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Thread: My PC past

  1. #1
    I got rid of my floppy disks Xpirate's Avatar
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    Default My PC past

    When I started working with computers in 1993, PC motherboards required at least one expansion card in order to display information to your CRT monitor. If you wanted your PC to have sound, you needed a sound card. Connecting to the outside world required a modem. We had floppy drives, optical CD drives, and hard disk drives. The CPU was installed on a motherboard with a pin grid array socket. Those computers had a special toggle switch to activate "turbo" mode. The turbo switch was there to slow the CPU down. Sometimes a slower CPU was required for some games.

    In some ways, old computers were simpler. The power connectors were all Molex with yellow, red, and black wires. 3.5 inch floppy drives used a smaller version of the connector. The AT power connectors, P8 and P9, were installed with black next to black wires. The 2013 PC I put together required a lot more power connections. Only one of the case fans used the old Molex.

    In other ways, older computers were more complicated. We got to deal with COM port settings and modem initialization strings. We also did more work in the BIOS settings to set the right IRQ for the sound card to work. You had to make sure your serial mouse was not on the same IRQ as the modem. If you wanted to play games, you got to learn how to make multiple settings in your autoexec.bat and config.sys files.

    My first used car cost about $600. I got my first PC used from an individual and it set me back $1000. Several months later, because I could not readily afford it, I had to add a multimedia kit to get a CD ROM and a decent sound card. I also had to replace the floppy drive, so the price was actually even higher. Although I could barely afford it at the time, that PC helped me get started with my software engineering career.

    I really enjoyed working with that old 486DX2 66 MHz with the turbo switch to knock it down to 33 MHz. I used PC's at school, but it did not compare to owning your own. I liked the way you could customize Windows 3.1's colors, sounds, and background. I thought everyone should get to live in their own pixel produced environment the way that I did.

    I liked every upgrade I have had since then, but none of them really compared to that first computer experience. Going from calculators, pencil, paper, and typewriters to the PC world was big. Getting a smart phone and tablet was great, but still not quite the same as my first PC. Those items are just the evolution of personal computers.

    A lot of you guys grew up with computers. My first PC was acquired a few years after I graduated high school. Some of you do not even know what the world was like in the Pre-PC era.

    I took this trip down memory lane because I am getting rid of some old obsolete computer stuff like parallel IDE ribbon cable, floppy drives, and a serial/PS2 combo mouse. Thank you for reading my long post. Feel free to add your past PC experiences.

  2. #2
    Practice random acts of generosity Omega's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    My first real PC was a Pentium 4 with a GeForce 4400 card that was about a mile long, and two SCSI hard drives.



    i5-3570k @ 4.40GHz // R9 380X @ 1020MHz // 2x Samsung 850 EVO SSDs // 2x 2TB HDDs
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  3. #3
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    My first "PC" was an 8088 based system with a HUGE 10MB HDD, and a 5.25" floppy drive.

    My first computer was a VIC 20.

    My fist PC computer "mod" was installing a Motorola CPU based board into one of the IBM PC models to connect with a Data Acquisition cart used during construction and testing of the MD-11 and C17 in Long Beach. I had to do all sorts of things to the chassis to make it acceptable to the safety group and federal groups. Basically had to cut an opening in the top and then add shielding for EMI signals, then repaint the top (no bare metal in the test area).
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  4. #4
    Why must hard drives fail together? TheMainMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    My parents had a Pentium 100/133MHz as the first computer I was allowed to use. There were ones before that but that was the first my sister and I were old enough to use. Running good old Win95. The first computer I bought myself was when I moved out to go to university and was a little more capable with it's Pentium D 930, 4GB RAM, and dual 250GB SATA drives in Raid0. In between those, there were countless old systems that I salvaged from various sources to take apart, rebuild, and sometimes damage, all in the pursuit of self-taught knowledge. It did mean that I really appreciated a good machine when I finally bought one.
    TheMainMan

  5. #5
    . Spawn-Inc's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    my first pc was a Q6600 and still is lol!

    that being said i remember using my dad's 486 with the turbo button and a lock so i couldn't use it when i was grounded and playing doom with my brothers was fun accept i got killed to many times... now i can kick his butt with new games.

    getting a new computer was so exciting when it happened accept for the part where it took 2 days to install all the drivers and software.
    CPU: Q6600 G0 3.5GHz@1.4v (4.2GHz max) / 4790k 4.8ghz @1.265v
    GPU: 9800GTX /GTX780 hydrocopper
    Ram: Samsung 4GB /gskill 16gb DDR3 1600
    Mobo: EVGA-NF68-A1 680i (P32) /AsRock Extreme6
    PSU: Enermax Galaxy 850Watt /EVGA 850 G2
    HDD: OCZ 120GB Vertex4, Samsung evo 840 250GB
    LCD: Samsung 32" LN32A450, Samsung 226BW 22" wide
    Sound: Logtiech Z 5500
    CPU & GPU: 3x Swiftech MCR320, 2x MCP655, MCW60 R2, Dtek Fuzion V2, 18 high speed yates @ 5v

  6. #6
    I got rid of my floppy disks Xpirate's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    Quote Originally Posted by Spawn-Inc View Post
    a lock so i couldn't use it when i was grounded
    I remember those old machines had keyboard locks. I salvaged a few of those round keylocks thinking that I would use them in some kind of electronic project. Since I never used them for anything, I let someone else have them who might actually do something with them.

