In 1986, we got IBM computers (desktops) at work that had no hard drives. They had dual floppy (5 1/4 inch) drives, and we thought that they were the greatest thing since sliced bread!
Two years later, we got Compaq 286s with 20 MB hard drives, a 5 1/4 in floppy, and the (then) new 3 1/2 in diskette drives. What a vast improvement! We kept joking about the impossibility to fill up a 20Meg hard drive!
Your question, though, concerns the first computers, and the first desktop computers were actually terminals of mainframe computers like the famous CRAY. I was using a desktop terminal at a US Navy Supply Center in 1980.
One of the first electric (electro-mechanical) computers were the fire control computers used in the US Navy during WW II. Most of the battleships and cruisers had what were called 'RADAR-aimed guns' that had computers whose 'and-gates and 'nand [not and] gates' were relays or switches.
· 10 years ago