Your computer history

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Thought it might be interesting to see everyone PC upgrading over the years. Here's mine:


1) In the early 80's my family bought a TRS-80 as our first computer - was mostly used for its cartridge games.


2) 1989-1994 XT 5 Mhz CPU 640K RAM 20 MB Hard Drive 14" monochrome monitor (added a CGA adapter video card later)


I quickly realized I needed a CGA adapter from ATI to be able to play any games - but it was unnerving to only see a yellow color so I really wanted to upgrade plus Bill Gates was wrong - we really did need more than 640K RAM :)


3) 1994-1997 386 40 Mhz CPU 4 MB RAM 170 MB Hard Drive 15" VGA monitor


Although it had a short usage due to its lack of a CD drive (and a DOS/Windows 3.1 OS), this workhorse still worked very well when I finally threw it out 16 years later (wish I could say that for all my computers)


4) 1997-2002 Pentium II 266 Mhz CPU 32 MB RAM (later upgraded to 128 MB) 3 GB HD (later added another 8 GB one) 4 MB video card


This computer needed upgrades to to continue to be useful - but it was REALLY sputtering near the end of its lifetime.


5) 2002-2009 Dell Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz CPU 1 GB RAM 200 GB HD (later upgraded to 250 under warranty after 2nd failure :( ) 128 MB video card


I'm glad I had an extended warranty on this one - during it the monitor, 2 fans and 2 Hard Drives were replaced. Surprised it lasted as long as it did, but I sold it to my parents after I realized the graphics card would soon fail with my heavy usage - it did last another 2.5 years with them.


6) 2009-Present HP Core i7 2.66 Ghz CPU 9 GB RAM 1 TB HD 1 GB video card


Surprisingly still not obsolete - though I suspect the graphics card is either on its last legs or is obsolete as a couple of my games don't work on this computer. Not sure I can upgrade the GTS 250 graphics card or not as I only have a 440 W Power supply.


7) 2011-Present HP Core i5 laptop 6 GB RAM 750 GB HD 1 GB video card


I really notice the slower CPU power vs my current desktop, but at least those games that don't work on my desktop do work on this one.

Edited by Sharpe

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Hrmm... my memory is gonna get hazy on the specifics in the late 90's and early 2000's, but here's a go at this:


1) Atari 800 (1.8 MHz processor, 8 kb memory), purchased in 1981.

My father actually owned an original apple PC well before the Atari, but I was too young to have ever used it. This was my own first PC.


2) Atari ST (8 MHz processor, 512 kb memory), purchased in 1986.


3) i486 PC (50 MHz processor, 4-8?? mb memory), purchased in 1992.


4) Pentium II(?) PC (~300 MHz processor, ??? memory), purchased in 1998.

This was the first PC I ever personally owned, which I took with me to college.


* A variety of incremental upgrades to PC #4 over the next near-decade part-by-part as money was available, motherboards died, and obsolescence was reached for running the latest software.


5) P4 I think? PC (~1.3 GHz processor, ??? gb memory), purchased I think in 2003 or 2004 with money I made teaching.

I have only the most vague memory of the specifics of this machine, as I upgraded it part-by-part over the succeeding years - especially with new graphics cards.


6) Custom-built i5 PC (~2.7 GHz processor, 16 gb memory), purchased in 2011.

This is my current PC (I've never upgraded it) and it was good enough to run Skyrim when that game came out the same year. It's been 4 years, though, so I'm starting to think about at least a graphics card upgrade (current card is nVidia - I forget which model).


I suppose you could also count #7 as the laptop I purchased for my wife that I'm typing on from bed right now. Purchased in 2013 when my wife started working from home, it has an i5 processor (~1.8 GHz) and 6 GB of ram along with an on-board intel graphics card.

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:eek: Dates and exact specs will be very fuzzy, especially in my PC era, but here goes!


