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(Some Guy)   "14.4k modems are on the way out and 28.8 is in. I'd tend toward 28.8 for about an extra $100, but a 14.4 is pretty quick and will capably handle email." And you thought you Comcast connection was bad   (therelativelyinterestingblog.blogspot.com) divider line 118
    More: Amusing, Comcast, home computers, desktop computers, CD-ROM, compton, terabytes, Netscape Navigator, computer users  
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9436 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Feb 2012 at 11:48 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-24 05:10:28 AM
My first modem was a 150 baud for a C-64. It was about $150...couldn't afford the fast 300 baud version. You could actually watch the characters come up on the screen one at a time.

It plugged right into the computer! Much higher tech than the "acoustic-coupled" models you used to dial up the mainframe from the campus computer center.

...which was still faster than the card reader.
 
2012-02-24 06:50:20 AM
That 486 they are talking about in the article is undoubtedly a DX2. The internal cache is running at 66MHz but the buses are all running at 33MHz. So for some operations that can be loaded entirely into the L2 cache, it's blazing (at the time), but once you his a page exception, you're going to pay for it trying to load that data from RAM.
 
2012-02-24 09:11:19 AM
Sweet! Now I can play Command and Conquer against other people online!
 
2012-02-24 09:14:27 AM
Did my first consulting work as a snot-nosed sophomore in high school back in '79 on one of these:

archive.computerhistory.org

My lawn. Get off of it.
 
2012-02-24 09:16:37 AM
FTFA: I remember my first computer well... It was an IBM Ambra, with a 25MHz processor, 4MB of RAM and a 220 Megabyte hard drive. There was no sound, no video card, and no CD-ROM. Later, we upgraded to 8MB of RAM for $450, and then added a sound card and CD-ROM "multimedia package" for about $600

Wha?
 
2012-02-24 09:35:32 AM
My first PC was a 4.77mhz IBM PC with 2 (yes TWO!) 360K floppies and 256K of RAM. IIRC, it cost about $3000 in 1982.

Please insert disk with DOS 1.1 in drive A, close the door and press ENTER.

C:\GETOFF\MYLAWN.COM
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-02-24 09:47:23 AM
I started with one of the first TRS-80s and later upgraded to level 2 BASIC (12K+16K ROM+RAM instead of 4K+4K). I didn't have a computer in college. There were plenty of shared computers around campus.

One-gigabyte hard drives are common this year, compared with the 400-500 megabyte drives of 1994.

Sadly I was unable to acquire a 400 MB hard drive when MIT retired them. These were ~40 pound differential SCSI drives made by IBM. Really impressive at the time. They replaced washing machine size RA81(?) drives hooked up to VAX 11/750s, and were replaced by internal drives in newer computers.

multimedia package

I remember when usenet and magazines were full of ads for "multimedia" PCs, which were just PCs with sound cards.
 
2012-02-24 10:03:03 AM

UberDave: Sweet! Now I can play Command and Conquer against other people online!



I'm having flashbacks to the summer of '97.

/That game was beyond addictive.
 
2012-02-24 10:04:15 AM
oddly enough, I know someone who just upgraded to to cable modem late last year. He was one of the last people on dial-up.
 
2012-02-24 10:06:35 AM

markie_farkie: My lawn. Get off of it.


Oh man, I remember that old thermal beast. Used to play Cave/Adventure on it. Good good times.
 
2012-02-24 10:09:02 AM

SJKebab: FTFA: I remember my first computer well... It was an IBM Ambra, with a 25MHz processor, 4MB of RAM and a 220 Megabyte hard drive. There was no sound, no video card, and no CD-ROM. Later, we upgraded to 8MB of RAM for $450, and then added a sound card and CD-ROM "multimedia package" for about $600

Wha?


On-board video only. Which, at the time, likely meant "16 colors, zero hardware acceleration, can't play DOOM".
 
2012-02-24 10:20:06 AM
ok.. i think they're over stating the prices of things based on what i remember
 
2012-02-24 10:24:24 AM
My first was 1200 baud but we quickly got a 2400 baud and that made a world of difference.
 
