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(Yahoo)   Remember when you could get a PC with 256K RAM, 10MB hard drive, FDC, and a video monitor for just under $3000.00? Ahh, good times, good times. Happy 30th Dell   (finance.yahoo.com) divider line 96
    More: Spiffy, Michael Dell, oxygen monitor, IBM PC  
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2262 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 May 2014 at 1:27 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-04 11:44:29 AM  
Man, I remember when Computer Shopper weighed 3 pounds and you could spend a week browsing.

Nowadays, I just go to store.apple.com and buy what I need. The dust has settled.
 
2014-05-04 11:46:20 AM  
Holy shiatsnacks ... that laptop looks familiar.
 
2014-05-04 12:12:10 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Man, I remember when Computer Shopper weighed 3 pounds and you could spend a week browsing.

Nowadays, I just go to store.apple.com and buy what I need. The dust has settled.


Indeed.  My first computer, in 1988, was a 386, 40MB Hard Drive (and people made fun of me for over-buying, because who would EVER fill a 40MB hard drive???), 2400 baud modem,  dual floppy drives, additional high-end VGA monitor, mouse, 24-pin dot matrix printer... all the bells and whistles.  It cost me $2,948.00, plus tax.

I just bought a MacBook Air for less than half that.
 
2014-05-04 12:14:57 PM  
Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.
 
2014-05-04 12:27:51 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.


There were computers at various prices - you didn't have to spend $3K.
 
2014-05-04 12:46:07 PM  

itcamefromschenectady: Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.

There were computers at various prices - you didn't have to spend $3K.


Of course not.  But in comparison...

Oh, what am I saying.  Why don't you just ignore me rather than seek me out in threads so you can shiat on my posts?  I mean, don't you have a hobby or something?
 
2014-05-04 01:25:01 PM  

itcamefromschenectady: Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.

There were computers at various prices - you didn't have to spend $3K.


You did if you wanted a top-of-the-line computer.

These days, however, you don't need to spend $6,058.46 (or even three grand) for a top-of-the-line computer, unless it's a Power Mac built to maximum specs -- and even then, you can certainly get a nearly identical PC or Linux machine (same HDD size, RAM size, graphics card, etc) for under $6k, and almost certainly for under $3K.

/and that's before you consider the screens that Apple sells
//27 inch screens are good, but not a thousand dollars good
///especially when you can get them for $250 from most other manufacturers
 
2014-05-04 01:32:34 PM  
Thanks for ruining quirky small-town Austin, you prick.

/but we appreciate the hospitals and other philanthropy though
 
2014-05-04 01:40:17 PM  
Subby just described the first PC I ever built. I put together a $4k computer for a few hundred bucks by back alley weeling and dealing and a bit of dumpster diving. Not bad for a loser teenager.
 
2014-05-04 01:43:28 PM  
My first PC, a Compaq Presario bought in 1999, had 128MB RAM and an 8 GB hard drive. Also had a built in zip drive. Came with a 19" CRT monitor and a printer. Cost around $2300.
 
2014-05-04 01:43:38 PM  
I remember my first computer a 66mhz processor and ran on windows 3.1.1 (cost nearly 2k, and I was a kid so technically it was my families, but it was the first one I used) then my second was a 200mhz machine, the third one was a 333mhz processor with 32mb ram and a 4mb graphics card, then in was a 800mhz machine (my first dell) with a  256mb graphics card then my current computer (also a dell) a laptop with a 2ghz dual core, 1gb graphics, and more. Too bad Dell has gone down hill and I won't buy them anymore. (though now I have some old collectibles like a working commodore and mac from the 80's)
 
2014-05-04 01:46:19 PM  
A friend of mine in school for a masters once told me how he'd just spent $3,500 on a PC. This was mid 90s. And I was sort of stunned into silence and a bit embarrassed for him.

Of course, he's now a VC and I think he spends $3,500 for lunch so wtf do I know anyway?
 
2014-05-04 01:47:34 PM  
It was something of a revolutionary idea in 1984 to offer business-class (that is to say, DOS-compatible) computers with customizable specs at relatively discounted prices via mail order.  This was less than two years after the clone barrier had been broken in the first place, and most of the machines on the market still weren't 100% IBM-compatible yet.
 
2014-05-04 01:47:51 PM  
Remember the good old day when you could trust Dell before they were found guilty of fraud,deceptive advertising, and failure to honor its warranties, service contracts, and rebates????

