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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  
•       •       •

9437 clicks; posted to Geek » on 24 Feb 2012 at 11:48 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-02-24 01:21:31 PM  
1989
XT clone 8088 4.77/8mhz.(turbo button!)
640k RAM
20meg Seagate st-225
5,25 drive (think it was 740)
1200 baud (upgraded to 2400 later)
CGA (upgraded to VGA later)
no sound (well, onboard squeaker)
DOS 3.3
14" monitor

- total (b4 upgrades) $895
Tied phone line up all night to d/l one boobie pic from BBS

TRADEWARS biatchES!
 
2012-02-24 01:25:00 PM  
Back then, I had a 133MHZ Dell with 48 RAM (upgraded from 16MB), 1GB hard-drive, and Window 95... I had formatted it several times so it was pretty clean and ran fast. It was the goto unit in the frat house for guys to do their term paper, much faster than models at twice the power because they had so much bloatware on them.

That unit lasted me until like 2000, and was still pretty good, but then one day i just tossed in into a dumpster. It just couldn't handle the software of the day any longer.
 
2012-02-24 01:25:49 PM  
Nobody ever got a 54kb/s connection with a 54k modem.

NOBODY.

/ first "modern" online game I ever played: Rainbow Six over a 28.8k modem
// it was.... meh
/// first "online" game I ever played: L.O.R.D. on a local BBS
//// Usurper was better
 
2012-02-24 01:32:18 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.


The only 14.4 modems that worked worth a damn were the genuine Hayes ones. They were twice the price of the knockoffs (Around $600 each IIRC) but worth every penny since you could actually connect to them most of the time.

Surfing the web with Mosaic on a 14.4 connection was the bomb.

/adjusts belt onion
 
2012-02-24 01:34:13 PM  

brantgoose: [i331.photobucket.com image 600x366]
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?


That's Laurence Mason. Never seen Hackers? That movie is spectacular for many reasons. See the white dude in the back? That'd be Jonny Lee Miller... one of the few dudes who can lay claim that Brad Pitt is getting his sloppy seconds (a 20 y/o Angelina Jolee was in the flick as well).
 
2012-02-24 01:37:50 PM  

23FPB23: 1989
XT clone 8088 4.77/8mhz.(turbo button!)
640k RAM
20meg Seagate st-225
5,25 drive (think it was 740)
1200 baud (upgraded to 2400 later)
CGA (upgraded to VGA later)
no sound (well, onboard squeaker)
DOS 3.3
14" monitor

- total (b4 upgrades) $895
Tied phone line up all night to d/l one boobie pic from BBS

TRADEWARS biatchES!


Well, also the long distance rates were alot better at 3 am.
 
2012-02-24 01:38:47 PM  
When you went from 2400 -> 14400, it was like a whole new world opened up in front of you.

/porn became downloadable
 
2012-02-24 01:40:07 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org

/ cheers
 
2012-02-24 01:41:30 PM  

Splinshints: Nobody ever got a 54kb/s connection with a 54k modem.

NOBODY.


I frequently got 53.8 kb/s to my university two miles away
 
2012-02-24 01:45:59 PM  
If you paid $500 for a 9600bps modem in 1993, you were either getting scammed or paying for genuine IBM parts (which was a kind of getting scammed).

I seem to remember paying less than $200 for a 14.4 around that time, but it was more than half a lifetime ago for me so I might be wrong.

/even if I'm wrong TFA is still littered with technical inaccuracies.
 
2012-02-24 01:47:54 PM  

Splinshints: Nobody ever got a 54kb/s connection with a 54k modem.


I was able to consistently connect to a work modem pool (6 USR Sportsters that I personally managed in a dialin hunt group) at 52k raw speed, with additional compression enabled.

Pulling down raw text files via FTP would usually return a 200kbit/second throughput, thanks to the compression. Binaries, not so much, obviously.

But yeah, in general, as you pointed out, unless you had complete control over the end to end connection (shiatty phone lines notwithstanding) then getting anything over 33k was a miracle.
 
2012-02-24 01:53:32 PM  
Around that time I recall paying a LOT of $$$'s for a 19,200 modem during the very short period of time before the 28k modems became common.

The 19,200 connected at full speed about 2 times before I dumped it for a cheaper, faster 28k modem....

/Onions, belt etc...
 
2012-02-24 01:57:37 PM  

poot_rootbeer: If you paid $500 for a 9600bps modem in 1993, you were either getting scammed or paying for genuine IBM parts (which was a kind of getting scammed).

