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What computers did you own in the old days? Share your story!

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October 17, 2008 7:27:28 PM

Here is my story of all the computers I owned:

1. My first computer was my dad's hand me down 486-sx 33MHz, 4mb ram, 245mb hdd, 512kb VGA 256 color accelerator. It was his first computer and cost $2000. I found it was way too slow for the internet. The modem was just 1200 baud! It took 5-10 minutes to load a webpage! I had to keep using my moms 90MHz pentium computer.

2. Dad saw how slow it was and took the 486 back to use for backup files in his office and bought me a brand new Pentium mmx166MHz, 24mb ram, 3.2gb hdd, 2mb UXGA onboard video, 33.6k modem. It was a Packard "hell" that used proparity parts that made it hard to upgrade. I used that computer for internet and 2-d gaming. I also had a nintendo and SNES before that. I later overclocked this to 233MHz by raising the multi to 3.5x(before the days Intel locked them) but it was still slow. I tried to run 3-d games like quake3 and it gave an error. So I got a 4mb 3-d pci accelerator, still gave an error. That card was also worse than my onboard 2mb, terrible 2-d quality, especially above 800x600 resolution! So I looked around for an affordable 3-d card.

I bought an s3 "Savage" 32mb pci but it wasn't compatable with my motherboard, returned it. I had the option of a 3dfx voodoo3 2000 or tnt 16mb pci. After doing research, I realized the tnt was superior(32 bit color, faster, more features, futureproof) so I got one from a friend for $60, those retailed for $80. The top dog was a tnt2u, I believe and I didn't have AGP nor the money for it. Now I ran across another problem. Not enough ram! I needed 64mb per system requirements for quake3. I did meet the cpu requirements though.

I looked around and realized it used proparity ram! Oh that was a problem! Their website wanted like $200 for a 32mb stick, no way was I gonna pay that! I bought 2x 32mb sticks for $69.95 each stick after rebate(of course I tried them first before using the mail in rebate) and lucky me, the ram worked without a glitch! I saved the 16mb and 8mb stick just in case. Now quake3 finally worked! But I was getting only 10fps average at 640x480 low details!

I posted on forums asking for help, one guy suggested I overclock my video card. It was a crap overclocker and besides my fps didn't go up even 0.1! Another guy suggested I "tweak" the game by turning everything off. I used the command consol to disable sound, shadows, gibs, etc and set load bias to blur everything. After all was done, my fps went up a whopping 50% to 15fps average! My min fps were like 2fps in heavy action with alot of bots!

I could not afford to upgrade any more so I had to deal with it for months while waiting for prices to drop more. It was no fun playing quake3, hard to aim and frag when the gameplay was extremely choppy. After waiting and saving up, I was ready to upgrade. I did lots of research and my first option was to get a faster cpu for my motherboard. But 233MHz was the fastest supported! There was a special "speedstep" slocket where I could run 400MHz AMD k6-2 but the slocket cost like $150 and it may still not work and even if it did, I had too many other bottlenecks and didn't think my fps would have been where I wanted it 100% smooth.

So it was a lost cause, I had to build a new computer and ditch my Packard "hell" I researched around which CPU was a good option. I knew about the popularity of the 300a celeron, those had a 50% chance of hitting 450MHz and were touted in computer magazines and on websites! At a fraction the price of a 450MHz pII and 95% the performance, it was a winner among overclockers. I also read about the 333 at 500MHz and 366 at 550MHz that came afterwards. They weren't as popular since it was much harder to achieve those overclocks. I had to decide what motherboard to buy and the BX chipset was a clear winner. I grabbed a nonoverclocking cheap brand for $50 new at a computer show. The top dog, the Abit be6-2(Asus soon came out with one similar to the Abit) cost near $200.

I paired that $50 mobo with a 366 at 550MHz celeron costing $90 used which was a great price. I chose that over the 300a since it cost only a few $ more and 550MHz beats 450MHz. Actually I had to look around and buy one already pre-tested to 550MHz since if I bought it new, I would have only 25% chance of hitting that. 450MHz PII's were $150, 450MHz k6-2 was $100 but got owned by the 300a at 450MHz, 450MHz PIII's were $200, 500MHz were $300.(Intel's top was a 600b p3) On the AMD side, their Athlon was the clear winner(AMD had the performance crown since the Athlon and kept it till Intel came out with "conroe" core duo) but I could not afford $350 for their 500MHz Athlon, $500 for 550MHz, $750 for 600MHz, $1300 for 650MHz. My celeron was the best bang for the buck and those Athlons weren't known to overclock more than 5% to 10%.

My fps in quake3 went from 10(before tweaks) to 45!(without tweaks) That 550MHz celeron was so fast! I paired it with 128mb ram, used my tnt pci(couldn't afford a geforce) and 8.4GB HDD. I soon upgraded to a better motherboard with more features and performance options. My fps shot up to 55! I played at 800x600x16 low details and still got near 50fps! The min never went below 20! I later got the Abit bf6 motherboard and played around with 1MHz fsb increments. Too bad that 550MHz celeron could not OC any more, even 103fsb locked up in windows! Then that celeron became unstable at 550MHz, games would crash. I had to throttle down to 95fsb. I decided to try my luck with a PPGA 300a(the 366 was also PPGA) I got the 300a for like $50 on ebay. That thing did 522MHz! It edged my 550MHz celeron due to the extra fsb! I did back down to 504MHz for 24/7 operation.

Unfortunately highly tweaked overclocking motherboards aren't very reliable and it developed problems. I RMA for another Abit bf6, that one soon had problems too and I ebayed it "as-is" at a loss and bought an older bh6 that proved problem free. I did upgrade to a tnt2 vanta 8mb agp that performed similar to my tnt pci but I could turn the texture details up thanks to agp texturing. Quake3 looked nicer and I got 45fps at 800x600 medium details(upgrade from low details) people on the forums would make fun at how outdated my card was and brag how fast their geforce2gts were! So I looked around and got a geforce2mx 32mb for $80(again, a great deal) the top dog was the gf2u 64mb but people considered my card a decent midrange card and I got 45fps at 1600x1200 medium details! I did buy the gf2u 64mb for $420 just to test it out(it got returned) and my fps didn't go up much as I was badly cpu bottlenecked at 504MHz, others were running p3's and Athlons at 600MHz to 1GHz. I was told I needed a faster cpu. I did try a PIII 600e at 800eb and a 750e at 900MHz, but performance was barely better than my 504MHz celeron on the Abit bf6 mobo. I was told I did something wrong or my motherboard was malfunctioning. Well I gave up and enjoyed gaming on my bh6 mobo, it was still plenty fast. I didn't upgrade for a very long time afterwards.

I skipped the p4 as it was slower than the p3, what a joke! I went AMD for the first time and got a 950MHz "thunderbird" with 256k ondie cache(it owned the first Athlons with slow offdie cache) which overclocked to 1GHz(133x7.5) the multis were unlocked, wow! I later learned about the "pencil trick" but my particular chip's bridges were intact to begin with. The cpu was a crap overclocker but I didn't care as it was almost 3 times faster than my 504MHz celeron! I got well over 100fps in quake3 at 800x600!

My next upgrade after staying with my geforce2mx for a while was a geforce3 ti500 for $80, which I soon resold for a $99 geforce4 ti4200 64mb. The performance increases weren't spectatular as I was cpu limited with such a fast card. They had athlon xp tbreds overclocking to 2.5GHz. I settled for a Palomino xp1600 overclocked to 1575MHz which increased gaming performance by 50% over my old 1GHz tbird. I never got to unlock that Pally, couldn't find any rear window defogger as a substance. I was unhappy at the lower fsb. So I upgraded to an xp2000 tbred(top dog was xp3200 bartons) that tbred oced to 2GHz on stock cooling, 2.4GHz with an slk-800. I was now outperforming alot of people's computers, especially those Intel fanboys and their crappy p4's at over 3GHz. Even on my ti4200, I got better performance than people using radeon 9500s and 9700s bottlenecked by much slower p4's and stock athlonxp's. I did not need to spend $200 on a faster video card, every game ran silky smooth and I didn't care for antialising.

I did go thru several ti4200s getting a better and better overclocking one. I settled on a ti4800se oced slightly past stock ti4600 speeds. I carried over that video card to my athlon64(spent $200 on that cpu, $120 on the mobo but it was considered high end) it was a 3000+ model but I didn't care as I overclocked it to 2.25GHz and it performed 90% of much more expensive cpus. I saw a huge boost in performance all around, even in games on that geforce4 card. People had moved onto radeon 9800pros and 9800xt's but I didn't need faster. I did grab a cheap 9500np softmodded and oced to 9700pro when people were on x800xt's.