Summer 1978: Dad brings home Commodore Pet from the office for the summer holiday. I hope he didn't intend to do some work on it, because my brother and I commandeered it for hours, days and weeks at a time! I think we bought some games for it, but the majority of the time was spent typing in games program listings from magazines which never seemed to run in the end! My best game memory was a game called Androids. Simple, but fun! I remember trying to sleep with bright green images burnt into my retinas! ;)




Xmas 1978: Dad learns from his mistake and gets us an Atari VCS system! First games were Combat and Space Invaders (I think), but favourite was Adventure - hours of fun! Can't remember how many joysticks we waggled to destruction! That's a man trying to dodge his way past a green dragon to get to a black key for all you spoiled youngsters! ;)




1980: Too much game playing, not enough programming (moan, moan, moan), so Dad buys us the cutting edge of home computing - the Sinclair ZX80! A whole 1k of RAM to play with with this big boy and a black and white display to admire. More tape games that would only load if The Sun, Mars and Jupiter were in alignment, meant that the majority of the 'fun' was had typing (hammering) in more magazine listings that failed to run, even when checked and rechecked with a fine tooth comb! :rant: 'Touch' sensitive keyboard was very futuristic, shame it was bloody aweful!

Only game memory was of a game called Maze. How's that for VR quality!




1982: While my geek friends got Commodore VIC20s and ZX Spectrums, we upgraded to the very sensible BBC Micro. 32k, 8 glorious colours and 4 channels of sound, meant we moved into the golden age of computer gaming, oh and did a lot more 'programming'. Actually, I think we started to write some home grown programs at this stage as BBC Micro Basic was quite good and the keyboard on these things actually worked! Still stuck in the tape era (from memory), but that didn't stop having oodles of fun with this beast of a computer! Favourite game by a country mile was Elite, but have genre defining memories of Wings (first flight sim), Revs (first racing sim) and Colossal Caves (first text adventure).





1984: First self purchased computer! Many hours of paper rounds, cleaning up at the local fish and chip shop and lugging 20kg bags of potatoes paid for this bad boy. Twice the memory of the BBC Micro and a choice of tape or cartridge games (mostly tape). Abandoned all pretense of programming as every spare hour was spent pounding that joystick (no smart comments Rhoth or Nugog! :p ). Far too many favourites to mention, but the C64 saw my introduction to martial arts and sports, in a virtual sort of way! ;)

I think my favourite two were an introduction to tactical shooters - Laser Squad, and fiendish puzzle/platformer games - Boulderdash




1986: In full time work now, but one visit to a friends house and seeing his Commodore Amiga was enough to convince me to rush out and blow a few weeks wages on one! See that slot on the side? That's a bloody disk drive, and games loaded in a matter of seconds, rather than hours, and reliably too! I usually blew all my wages up the pub on payday, so the rest of the average week was spent playing a series of awesome games, including Championship Manager (still play to this day), Dungeon Master (suffered a week long 'sicky' when I got this one (at least I had huge bags under my eyes when I went back to work)), Lemmings (best game ever?) and Grand Prix.




1992: I must have been immersed in my career, or maybe it was booze, or maybe it was women, maybe I was juggling all three as best a young man can, but I failed to make another computer purchase until the very beginning of 1992. I treated myself to my first PC as a late Xmas present. I've no idea what the spec was, but I think it was a 286 or maybe even a 386 based machine. I know that I was super intimidated going into a shop and selecting from a list of components that I didn't know much about. I ended up spending 1500 pounds or thereabouts and being very chuffed with my purchase - it was huge!

I'm not sure what nudged me in the direction of PC gaming, maybe it was the cool boxes or the even cooler manuals inside said boxes, but I still have a vivid memory of walking into a little games shop just round the corner from where I worked and, for some reason, purchasing Railroad Tycoon and Civilization on these weird 5.25 inch floppy disks! The rest, as they say, is history! I bought both games based on the blurb on the back of the box and the size of the manuals inside, but that the gaming gods that I did, because this changed my gaming habits for ever!




1992 to present: Most new chip iterations saw another 1500 pounds being churned into another computer every 18 months or so. Friends and family benefited from my tech wave surfing obsession for a while, until I gradually slipped off the top of the wave and things like cars, then property and real life demanded more of the bank balance. When I moved to NZ the computer upgrade cycle slipped to approx once every three years as graphics mattered less and depth mattered more. The Civ series ruled supreme, but strategy in general became the focal point of my gaming life. Wargames, football management and RPGs now form my quartet of gaming. Laptops drifted in and out of my computer owning life on a number of occasions, one of my favourite being a tiny Sony one FeMme and I took with us across Asia for a year. Another favourite computer memory is playing Civ2 in the Indian Himalayas during monsoon season as it bucketed it down outside. The only things that stopped us from playing was having to brave the weather to go out to eat and the battery running out as the hour long power cuts brought and end to a session! Such fun!