I seem to remember paying less than $200 for a 14.4 around that time, but it was more than half a lifetime ago for me so I might be wrong.

/even if I'm wrong TFA is still littered with technical inaccuracies.


List price in 1992 for a Hayes 14.4 Smartmodem was $1200
 
2012-02-24 02:02:31 PM  
Meh, 17 years from now the computer I'm writing this on will look ridiculous.

More importantly, it's amazing how cheap the computers have gotten. The computers in the article were thousands of dollars, then. Today, even after inflation, I don't know if I could find a $4000 non-server PC, even if I wanted to! (Or wait, maybe Apple has some)
 
2012-02-24 02:05:49 PM  

finnished: More importantly, it's amazing how cheap the computers have gotten. The computers in the article were thousands of dollars, then. Today, even after inflation, I don't know if I could find a $4000 non-server PC, even if I wanted to! (Or wait, maybe Apple has some)


You're not looking hard enough. They're not in most advertisements, but they can be found.
 
2012-02-24 02:28:17 PM  

bigmattress: Subby, don't you mean "you're Comcast connection"?

...


Actually, I meant "your". Was fixing something else in the heading and accidentally forgot to untick a box to look at it again. Hate that feeling when you see that it's adding the submission to the queue and you see a mistake you missed. FFFUUUUU-
 
2012-02-24 02:30:35 PM  

Some Beer Snob: [i331.photobucket.com image 600x366]

Yo. Check this out guys, this is insanely great, it's got a 28.8 BPS modem!


RISC...is...good
 
2012-02-24 02:32:30 PM  

finnished: Meh, 17 years from now the computer I'm writing this on will look ridiculous.

More importantly, it's amazing how cheap the computers have gotten. The computers in the article were thousands of dollars, then. Today, even after inflation, I don't know if I could find a $4000 non-server PC, even if I wanted to! (Or wait, maybe Apple has some)


There's a class of computers called "workstations" that are typically built with really heavy power users in mind. These are for things like running 3D CAD or doing image/video processing, really heavy computational tasks that you don't want to wait all day for.

They can get ridiculously expensive depending on exactly how much performance you want out of them, but it's not uncommon to have multiple video cards, 4-6 hard drives in RAID (and solid-state, of course), multiple CPUs, etc. A card for an FPGA or some other exotic hardware. Throw in some brand new 22-24" monitors and you're looking at multiple thousands of dollars.
 
2012-02-24 02:41:36 PM  

finnished: Meh, 17 years from now the computer I'm writing this on will look ridiculous.

More importantly, it's amazing how cheap the computers have gotten. The computers in the article were thousands of dollars, then. Today, even after inflation, I don't know if I could find a $4000 non-server PC, even if I wanted to! (Or wait, maybe Apple has some)


I just went to Dell's website and looked under small/medium business workstations, and pretty quickly built out something they were asking $22,000 for.

4-core Xeon processor
16GB RAM
2-6GB Nvidia graphics cards
4 large SSHD with RAID controller
2 22" monitors
5 year warranty
Some special coprocessor called a Tesla

Granted, only an idiotic millionaire would ever order such a thing, but it just shows how quickly the price can add up.

The funny thing is you can buy better servers for cheaper- our work has one with 48-cores across four sockets and 132GB of RAM to go alongside, and if I recall correctly it was $15-20K
 
2012-02-24 03:03:08 PM  

Fubini: finnished: Meh, 17 years from now the computer I'm writing this on will look ridiculous.

More importantly, it's amazing how cheap the computers have gotten. The computers in the article were thousands of dollars, then. Today, even after inflation, I don't know if I could find a $4000 non-server PC, even if I wanted to! (Or wait, maybe Apple has some)

I just went to Dell's website and looked under small/medium business workstations, and pretty quickly built out something they were asking $22,000 for.

4-core Xeon processor
16GB RAM
2-6GB Nvidia graphics cards
4 large SSHD with RAID controller
2 22" monitors
5 year warranty
Some special coprocessor called a Tesla

Granted, only an idiotic millionaire would ever order such a thing, but it just shows how quickly the price can add up.

The funny thing is you can buy better servers for cheaper- our work has one with 48-cores across four sockets and 132GB of RAM to go alongside, and if I recall correctly it was $15-20K


A big difference is cooling. You don't usually sit next to a server, so it's no big deal if it makes as much noise as a jet engine when it's running. If a desktop PC made that sort of noise, nobody would want to use it.