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/809861/thumbs/o-NICEST-MOM-VANITY-PLATE-57 0. jpg?6


http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2008/05/27/new_york_judge_rules_aga in st_dell_fraud/
 
2014-05-04 01:49:13 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: dual floppy drives


Oh man, I remember those. "Look, I can copy floppy disks without even saving it to the computer!"

Good times.
 
2014-05-04 01:51:53 PM  

Gunderson: Remember the good old day when you could trust Dell before they were found guilty of fraud,deceptive advertising, and failure to honor its warranties, service contracts, and rebates????


The first computer that I had (not a family computer) was a Dell Inspiron laptop. The motherboard had a faulty design. After 3 replacements during my warranty, it finally ran out, and they wanted to charge me $300 to get a new mobo with the same design flaw. Finally, a few years later, the class action lawsuit was settled and I got a 1 year warranty extension on a laptop that I had thrown away. whoohoo.

Never again Dell.
 
2014-05-04 01:54:10 PM  
The first computer I used regularly was one my grandfather bought, a Tandy 2000. I could only get on it once a week because "It uses a lot of power".
 
2014-05-04 02:14:19 PM  
I still have one of those computers in a box in the basement, cuz you never know if you will need it.
I also have my Atari game console and a Pong game.
 
2014-05-04 02:14:40 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: itcamefromschenectady: Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.

There were computers at various prices - you didn't have to spend $3K.

Of course not.  But in comparison...

Oh, what am I saying.  Why don't you just ignore me rather than seek me out in threads so you can shiat on my posts?  I mean, don't you have a hobby or something?


He has a crush, sorry hes such an ass about it.
 
2014-05-04 02:28:38 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.


My first computer wouldn't come until around 1994-95. It was my father's actually, as I was still in high school. I think he paid around 3k for it though.
 
2014-05-04 02:31:24 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Indeed.  My first computer, in 1988, was a 386, 40MB Hard Drive (and people made fun of me for over-buying, because who would EVER fill a 40MB hard drive???), 2400 baud modem,  dual floppy drives, additional high-end VGA monitor, mouse, 24-pin dot matrix printer... all the bells and whistles.  It cost me $2,948.00, plus tax.

I just bought a MacBook Air for less than half that.


CSB:
Our first computer was a 286, 1MB RAM, 40MB hard drive. I believe dad paid $4,000 for it, custom built - I shiat you not - by a one armed man.

Lefty insisted that this was all the computer we would ever need, and the only computer we would ever buy. I believe the 386s were on the market about 8 months later, and 486s a few months after that.

In retrospect, my little brother and I agree that buying such an excellent computer was probably the best thing dad ever did for us, so it worked out great in the end. Two decades later we both found our way into different areas of the computer industry.

/CSB
//guy's name wasn't really lefty
 
2014-05-04 02:33:33 PM  
My parents bought one of the original IBM PCs in 1980 for about 3 grand. 11 in green screen monitor, two 5.25 drives, no hard drive, and a whole lot of pirated software from Indonesia.
 
2014-05-04 02:36:13 PM  
Remember the good old day when you could trust
http://i.huffpost.com/gen/809861/thumbs/o-NICEST-MOM-VANITY-PLATE-57 0. jpg?6


http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2008/05/27/new_york_judge_rules_aga in st_dell_fraud/



Dell used the $1,000 to purchase grey market IBM computers.  That is what he originally sold.

(used to be you got a big discount from IBM is you purchased a large number of PCs.  Companies would purchase more than what they needed to get the discount and then re-sell them to people like Dell, who would then re-re-sell them at a price lower than IBM's list price.)
 
2014-05-04 02:40:52 PM  
My PC cost a lot more than that and didn't have a HDD :/

I had two 5.25 floppies though. I was ballin.
 
2014-05-04 02:45:47 PM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Indeed.  My first computer, in 1988, was a 386, 40MB Hard Drive (and people made fun of me for over-buying, because who would EVER fill a 40MB hard drive???)


Did you ever do the trick where you formatted a drive with RLL formatting instead of MFM, giving you 50% more space? You could turn your 40MB drive into a whopping 60MB.

Of course, nowadays I have single MP3 files that are bigger than 60MB.
 
