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(Mental Floss)   How to buy a computer...1993 edition   ( mentalfloss.com) divider line
    More: Amusing, OS/2, time machines  
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9807 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Mar 2013 at 8:33 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-03-26 01:12:28 PM  
1 vote:

Mikey1969: So what were you driving in 1993?

I don't know, it was my roommate's computer, but I could play some games on it and check out basic porn, was there really anything else I needed to do at the time? I was unsophisticated, and AOL was all I needed...

Amiga 3000 with 12M of RAM (2M chip RAM W00T!), 120M of SCSI HD goodness (thanks to Chico for getting me a decent price), Opalvision 24 bit graphics buffer, 386 Bridgeboard (an actual PC on a card to run PC software), a Mac emulator, video capture thingy (Digi View gold?) and a B/W camera, external 14.4 modem, 24 pin printer, multisync monitor and hooked up to the stereo.

I was doing morphing and image stuff and running some sort of fractal landscape generator and I animated a F-15 wireframe going into a canyon. I was also big into the local "warez doodz" thing and had shiatloads of floppies in many donut boxes.

Why the hell didn't I continue that instead of going into electronics??? I was the only idiot in college who handed in papers all printed out, other people were still hand-drawing their oscilloscope waveforms, I took pictures of my scope CRT and tossed them into the word processor. No one laughed at my Amiga after that...

/How the hell did I even get all that money?
//Why the hell do I even remember all this shiat?
///Why didn't I put as much effort into women???
2013-03-26 12:20:59 PM  
1 vote:
Emerson 286 12 Mhz with a monocrome monitor.  MS DOS 4.0

Procomm software to run the 1200 baud modem.

Ran a 3 line BBS running TAG software and my most popular door game was LORD (Legend of the Red Dragon)

/off to find TAG and LORD to see how it runs on my Alienware

http://soundcloud.com/windytan-1/dial-up-modem-noises Takes me back.
2013-03-26 11:55:40 AM  
1 vote:

madgonad: sammyk: To this day my Mom says its the best $100 she ever spent. Both my brother and I have very successful IT careers and it all goes back to that primitive little device we got when we were 14-15. We were at the perfect age brimming with curiousity and all we wanted to do is see how far we could push that thing. My childhood hobby became my career and I have not truely worked a day of my life.

Which explains why I have never dealt with an IT person that does anything right or knows their own systems and networks better than me and I just work in finance.

Which explains why I moved my career to infrastructure. It's a real pain in the ass talking to finance guys that think they know something because they figured out how to setup a home wifi.

What makes everyone think they can do the IT guys job? I've been doing this shiat for +30 years. I forgotten more than you will ever know about computer technology.
2013-03-26 11:47:38 AM  
1 vote:
2013-03-26 11:26:44 AM  
1 vote:

Lawnchair: sammyk: pfft! My 1st computer. 16k of RAM and I had to hack a cassette tape deck for storage.

/whats a cassette?

The scary part about the TI-99 you see there.  That's what my family WAS running circa 1993.  And, yes, you're remembering things correctly... TI pulled out of the computer market in 1984.
The fact that the machine was orphaned meant that my dirt-poor (but nerdy) folks could get one for around $100 in '84 and the disk-drive expansion box for $100 (used) in '85.

After that, until about 1994 or so, we were in a weird Galapagos Island (or Japanese war holdout) end of computers.  There were a few thousand TI-99 people who were still writing software, holding conventions, doing fairly intense desktop publishing and graphics, all on ten-year-defunct weird old machines.  We didn't have the money to upgrade, were in a small town (largely disconnected from the broader computer culture), and so just kept plugging away at the miserable beastie.

Computer Chronicles was a PBS show, so we'd watch it.  All the talk about megabytes of RAM and CD-ROM drives were just sorta mythical... like North Koreans who believe that the rest of the world is rich, but don't even really understand what that means.

To this day my Mom says its the best $100 she ever spent. Both my brother and I have very successful IT careers and it all goes back to that primitive little device we got when we were 14-15. We were at the perfect age brimming with curiousity and all we wanted to do is see how far we could push that thing. My childhood hobby became my career and I have not truely worked a day of my life.
2013-03-26 10:17:22 AM  
1 vote:

wildcardjack: Thanks to hindsight, that $2000 invested in a PC in 1993 should have been put into MSFT, which traded around $2.50 that year. It's split five times since then and paid dividends since 2003...

Not as great as if you'd spent $2k on MSFT in 1986. You could live a nice life on that one. Now everyone IPO's their stock as overvalued companies that'll never justify their opening price and the only way to make good money in the market is taking options on who they'll crash next.

/Okay, maybe the cynical note's from a pulled muscle.

But you couldn't play Wolfenstein 3d on a stock certificate, priorities man.
2013-03-26 09:52:38 AM  
1 vote:
I went to college with a 486-66 in 1993. 250mb hard drive -- would've been another $300 to go up to a 540mb. Before I graduated, I spent less money on a 1.6gb hard drive.

Only guy on my floor with a computer in the dorm room even my sophomore year. Which is also when we noted the cleats on the window frame and the strdy coat road in the closet, and strung a hammock between the cleat and the coat road. If you swung the hammock far enough, you could open the fridge on the first swing, get a beer off the door with the second, and keep writing.
2013-03-26 09:50:48 AM  
1 vote:
Here you go.

amigahistory.co.ukView Full Size

Problem solved.
2013-03-26 09:29:50 AM  
1 vote:

Joe_diGriz: I had pretty much the same configuration as my first non-hand-me-down PC. (And geez, what a step up from the 286 I had been using.) It was actually pulled form my college fund; since my parents realized that said fund might pay for about a half-semester of college in 1992, thy just invested about $2200 (ouch) of it into a computer instead. Given that pretty much everyone else on my floor had the college-leased (Steven's Tech required early on that every student have a computer) 386SX, it was pretty much the last time I actually had something that could run circles around my friends' computers.

Man, what heady days those were!  Kids these days just don't appreciate the joy of getting a weird sound card to work by farking around in autoexec.bat and config.sys, or the balancing act that was futzing with QEMM between making a game work vs. playable...
2013-03-26 08:55:06 AM  
1 vote:
386 CPUs were already obsolete by 1993. If you were buying an entry-level PC, you were getting at least a 486SX-25, and paying at least $1000 for it.
2013-03-26 08:47:57 AM  
1 vote:

Babwa Wawa: That freaky lady at 5:35 is Lisa Biow.  She gave up computers and is now a certified rolfer.

I read that as 'Blow' and had an entirely different interpretation of what 'rolfing' was.
2013-03-26 08:16:49 AM  
1 vote:
I see your 1993 video and raise you with Bits & Bytes, circa 1983.

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