny to see how things are now. 3Dfx is looong gone and nVidia rules the world.
Leading Edge XT compatible with a whopping 512k of ram, and an orange monochrome monitor. Had a huge 10 MB hard drive and 360k floppy drive. The 9 pin Epson dot matrix printer cost almost as much as the computer.
My first PC that I bought myself was a Commodore Amiga 3000 68030 @ 25Mhz, 120MB SCSI hard drive, 6MB ram, and a 14" Commodore Multisync monitor.
Bought it in October of 1992, was almost $2500 out the door.
I think we might have the same father. LOL TI 99/4a. Ended up wearing the blades off the lawnmower and pinching every penny to buy a C=64 and 1541 Alps floppy. Joined the local Commodore user group ( HACKS ) and learned how to hardware hack the C=64 and 1541. Bought an Amiga in late 1985 but kept the C=64 until I bought an Amiga 500 in late 1987. By late 1992 I had an Amiga 4000/040.
Lol, TI home computer or whatever, then finally... Got an Intel 486 SX 33 (well parents got it, but was mine in 1992 or so)... 4MB of ram and a whopping 210MB drive. I still have the processor somewhere. I remember really flying when we upgraded the ram to 8MB.
I think after that AMD 486 DX 120 which I saved up for after screwing up the ps/2 port (frying part of mobo messing around with some joystick/keyboard combo). This is what started me on building my own since middle school, the good old DX 120, with 16MB of Ram.
The first computer in my house was a hand-me-down 286 that was a throwaway from where my dad worked. I was in fourth grade at the time. Some very industrious employee had downloaded a copy of Wolfenstein 3D on it, and I can pretty much trace a dotted line from that game to my current career, and I'm in my mid thirties now.
MY first computer I built probably four-ish years later. I built it myself (badly) by ordering the parts out of the back of a catalogue. It was a Cyrix 6x86 166 Mhz CPU. It had 16 MB of RAM (I think), a 2.1 GB hard drive, and lived in some beige monstrosity of an AT tower. This provided some decent gaming improvements over my parent's 486 computer. Later on, I added a Canopus Pure3d 3DFX Voodoo 1 with 6MB of RAM on it, and I sold my Nintendo 64 the next week after watching Star Wars Shadows of the Empire run on the PC.