2014-05-04 02:46:36 PM  
Computers were more fun in those days.  Getting expansion cards, SCSI chains and the like to actually work took hours and tons of high wizardry. (And blood in the case of SCSI chains- I had one that never worked until the day I bled on it)

I clipped a new clock chip onto my first Mac's processor to ramp it from 60 to 82MHz.  (Wasn't quite stable at 84).  Now I can't even expand the memory on my work iMac.

/Ask me about VMS
//Don't ask me about JCL.  That's too much nostalgia
 
2014-05-04 02:51:20 PM  
Is it just me, or has Dell seriously reduced the amount of customization for ordering on their website?  Back when I last bought a Dell desktop about 10 years ago, I remember being able to basically select the model I wanted (XPS, etc), and then choose almost any component for each part of it.  Now it seems like it's focused more on a number of presets with a few limited options within each one.  When I recently built my new desktop, I wanted to compare the total price with a comparable one on Dell and couldn't even get a comparable configuration.
 
2014-05-04 02:53:22 PM  
I'll have you know that I had 2 MB of ram a 20MD Hard Disk and CGA VIDEO and it only cost $700

/Of course this was 1997
 
2014-05-04 02:54:10 PM  
Ahh..the clone wars of the late 80's and early 90's.
 
2014-05-04 03:00:30 PM  
Never.  Buy.  Dell.  Again.

/was forced to use their drivers for an alienware laptop
//graphics drivers were three years out of date
///support told me, "You can use those, it's okay."
 
2014-05-04 03:01:28 PM  

Stile4aly: My parents bought one of the original IBM PCs in 1980 for about 3 grand. 11 in green screen monitor, two 5.25 drives, no hard drive, and a whole lot of pirated software from Indonesia.


lolwut?

You mean one of these?

oldcomputers.net
 
2014-05-04 03:04:06 PM  
www.finalfantasykingdom.net
 
2014-05-04 03:04:44 PM  

cretinbob: Stile4aly: My parents bought one of the original IBM PCs in 1980 for about 3 grand. 11 in green screen monitor, two 5.25 drives, no hard drive, and a whole lot of pirated software from Indonesia.

lolwut?

You mean one of these?

[oldcomputers.net image 552x310]


That's a RS machine not an IBM.
 
2014-05-04 03:10:52 PM  
Yep, remember. Today, I build all my boxes. Cherry pick the components.

/don't get to bang many boxes, sad.
 
2014-05-04 03:16:06 PM  
My first computer (actually my uncle's) was an XT, with an upgrade that supposedly pushed it into the range of a 286.  20 MB HD, VGA monitor (14" 640x480 baby!) and a dot matrix printer.

I added a 2400 baud modem I got from a friend when he upgraded to 9600.

My next computer, I built by hand - a 386.  Being completely untrained, I of course screwed it up and fried two parts - the (separate card) hard drive controller and the (onboard) A20 gate.  I was able to get a new hard drive controller for a bargain price, but a new motherboard would take a year of allowances to buy - so I stuck with the damaged one.  (The A20 gate controlled upper memory; 640k was enough for me.)

Then I installed the software to run a WWIV board on the computer.  Couldn't run LORD and I think Tradewars, but the other games worked fine.  I was even able to run Desqview well enough to play some of the games while my board and other games were running, which was nice.

Picked up a Pentium-clone AMD a year or two later; it worked fantastically well for the board.  Then a friend of mine moved in with us (I was 15-16), and we decided to combine our computers - she had a Pentium II with better equipment in general, but I had the better monitor (same one I had had since the XT!) and memory (I'd upgraded).

/Nostalgia
 
2014-05-04 03:19:21 PM  

NeoCortex42: Is it just me, or has Dell seriously reduced the amount of customization for ordering on their website?  Back when I last bought a Dell desktop about 10 years ago, I remember being able to basically select the model I wanted (XPS, etc), and then choose almost any component for each part of it.  Now it seems like it's focused more on a number of presets with a few limited options within each one.  When I recently built my new desktop, I wanted to compare the total price with a comparable one on Dell and couldn't even get a comparable configuration.


Dude, you're getting a Dell.
 
2014-05-04 03:24:50 PM  

itcamefromschenectady: Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.

There were computers at various prices - you didn't have to spend $3K.