    I'm pretty sure that those keyboard locks faded away with the move to ATX. The ATX soft switch was really a nice advancement in PC technology.

  7. #7
    If it isn't stock, it's modded! slaveofconvention's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    OK, deep breath.....
    First ever computer was a Commodore VIC-20, followed by a Sinclair Spectrum 128+2
    As for PC's, my dad brought a 486-100 home from work and that got me hooked.
    As for my own "PC" computers...

    Via PR233+ based machine, bought second hand, never worked properly, got stolen in a burglary, I didn't miss it.....

    AMD K6-266 based machine, which I bought brand new, had 32MB of RAM which was, at the time pretty huge because most machines at the time had 8 or if you were lucky, 16. I upgraded the crap outta this thing, over time adding to the RAM until there was a staggering (at the time) 96MB - an ATI Expert@play Video card, with 8MB of ram (again a big deal as the standard card was 4mb lol) and a Soundblaster 5.1 card (which I never got surround speakers for lol), and the CPU ended up as a K6-2 450.

    AMD Athlon 800, Nvdia Geforce 3 Ti200, not sure what the RAM was, later upgraded to a 1300

    AMD Athlon 1700+, reused the Ti200, pretty sure there was 256MB ram in there but not sure. Shortly after this PC my girlfriend at the time moved in, and I gave her that and built myself something based around an athlon 2500.

    Next was a shuttle with an Athlon 64 3000 (754 pin) and a woeful Nvidia 5700 card - graphics were terrible lol, but I think it had 2GB ram.

    Then came the first (and only) intel I've ever owned in a desktop - a Q6700, 8GB ram, Radeon 4870 and this was replaced a year or so ago with an AMD 8120 (I think - it's 8-cores at 3.1 I think) which now sits unused for months and months at a time (room it's in is too packed with junk to get to it lol) while I tap away here on my laptop (which contains the only other intel CPU I ever owned, a core2duo).

    Current Projects: Lobo | Unimatrix | High Voltage | Antec 900 Revamp (Phase 2)
    Completed Projects: General Lee | Synergy Green | Liquid Yellow
    Planned Projects: K-9-PC | Limey

  8. #8
    100% Recycled Pixels. Twigsoffury's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    I remember when it was owning " a " computer, and not what kind or brand.

    I'm not sure what the specs of our first computer was but... I played the crap out of Harrier AV/8B and that was released in 1992 so i'd guess it would be around that time.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AV-8B_Harrier_Assault


    Man, look at those graphics, its almost real!!

  9. #9
    Stupidity feeds my children blueonblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    The first computer I used was in 7th grade, a TRS-80 that stored things on these tiny little magnetic tapes, that thing fascinated me even though all I ever did with it was play Pac Man.

    First computer was a Commodore 16, we couldn't afford the 64. Couldn't run any games on it but we could program music into it note by note and save it on standard (wait for it) cassette tapes. Pretty useless looking back, especially for the price but it got me started.

    High School, no PC at home but the computer labs were filled with Apple IIe systems and one lone Macintosh. Everyone wanted to play with that one because it had a mouse. I remember playing a game called Aztec off a 5 1/4" floppy on the Apple IIe at the library. That game was the bleeding damned edge.

    Flash forward many years without one and I financed $2500 at Best Buy for a Packard Bell with an Intel Pentium 133MHz CPU and 4MB of RAM. Awesome machine. (I still have the monitor and attached speakers from that system.) What it DID have was a modem. That machine introduced me to the Internet. Or at least AOL, which to me at the time was the same thing.

    My girlfriend (now my wife) and I got into AOL while they were still charging by the minute. Our first two months added up to over $400. Just as we were trying to figure out how we were going to cut back on the Internet cocaine AOL dropped their by-the-minute pricing and went unlimited. Freedom!!

    That was the point in time when that 5-note Intel sound was being played approximately every seven seconds on every form of media that included audio. They lost me as a customer for life because of that. My therapist and I still talk about it.

    From there to a Compaq with an AMD K6-2 450. As soon as I upgraded the RAM in that one I knew it was my last factory PC. I've built... lots of them since then, all with AMD CPUs and I've been more than happy with all of them.

    My latest is a Phenom II 1100T, 16GB of RAM, blah blah blah, all absolute voodoo back when I started.

    Hell, most of it is voodoo to me now. When I think of how many novels I can fit on this microSD card laying on my desk I'm in awe.

    It's a great time to be alive.
    “Do not trust people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible, and when I leave you will finally understand why storms are named after people.”

  10. #10
    100% Recycled Pixels. Twigsoffury's Avatar
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    Default Re: My PC past

    Quote Originally Posted by blueonblack View Post
    That was the point in time when that 5-note Intel sound was being played approximately every seven seconds on every form of media that included audio. They lost me as a customer for life because of that. My therapist and I still talk about it.

    bahahahhahahaha

    =)

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