I'm surprised this thread got ressurected. My first computer was an Amstrad 1640. Alan Sugar was the man responsible for bringing "cheap" ready built PCs to the UK. Even then, this PC, which I bought around 1986, had no internal hard drive. It did have two 5.25 floppy disk drives and an EGA monitor. The system was an 8088 processor and run at a fast 4.77Mz. It cost, along with an Epson ESC2 printer over 1,000 pounds. It came with Basic2, which was produced by Locomotive software. I even upgraded to Basic3 but there were loads of problems with it.
Over the years I took out one of the disk drives and added a low density 3.5 floppy. Later I added a 32Mb hard drive, which cost around 270 pounds, and which I had to collect from London.
You can see one of these machines at "Antique Computers" at http://www.nothingtodo.org/classiccmp/amstrad.htm
The machine was never capable of using high density floppies without a rebuild of the motherboard.
Once I'd gotten used to the machine I looked around for various other programming languages. I bought copies of Mix C, A86 assembler and TrueBasic, which came on a whole bunch of low density floppy disks.
The basic TrueBasic came on 2 floppy disks, the libraries came on a whole bunch of others. Don't forget, this was a professional development language and the libraries contained routines for sorting, higher maths, graphing, text manipulation, etc. Believe me, there was a lot of disk swapping. I bought it mainly because it was capable of producing .exe files. The libraries made it possible to concentrate on being able to write largish programs very quickly without having to write tons of code. A couple of the disk libraries were dedicated to writing the DOS dialog boxes, scroll bars etc. You could even write multi-windowed programs (obviously not multi tasking as in Windows).
The machine was given to a girlfriend after I got a secondhand Compaq 286. All the language disks I had bought were kept until I moved to the US in September 2001. The Compaq 286 was still working at the time and was sold for 5 pounds.
I'm now on just my 5th PC, a 1.4Ghz AMD all singing all dancing homemade PC, but I'm still using QBasic for fun. A pity I didn't keep those TrueBasic and Mix C language disks though.