This was back around 1990. The PC was not spectacular by the standards of that day but it was still a ‘good enough’ PC. I even brought that machine with me to Germany while I was in the Army.
Prior to this PC I had owned a C-64, that’s a Commodore 64 (not 128) for you youngins out there! That computer had one floppy drive though I always wanted the Lt. Kernel hard drive expansion.
At any rate, I was working at Winthrop Printing Company in South Boston in the pre-press department and I spent my breaks hanging out with the guy in charge of the computer room. they had a VAX machine down there that I used via a dumb terminal in the storage room, more about that in a later post.
One day Jay, the guy from the computer room, was telling me how he had just built himself a new computer from parts. I think it was a 16mhz machine with a CGA graphics card! During this conversation he convinced me to go out with him that night to his parts supplier and build my own PC.
That night we met his supplier… You know those guys in movies that wear the big trench coat that when they open it up it is full of watches? That was the guy except the inside of his trench coat was filled with computer parts! The bigger stuff he kept in his car.
When I left there, $100 poorer, I had a PC.
- IBM “true blue” 4.77mhz XT motherboard
- 640K RAM
- 5 1/4 floppy drive
- 10MB Hard Card (hard drive + controller in one ISA card)
- Hercules (monochrome) vide card
- IBM case
- “Green” screen monochrome monitor
There was some version of DOS installed on the hard drive but, if you booted without the hard drive you would boot right into QBasic!
I later purchased a “paper-white” (black and white) VGA monitor and an Orchard video card ($125!!!). I would have gotten a color VGA monitor but this was 1990 and those things were expensive!
I had a lot of fun with that machine and it served me well for a few years.
I later replaced it with a 286 I built while in Germany. That machine was sold and I purchased a 486 when I arrived back in the states. That was later replaced with an AMD K6-2 machine that died of motherboard problems (damn computer fair suppliers).
Most of my work is now done on a Gateway Laptop with a 1.3 (?) GHz Celeron chip. I need to get a new PC and the wife and I are discussing it. The current question is Mac or PC.
PS: I’m throwing down the gauntlet! Blog about your first PC on your blog and link back to this post. I’ll take the top five best stories and link to them in a new post next week.