In 1988 you spent nearly $3k if you wanted a PC.  Atari ST systems were probably much cheaper and even included some sort of GUI, while Apple IIc/e++ systems were probably lingering around as well.  Of course, in either 89-90 I bought a similar system (386sx, 1M ram, 40MB HD, 1024x768 SVGA (and 14" color monitor (which likely was only good really for 800x600 and could only do 768 via interlacing), 2400bps modem) for ~$2k (note, this had a brand name (ALR).  Not sure if buying parts out of the Computer Shopper was available or buying from Mom&Pop computers was possible then, but either could take a good 25% off the price).

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1545383,00.asp
Bill Machrone reminising about such things, in 2004 (although I think he might have had a similar "law" stating that "a computer costs $3k (at the time, later reduced to $2k, then died along with the original "law")).

"Sometime around the debut of computers sporting the Intel 486 chip, machines were being introduced at about $5,000, which I realized was about the same as the preceding 386-based machines. Which was the same as the PC AT, a fully configured PC-XT, or the original IBM PC. That's also what I paid for my first computer: a Z-80-based system that I had to solder together myself.

Thus was born Machrone's Law: The machine you want will always cost $5,000. Note the third and fourth words: the machine you want. Not the cheapest machine, not the one that makes the most sense. The one that makes you drool.

Machrone's Law held true from the birth of personal computers through several generations of Pentiums. But then operating systems and applications stopped evolving as quickly, and their otherwise- insatiable appetite for CPU cycles and memory plateaued."
 
2014-05-04 03:25:57 PM  
The computers that I used to learn BASIC programming were the Commodore Pet and the Apple II+ in high school.  I bought an Apple IIe after I graduated.  Never minding the speed of the computers, I once calculated that to simply get the memory of the iMac that I bought twelve years ago would have cost me over a million dollars in the '80s.
 
2014-05-04 03:26:55 PM  
Just built another machine to replace my old POS from 2001.

Old POS:
Painted and modded generic beige case
AMD 1.1 GHz Athlon socket A single core processor
ASUS A7N8X mainboard
Dual 200 GB hard drives partitioned into 5 drives
400W generic power supply
Dual DVD/CD burners
Matrox Millennium P650 512 mb video card
1.5 GB DDR memory (3x512 mb)
Generic IBM keyboard and KEIO mouse
Dual SAMSUNG LCD 19" 4:3 monitors
WACOM 6x9 tablet with pen and mouse
Running on Windows XP service pack 2

New machine:
Thermaltake Armor Revo Gene ATX case
3.5 GHz eight-core FX8320 AMD processor (overclockable to 5GHz)
ASUS M5A99FX mainboard with everything on it
dual western digital black HDs (2 and 3 TB)
650W Thermaltake modular power supply
DVD/CD burner
Blu-ray player/DVD/CD burner
EVGA GEForce GT 640 PCIe 3.0 video card with HDMI out, 2 GB DDR ram
32 GB KIngston DDR3 memory (4x8GB)
Illuminated keyboard and zero stress mouse
dual 22" DELL LED widescreen monitors
WACOM 6x9 tablet with pen and mouse
Running on Windows 7 64 bit Pro

I don't do games so some parts weren't important to me, just 3d rendering, video editing and effects and other artwork. Not bleeding edge, but quite quick.
 
2014-05-04 03:27:57 PM  
Forgot to mention... spent less than $1500 on the new rig.
 
2014-05-04 03:28:08 PM  
84 was when I bought my first computer. Had a Sanyo MBC-555 with the optional lotus board maxed out to 768k and dual 360k floppy drives. Also had a Sanyo CGA monitor that could display 8 colors at once. IBMs could only display 4 at a time. Even to this day, I tell people that it had the best feel of any keyboad I have ever used. Of couse 30 years later my cell phone is 100 times more powerful than that thing ever was.
 
2014-05-04 03:29:58 PM  

cretinbob: Stile4aly: My parents bought one of the original IBM PCs in 1980 for about 3 grand. 11 in green screen monitor, two 5.25 drives, no hard drive, and a whole lot of pirated software from Indonesia.

lolwut?

You mean one of these?

[oldcomputers.net image 552x310]


You poor deprived bastard
I had an acoustic coupler on mine

/I still have the coupler in a box in my basement.
//My kid asked what it was and I used it like Sonny Crockett's phone from Miami Vice.
/// my son and I are now estranged
 
2014-05-04 03:38:27 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Man, I remember when Computer Shopper weighed 3 pounds and you could spend a week browsing.