I also upgraded my a64 to s939 and oced to 2.4GHz with 2x512mb ram. I enjoyed this setup for a while before the motherboard malfunctioned. I went back to my backup computer, the old faithful 1GHz tbird. I did not feel like buying another a64 motherboard, not when Intel released their core duos that owned the a64s big time! I also had taken a break from gaming and concentrated on my business and earning money and saving up for a house downpayment. I didn't want to spend $1500 on a core duo system, a house is more important and im still saving for one and waiting for house prices to keep dropping from their bubble highs. Also in this slow economy, one should put off instant gratification and save their money! Your job might not exist tomorrow! Your business might slow to a crawl!

I did buy a HP core duo system for really cheap on the net. It's an E6400 2.13 GHz, 2gb ram, 80gb hdd(who needs bigger) dvd rom(don't care if it's not a burner, I respect copyrights) and a 64mb Nvidia quadro(which im removing and upgrading with a midrange dx10 radeon hd2600xt 256mb 128 bit 700/1400 clocks) I will keep this for a few months before I upgrade again. I am buying a huge LCD TV/monitor so this cut in my budget for a $600 core duo. Also I need to learn more about core duo/quad plus I hear i7 is comming out in a month and Deneb in 3 months, this will mean lower prices and faster core duo for me. Ill just give that HP I got "too cheap" to my mom as a free gift to upgrade her crap 1.1GHz celeron thats so slow at everything. What I have on my Newegg wishlist will be updated with better!

Anyway that's my story. Please share yours, make it long like I did :hello: 
October 17, 2008 7:42:53 PM

Ok heres my short story:
1. 286, have no idea what else it had in but i played alot of test drive (i think) on it. It fried after me and my bro had a 'my turn' fight with the plug. I was about 5 at the time.
2. Kingston (yea me too?) 486DX-133, 16MB ram. Now going from DOS to 95 was a huge difference. Cant remember what happened to it.
3. P3 based Celeron 766. 64mb ram. Voodoo 5 5500. That was the SLI version. Played avp2 on full detail at 800x600! Lol.
Voodoo fried, got stuck with onboard intel.
4. My current system. It has been perpetually upgraded. It started out with a Celeron D 2.8GHz, 256mb ram and onboard intel...again.
I added a x600xt, 256mb ram, extra harddrive, P4 3.0ghz, my mobo was a msi combo board so i got 2gb ddr2, then i bought a 8500gt.
Well finally i have the system i now have (see my system config, dnt know if its up to date though), the only thing left originally is the 80gb western D hdd. Its my pride and joy..
October 17, 2008 8:04:19 PM

First Build:
Athlon XP 2800+ Barton (With Tt blower fan)
ASUS a7nv8x-x motherboard
1GB Corsair TwinX XMS DDR400 (2-3-2-6)
ATI Radeon 9800XT 256MB (With Giant III cooler from Tt)
80 GB Maxtor Hard Drive
WindowsXP Pro
Sony DVD 16x reader
Sony 3.5 floppy
Raidmax red and silver case
(3 vantec tornados_wSpeed controller, 2 Tt smartcase fans)
Thermaltake 480w PSU
Related resources
October 17, 2008 8:21:45 PM

First computer was an Apple ][ C back in 1982 or so. I was using the old hole punch trick to ehem, backup my disks.
I got away from computers in 1987.
In 1995 some one gave me an old IBM clone, an XT 8088. 7MHZ (over clocked from 4.7MHZ) of raw power! It ran dos 3.3, had 640k ram, 10 mb MFM hard disk, 20 mb hard card, Dallas Fax 9600 baud modem and EGA color graphics, the video card was made by Western Digital! I was laid off from a construction job the winter of 95 and decided to see what this PC was all about. Fortunately for me, it came with the dos 3.3 manual. Everyone I knew was running Windows 3.1 or 3.11, in a few sittings I relearned the basics of dos from the old apple days and was running a BBS, TRIBBS, with desqview, a simple dos multi tasker.

Jan of 96 I got a job as a technician for a small computer company, I got big discounts on computer hardware and built a 486 DX4 100 with 8 mb of ram and a Trident cheapy video card with a 500mb Seagate disk and a matsushita cd rom, and a Sound Blaster 16. I had arrived! 8 more mb of ram and a few months later I was running Windows 95, it was a floppy install, 27 floppies!! I continued running the XT as a BBS with 2 Hayes 28.8 Accura modems from 1995 until 1999. The XT never failed.
Remember the Flag Erratum error in the first Pentiums? That was why I went with the DX4 100, and in most cases it was faster than the Pentiums.

I had a Cyrix 133 686 next. That piece of crap ran hotter than hell and had a crappy floating point.

Fast forward a few years, I had a celeron 300a, it was the overclocking champion, that bad boy ran 450mhz with ease and spanked all my friends Pentium 2s. The 440bx chipset was the shizzle! Also had a couple boards with the 440lx chipset as well. Remeber the Voodoo add on 3d cards? I had 2 of those bad boys in SLI with a Canopus i don't remember the model.

Fast forward again, I bought the first Slot A Athlon, it was a 600mhz beast, played Quake quite nicely.
I bought the first 1ghz processor, the AMD Athlon 1000, another milestone in the PC world. First to 1 ghz, AMD took the lead and held on to it for a good run.
I have had number of Athlons since then, the 2220, 2800, then the Athlon 64 3500.
Remember the TNT2 ultra? Had one of those. I have only purchased NVidia video cards over the years, the HD4000 series from AMD is definitely a great option today, not so hot back in the day though. The Rage3d chips were so horrid performance wise that they were relegated to be integrated into server boards.
Today I am running a BFG 9800 GX2.

Since AMDs run is over for now, I have had a Core2Duo e6400, e6600 and an e8400. Who knows what's next for me. Since I have a stable overclock at 3.8 on the e8400 an scales well with my current video card, it is very hard to say whats next.
October 17, 2008 8:22:22 PM

My first computer.

October 17, 2008 8:33:18 PM

1. ZX 81
2. ZX Spectrum 48k
3. Enterprise
4. an XT (8086) with monochrome monitor and no hdd
5. an AT (80286) with VGA monitor and a Trident graphic card and 20MByte hdd, wow :) 
6. a 386 with fpu, 40MByte hdd

and from this step, i had dozens of configurations- almost each year ive built a completely new rig and upgraded them several times, so there are only a few parts i still remember exactly. I remember when i tried out my first soundblaster card and that i was listening to midi like music all night (it wast midi tho, it was something ported from amiga i think... was a big hit that time). I had a 486dx, i had a pentium 100mhz, the type of celeron that could be overlocked from 300 to 450Mhz, then some amd cpus... my previous rig was an X2, now i have an indel quad with 4Gigs of memory, ~700Gigs of hdd and a 9600gt. Oh yes, and a 2400 baud modem with no error correction :)  There was no internet back then, and i was running a BBS for some time (my parents really loved the phonebills :) 
October 17, 2008 8:35:03 PM

Texas Instruments 99/4A, Colecovision ADAM, Apple IIGS, At&T Globalisyts 100Mhz pentium (no MMX), and a 1GHz AMD thunderbird. Currently using and enjoying Socket 939 Opteron. Future Upgrade Probably Nelham with 8 or 6 core when they are around.
October 17, 2008 8:35:24 PM

Haloperidol said:
1. ZX 81
2. ZX Spectrum 48k
3. Enterprise
4. an XT (8086) with monochrome monitor and no hdd
5. an AT (80286) with VGA monitor and a Trident graphic card and 20MByte hdd, wow :) 
6. a 386 with fpu, 40MByte hdd

and from this step, i had dozens of configurations- almost each year ive built a completely new rig and upgraded them several times, so there are only a few parts i still remember exactly. I remember when i tried out my first soundblaster card and that i was listening to midi like music all night (it wast midi tho, it was something ported from amiga i think... was a big hit that time). I had a 486dx, i had a pentium 100mhz, the type of celeron that could be overlocked from 300 to 450Mhz, then some amd cpus... my previous rig was an X2, now i have an indel quad with 4Gigs of memory, ~700Gigs of hdd and a 9600gt. Oh yes, and a 2400 baud modem with no error correction :)  There was no internet back then, and i was running a BBS for some time (my parents really loved the phonebills :) 


oh yes my bad, the xt was 8088 and the at was 8086. the 286's were coming later :)  didnt remember all this :) 
October 17, 2008 10:23:03 PM

My first computer was an AMSTRAD CPC-6128. It supported 32 colors (I think) but my monitor could only show 4 shades of green anyway...

My second computer was an AMIGA 500 with 1 MB of RAM. I just loved that computer. I still have it and it would still work if one day my monitor hadn't blown up (metaphorically speaking) while playing SENSIBLE SOCCER 6 (those where the days). And who can find an AMIGA monitor right now. I can't even remember what I need.

