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Re: My first computer was...

by ambrus (Abbot)
on Sep 11, 2010 at 20:50 UTC ( #859776=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to My first computer was...

I keep saying that this is a nice nostalgic thread, but never posted about my first computer, so here's the story.

The first computer we had at home was a 386 PC. We, of course, only had one for the whole family. We got it when I was very young (like less than three years old) but we had it for a very long time (till I was more than twelve – I don't know the exact years). I also played games on the Commodore 64 computers in the school (and later some PCs), and on another Commodore at a friend.

Later, we got a newer machine, a Pentium, and even later a second Pentium which I could then consider mine. That second Pentium is what I'm thinking back the most happily. I installed SUSE Linux from CDs I brought home from the school, learning about it from schoolmates. I had to fit everything on a 2 gigabyte hard disk, which was divided like this: 1 gigabyte for DOS and Windows 3.1, 50 megabyte for Windows 95 OSR2 (a compressed partition, and booting it from a separate floppy), 720 megabytes for Linux, and 128 megabytes of swap (twice the amount of RAM). The Linux partition was so small I barely fit on it, and I remember I had to remove big programs to install others from the CD. (There was plenty of space on the DOS partitions, I only used at most 750 megs of it, but partition resizing wouldn't have been so easy at that time.) There was no way to make backups, as we couldn't yet have CD burners at home. There was also only expensive dialup internet, so I brought some software home from school using a 300 meg mobile hard disk. That was the time I learnt the most about Linux and stuff like that.

Later, I got a Compaq computer with a Pentium II CPU. That computer was a real wonder of the time. It was so much faster than the Pentium. Some years after that, home computers got cheap so after the Celeron P4 computer after that, I got so many different ones, each better than the previous one. The improvement between each and the next one, while significant, was never so important in practice to me as the one between the PII and the Pentium. The Pentium was slow, the PII was fast enough to run any software I actually need (like xterm or Netscape), but the first P4 was only better in that I could also run such complicated software fast that I didn't even need (like gnome etc), and the later ones only kept up with how software got more and more complicated.

Some other stuff I used in some time during these are an Epson FX 850 (9 pin) matrix printer; and a notebook with a 286 cpu and 2 meg of RAM whose end was its hard disk dying; and a Nintendo Game boy.

Incidentally, as the computers got better, the keyboards are getting worse and worse. Back with the 386s and the Pentiums, we were using IBM keyboards (101 key ones with US-English layout printed on them and Hungarian layout put on it with stickers). Then I used a Compaq keyboard I got with the Compaq for very long, and it was almost as good as a real IBM one. I didn't throw it away till I worn it out (at the end the one of the new motherboards had problem with it – perhaps they didn't test it with an AT socket keyboard plugged into the PS2 port with a converter). Since then, I'm using worse and worse keyboards. If I ever get rich, I'll buy IBMs again.

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[marto]: hey Corion, good weekend?
[Corion]: marto: Yeah, even though I didn't write any code :)
[Corion]: But at least I have a plan of action to move the site to https, played some (free!) VR games with friends and watched the plans for the next German Perl workshop progress ;)
[Corion]: AltSpace VR is amazingly good - highly polished and with some of the games you get for free what you'd pay EUR 20 or EUR 40 otherwise
[Corion]: But maybe it's also due to that I play with friends, which makes a game more enjoyable anyway ;)
[Corion]: Oh - I released a new version of some module, thanks to a pull request. But I don't consider "update Makefile.PL" and "update author tests" as "writing code" ;-D

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