Also, your server probably didn't come with fancy video cards, SSDs, big monitors, or a Tesla coprocessor. Those can add a lot to the price tag.
 
2012-02-24 03:36:07 PM  
I paid close to $8000.00 for my first workstation and laser printer in 1992.

i still have it in working condition.

yes, it's a Mac

blog.presto.com
 
2012-02-24 03:38:47 PM  

Fubini: finnished: Meh, 17 years from now the computer I'm writing this on will look ridiculous.

More importantly, it's amazing how cheap the computers have gotten. The computers in the article were thousands of dollars, then. Today, even after inflation, I don't know if I could find a $4000 non-server PC, even if I wanted to! (Or wait, maybe Apple has some)

I just went to Dell's website and looked under small/medium business workstations, and pretty quickly built out something they were asking $22,000 for.

4-core Xeon processor
16GB RAM
2-6GB Nvidia graphics cards
4 large SSHD with RAID controller
2 22" monitors
5 year warranty
Some special coprocessor called a Tesla

Granted, only an idiotic millionaire would ever order such a thing, but it just shows how quickly the price can add up.

The funny thing is you can buy better servers for cheaper- our work has one with 48-cores across four sockets and 132GB of RAM to go alongside, and if I recall correctly it was $15-20K


When I was looking for a "gaming" computer for my wife, I ran across a listing for a used workstation with almost those exact specs for about $1K ( here's a similar listing that includes TWO quad core xeon's (new window) )


Apparently they lose their value faster than Italian sports cars.

I personally I didn't one it because I honestly didn't know enough about graphics cards to know if the "professional model it had would have been any good for gaming (I suspect yes but didn;t want to risk it)
 
2012-02-24 03:53:06 PM  
Stand back! I've got a bottle of Geritol!

75/110 baud acoustic modem, 2 MHz Z-80 processor, S100 bus, 16K of RAM and two 7" 47K floppies. Still have it. Makes a nice end table.

Paid more for the kit (yes, I soldered the thing together) than my '69 Volvo 145.

So much better now.
 
2012-02-24 03:54:28 PM  
Hmm...

FTFA: 500 Gigabytes is low end... which is 500,000 megabytes. 500 GB can be as low as $80. Terabyte drives are common (1,000,000 megabytes) for less than the cost of a 1994, 400MB drive
 
2012-02-24 04:02:13 PM  
First desktop was a "Macro B" computer with 640kb of ram, 4.77mhz (turbo went to 8mhz) One 5 1/4" drive, no hard drive, monochrome graphics, 2400 baud modem... the works.
I picked up that beast, or more specifically my mom did for 100$ in 1990. It began my love of taking a screwdriver to the guts of sensitive electronic devices. I found a 8086 processor for like 5$ at a thrift shop, slapped that in, bought a 20mb hdd and controller for 10$, figured out how to use debug.exe to lowlevel format the disk, installed DOS 3.22, got a 3.5" floppy drive. Then I plugged the BIOS chip in backwards (hey it made sense to my 11 year old brain) and watched the little window glow white hot... Good times.

Of course I type this on a pretty much brand new Optiplex 790 with 8gb ram, multiple cores, 80gb SSD boot drive and 1tb storage and I realize that my PC is using more processor power to render stupid pictures of cats than existed for the entirety of world war 2.
 
2012-02-24 04:11:30 PM  
I'm told that my family's first computer was a Timex Sinclair, but I only remember the Commodore 64. I took to that thing like mother's teat.

Nowadays I have about ten machines in my house in various states, but my very favorite is my Toshiba Tecra 8000. It's got a 266MHz P2, 256MB RAM and a 4GB HDD. I can get online via the PCMCIA wireless card. It's had plenty of OSs on it (Puppy Linux works great, WinXP not so much) but it's currently running Win98SE. I did this for the purpose of running all my favorite DOS games.

I also have a modern desktop for games, a netbook for music, another laptop for social networking, another laptop for work... I think that's the problem with accruing software over a long period. Some will only work on a particular kind of machine, so you end up having a lot of machines that are single-purpose.
 
2012-02-24 04:28:28 PM  

Magorn: Fubini:...

Apparently they lose their value faster than Italian sports cars.

I personally I didn't one it because I honestly didn't know enough about graphics cards to know if the "professional model it had would have been any good for gaming (I suspect yes but didn;t want to risk it)


Actually professional model video cards are not good for gaming. The pro models are meant for CAD and has to be pixel perfect. Consumer models are just meant to push the frame rates and doesn't have to be perfect. The most expensive single card runs under $600. You can add two, three, or four cards to a single machine.
 