Then came a Cyrix @ 200 MHz. Somehow everything was not simply on board, it was glued together. And still, in some way, I managed to play Resident Evil 2, FIFA 98 and Tomb Raider 2 on that PC.

Then came my trusty Celeron @ 533 MHz with 96 MB RAM (which then went to 224) and a 32 MB TNT2-m64. I even played Half-Life!!!

First time I actually raised some money to buy a decent PC was January 2007, when I built my current rig: E6400, 2GB RAM, X1950Pro (Now it is a 4850, after the Pro died due to Greek heat waves).

And right now I am exploring my options as to what to do next to really enjoy gaming and keep this PC a couple of years.
October 17, 2008 10:40:07 PM

8086 IBM PS-20 with 20MB HD and 10" (might have been 12") color monitor and one of those new "hard" floppy drives. But had no modem or mouse nor ability to add either.

Damn fine computer. Monster step up from what I was using at work.... 1 MB HD and those old fashion floppy, floppy drives.
October 17, 2008 11:35:36 PM

Started with the...

TRS80 w/Tape drive and CRT TV; ran a text adventure game called "Paramid;" started learning "BASIC" programming with it.

In about '85, resumed with the orignal IBM XT (had one with color), learning Pascal in high school

Then got a Tandy 1000 with 128K and two 5 1/4" floppies; more programming, now some Assembler; got hooked on King's Quest; later got a 10meg hard card :bounce:  Friend had an Amiga 500 with Video Toaster stuff.

Started getting into overclocking with clock-crystals

1989-Started working with some Epson and Compaq 286's as a job; Got my own 386SX

1996-Messed around with some Cyrix's, SX DX; got my first laptop with a dx4 100 mhz....blah, blah, blah and now

2008-Couple of Core 2 Quads and Core 2 Duos.



October 18, 2008 12:57:53 AM

maximiza said:
Texas Instruments 99/4A, Colecovision ADAM, Apple IIGS, At&T Globalisyts 100Mhz pentium (no MMX), and a 1GHz AMD thunderbird. Currently using and enjoying Socket 939 Opteron. Future Upgrade Probably Nelham with 8 or 6 core when they are around.


The 99/4A was my first computer.
And actually to this day was still likely my favorit.

October 18, 2008 1:01:54 AM

wow i guess i'm fairly new compared to everyone here :p 

my 1st comp was a

1. Pentium II 233mhz (when 266mhz was top of the line) so it was pretty high end :p 

2.128mb of ram

3.a 4gb hardrive

4.56k modem! :D 

5. and i think it was an ati rage or something, 4mb vid. card.
October 18, 2008 2:13:32 AM

1st Computer :: 386 DX40. 8Mb of RAM, 50Mb HDD. This was a real scrocher at the time. Don't know the GFX, but it was on 256 Grayscale.

2nd Computer :: 486 DX100 16Mb, 250Mb Gb HDD, 4Mb Matrox Mystique (I think, might have been an 8Mb Millenium but can't remember properly, and it was a machine my dad had been given by work, but he didn't know how to use it).

3rd Computer :: Apple Quadra 630. 16Mb, 500Mb, Onboard GFX.

4th Computer :: P2-233, 32Mb, 1.2Gb(ish) HDD, ATI Rage of some flavour. Was actually a nice mahine, and it's still being used to process payroll for someone who wanted a DOS machine quickly. Also the 1st machine I built from scratch.

5th Computer :: K6-3 400, 32Mb, 4Gb HDD, nVidia GFX (can't remember exactly what it was, might have been a TNT or similar).

6th Computer :: Athlon 900, 256MB, 60Gb (2x30GB) HDD in RAID0, 32Mb TNT2. My memory clears up a bit at this point, and this was only in about 2000.

7th Computer :: P4 1.4, 512Mb, 80Gb (2x40Gb RAID0), 64Mb Geforce2 MX400.

8th Computer :: AthlonXP 2500+, Abit NF7, 512Mb RAM (2Gb Later), 160Gb (2x80Gb RAID0), 128Mb ATi 8500 (I think, this machine also had an ATi 9800 Pro, and an nVidia 6600GT in it at various points). Thermaltake Xaser Lanfire Case.

8.5th Computer :: P4 2.8, 2Gb RAM, 160Gb (2x80GB RAID0), 128Mb 6600GT. Thermaltake Xaser Lanfire Case. This machine was a quick and dirty stopgap after taking the overclock on the 2500+ Mobile Barton just a little too far. 1st board and CPu I could find where the P4 and the Motherboard to go with it, so basically the same machine as previously, but a different board and CPU.

9th Computer :: Athlon X2 6000+, 4Gb OCZ Reaper, 500Gb (2x250Gb Hitachi) in RAID0, ECS AM2+ Motherboard (the result of a supplier sending me 2 boards for a build rather than just one). 512Mb 4870 with AC Accellero (I hate noise). The final straw for me was

Those have been my "Main" machines, I've also had some other bits like servers, and I used to keeep a main rig, and an OCing rig on my desktop as well. That stopped in about 2001 when I started uni (8 years off between College and Uni was a nice "year out"). I've also missed out my laptops, because they don't really count, i've had a Powerbook 100, Powerbook Duo (Those where one of Apple's Best Ideas), couple of Compaq NC Series, a Tosh, a couple of HPs and an Acer. Presently I've also got a Fujitsu Lappy the fiance uses, a HP I use, and a Sempy 3400+ server.
October 18, 2008 2:35:24 AM

^ beak

how do you remember all those specs on 9 diff. machines? haha quite some experience.
a b à CPUs
October 18, 2008 2:36:38 AM

My first personal computer(If you call it that) that I owned was the Hewlett-Packard HP-65 programmable calculator.I think I had it in 1974 or maybe 1973.I.Then I bought a HP-67 in 1976.I also had an MITS Altair 8800 I think in 1976.I bought an Apple II in 1978 and I still have the September 1977 Issue (about microprocessors) of Scientific American that introduced the Apple II.It also featured in its pages the Xerox Alto with it's graphical user interface running on smalltalk that later influenced the development of the 1983 Apple LISA and 1984 Apple Macintosh.I think in 1979 I bought an HP-41C and several years later I bought several IBM PC's and XT's back in 1983.I also had a Timex Sinclair 2068 Color Computer which was very inexpensive.In 1988 I bought a Commodore Amiga.
Those are my early microcomputers that I owned but I did program and work on mainframes before then.Yes I still have a lot of punchcards in my storage shed.I did have an electro mechanical calculator that dated from in the 1940's sometime in the late 1960's that I bought from a thrift store.But I don't have this anymore.Here are some neat computer museums.
http://www.digibarn.com/
http://www.hpmuseum.org/
and here is another vintage computer collector with a great forum about vintage microcomputers.
http://www.vintage-computer.com/
October 18, 2008 2:52:01 AM

1st - Amstrad CPC464 with Green Screen

2nd - Spectrum + 48k

3rd - Atari 65XE + 1050 Disk Drive with Doubler and happy mod

4th - Packard Bell, Pentium 133, 16mb ram, 1mb graphics and 1.2gb hd

5th - Dell 8200, P4 2.0, 768mb ram, 64mb Gforce 3 ti500, 80gb hd

6th - Fujitsu Siemens, P4 2.4 768mb ram, Ati 9700 pro (128mb) 80gb hd

7th - Self Build, C2duo 2.66gb, 2gb ram, 8800 gts(640), 320gb hd


Still own 1,2,3,6 and obviously 7

4 and 5 have gone to silicon heaven
October 18, 2008 2:59:05 AM

aznguy0028 said:
^ beak

how do you remember all those specs on 9 diff. machines? haha quite some experience.



I'm not 100% sure on some of the specs TBH, I've pointed out where. I have an "odd" memory about stuff like this. I can for instance roll off the node-names of the most troublesome computers for a certain large hotel group. I just remember my specs pretty well, and remember at the various points in time I usually had something with bit more grunt than most other folks. I've also not bought a pre-built desktop machine since 233, and that will have been mid-late 90s.
a b à CPUs
October 18, 2008 3:20:13 AM

I bought my first computer in December 1984. It was an IBM PC XT 8088. IBM had just come out with the AT and they reduced the price of the original XT. The computer came with 256KB of RAM, two floppy disk drives, and the OS was DOS 2.1.1. I also bought an IBM 12 inch color monitor capable of displaying 16 colors on screen (EGA graphics - really hot stuff back then). There was no mouse yet. I started the few software programs I had by typing commands.

IBM let me choose one free software program. I got a word processing program called Writing Assistant. At the time it was a great program.