2012-02-24 11:25:46 AM
My family's first "computer" was an Atari 800XL; my father went the extra mile and picked up the external tape drive, and eventually an external floppy drive for it. This was early 80s.

By the early 90s, we'd moved up to some generic 486 PC. Always staying on the cutting edge, we were one of the first families on the block with a 9600 bps modem (once had a sysop from a local bbs compliment me on it). Around '91 Dad signed us up for the Prodigy online service, which was the first time I really played around with online stuff & not coincidentally the first time I discovered online porn.

Ahh, good times.
 
2012-02-24 11:49:08 AM

Kazan: ok.. i think they're over stating the prices of things based on what i remember


For the longest time, I kept a purchase order from a Compaq 386/25 that I bought as a corporate file server around 1990 or so. It was fully loaded with a 300MB HDD and somewhere around 1Gb of RAM (via 2 huge memory expansion boards). I wish I'd kept that PO around.

The price with a monochrome display was somewhere around $31K

The funny thing is that despite it's incredibly puny specs compared to a modern file server, it managed to provide file/print/directory services to 100 users with no problem. (Banyan VINES FTW)
 
2012-02-24 11:54:39 AM
Computers\Technology in general are a necessity in this day and age, but the one of the worst investments you can make.

This is why I hate Apple.
 
2012-02-24 11:56:47 AM
Subby, don't you mean "you're Comcast connection"?

...
 
2012-02-24 11:57:03 AM
Harv72b
Around '91 Dad signed us up for the Prodigy online service, which was the first time I really played around with online stuff & not coincidentally the first time I discovered online porn.

Vintage joke:
How do you know your husband's into online porn? He makes you lie naked on the bed and then take ten minutes to pull the sheet off you.

There was also an episode of Beast Wars (Beasties for you Canucks) where one character describes the bad guys as "3 gigs of attitude on a 2-gig hard drive".

I am so old.
 
2012-02-24 11:58:45 AM

mr_a: the "acoustic-coupled" models


4.bp.blogspot.com

Yeah, that's right. I once watched that movie.
 
2012-02-24 12:03:45 PM
i331.photobucket.com

Yo. Check this out guys, this is insanely great, it's got a 28.8 BPS modem!
 
2012-02-24 12:05:42 PM

Bondith: Harv72b
Around '91 Dad signed us up for the Prodigy online service, which was the first time I really played around with online stuff & not coincidentally the first time I discovered online porn.

Vintage joke:
How do you know your husband's into online porn? He makes you lie naked on the bed and then take ten minutes to pull the sheet off you.

There was also an episode of Beast Wars (Beasties for you Canucks) where one character describes the bad guys as "3 gigs of attitude on a 2-gig hard drive".

I am so old.


Watched that episode last night, getting a kick... (Rhynox quote, but Dinobot's still the best character from BW)
 
2012-02-24 12:09:09 PM
33MHz/8MB RAM/500MB HDD seems low for 1995, I seem to remember my family getting a Pentium 200Mhz (pre MMX) 32MB RAM/3GB HDD around then (not long after Win 95 launched)
 
2012-02-24 12:13:29 PM
I remember my first computers

Apple II
Commodore 64
Coleco Adam (my brothers and sisters wrote lots of term papers on this, daisy wheel printer and everything)
286
386SX
486
 
2012-02-24 12:14:45 PM
Oh, 95? I was knees deep in TIE kills by then. LOVED me some X-Wing
 
2012-02-24 12:18:26 PM

weiserfireman:
386SX


Ah, the first "budget" CPU. A slow 16-bit cache surrounded by a 32-bit addressable memory space. The ultimate in ricing out your CPU.
 