2012-02-24 04:32:22 PM  
My first computer had no modem.
386 16 MHz 4 MB RAM, 30 MB hard drive and I think a 12" monitor. I got it from my dad.
 
2012-02-24 04:40:46 PM  
In 1994, the future Mrs. Cornpone and I were buying her PowerMac 6100. The salesman said, "Oh, 72 megs of RAM? That's all you'll EVER need."
 
2012-02-24 04:56:49 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.


The AMD FX series aren't what they're marketed to be. The problem being that it's not 8 full cores, more like 4 cores with an extra half core on each (better then hyper-threading, but not as good as 8 "real" cores). I own an FX-8120 at home, and can compare it to the i5, i7, and 6-core Xeons at work. It fits right in between the Intel's in price and performance.

Summary: You get what you pay for.
 
2012-02-24 05:12:24 PM  

Splinshints: Nobody ever got a 54kb/s connection with a 54k modem.

NOBODY.


I think that's because nobody had a 54k modem.
 
2012-02-24 05:12:34 PM  

mr_a: My first modem was a 150 baud for a C-64. It was about $150...couldn't afford the fast 300 baud version.


goddamnit I was gonna lowball everyone with my 300 baud first modem and you beat my on the Boobies.

/and people remember bulletin board systems!!
//When "trolls" were "twits"
 
2012-02-24 05:12:34 PM  

DarthBart: 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.


I picked up an old SGI Octane II at a computer store that was going out of business in sometime in 2008. This machine was old back then, although if I recall they were in their heyday a little later than the indigo. The thing's old, but it's solid. It came with Maya and a bunch of other stuff, even Photoshop for Irix. I use it once in a while, it performs very well for an old machine. Of course, it's also heavy as hell, and doubles as a space heater. Still, it's neat to get an idea of what higher-end workstations were like back then.

And then of course I still have a 166 MHz HP Vectra that was my first somewhat serious computing environment. It ran Windows 98 back in the day, but today I occasionally use it as a server running FreeBSD.
 
2012-02-24 05:12:35 PM  
First family computer in 1989: Apple IIgs. No hard drive, 256k ram.

My first personal PC in 1995
Compaq Pentium 75
8mb RAM
725 mb hd
14.4 modem.
14" monitor w/speakers.
HP 540 inkjet.

I think everything cost about $2,500. It was my high school graduation present. The machine was a bear to upgrade, though. Two years later I went to a local custom shop and got a P200, 32 RAM, 1.2 gig HD, 17" monitor, Epson printer for about the same price.

The PC I'm running right now is a little over a year old. It's a Core i7 860 (8 cores!), 2.2 TB of hard drive space, 12GB RAM.

Thank you Moore's Law.
 
2012-02-24 05:20:30 PM  
First family computer? Osborne 1.
4.0 MHz CPU
64K RAM
Dual 5 1/4 drives
Built-in 5 inch screen
CP/M

I need to inform some of you to get off my lawn. Others, I'd like a few fertilizer tips.
 
2012-02-24 05:49:46 PM  
That doesn't make any sense... or at least it's put really badly.

FTA Video
24-bit accelerated
PCI Express 2 (replacing PCI, and then AGP) with 1-2 Gigabytes of dedicated RAM, for about $250


One is maximum colours per pixel the other an interface. I think the author is looking for either "ISA" (or VL-BUS) or "32-bit"... but those aren't comparable metrics. Same really for

Sound
Sound Blaster 16 (16-bit)
24-bit, PCI Express, 3d, quad core processors with onboard RAM


The first is a brand name, the second just a list of specifications.
 
2012-02-24 06:31:26 PM  

Skyfrog: Splinshints: Nobody ever got a 54kb/s connection with a 54k modem.

NOBODY.

I think that's because nobody had a 54k modem.


You knew what I meant. Even if my brain didn't.
 
2012-02-24 06:37:11 PM  

DoBeDoBeDo: Behold the IBM Aptiva "Stealth"

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


I had a uncle who had one of these for many years. It ran pretty well when it came out. It was weird to see that box below the monitor with the big tower down below.
 
2012-02-24 06:47:07 PM  
I never thought I'd feel so young.

And yes, I remember when built in monitor speakers was common. Looking back, the sound that came out of them wouldn't pass for music if you tried. Those absolutely sucked.
 