In 1985 I upgraded the memory to 512KB and installed a Seagate 10MB hard disk drive. I think the access time was 110ms. I also bought an IBM thermal printer for $1,500.00. It had a thermal printhead and a ribbon similar to a typrewriter ribbon. It beat the crap out of dot matrix printers.
a c 99 à CPUs
October 18, 2008 3:25:39 AM

I'll start out with the machines my folks got that I used:

1. IBM PS/1: 12 MHz 80286, 1 MB FPM RAM, 30 MB 3600 rpm HDD, 9" VGA color screen and a 2400 baud modem! It ran DOS 4.01 with some IBM-made GUI. We got this in 1990 and used it until 1999 for playing old DOS games and word processing with MS Works v2.0 and a dot-matrix printer.

2. IBM PS/2: 50 MHz Intel 80486 SX2, 16 MB EDO RAM, 400 MB SCSI HDD, 14" XGA monitor, 16/4 token ring NIC and ran OS/2 Warp 2.2. It was a castoff from my dad's work that we got in about 1996 or '97 and used also as a word processor with Lotus Notes.

3. Compaq 7360: 500 MHz AMD K6-2, 64 MB PC100, HDD upgraded from 10 GB to 20 GB, monitor from that IBM, 56k modem, Windows 98SE, integrated Cirrus graphics. This was bought in early '99 and was the first "modern" computer we had and was the first one on the Internet. I had loads of fun playing Civilization II and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri on that machine.

4. HP Pavilion (760?): 1.8 GHz socket 478 P4 Willy, 512 MB DDR-266, 120 GB HDD, NVIDIA TNT2 M64, 17" CRT, running XP RTM. This was bought in early '01 and was the last desktop my folks bought and I was lobbying heavily for my dad to get an Athlon XP running Win2K instead, but he did not listen. I didn't use this machine much as I *hated* XP's goofy interface- I used the old K6-2 instead. This machine still runs in my dad's den for when he does taxes and such with it.

Now for my machines:
1. Gateway 600YG2: 2.2 GHz P4-M, 512 MB -> 1.5 GB DDR-266, 60 GB -> 100 GB HDD, Radeon M9000, 15.7" SXGA screen. It originally shipped with XP Pro but was shortly replaced with SuSE Linux, which is what it usually ran until it went kaput. I hauled this nine-pound sonofagun around all through undergrad and it served me well and also made me want both a real laptop and a real desktop instead of a "desktop replacement" laptop.

2. Custom #1: Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (939), 2 GB DDR-400, currently has 1 TB + 250 GB + 74 GB HDDs and a Radeon x1900GT attached to an abit KN8-SLi. It's connected to two 20.1" UXGA LCDs. It has always run 64-bit Linux, first Gentoo then now Debian. I put this guy together in early 2006 and it's my main machine.

3. Gateway S-7125C: C2D U7500, 3 GB DDR2-667, 80 GB HDD, Intel 945GM (bleh), 12.1" Wacom tablet LCD. This was the replacement for the dead 600YG2 and it's been serving me well for a year and a half. It's half the size and weight of the old guy and cost half as much too :)  I'm not really a laptop guy, but this is a pretty decent laptop for taking to classes...although I don't use it outside of school as my desktop is SO much nicer to use.

4. Custom #2: Duron 1600, ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe mobo, 2 GB DDR-400, 100 GB PATA notebook HDD, 2x250 GB SATA desktop HDDs, GeForce 6200 PCI, Hauppauge! PVR-150, late-90s Rockwell Riptide PCI sound card. Runs Debian Linux and MythTV. This is my HTPC and it was made half from parts from my desktop (RAM, desktop HDDs, tuner card) and half from parts I got for free from buddies (mobo, CPU, PSU, sound card.) The notebook HDD came from my dead old Gateway 600 and has a 40-44 pin IDE adapter. It runs surprisingly well for being basically junked parts given to me. This machine used to have a Celeron 900 and an AOpen i810 board with 256 MB SDRAM that I got from a dumpster machine, but a buddy gave me the A7N8X and the Duron, so I added onto the storage big time and added more RAM, which made the machine go from marginal to very nice.
October 18, 2008 4:11:50 AM

BadTrip said:
my first one was The Color Computer 2. It hooked up to the TV. lol OH and I hated those cartridges.


Oh... I got one of those. I bought it because it ran OS/9. A UNIX clone. I remember paying through the nose just to get a "normal" keyboard to attach to it. I also had an Atari 800 for gaming... but I realized that even though the ugly graphics on the color computer were awful... OS9 was worth it.

A friend of mine and I ran one of the first BBS west of the missippi ON a Color Computer. Well... he had the money and ran it. When he went on vacation I made sure it stayed up. The "Time BBS". We used to get people from the East coast sign for hours... paying long distance fees. Back then there was no Internet. Well there WAS compuserve... but it cost $12.00 per hour. So long distance was actually cheaper. Later on in that endeavor we had daily "updates" of messages that would be relayed on a "net".

I remember when I dumped my manual dial 300 baud modem for a 1200 baud AUTO dial/answer modem. I thought it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Anyway..... For OS9 later we had something that allowed you to open more than one screen at a time. I don't remember the name. Multi-view? No... something like that.

I remember desoldering some 16k chips so I could put in bigger 64k chips and get more memory. They didn't socket memory back then. But that's okay.. being a ham radio operator... my soldering skill are were up to that task.

Bottom line: we used to DREAM of a day when we could log on to a mere game and play with others from around the world. We'd get drunk and talk about how it was a great idea... and how we could rich doing it.
a b à CPUs
October 18, 2008 5:01:50 AM

You want a story, I'll give you a story :o 

Well, back in high school I needed a computer so my dad got me a good ol HP with a pentium 75, 16mb of RAM, onboard S3 graphics, a 0.8GB (I don't even think it was a whole gig) Hard Drive, and a monitor that could only do 800x600 with 32bit color. It had Windows 95 and was good enough to play games like Doom II for windows, and the first two quakes. Eventually the hard drive died so I had to replace it with a 6.4GB Western Digitan (it was an awsome upgrade at the time) and years latter the rest of that computer died, and while I used it's components for a spare system my sister was using these parts too died to to the point where I believe the only operational components where the Hard Drive and the Monitor, even the fax modem crapped out ^_^.

Shortly after that Hard Drive upgrade I looked into building my own computer. Fist obstacle, the case. A lot of 386s happened to end up at the goodwill. I saw it as a $12 Baby AT case so I bought one. I didn't know any better at the time so I thought Computer Renaissance was the best local place to get parts, at least it was better than Comp USA or Best buy at the time. I picked up an Epox MVP3C-2 K6-2 motherboard, 32MB of RAM, decent heatsink, and a 4MB trident video card with video out. Yeah, I didn't know better, but I sure did regret getting that video card latter. I picked up a K6-2 400 I latter overclocked to 500MHz for like $75 from another local place I had heard about with the intent to get a K6-3 500 when they came out, which they never did.

It was kinda strange to be using windows 3.11 on that system since that what the 386 came with, along with its early sound blaster sound card, slow modem, 120MB HD. It was a fun experiment for a few days, but I had to upgrade the 120MB hard drive to the best thing I could get at the time, a Western Digital 27.3GB Expert so I could install 95 and some games. The system was a big step up for me. I was running 95 on it due to the low RAM and wanting to play games, so I had to add another 64MB for a total of 96MB so I could run 98 and be happy. It was evident that the video card was crap when I tried to run SHOGO and it came out all crappy. My video card upgrade was to a Creative 3dBlaster TNT2 32MB which was at Best buy for under a $100 (at the time the TNT2 ultras were still in the $200 range) and it played SHOGO, and all my other games just great (I love how the SHOGO theme is in one of the last levels of F.E.A.R). Over the time that was my main computer it's upgrades were a Vortex2 Sound Card (darn creative for killing them and Hercules for failing to buy them), a 10x8x32 Sony CD recorder (cost me $200 at the time I but had to back stuff up when that HD was getting full), Creative 56k ISA fax modem, and the Creative PC-DVD Encore kit which was a 12x DVD drive and the Dxr3 decoder board.

It's amazing it all ran on a 250W PSU altho I couldn't run it for long periods of time (over 4hrs) with it overclocked so much and the poor airflow of that case. The original Deus Ex was the first game I tried to play on this machine that I couldn't run at 1024x768 comfortably for the whole game. When I saved some money, just in case, I tried to overclock the video card more by adding heatsinks to the RAM and GPU, but since I was unskilled at it and stupidly tried to use some cheap thermal glue I ended up damaging the card to the point that it wouldn't display things properly and wouldn't run 3d games. I ended up putting in a TNT2 64 since both the GeForce 2MX and the Kyro II had all sorts of problems on that system. Needless to say I was thinking of a new system.