2012-02-24 12:22:54 PM

the_sidewinder: 33MHz/8MB RAM/500MB HDD seems low for 1995, I seem to remember my family getting a Pentium 200Mhz (pre MMX) 32MB RAM/3GB HDD around then (not long after Win 95 launched)


That probably would have been early '96. I got the first IBM Aptiva with the P1 200 MMX in January '97. I was the envy of my Quake Clan. :)
 
2012-02-24 12:25:58 PM
Behold the IBM Aptiva "Stealth"

i255.photobucket.com
IBM aptiva Pictures
 
2012-02-24 12:26:06 PM
ZX81
C64
C128
286
486
Cyrix 6x86 (an abomination)
Then it all just blurs together
 
2012-02-24 12:38:54 PM
i331.photobucket.com
Red Dwarf, the Early Years, showing the Cat, Kochansky, Goal Post Head and Dave Lister as teenagers

But seriously, is that a pre-Maid Marion Danny John-Jules?
 
2012-02-24 12:42:25 PM
I bought a gateway tower, Pentium 133mhz, 16MB ram, 1.6GB HDU, 3-CDROM changer, matrox millenium, no monitor, a parallel port ethernet adapter.... $4K in 1993-ish.
Stop complaining about your $2000 laptops.
 
2012-02-24 12:42:48 PM
Cut my teeth on a 300baud acoustic.

Begged begged begged for one of them newfangled 1200s for Christmas.

Greased farkin lightning it was, I tell ya.
 
2012-02-24 12:50:08 PM

DoBeDoBeDo: Behold the IBM Aptiva "Stealth"

[i255.photobucket.com image 640x509]
IBM aptiva Pictures


HA! Those things were awesome, I can remember working on a couple of those at CompUSA in later years.

Another favorite:

www.smecc.org

Hey, I know, let's design a computer specifically to fit in a corner! And these damn things...

'Dat Base!
 
2012-02-24 12:51:12 PM
We chat on the slow-ass University's Telnet and we like it that way, thank you very much.
 
2012-02-24 12:51:54 PM
My first was an IBM PC clone running the 8088, with 640k ram, EGA graphics, 8-bit SoundBlaster card, 10MB and 20MB hard drives, both 3 1/2" and 5 1/4" floppies.

We got that during the era of 486's. We were behind on the times.
 
2012-02-24 12:53:04 PM

AverageAmericanGuy: That 486 they are talking about in the article is undoubtedly a DX2. The internal cache is running at 66MHz but the buses are all running at 33MHz. So for some operations that can be loaded entirely into the L2 cache, it's blazing (at the time), but once you his a page exception, you're going to pay for it trying to load that data from RAM.


This made me smile. My brain instantly clicked on "Yup, the 66MHz bus wasn't until the first Pentium."

And all of a sudden, I remembered reading through computer shopper, dreaming about 500 meg hard drives and working a paper route in HS so I could buy a CD-ROM.

My computer linage:

Family Computers:
C64
8086
80386DX

My Computers:
Cyrix 486DX 50
Cyrix 6X86 150
Cyrix 6X86 150
AMD Athlon Thunderbird
AMD Athlon MP Dual Processor watercooled
AMD Athlon Phenom II Quad core.
 
2012-02-24 12:53:06 PM

DoBeDoBeDo: Behold the IBM Aptiva "Stealth"

[i255.photobucket.com image 640x509]
IBM aptiva Pictures


I salivate over that thing, seeing it on PC Magazine. I got a slightly worse model at home. State of the art, people!
 
2012-02-24 12:53:16 PM
Most of the 14.4 modems I had to deal with were crap. Those damn RPI chipsets. Had to be some of the worst modems. I was working tech support at the time and had to deal with them all the time.
 
2012-02-24 12:54:12 PM
PS: Commander Keen is awesome, as is Kannons and Katapults.
 
2012-02-24 12:56:49 PM

dlm8585: Most of the 14.4 modems I had to deal with were crap. Those damn RPI chipsets. Had to be some of the worst modems. I was working tech support at the time and had to deal with them all the time.


