Sunday, August 05, 2007

Owning computers over the years

Over the years, I’ve owned a lot of personal computers. It’s useful to run down the list.

1981, Dec. Radio Shack TRS-80 (“Trash 80”) with a Radio Shack dot-matrix printer, $3700. Did buy assembler language for it and an old word-processor.
(64 byte black-and-white monitor).

1985 AT&T 6300, MS-DOS, 20 meg hard drive, from Sears, with Q&A for word-processing, spreadsheet, and database.. About $2500.

1985, soon after. HP laser printer, about $2200.

1988, Dec. AST Research, 286 machine, MS-DOS, monochrome, 40 meg, and RBase (the first DBMS that offered SQL; Ashton-Tate would follow soon with dBase4. About $1900. Soon got Word Perfect.

1992 Sept. Everex Laptop, 386 machine, MS-DOS, with Windows 3.1. Had double-space on harddrive, which turned out to be buggy by reports, although I didn’t have trouble with it. Later a friend gave me a Linux system that would boot on it from a 1.4 floppy. (This is Tom’s Root Boot, here: Tom was running a web server on a 386 machine in the early 1990s.

1993 Dec. IBM PS/1 486 machine (I think), color, used Word Perfect and dBase4. Had Windows 3.1 but some applications had to be started directly without it. Started using AOL in August, 1994, at 2400 baud.

1995 Summer. Erols, with Windows 3.1. Wrote by first book on it, using all of Microsoft office. About $1600

1995, Nov. NEC laptop, little use. Internet could work at 56000 baud dialup.

1997, Sept. Compaq laptop, Windows 95. About $2800. The first two machines (from BestBuy) had defective power supplies, but the third one still runs without a hitch twelve years later.

1998, April custom built destop with Windows 98, built by University Computers in St. Paul, MN, for about $1350. Dialup at 56000. Added Earthlink and Netscape to AOL with IE. Did most of my web maintenance on this machine for four years. Hard drive replaced (with all data copied) in early 2000. Modem failed in 2002.

2000 HP laptop with Windows 98, about $2400.

2001 Sony Vaio micro-desktop with Windows ME (a disaster), about $2700. Added XP Pro in June 2002. Still have, but modem has failed and hard drive is failing.

2002, Feb. MacIntosh iMac. Has Moviemaker. About $2800 incl. cloned version of Office. Not as stable as I hoped, and DVD burner was buggy. Finally got high speed (Time Warner and Earthlink) Internet in Aug. 2002.

2003 Sept. Dell Moviemaker 8300 with XP Home. About $2700 with the extras. Still use heavily. Got Comcast high speed immediately.

2006 June. Dell Inspiron, about $1700 with extras, XP Pro. Downloaded free Express Visual Studio.

As real estate goes up, computers come down. They fill up landfills with toxic heavy metals (as in the film "Manufactured Landscapes" -- see my movies blog for July), and starting in 2004 I used recycling drives organized by NBC4 for some of them. Of course, if there were a pandemic flu epidemic in the Far East, I wonder what would happen.

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