After reading some reviews I started off by deciding on an Epox 8KHA+ and added to that a Duron 900, 256MB of Crucial DDR 266 RAM, and a 7200RPM dual ball bearing globalwin heatsink. For the case I got a white Venus case because it was roomy, toolless, and had 3 fans, even if I latter found it provided poor ventalation. When I put the system together I understand that while the CPU cooler was excellent, the fact that it was around 46db was on the loud side and the duron 900 was a rather poor overclocker no matter what. I bought a Hercules Geforce 256 SE for $35, and a newer creative modem while using the drives and sound card from the old system which I managed to get to work happily with Windows ME. If only I could have replicated that on other systems :) . Left over parts were used to build my sisters computer. Having grown accustomed to the sound of the system I figured that 56.4db couldn't be much lounder than the globalwin so I tried adding a Tornado Maxx at the back of the case in an effort to improve airflow. Despite it's impressive 199CFM, the fan was removed the next day. Latter I upgraded to a GeForce 3 which was a huge improvement. I got it for around $100 at Best Buy, which was cheaper than I could find it online with shipping at the time, since they were being phased out in favor of the new 4 series. Unfortunatly, I got greedy, and after having it for a week the Radeon 8500 64MB was on sale so I went and exchanged it. Little did I know that the Radeon 8500 and GeForce 4 series caused damage to my particular board since ePox engineers decided that certain extra power components to the AGP slot were not necessary. After getting the GeForce 3 back, and sending an RMA to newegg for another 8KHA+, which had also been damaged and not properly repaired thus resulting in very poor 3d performance, I got credit which I used toward an MSI KT3 Ultra2-R.

Upgrades to that computer over the years included a Linksys ethernet card, WD 200GB SE HD, Lite on 52x32x52 CD Burner, 512 Muskin Black Level II DDR 333, Creative Audigy 2, Athlon 3000+, additional 1GB (2x512) Kingston Hyper X DDR 333, Plextor 760A, Radeon 1950GT, and 500W Fortron Blue Storm II. I would have liked to have gone with Mushkin, but they no longer had the Level II RAM when I got around to upgrading it, so I got the CAS 2 Kingston instead. I upgraded to the Radeon 1950GT just so I could play Gothic 3, which also required a PSU upgrade since the one that came with the case didn't have enough 12v amps. Yes, I felt that Gothic 3 was just awsome enough to spend $129 on the vid card rather than wait to upgrade the system, and it helped that PC last for a while allowing me to run Unreal 3 and even Hell Gate London, but it had some slowdown issues with Hell Gate in the latter, more graphically demanding levels of the game.

So, wanting to play Crysis and to elminate some of the rather big slowdown in Hell Gate I built a new system to what I have now. I used the audigy, Plextor 760 A, and WD HD from the previous build. I have the Hard Drive on the PCI controller card it came with so that I have dedicated ide channels for the hard drive, and the plextor 760 A. I plan to upgrade to a 1TB Cavalier Black soon. I may also add another 3850 since nows as good a time as any. While I would like to get 4GB of Mushkin 1066, I may just add another 2GB of Muskin DDR2 800. It will depend on if I feel that the new 45nm Phenoms will be compelling enough for me get and to upgrade to 1066 RAM for the Phenom to take advantage of. I also plan to get an ASUS Xonar
October 18, 2008 5:03:17 AM

1> Apple II with two monitors, a color & a green-screen, I dont remember any specs, I was 7. Oregon Trail was my favorite pasttime.

2> Macintosh LC with floppy, 40 mb HD, 2 mb of RAM (upgraded to 4), a 256 color 12" monitor, and a 14.4 kbps modem. This was the first machine I ever upgraded. I added the RAM (which was around $85 for 2 mb). The monitor stopped showing any shades of red in '99 and I stopped using it. I remember that when I got the extra ram, I was finally able to give Civilization enough memory to show the entire map!! Before that, I could only see a 3" by 3" square.

After the Mac, I didn't own my own computer again until 2003.

3> eMachines with an Athlon XP 2200+, 256 mb of RAM, 80 gb HD, integrated video. This was a beast, to me, even though it was an emachine and was old tech when I bought it. I gave it to my mom and finally the Power Supply died in late '06. The DVD-ROM and 5400 rpm 80 gb HD from it are still going strong in the ASUS Vintage barebone I built for her in October '06. (Athlon 64 3000).

4> Acer laptop I bought in November of '04, right before I moved to Brazil. Celeron M 1.5 Ghz, 40 gb HD, 256 mb RAM (upgraded to 1 gb), craptastic Intel chipset. I sold this in early '06 in Brazil for 1500 Reais... which at the time was worth about $800, which is how much I paid for it new!!

5> Fujitsu N6210 laptop, Pentium M 750 @ 1.86 Ghz, 2 gb RAM, 80 gb HD, AMD x600 dedicated graphics, 17" screen. This laptop was bought for me by my employer while I worked at home in Brazil and he was in Bethesda... the only thing I miss about that job was having my boss 4,500 miles away. I still have it, except I replaced the original 4200 rpm HD with a 5400 rpm Seagate just 2 months ago.. now the thing is actually usable again. Actually, this laptop is lucky. I accidentally left it out in the rain in the spring of 2007 overnight. I tried drying it out, but it wouldn't start up, except the power button WOULD light up. I assumed I fried it and put it up in the closet. Two months later I took it out and it started right up, except the keyboard was unusable. Bought a usb keyboard and haven't looked back.

6> My current machine I built Christmas 2007. My first absolutely from scratch build. e2180 overclocked to 3 Ghz on stock cooler, 2 gb of A-Data DDR2 800, Antec Earthwatts ea380, Gigabyte P35-DS3L rev 2.0, HD3850 256, CoolerMaster CAV-T03 case, Samsung SATA DVD-RW, Seagate SATA 8 mb cache 250 gb HD, 22" Acer monitor.

This configuration lasted until 2 months ago. Now I have a q6600 @ 3 Ghz, Arctic Cooler 7 (idle temps in the low 30s), 4 gb A-Data DDR2 800, Antec Earthwatts ea500-D, Visiontek HD4850 512, and a Seagate 32 mb cache 640 gb HD as my main drive, and the 250 gb is my Photoshop scratch drive. Civilization IV kicks #*@ on this!! HA!! I am saving the e2180 and the HD3850 in the closet for a Hackintosh I will build in January.
a b à CPUs
October 18, 2008 5:08:12 AM

aznguy0028 said:
^ beak

how do you remember all those specs on 9 diff. machines? haha quite some experience.


When you spend so much time building and tweeking your machines their specks can get burned into your memory. Heck I even know the specs of some of the machines I've slapped together and given away on freecycle, a few that I've built for customers, and of course whatever spare machines are currently running in my garage.
October 18, 2008 5:11:59 AM

Oh man where to start.

Apple 2gs, my parents bought it when i was 5 and I played with my fire engine on the box's it came in. But I quickly found it was a lot more fun then that. I played Load Runner, Ultima 5, and many more games on my first pc.

486 DX4 100, was my second PC, I convinced my parents to buy this computer when I was 12, the pentium was just coming outaroudn thistime, and we where a little behind on the times, but a local guy who built computers said this was a good deal, we had it for a while, and I had AOL 2.0 3.0 and 4.0 on this, and maybe higher, but it was a good machine, I got in trouble looking up porn on this in the early days of the internet.

Pentium 133, my next computer, I got this when i was 14 I had it for 6 months, and eventually ran away from home, and my parents sold it to my older brother for his first pc, it was a packard bell I beleive.

Next when I was 15 or 16, I bought a AMD k6 -2 400 with my younger brother. I put a VooDoo 3 200 in this, and played eq with it. Loved the computer, but this is where I fell in love with computers truely and was the ultimate downfall of my relationship with my gf of 8 years. I dunno if it was the computer or that I wasnt ready for a relationship.

Next i built a athlon XP dont remember the mhz, but i had a G-force 3 TI-200, and played really nothing, but sold it to get back together with my gf.

the next PC I bought, was when I was about 18, 19, it was a Pentium 4 1.7 northwood. I played Aoe 2 on this system, and played it for about 2 years, the game was a little old by the time i started playing it so i know the timing doesn't match up with my system, I believe I had the 5900xt in this system

The next system was my gf's still the 8 year one, and I put a 9600xt in this, and played eq2, Loved the game, but relationship got in the way, and this game ultimately was the end of the relationship, so I had to buy my own system after I broke up with her lol

Bought my friends pc and built it up a bit with some old ram I had laying around I believe it was an old athlon xp by this time, and a **** gfx card, eventually i sold it back to him, and he gave it to his sister.