Man, I remember I bought a 14.4k modem, and it was a turd. I mean, speed wise it was great compared to a 2400, but quality was a problem. Dropped calls and trouble connecting at 14.4 eventually got me to upgrade to 28.8
 
2012-02-24 12:57:01 PM

DoBeDoBeDo: the_sidewinder: 33MHz/8MB RAM/500MB HDD seems low for 1995, I seem to remember my family getting a Pentium 200Mhz (pre MMX) 32MB RAM/3GB HDD around then (not long after Win 95 launched)

That probably would have been early '96. I got the first IBM Aptiva with the P1 200 MMX in January '97. I was the envy of my Quake Clan. :)


Agreed. I upgraded my 486/33 to a Pentium 133 in late 1995. I remember this vividly because I had started my first real job out of college just a few months earlier and the new mobo/cpu/memory was a present to myself for finally becoming fully self sufficient.
 
2012-02-24 01:01:12 PM
You know that text game where you're the King and you buy land, pay soldiers, etc.? Played that on a mainframe when I was taking the first computer science course my school offered (Ye Olde Fortran-based education). First computer game ever, IIRC. It was already old when I saw it for the first time.

Tape drives, punch cards, typewriter pictures (including pron), Fortran--and COBOL was the up-and-coming thing. All those fat bearded men who made a small fortune fixing Y2K were just starting out at the time.

Much later I worked on 286x, 386x, and 486x computers, did word-processing with Mitel software, and looked forward to this new thing they had in the United States called the Internet. A guy I knew at work had a laptop his Mommy and Daddy bought him.

I don't have the temperament to deal with programming, compiling or accounting, so I never kept on with it.

The thing about these old machines is that despite being very feeble, they didn't need to be any more powerful because the software was simple. You could, technically, perform spreadsheet functions with 250K of memory, and people did and perhaps do. As memory and hard drives have become cheaper the demands have risen more than proportionately, in a sort of Jevon's Paradox where cheaper power leads to more than proportional rises in demand.

Nothing new there, of course. Adam Smith was well aware that the discovery of the gold and silver of the New World led to more people than you'd expect from price alone buying silver plate because more people could afford it at the lower price and suddenly discovered a need they didn't know they had. The lower price lowers the threshold and people who were hesitant even when they could afford the higher price swarm into the market when you pass a certain price point, if only because everybody else is doing it and they'd be shamed if they let those parvenus set a better table than they do..

Somewhere in the 1970s or 1980s there was a climatologist saying, "Gee, I wish I could model climate change on the university mainframe, but it would take me hours! and I'd have to learn to read a print out 65 columns wide and go into rooms full of computer geeks and nerds." When the price came down, the market didn't just expand--it exploded. For one thing, you could put enough computing power on your desk top to do the job without ever seeing a computer nerd or geek except when something breaks.

If you want to be amazed, remember that the Moon landing was done before the 286x and modems and with computers that were distinctly slower and less powerful than your iPod, let alone your iPad (which is amazingly low on hard drive--I'm not even sure it has a hard drive. I think they just use cheap Chinese-made thumb drives. If you open an Apple computer up, you may find a key chain in it.).
 
2012-02-24 01:03:09 PM
My dad was a mainframe programmer at an insurance company and they replaced all their IBM PC 5150s with Mac 128Ks. So our first computer we owned was a Mac 512Ke 1985 and we picked up a 1200baud non-Hayes compatible modem for 15 bucks (big step up from the phone coupler we were using on the terminal my dad would take home on weekends). On average I've purchased a new computer every year since then.
 
2012-02-24 01:03:24 PM
I've lost track of what I've had. My parents owned a Radio Shack franchise, so I started off with a CoCo and a 48k Model III (with 300 baud acoustical modem that I used to run up $1600 in phone bills). Then we got a 386-based PC with a 40MB drive that my father split in half so he could keep his EGA quality GIF porn on.

Then over the years I've had Sun SPARCStations on my desk, along with SGI hardware, PowerPC and x86 based Macs, and just plain PCs.

I miss the R10K-based SGI Indigo 2 I had for a while. It felt the snappiest of all the machines I've had.
 
2012-02-24 01:04:00 PM
Late Bloomer here.