2012: A very generous Xmas present from my boss introduced me to the iPad 2 and truly mobile computing. I've dabbled in iPad gaming and quickly upgraded to an iPad mini when it came out, but I still gravitate to my trusty desktop to play serious games, especially during the NZ winters.




The future?: Oculus Rift and Elite Dangerous just might see me waving Kansas goodbye, although there will always be a place in my heart for a good strategy game......




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Feb 3rd, 1984 - the first run of the PC jr arrived at my home. From there, it has just gone down hill.....

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My earliest memory of a computer in my house was a 486.

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We didn't get a PC at home before the late 90s. I played Commander Keen and Doom at a couple friends', else I had NES and later some friends had SNES.


First PC was an extremely old PC, a 286 I think, which my dad bought from his work for way over market price in 1996. He didn't know better. It had no Windows and it turned out it was full of virus.


Second PC was a Packard Bell in late 1997 with a Pentium MMX 166 MHz CPU, Win95 and 2.1 GB HDD. Packard Bell is the worst piece of **** ever to grace the planet. It was so unstable, and parts kept going broke.


Third PC was a Compaq (I think) in 1999. WinME ( :mad: ), Pentium II 266 MHz and IIRC 14 GB HDD.


Fourth was a Dell, in 2001 or 2002. Pentium IV, WinXP, GeForce 4 I think, don't remember for sure. It was a great PC, lasted for years.


Later I got a horrible laptop from an unknown company, mid 2005. I demanded my money back a few months later, worst piece of **** after the Packard Bell.:p Don't remember the specs, but it was mid range for the time.


In 2006 I built my own desktop, Intel Quad processor line, 8 GB DDR2, ATi HD3670 graphics and two 750 GB HDDs, Windows Vista, later 7. Dual screens.


In january 2011, the power supply died on this machine and I had to replace almost all my parts. Ended up with an Intel i7 2600 CPU, 16 GB DDR3, ATi HD6870, a 140 GB SSD + two 1 TB HDDs. Later bought a bigger SSD, 240 GB. Kept one of the 750 GB HDDs, the other died and wasn't replaced. Kept the screens, but one was replaced not long before the power supply died. Got Win 8.1 last year on it.


I also have a mid range Acer laptop when I wrote my master thesis in 2012, which I now let my mum use, as she need it more than me. Intel i5, 8 GB RAM, GeForce GT 630M, Win 8.1.


As for consoles, which is relevant I guess:


1991 or 1992: NES

1993: GameBoy

1997 or so: GameBoy Color

2001 or so: Gameboy Advance

2001 or 2002: PlayStation 2

2004 or so: Nintendo DS

2006: Nintendo Wii

2006: PlayStation 3

2011: Nintendo 3DS

2012: WiiU

2012: Nintendo 3DS XL (the old 3DS was too small for my hands, horrible to hold...)

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Wow Penry, nice write up.


My history is longer and starts with sitting in front of my first computer in 1968 at an Air Force air show in a large blue semi-trailer.


What does a ten-year old boy get for his birthday in 1972? A ten-speed bicycle? :eager: No. :( A programmable calculator, yes. ;)

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Thanks Spaced!


If you felt like writing up your computer history in full, I'd be really interested to read all about it.

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No idea on dates:


Atari 2600


Apple IIE, I recall the Adventure Construction Set and Newsroom as my favorite programs.




Unknown macintosh (II G maybe?) gifted to us to get my wife through college. Don't think we had anything but appleworks/whatever word processor on it.


PS1, rented for some reason, then bought one. Tomb Raider and FFVII were the selling points.


Windows 98 machine, think it was a sony, 98-2000 somewhere. Civilization II was purchased before we bought the machine. Diablo II become my home on that thing for a few years.


PS2 at launch in 2000.


Dont remember when we updated to the XP machine...


PS3 when they announced they were not going to support PS2 retro support anymore. (year or two after launch.)


Windows 7 laptop, sony purchased about 6 years ago because desktop gaming doesn't fit our new house.


Windows 8 laptop for the wife purchased a little while ago.


Wii a couple years back for the kids to use downstairs, doubles as the netflix machine in the basement.


Windows 8 desktop given to us, kids homework computer, replacing the XP machine.

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Wii doesn't do Netflix. Sure it's not a WiiU?

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Huh, must have changed since I got my WiiU then.:) I stand corrected.

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Huh, must have changed since I got my WiiU then.:) I stand corrected.


Don't remember if the WiiU was out quite yet when we got it, but the fact it could run netflix was more a selling point than the games.

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