Next I bought his next old system, which was a athlon x2 3800+ played more eq2 with this system, and I had a Geforce 6800 in this system. It didnt perform to my standards so I upgraded a bit to the system I have now...

which is a athlon x2 5000, the first card i had in this beast was a 8800 GTS 320, and next upgrader to the 4850. I currently play C&C3, WoW, and CoD4, but I did some EQ2 gaming with it.
October 18, 2008 6:17:22 AM

To far back,,, to many computers to remember,except one it was a Hyperion with 2x5in floppy drives running Dos 2.1,when that thing got done with me what I did not know about Dos you could put on the head of a pin,,of course before that we had to build our own computers from a kit that cost mucho dinero and usually took 3 or more "nerdz" a month or two,whew!!!:) 
October 18, 2008 8:36:18 AM

1. 1986 Amstrad 1640 5.25" floppy, ega graphics, 20MB(!) HDD
2. 1990(ish) Compaq 386sx25

The next are all home builds

3. 1994 Cyrix 6x86 133+, 128mb RAM 7GB HDD Matrox Millenium II 12MB and 2x Vodoo II's, creative dvd with decoder and phillips SCSI 2x CD-rw (apart from the processor it was a beast)
4. 1995 AMD K6II-3D 350
5. 1996 Pentium III-500
6. AMD athlon XP 1800+
7. AMD Athlon MP 2200+ clocked to 3Ghz - my only ever overclock :) 
8. My current E6600 4GB RAM 2TB HDD 7950GT
a b à CPUs
October 18, 2008 11:43:14 AM

My first compute was an Apple II - I learned AppleSoft Basic on it and played the first version of Star Trek the Game ... that was about 1977 ish from memory ... I had 8Kb of ram I think ... something like that.

I also had an Atari 400 and later a Vic 20.

My first PC was a Sperry XT with dual 5.25 Floppies. I expanded the ram to 512Kb using an expansion card and inserting the 120nS ram by hand. I also bout a 20Mb HDD (MFM) and a controller card and painstakingly set the beast up. This PC got me through Uni until 3rd year - had a 2200 Pinwriter (NEC) printer on it.

Then I bought a 386SX 25 and put 4Mb of Ram in it and a 40Mb HDD ... it was kickass at the time with a 256Kb colour VGA card and an NEC monitor.

NEC Monitors back then were the best ...

Then I had an AMD 386DX40 ... which I swear was 4 times faster ... really moved along ... ended up with an 850Mb HDD in that one.

After that I pretty much got addicted ... some of the thers I have had include:

AMD 5X86133 (quad clocked to 160Mhz)
Intel 486166MMX (to 183)
K6
P2/ P3 Slot 1 - 350. 500. 600. 850
Duron 1100
P3 Tualatin 1.4 - dual CPU server
P4 1600
P4 2.4 Northy / 3.06 Prescott / D805
AthlonXP 2400+ (X4)
AthlonXP 3200+ (X2)
A64 3500+
A64 X23800+ (X2 939 / X2 AM2) Brisbane
A64 X2 4400+ Toledo
A64 X2 6000+ AM2
A64 Sempi Lappy HP
Q6600 @3.0 Ghz

Too many graphics cards and other peripherals to even mention.

I have also built a few 100 for other people over the years.
a c 471 à CPUs
October 18, 2008 6:42:01 PM

Commodore 64
October 19, 2008 5:05:37 AM

1. Colecovision Adam. (Dad bought for Family)
2. Atari 800XL
3. Apple ][c
4 Atari ST 520 and 1024
4. Hewitt Rand 486 DX33 for around $4000! this was when 386's were still king. This is the Computer I took to College a few years later. Goes to show that spendin money now, future proofs a bit :)  Although I don't have this siystem, I did find the same mobo and kept it... don't know why... it's a pack rat thing lol
5. upgraded above system to Shuttle Hot 433 and AMD AM5x86-133 and started readin Tomshardware about Overclocking... for me, this is when the ball started really rolling and now have a house full of computers
6,7,8 etc... Media Center in Bedroom, Living Room, 2 Gaming Systems (for Wife and I). My Son (Who's almost 5), and thinkin' of a pink one for Daughter (Almost 2), and oh yeah... laptops... Cell Phones PDA (personal Disorganizers), etc... :p 
1 Server running MS Server 2003, and possible another MS "Home" Server

Gawd... Colecovision Adam! I miss the Daisy Wheel Printer **sigh**

BTW, I is one of those people that actually like Vista x64. it's purdy... :) 
a b à CPUs
October 19, 2008 5:41:39 AM

The first comp we had that I can remember was a 66MHz 486, followed by a 266MHz PII.
a b à CPUs
December 5, 2008 4:00:04 AM

In college in the early 1970's we programmed on a Control Data mainframe, using punch cards. In graduate school we used CRT terminals connected to another Control Data mainframe.

I got a job with an engineering company and they had an IBM 1130, with 8k of core memory and a 1Mb removable disk pack. It was very slow but it was in our office and we could use it anytime we wanted. It used punch cards and had a massive line printer.

Somewhere around 1980 I had a Commodore 64, connected to a cassette tape drive and a color TV.

Early 1980's I bought one of the early IBM PC's from Compushop. It was a special deal, including monochrome monitor and a dot matrix printer, for just over $4000. It had 256k of memory, 4.77MHz 8088 processor, 2 360k floppy drives. One day I was in Austin and visited a store that later became a national chain and then went away (can't remember the name), and they had a kit for a 10Mb or 20Mb hard drive. The 10Mb was $400, the 20Mb was $450, so I bought that one. I bought some other accessories for the computer from a very small store in Dallas called CompUSA. I later upped the memory in the computer to 640k, and added another 20Mb hard drive. Then I pulled both drives out and put in a 60Mb RLL hard drive. I sold that machine in about 1990 for $700.

I bought a used homebuilt 386DX25, with 100MB IDE hard drive. That machine got upgraded a lot, and I kept it in one form or another until 2001. The processor went to a 486DX2-66, then somekind of Cyrix, then the Cyrix got seriously OC'd due to an article in the old tomshardware.com. Seems like there was another step of CPU that I don't remember right now. The hard drive system went from100Mb IDE to 383Mb ESDI to twin 383Mb ESDI, to 2Gb ATA, to 20Gb ATA, to twin 250Gb ATA. The case got changed a time or 2 also. Eventually all of the components were changed out so that no single piece of the original computer remained, but since only a few parts were changed at any time I still consider it to be the same computer. The machine started with DOS 4, then DOS 6, then DOS 7, then Windows 95, then Windows 98 and now Windows XP.

In 2001 I bought a new case, processor, RAM and video. The CPU was an AMD Athlon about 1.5GHz or so, and I'm still running it today. When I upgraded from Windows98 to Windows XP I had to up the RAM a little too. I put my old drives in this box, and as I recall this box cost about $1200.

I'm ready to build a whole new box right now, replace everything. After reading this site for awhile I think I know what I want to get and that is a core2 with a mild OC to about 3.6GHz.
a c 172 à CPUs
December 6, 2008 7:15:21 AM

Helped a friend (he REALLY liked Forth) build an RCA 1802 micro back in about '75. Wire wrapped. Did most of the hardware.

My first computer - 1978, TRS-80 Model I, OC'd by piggy backing chips and cutting PCB traces.

Then Z80, 80286, 80386, 80486, MMX-233 OC'd to 300 MHz, PII 400 MHz Celeron, 1 GHz AMD, 2.5 GHz AMD, E6600 OC'd to 3.3 GHz, Q6600 OC'd to 3.6 GHz, E8500 OC'd to 4 GHz. Built about 10 others for friends.
December 22, 2008 7:51:44 PM

1. Started with a C64 with dual disk drives, commodore monitor and more software then I could ever use.

some in between TRS80 atari etc...

2. 486 dx2 with 15 inch vga, 1xCD (one of the very early ones), 8mb of ram (this was huge)... no sound card. $2k

3. Next one PII350 ABS with 19inch monitor and 128MB of ram and an old TNT. $679

4. BP6 with dual cellys oc'd

4. Many many many computers in between.

5. DV6AA with dual 1ghz p3's

6. Many more...

7. Dual xeon 3.2's on a PC-DL with 2GB ram

8. Now Q6600 WHS with 4GB ram and 5 TB's storage.
E8400 Vista64 with 6GB ram ATI 4850 Gamer
E7300 Vista32 with 4GB ram ATI 3850 Gamer
E2140 Vista32 with 2GB RAM Nvidia 7600GT HTPC
Shuttle SB51G P4 3.4GHZ 2GB ram 2600XT and a Raptor 36GB HTPC

And ton of parts and uneeded Older comps
January 23, 2009 3:50:15 PM

I had a Tandy Color Computer with 4 kb of RAM and a cassette recorder. This was a big deal because my family had little money and poured what to us was a huge sum of money, but it was totally useless, too little RAM to run anything and the cassette tapes immediately stretched so that you had a program name with no data and a block of data with no name, neither of which was of any use. There was also no way to print anything.

