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How Old is Your HOME PC?

Tony Alicea
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
How old is your home PC?
Let's do a contest of who's got the oldest working (as in used every day) home PC.
Mine turned 6 years old exactly this month of Oct 2001.
It's an original Pentium 133. Although I bought it with less hardware than I have now, it now has 96MB of RAM and 3 hard drives: two 1.6MB, and one 2.1MB.
When I bought it in 1995, I ordered all the "extras" that would make it run the fastest possible: EDO RAM, VRAM (Video RAM) for the video card which also was extra, and pipelined-burst cache memory (256K) versus the cheaper and slower cache memory of the time.
It ran fast for a long time in part because I do not have any of those garbage programs running in the background that don't do anything useful and instead steal CPU cycles and take up memory.
An indication of those are the number of icons you have on the system tray at the bottom right of your screen (Windows).
I do use a relatively stable OS: Windows NT4, SP6A. Will not install 2000 for resources reasons.
It was in this PC that I taught myself HTML4, CSS, JavaScript and then (drum roll...) JAVA! The JDK runs just fine integrated with TextPad for the editing, compiling and execution of java source files.
Only in the last year has my home PC begun showing it's age.
Programs that are noticeably slower: Internet Explorer 5.5, HomeSite 4.5 (HTML authoring tool), Netbeans 3.2 Java IDE (VERY slow).
I also notice now more than ever, Web sites with pages charged with FLASH, animated GIFs and yes, there are still many Java applets out there that we don't even know run on our PCs bringing us joy without the risks of Microsoft's Active-X components.
A year ago I got DSL and it seemed like my PC gained new life with the corresponding increase in Internet bandwidth. I postponed buying a new one then.
Now by December I want a new one (don't you think I deserve a Medal of some kind for waiting this long while earning decent money as a Java programmer ?)
I will not buy a new one until I solve, at least on paper, the problem of transferring everything that I have on this PC, to the new one.
This, because I have in this PC stuff that goes back to 1992 which I transferred from two computers since, this one being the third to hold that information, and I don't want to lose it.
Yes, I have had a tape backup since day one but I need a better way.
The solution seems to be to find a PARALLEL or SERIAL port CD-RW that can record CD-R too (of course) and save everything I want on to those, and then when I get the new PC, transfer the files to it. Of course I wand DVD and CD-RW capability in the new PC.
My mission now is to find an external CD-RW drive with parallel or serial port capabilities
I hope they still make them!

Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
hi tony,
well, my oldest "working computer" is a Commodore 64! 16 or 17 years old... 2 floppy drives and a tape drive. it is in the closet, though.
other than that, i have a PI, 133 with 32M RAM and a 2.5G hdd... i formatted it a couple months ago because of some problems it had and now i found out that the processor is fried. it was 5 years old. i think i will buy a processor and turn it into an exclusive linux machine.
so, my current every day computer is the one i built last year. it is a AMD Athlon, 850Mhz, 30G hdd (5 partitions), 384M Ram and i run win98, win2000 and RedHat 7.1.
when i formatted the old 133 machine, i put the old hdd in my new 850 and copied what i wanted to keep first... i even formatted the old hdd while it was in my new machine.
i also bought an external CD-RW from Sony last year... it is USB, though, so i could not use it with my old 133.


what?
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4347
    
    2

i run a pentium 133 here too. i bought extras for it like a 10 gig HD and a promise 66 controller card and a usb port card for my new scanner and a RW CD drive
i obviously need a new puter too. i plan to handle it by physically moving my new HD to the new puter. that is my plan anyway
[This message has been edited by Randall Twede (edited October 27, 2001).]


SCJP
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Ashik Uzzaman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370

My Pentium 233 at 1997 October ... so 4 years....

------------------
Muhammad Ashikuzzaman (Fahim)
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java� 2 Platform
--When you learn something, learn it by heart!


Ashik Uzzaman
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.com, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 2164
My pentium 233 is three years old (128 MBRam with WindowsNT, Windows 95 and Suse Linux).
Will buy new one this year with at least 512 MB Ram. But I suffer under severe nothing-should-get-lost-paranoia like Tony.
In my company-Laptop there are 128 MB of extra Ram waiting to be installed by the admins together with Windows 2000. And since 3 weeks I am postponing the operation. The only thing I have to do is to copy all my files to the network, but for me its something threateningly. Perhaps I am getting conservative.
If we want to work with Java IDEs and J2EE Servers we need RAM, RAM, RAM.

have a nice day
Axel

[This message has been edited by Axel Janssen (edited October 27, 2001).]
Tony Alicea
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Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
Axel: I also have dual boot with Windows 95. The original OS that came with the Quantex (RIP) PC in Oct 1995. Hey! I got Windows 95 in 1995! Ha ha!
I only boot it about once a month to run some games that don't run on Win NT4.
For about a year+ it was the only OS that I had in my PC. I think I bought NT4 a few months after it came out (hmm... what year did it come out?)

Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
"If we want to work with Java IDEs and J2EE Servers we need RAM, RAM, RAM. "
I should have mentioned that too! Actually that is the main reason I need a modern PC.
BTW, six years ago I was on top of the hardware tech news and knew what was the fastest if also expensive HW.
What is the deal now? I read that AMD CPUs can be faster than equally-rated MHz-wise Intel Pentium 4s.
What Memory is the fastest? Bus speed?
Do you think that Dell is doing a good job of matching CPUs with the appropriate bus speed and RAM speed? If the RAM is slow enough then there's no reason to have a very fast CPU. Am I in the ballpark here?
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
tony,
i am not the best to give you advice about hardware, but i can tell you this:
when i bought my AMD Athlon, i researched prices/performance. i found that the AMD was just as good as the Intel (for the price). however, now i have heard (and experienced) that the AMD overheats more often than the Intel... my AMD Slot-A CPU has been overheating no matter how i tried to cool it (short of a chilled-water system). so, now i am thinking of buying an Intel just to see if it works any better.
that said, i have 2 Dell desktops at work... one is a PIII, 1Ghz and the other is a Celeron, 700Mhz. i have not had any problems with either one (yet). i have both on the network, sharing the DSL connection. i do all of my web/Java development on the 1Ghz and use the 700Mhz for other office applications. other than the occasional Windows crash, all is well.
if you are going to buy a complete machine from a store/vendor, i would definitely recommend Dell. if you are going to build a machine, i would suggest researching compatibility/overheating more than i did last year.
i believe you are correct: no matter how fast your CPU is, if you do not have enough RAM, it is not going to be any faster. i noticed a definite difference when i upgraded my 850Mhz AMD Athlon from 256 to 384 Meg. the main differences were in application load-time and DVD performance. besides, RAM is getting to be relatively cheap... so you might as well start with 256 (or more).
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Well, since my children managed to pull all the wires out of the PC last week-end (you know the ones that are NOT supposed to be removable ) I have NO working pc at home right now. However it is about 4 years old - a Pentium 133 mhz with 32 meg of ram.
< sigh> wish we could afford a shiny NEW one. . . . .


"JavaRanch, where the deer and the Certified play" - David O'Meara
Dharmesh Chheda
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 08, 2001
Posts: 204
My first PC which i had purchased 5 years ago was a 486 w/o multimedia and had 1.2GB Hdd and 8MB of RAM.. then it finally gave up after 4 years .. ...i replaced it with P166 with 82 MB RAM and now just a week back i replaced the whole thing with P3 866 512 RAM n stuff

regards,<br />Dharmesh Chheda
Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944

I have an IBM PC-XT!
Here is the specification:
- Intel 8088 processor w/ blazing speed of 4Mhz!!
- 640KB of memory
- Monochrome Hercules graphics card inserted in a
8 bit ISA slot
-(2) 5 1/2 Floppy Disk Drive
- DOS 2.0
I also have great games that comes with my PC:
- Dig Dug
- Load Runner (Broderbound)
- Test Drive (Accolade)
- Zaxxon
- California, Winter, and Summer Games
- King's Quest 1,2,3,4 (Sierra)
- Spy Hunter
- Art of War
- Bushido
- Windows 95! (just kiddin... he he)
- and some other games with C-brain virus on them..
Wasabe King


Anonymous
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
I forgot to mention its age. My dad bought it like in 1983
So its about 18 years old....
Greg Harris
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
Originally posted by Wasabe King:

- California, Winter, and Summer Games
- Spy Hunter

outstanding games! i have these for my Commodore... along with
- Spy vs. Spy
- Impossible Mission (not mission impossible)
- Raid Over Moscow
Joe McGuire
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 19, 2001
Posts: 293
I'm still plugging away on my Frankenstein PC, some components dating back to 1994 (monitor and case). The power supply finally gave out last month, so I just replaced that.
IBM AT with Epox MB, AMD K7 400MHz chip (1998). Most peripherals are 1997. SCSI controller, which takes quite a load off of the cpu, and 512 MB lets me run Windows 2000 and WebLogic Server on it pretty well. Seagate Cheetah and Baracuda drives, Plextor CD. So it's probably one of the fastest Pentium-1 compatibles around.
It's reached the end of the line in terms of upgrades, so I've slowly begun to put together a new PC (my wife only lets me get one piece every paycheck!). Here's what I have so far:
- Lian Li aluminum case, with Enermax 430 watt power supply.
- Gigabyte GA7DXR DDR MB with AMD Northbridge, IDE RAID controller
- AMD 1800+ Palamino cpu
- Pioneer S106 DVD
Still need to get the ram, video card, and hard drives (I'm thinking Maxtor Diamond Max 60s, in a RAID 0).
So maybe by Christmas, if I'm lucky. The old Frankenstein will become the kids' gaming machine.
Junaid Bhatra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 27, 2000
Posts: 213
Tony,
I think it might be hard to find an external serial/parallel port CD-R drive. As far as I know, external drives come in 3 flavors: USB, SCSI, Firewire(IEEE 1394).
Originally posted by Tony Alicea:

My mission now is to find an external CD-RW drive with parallel or serial port capabilities
I hope they still make them!


[This message has been edited by Junaid Bhatra (edited October 29, 2001).]
Tony Alicea
Desperado
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3222
    
    5
Junaid: Last Sunday I ordered just that from computers4sure.com: Micro Solutions Backpack Parallel port CD-RW for $175.
lehmanra
Greenhorn

Joined: May 08, 2001
Posts: 27
I have a 8085 suit case clone that still works!!!
Bought it over 10 years ago.....


Richard A Lehman
Junaid Bhatra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 27, 2000
Posts: 213
Tony: Cool! I didn't know they still make those
 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: How Old is Your HOME PC?