First computer I used: Apple II. Awesomeness galore.

First brought: the last of the 486s. Then a Pentium 200 Mhz, then a P4, now with a Quad-Core.

Seriously thinking about getting a AMD 8-core rig. Sorry, but Intel's are getting too damn expensive.
 
2012-02-24 01:06:51 PM
I see that you can now buy a telephone receiver that plugs into a USB port. Gee, what an advance--a large comfortable ear and mouth piece instead of the crappy speaker and microphone on your computer or those annoying headphone thingies.

It's $40, which is more than I paid for my first touch tone phone. Mind you I bought my first touch tone phone when only 5% of the population of Ontario were still using rotary dials. It was me and your grandma in Toronto. I just didn't have any reason to change and the $10-15 phone worked just fine, and had more pre-set numbers than I needed.

Technology may be cannibalizing itself left, right and center (centre in most of the world) but there are still some innovations I resist.

I had a cellphone from 1999 to about 2003 but I gave it away eventually. I don't like telephones because I have less to say to other people in the average month than one telemarketer will try to say to me in one call.
 
2012-02-24 01:08:02 PM
The university I attended in 82 had a "mainframe" computer, a huge thing in its own air conditioned room behind a glass wall with lots of operators, powering about fifty terminals in several classrooms, with huge washing machine sized hard drives that held everyone's coursework, projects and files. And it was brand new, just upgraded.
The entire storage capacity of the entire thing was 550 mb.
I now have 40 times that on my keyring USB stick, and that cost me £12.

Smartphones are also something that would blow the minds of anyone from a couple of decades ago. Just being able to call anyone you know wherever they are in the world is incredible enough, and we take that for granted today, but that the same tiny phone has GPS that can direct you street by street, can hold dozens of movies that you can watch anywhere, let you bid on ebay while riding a bus or sitting in a park, take photographs and movies and then send them to your friends instantly, read the barcodes of stuff in a store and then tell you where you can buy cheaper, show a map of the night sky and name every star and constellation, and move the may in real time to match up with where the phone is pointing etc etc.

We just take all this for granted. I sometimes do look at my phone and just remind myself what an incredible piece of technology it is. And for a price that schoolchildren can afford. Forget flaying cars and jet packs, smartphones are the future.
 
2012-02-24 01:11:30 PM
Actually you should forget "flaying" cars. They were terrible....
 
2012-02-24 01:13:39 PM

CommieTaoist: My first was 1200 baud but we quickly got a 2400 baud and that made a world of difference.


First logged into a BBS in 1986 with a 300 baud modem on my C-64 (and typed in this nickname as a random nonsense username- and somehow it's stuck with me the last 26 years)

Occasionally i could borrow my dad's work laptop ( a zenith with DUAL 1.3mb floppies and a screamingly fast 1200 baud rig) When my first employer a few years later got a 14.4? I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
 
2012-02-24 01:17:25 PM

Rwa2play: Late Bloomer here.

First computer I used: Apple II. Awesomeness galore.

First brought: the last of the 486s. Then a Pentium 200 Mhz, then a P4, now with a Quad-Core.

Seriously thinking about getting a AMD 8-core rig. Sorry, but Intel's are getting too damn expensive.


I just bought a six-core and I love the hell out of it (and the whole rig: TB HD 8gigs ram and 1gb graphics card and a 24" LED monitor, and 64 Windows pro premium) was just under $500 custom-built from a guy on ebay

My C-64 cost almost exactly that much when dad bought it in 1983-and it didn;t HAVE a disk drive, that was extra
 
2012-02-24 01:18:01 PM

Rwa2play: Seriously thinking about getting a AMD 8-core rig. Sorry, but Intel's are getting too damn expensive.


Getting? Intel always has had the peppiest stuff, but you always paid for it. AMD has always been a TON cheaper. And their hardware is pretty good. I had a dual processor watercooled system that I ran for 5 years, and it was still solid to work on and play some games on right up to it's death(waterblock corrosion = massive leak)
 
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