Then in college I had a Tandy dumb terminal to allow me to work from home (I lived an hour from the college.)

Then in '85 I built a PC with an 80186-2 CPU, a full 640 kb of the fast 120ms RAM, two of the good 360K Teac floppy drives, and the big 14" monitor in sixteen glorious shades of amber. (It played Rogue, my first video game, beautifully.) It cost over $700 to build and was quite an experience as there was no Internet (except for colleges and government entities) and almost no resources. Everything was set by jumpers (which I still love), even floppy drive addresses - this is before floppy cables came with the twist. A year or two later I added a 20 MB MFM hard drive and a very expensive RLL controller card, which allowed me to format the drive in RLL at 30 MB! I also had to reformat the drive several times a year, as the drive and the controller would get out of sync. Later I added an AMD 80187-2 (I think) math co-processor chip as well.

A couple years later I built a fast 16 MHz AMD 80286, again with an 80287 co-processor. The 80386 at that time was limited to IBM and Compaq, neither of which I could come close to affording. This time my hard drive was a whopping 80 MB! A year or so later I went color - I skipped CGA and went straight to EGA! Yeah! That 14" Princeton Graphics multi-scanning lasted years and years at an incredible 800x600.

After that came an AMD 386, then an AMD 486, then an AMD 586, then an AMD K6, then a bleeding edge AMD Athlon 500 MHz Slot A! What a beast! That's the first time I actually had the fastest computer I could find, not merely what I could afford.

Then it was an AMD Athlon 2800. That morphed into an AMD Athlon 3500+. Now I own an Intel Q6600 (my first Intel since the 80186-2). Life is good.

I've also had a DEC mini computer, but I can't really count that because I never actually fired it up.
January 23, 2009 4:44:16 PM

I had a Pentium 100Mhz with 16MB of RAM, 2MB video memory, 4x CD-ROM, 14.4kbps modem, and Windows 95. It would play Diablo and that game was fun to play multiplayer.

Then I got an AMD K6-2 533Mhz with 192 RAM and 8MB of video memory, 26GB hard drive, Windows 98 SE. I only could play games like Delta Force, Command & Conquer, Diablo II, Age of Empires 2, etc.

Then I received my first AGP system, a Dell Dimension with 40GB hard drive, Pentium III 933Mhz, Geforce 2 MX 32MB video card, and upgraded to 512MB RAM and a Geforce 5500FX. It had Windows XP

Then I had another AGP Dell Dimension 1.6Ghz Pentium 4, Geforce 2 64MB. I upgraded to 2.8Ghz Pentium 4 and a Radeon x1650 PRO then upgraded the video card in that rig to a Radeon X1950XT 512MB. This was around the time of Crysis demo and I decided that it wouldn't cut it and I would figure out how to build my own computer. It too had Windows XP

My first build was an Athlon X2 5600+ but I don't remember what video card I used initially. Anyways upgraded the processor on that to AMD 6400+ and then upgraded from whatever video card to 8800GT SLI.

Then I decided to switch to Intel because AMD's performance was just not cutting it for my gaming needs. So I would have to rebuild and I wanted to get the best there was that was affordable. I decided to do a DDR3 rig so I wanted a quad core and got it.
February 4, 2009 1:33:54 PM

The first computer that I ever owned was a C-64.

The second one was an old slow Packard Bell, back in the Win95 days.

After that was a hand-me-down system with a P-2 CPU, running Win98.

Number four was a Compaq 5000 seies with an 800MHz Celeron and Windows Mistake Edition.

My current system:

Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L Motherboard
Intel E8400 C2D CPU
4Gb DDR2 1066 RAM
ZeroTherm BTF-90 CPU Heatsink/Fan
Hitachi 175Gb SATA HDD
Seagate 500Gb SATA HDD
Maxtor 200Gb HDD, (in an external encloser)
ATI HD4870 Video card
Antec 1000watt PSU
48X DVD burner
52X CD-RW
Cooler Master Centurion 5 case
Dual-boots with Windows XP and Ubuntu 8.10

February 5, 2009 11:01:41 AM

first comp i had i hated. a comadore 64 with a tape drive and color printer. i got a few games for it, one was like pack man but you had a gun and could blow bubbles the other was an adventure game that was like a choose your own adventure book. you had to type in stuff like go in room, look around..... it sucked. i ended up getting a NES and never ran that thing again.

after that my folks got a pc at with orange monitor. that thing was even worse.

my first real computer i got out of that huge bible computer shopper and was about the price of a used Honda, like 5k. it was a tough choice between the two because i was in college and didn't have a car.

P2 300
128mb ram, 4 sticks of 32
12 Gb HD quantum big foot. still works today but sounds like a vacuum cleaner
ati all in wonder pro 8Mb 2x agp. has a tv tuner built in :)  and tv output :0 and it still works today
56k modem
sound card
web cam with mike
optiquest v115 monitor 21". i am still using it right now 10 years later
2x dvd drive and it worked to play movies :)  and still works
win 95 :(  worst os i ever used. should have waited a few months for 98 to come out.

i remember thinking i was the coolest because i had some friends over to watch the super bowl and i had a continuous instant replay with zoom on my computer while watching the game on my 25" tv. a bit later i got windows 98 and a cd burner which allowed me to copy vhs movies to cd using the tv card. that thing was great. i could play games like pro boarder and sports car gt with great graphics compared to the PlayStation. probably the best investment i ever made.

oh ya, it did run pro-e student version better than the computers at school.

that thing ended up getting fried playing sports car gt and i had my dad's friend help me fix it. he didn't know if the mb or cpu was toast so i got a new mb and p2 450 cpu. i think the cpu was like $300 at the time and this guy was so envious. the computer was much better cuz the fsb went up to 100 from 66 and my old ram worked fine but the new board only had 3 slots so i ended up with 96mb ram. i think i could still put that system together, if i wanted.

after that i got a celleron 1ghz and put all the stuff on that. then upgraded to an ati aiw 7500 with remote and a sound blaster audio card with the digital optical daughter card :)  then a new system.

amd athalon 2500+
thermaltake volcano cooler with adjustable fan speed
fic au 13 mb with nforce 2
80gb hd
512mb dual channel ram, geil
nvidia 5900 agp upgraded to
ati aiw 9800, hate that thing cuz it is like an iron. super hot for no reason.
finaly upgraded to nvidia 7800gs and getting 2.5gb ram and 500gb maxtore hd

that is what i am using right now and i love it. it is nice an quiet. i have other computers i use for games but this is the one i like. i have been trying to get rid of it for a few years now but it works well and does what i want, when i want.

the ones i don't use
amd 64 x2 5600 and a phenom 9600, gigabite 8800 gt card. probably upgrade to an ati 4870 in a few weeks.
i hope i use it.
February 22, 2009 9:51:18 AM

As far as I can remember...

1983: Thomson TO7 (8Kb RAM, tape loader and the fantastic optic pen... ehm...) I was 11.
1985: Apple IIc
1988: Amiga 1000 with RAM expansion to 512Kb
1990: Amiga 2000 (3MB, 42MB HD)
1992: 68040/28Mhz for my A2000, and 2 more MB for a total 5MB (1MB chip RAM and 4MB fast RAM)
1994: My first x86: DX2-66, 8MB RAM, 420MB HD, 512KB video
1995: Pentium 100, 16MB RAM, 2MB video
1996: Apple PowerMac 7500 (PowerPC 601/100Mhz, 16MBRAM, 1GB HD)
1998: Pentium 2 266Mhz
1998: Apple PowerMac G4
1999: Silicon Graphics Octane MXE (MIPS R12000/300Mhz)
2000: Celeron 400Mhz
2001: Silicon Graphics 320 2xP3, HP Visualize 2xP3, Silicon Graphics Indigo2 R10000 (MIPS R10000/195Mhz)

2002-2009: Various PC upgrades.
Actual home PC: AMD X2 4400@2.8Ghz, 4GB RAM, 8800 GTS 320

Many of my old hardware is still in my possession and working flawlessly...
February 22, 2009 10:15:02 AM

Without going into to much detail

1980s I think it was AMSTRAD 64 with built in tape deck, they were not using floppy drives then.

1991 Amiga 6000 this had a floppy drive.

1994 to 2005 I was in a coma

2005 AMD single core 2500+/Nvidia 9600 128mb/512mb ram/120GB HD. all on a abit motherboard.

Now I have AMD Dual core 6000+/8800GTX 768mb/2x150GB raptors/3 GB ram/ on a Asus Crosshair 590i mob.

And Im thinking of upgrading !
February 22, 2009 11:35:44 PM

Good to see some fellow old schoolers.

Here's my list

1988: Amiga 500 (had the 1mb upgrade and extra disk drive so it was swoit!)