Nowadays, I just go to store.apple.com and buy what I need. The dust has settled.


I loved Computer Shopper. I used all of their reply cards as bookmarks. :)
 
2014-05-04 03:40:47 PM  

Cpl.D: Never.  Buy.  Dell.  Again.

/was forced to use their drivers for an alienware laptop
//graphics drivers were three years out of date
///support told me, "You can use those, it's okay."



I used to work near one of Dell's tech support centers. You probably wouldn't be surprised to know that most of the employees had little to zero training or computer knowledge. I applied there for a part-time job when I was in college and the test was basically opening a file, saving it, and then finding it. I failed because I used keyboard shortcuts. I got a job across the road doing computer repair and most of our customers were the tech support geniuses from the Dell call center.
 
2014-05-04 03:40:48 PM  

cretinbob: Stile4aly: My parents bought one of the original IBM PCs in 1980 for about 3 grand. 11 in green screen monitor, two 5.25 drives, no hard drive, and a whole lot of pirated software from Indonesia.

lolwut?

You mean one of these?

[oldcomputers.net image 552x310]


No, one of these:

oldcomputers.net
 
2014-05-04 03:52:18 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Man, I remember when Computer Shopper weighed 3 pounds and you could spend a week browsing.

Nowadays, I just go to store.apple.com and buy what I need. The dust has settled.


When Computer Shopper went away, it took with it one of the most entertaining columns to read. "The Hard Edge" by Bill and Alice. It was the only reason I continued to buy it until the end.

/posted from behind the big oaken door to my own Lab of Doom and Pepsi cola and passed out the brass gunport.
 
2014-05-04 03:55:14 PM  
You young punks can kiss my ass. This was my first machine:

standingwavegenerator.com

Microdata 1600. Had terminals all over the house to interact with it.
 
2014-05-04 03:55:49 PM  

King Something: itcamefromschenectady: Benevolent Misanthrope: Oh - and just so people understand how expensive computers were back then - $3,000 in 1988 would be 6,058.46 today.

There were computers at various prices - you didn't have to spend $3K.

You did if you wanted a top-of-the-line computer.

These days, however, you don't need to spend $6,058.46 (or even three grand) for a top-of-the-line computer, unless it's a Power Mac built to maximum specs -- and even then, you can certainly get a nearly identical PC or Linux machine (same HDD size, RAM size, graphics card, etc) for under $6k, and almost certainly for under $3K.

/and that's before you consider the screens that Apple sells
//27 inch screens are good, but not a thousand dollars good
///especially when you can get them for $250 from most other manufacturers


Well, saying a "top of the line" anything is or was expensive is pretty meaningless because the top of the line is usually as much money as a buyer can come up with. You can certainly spend $6K or more on a top of the line Dell - I just checked and a Dell Precision T7610 with a 256GB SSD is $8680 not including a monitor.

The point I was making is that at the time PC clones were just starting, the typical machine was not an IBM PC, and not priced anywhere near $3K - there were computers at $1500, and $1000, and under $1000. There were Commodores, and Tandys and Amigas and Ataris, and so on.

Saying computers cost $6000 when adjusted for inflation is like taking the price of a Porsche in the 80s and converting it to current dollars and saying sports cars were really expensive back then. Ordinary people got sporty Hondas or Nissans or Toyotas or Chevys or whatever, not Porsches.
 
2014-05-04 03:56:57 PM  
My family's first computer was an Apple IIgs we bought in 1989.

My first PC was a Compaq Presario 75. Pentium 75, 8mb RAM, 725mb HD, Quad Speed CD-ROM. 14" monitor with speakers, Sound Blaster 16, and an HP inkjet printer completed the setup. Later that year I purchased another 8 MB of RAM for $366. Then it could actually run Windows 95 without hanging.

My current PC is a couple years old now, but I built it myself. Intel i5-2500K, 16 GB RAM, GeForce 6600Ti, 4 TB hard drive space, Canon all-in-one printer/scanner, dual monitors, Logitec THX 2.1 sound.

Moore's Law, I thank you.
 
2014-05-04 04:04:18 PM  
I'm the same age as Michael Dell, but all I knew about computers in 1984 was that I'd fooled around with a friend's TRS-80 Model 1 a little, and it bored me to tears. I also dropped out of college, but to work at a bicycle shop. Michael Dell is worth eighteen billion dollars.
 
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