2012-02-24 07:03:46 PM  

I Like Bread: I'm told that my family's first computer was a Timex Sinclair,


The Timex Sinclair was the ZX81 with double the RAM: 2048 bytes!

When my ZX81 turned in to one of these

oldcomputers.net

Dad picked up a TS1000. You'd be amazed at how much more you can do with 2K RAM vs 1K.

First thing I did with my ZX81 was type "RUN PACMAN" "Syntax Error" was not what I was expecting. Realized from that moment on, I'd need to learn how to program that thing. Sinclair BASIC (new window) FTW.

10 FOR N=0 TO 63
20 PLOT N, 20*SIN(N/32*PI)
30 NEXT N
40 FOR M = 0 to 63
50 PLOT M,20*SIN(N/32*PI)
60 NEXT M
70 GOTO 10
 
2012-02-24 07:06:48 PM  
I'm having a dick of a time recreating it now, but I was on Dell's website for a laugh during our Win7 rollout, and I maxed everything on a Precision something. It was $32k USD. Dual six core processor, 192 GB RAM (I can't find any system where that's possible on Dell now), etc. Old dude on staff with 20+ years Windows experience said we might have enough electricity to power four of the damn things.

/obviously we can't afford it
 
2012-02-24 07:07:00 PM  


10 FOR N=0 TO 63
20 PLOT N, 20*SIN(N/32*PI)
30 NEXT N
40 FOR M = 0 to 63
50 UNPLOT M,20*SIN(N/32*PI)
60 NEXT M
70 GOTO 10


/FTFM
 
2012-02-24 07:25:49 PM  

Yaxe: And yes, I remember when built in monitor speakers was common. Looking back, the sound that came out of them wouldn't pass for music if you tried. Those absolutely sucked.


The first computer I actually owned was a Packard Bell with no sound card and only the internal speaker. I had this awful game for it that alternated between a side scrolling space shooter and a first person "shooter" of sorts and it would screech and scratch at you all the time.

The best game, though, was Rodent's Revenge. That game was actually kind of cool and the only good thing about that awful computer....

RagnarD: 10 FOR N=0 TO 63
20 PLOT N, 20*SIN(N/32*PI)
30 NEXT N
40 FOR M = 0 to 63
50 UNPLOT M,20*SIN(N/32*PI)
60 NEXT M
70 GOTO 10


Moving sin "snake" on the screen, yes?
 
2012-02-24 07:58:09 PM  

Publikwerks: Well, also the long distance rates were alot better at 3 am.


Ugh... Don't remind me of the long distance bills I used to rack up.
 
2012-02-24 08:11:34 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: 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


Ahem. 8+3?
 
2012-02-24 08:12:14 PM  
Never mind, didn't see the slashies.
 
2012-02-24 08:37:50 PM  
I remember my first computer, a Laser 286DX. It had one of those "turbo" buttons that turned the clock rate from 8mhz to 12mhz. It had 1 MB of ram and a 40 MB hard drive. It didn't have a modem so we just used it for word processing and playing games.

I kind of wish I still had a physical turbo button. I use my software utility to overclock my processor but its not the same as having an actual switch on your tower that when pressed melts your face off.
 
2012-02-24 08:47:50 PM  

Splinshints: Skyfrog: Splinshints: Nobody ever got a 54kb/s connection with a 54k modem.

NOBODY.

I think that's because nobody had a 54k modem.

You knew what I meant. Even if my brain didn't.


I know. I couldn't resist saying something though.
 
2012-02-24 08:53:13 PM  
imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-02-24 09:10:00 PM  
Digital Starion 942 INFO (new window)

This was my first computer. It was 1995 and I've had the same hotmail email address that I signed up for on this very pc.
The damn thing cost me over $3000. I got it at Circuit City. I remember getting on the internet for the first time and finding a site advertising a computer that was twice a powerful as this one that I had only had a few months. The icing on the cake was that it was about 700 cheaper than what I paid also. That was my introduction into electronics becoming immediately obsolete.

Gave it to a computers for poor people program when I got a new pc
It had been upgraded to a 166mhz with 64mb ram and a 16mb video card. I also put a 3GB hard drive in to go along with the 1.6GB
I had quite a few programs including a lot of educational crap. Typing tutor, math, english, and lots more.
I also threw in all of my games. Nascar, Duke Nukem, Doom, Wolfenstein, and tons of others. I told them to give the games with the computer so the kids could have something fun and educational.
 
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