1990: 286 1mb ram soldered to the mainboard, 256k xga vid card, 120mb hdd

1993: 386DX 1mb ram 512k vid card, 200mb hdd (upgraded to 8mb later and then blew the mainboard up)

1994: 486SX 16mb ram 4mb s3 virge, 2x cd rom and sb16 320mb over 2 hdds(*shudders* dark days after the dx's mainboard blew)

1995: Upgraded prev to 486DX2 66, 1.2gb hdd (looking a bit better)

1996: Cyrix PR200+ 32mb ram, awe64, 1.2gb hdd (still with the Virge but got a voodoo2 to give it a supercharge)

1999: AMD K6-2 400, 32mb ram, 5gb hdd, voodoo2, virge, cd burner (overclocked this one to 500mhz with no issues)

2000: Prev but with a k6-2 450 oc to 550, dvd burner

2001: Duron 800, 768mb ram, geforce 3 ti200, 10gb hdd (oc to ti500 spec), kept the voodoo 2 for glide compatibility (loved this box and got a lot of priceless reactions when i fitted a 5.25" floppy drive, also ran at 80C with no cpu fan and completely stable)

2003: Same but went to AthlonXP 1600+

2004: Same but went Athlon 3200+, replaced the gf3 and voodoo2 with a 9800XT, 250GB hdd

2006: Athlon X2 3800+, 1gb corsair ddr2 800, X1800GTO, 2x250GB hdd

2007: Upgraded the X2 a bit

2008-9: Phenom X4 9750 (got the oem low power version), 8800GTS 320, 8gb corsair ddr2, 2x 500gb hdds, 450w Zalman PSU, Asus M3A32 M/B (yeah blech 790FX)

Planning for a 4870 1gb or gtx 260+ and a couple of 1tb hdds in the next month or 2.

February 23, 2009 2:00:52 AM

*Really, this has to qualify) The HP-65 mag-card programmable calculator: 1974 - I was 18 and hit up the credit union for an $800 loan,

HP-67 a few years later,

Then an Apple II in 1978,

Apple /// in 82 or so,

Macintosh 128 in 1984, upgraded several ways, until...

Mac SE-30,

Mac IIc,

PC Time! Packard Bell Pentium 100 ($3000!!!) around 1995, followed by...

Pentium 233(or so) built from TigerDirect barebones,

Pentium 2 450,

Pentium 2 650,

Pentium 3 933's (My first dually!),

Athlon MP 2600's (2nd dually),

Athlon 64 3500,

Athlon 64 X2 4400 (multicore time!),

Athlon 64 X2 6000

I think the next will be a midrange i7 within the next few months.

There's a lotta cash sunk into all the above. I could have had a nice little Porsche by now. If I actually cared about cars!
April 1, 2009 9:46:12 PM

1. A little known Eastern European clone of ZX Spectrum
2. 1995 - Jumped to a 486/100, 4 Mb RAM, 850 Mb WD, 1 Mb S3 Trio32 video card, 14" colour DAEWOO, then in '96 added an extra 4 Mb SIMM and my first soundcard, SB Pro compatible.
3. 1997 - Pentium 133, some VIA VPX mobo, 16 then 32 Mb SDRAM, 1.7 Gb IBM, another S3 (this time a 2 Mb Trio64V+)
4. 1998-99 - sold the P133, got another 486/100
5. 2000 - Compaq Prosignia 300, P90, 16 then 48 Mb RAM, 2 Gb SCSI, my first CD-ROM (ACER 56x), my first 3d card (nVidia RIVA 128).... This was sweet... It beat the crap out of a K6/200 with a Matrox Millenium, in a certain 3d videogame.
6. 2001 - ECS Intel 430 TX mobo, various CPU's (133-233), 32-96 Mb RAM, 4-20-40 Gb HDD's, that RIVA 128, and a combo of soundcards (Yamaha SW20 PC, 2 Mb ROM, General Midi compatible and a Gravis Ultrasound ACE, 1 Mb RAM).
7. ?2002? - ECS mobo fried, so I used a spare 486/66 :sweat:  ; worse than my first 486...
8. 2002 - Pentium III 450, on some cheepoo PCChips mobo, 96 Mb SDRAM, 40 Gb Maxtor, still with the RIVA 128 (PCI), onboard SoundPro aka CMI 8330, later a 4ch Sb Live!, 52x ASUS CD-ROM.
9. 2003 - Celeron 600 FCPGA, Gigabyte sk370, then ASUS sk370 mobos (both with VIA 694x chipset), upto 192 Mb SDRAM, 40 Gb Maxtor, AGP graphic cards: 8 Mb ATI RageIIc, 16 Mb ATI Rage 128, 32 Mb Leadtek S325 TNT2 M64; kept the SB Live! and the ASUS CD-ROM.
Man, that Celeron could overclock... Most of the time it was running at 750 or 900 MHz; maxed at 945, but for stability reasons I kept it at 900.
10. 2004 - Celeron 1200, MSI Intel 815 mobo, 256 Mb SDRAM, 40 Gb Maxtor, Gigabyte ATI Radeon 9250 128 Mb, SB Live!, BENQ DVD-Writer - got this one for playing Star Wars KotOR and Gothic, my previuos rig was not up to it.
11. 2005 - sk754 Sempron 2600+, ASUS VIA K8T800 mobo, 256 then 2x256 Mb DDRAM400, GeForce 6200 128 Mb, 80 Gb WD then 250 Gb Maxtor SATA II, NEC DVD-Writer.
12. 2007 - My actual rig, Athlon x2 4200+, ASRock nVidia 630a+GF7050 mobo, 2 Gb DDR II Kingston, 250 Gb Seagate, ASUS case; a year ago I got an ASUS ATI HD3650, and this year a 750 Mb Seagate and a 22" wide monitor. Kept the NEC writer; even it is old, it works perfectly; maybe I'll get a brand new ASUS SATA.
13? - dunno... plans for the future include a 5.1 sound system instead of my 12yrs old stereo speakers; did not changed them because they sound good and have more than an oomph when it comes to raw power; some faster videocard that will go along nicely with my 1680x1050 monitor; maybe 2 more Gb of RAM. If I look for a brand new CPU+mobo combo, the LPT port is a must; AFAIK few new mobos still have it.
April 1, 2009 10:36:38 PM

1979?

How about a Xerox 820-II? Featured the bus roasting Z-80 running at a blistering 4.7 Mhz with (hold on to your hats) 64 kB RAM. DOS 3.2 (I think). It had two serial ports, parallel port and was strictly text only with it's characteristic mono "green screen". The 820 supported cutting edge storage sophistication using Shugart drives on 8-inch floppy media! Later we were able to pick up el-cheapo Fujitzu half-highs for next to nothing - these turned out to be double sided as well as DD. The drives had NO enclosure! Looked really nerdy and really cool. We figured out how to run two drives, then bumped those up to double density. This was heaven for less than $60!

The excess equip stream was crammed full of these once the Apple came to power and once Xerox floated out it's Xerox 860 Star System which was primarily a word processor only, the buzzards (that's me) had a field day. I had about 6 of these all up and running at one time.

Little or no documentation. No support center. Just hacking around. This was the most fun you could have legally...

:wahoo: 
a c 108 à CPUs
April 2, 2009 12:22:21 AM

My first real job was fighting the Klingon Menace ...




On this bad boy ...




Prior to that it was Punch Card Dot Matrix Porn on JT's mainframe - :lol: 
April 6, 2009 5:31:38 AM

1: Commodore 16, with tape drive

2: Commodore Amiga 1000

3: Commodore Amiga 2000 (originally stock, then '030 and '040)

4: first PC- AMD K5 75 mhz, 32 mb RAM, i built it too...

5: Dual PPro 200

6: Dual Celeron, which was late in its life a dual P3 850

7: Athlon 1.2 Ghz (game system at same time as the P3 850 was my work machine)

8: Single P4 Xeon 3.0 Ghz dell, later upgraded to dual

9: "Pentium Dual Core" 1.8 GHz.

I could add in graphics card data but then we'd go into pages and pages.
April 22, 2009 6:41:34 PM

1. Commodore 64 (Oh YEA!)

2. Acer 486 SX with 1mb 16bit ISA Graphics & 16MB RAM, 400mb HD

3. Pentium II 450Mhz, 16mb AGP RIVA TNT & 128mb SDR, 12GB HD

4. Pentium IV Prescott (Later Pentium D 950) 3.0Ghz, 128mb Geforce 7600GT, 1.0 GB DDR2 RAM, 80Gb HD

5. Phenom II 940 3.4Ghz, Geforce GTX 275, (8800GTX for Physics), 6gb DDR2, 2x 320GB HD's (No RAID)
!