Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nothing like a trip down the memory lane to recall the hardware of the past.

Do you remember your first PC ? I think everyone does, and will never forget. I got mine as a gift when I was in year 10 in school. It was a used Compaq Prolinea 4/33 with an IBM 14" CRT Monitor, a Compaq keyboard and an IBM mouse :) . I still remember the first day I got it, I had to anxiously wait for an entire day for my parents to bring a power entension cord to power it up. It was loaded with Windows 95 though the hardware was in DOS/Win 3.1 era. The processor was an Intel 486 DX running at mighty 33MHz, coupled with 8MB of RAM and a whopping 120MB Quantum hard disk, with integrated Tseng labs ET4000/W32 VGA with 1MB of VRAM  which I and my friends enjoyed countless hours of  playing Wolf3D and Dangerous Dave with. And that with the annoying (now!) sounds of the PC speaker. Oh I'm getting all nostalgic over and over again. :(

Then came the school holidays. Ours was the only household who had a PC in the area. My friends would wait for my parents to leave the house and sneak in asap. Then they won't leave until the time my parents come back home in the evening. So I usually had my lunch after 5PM :) . Nice memories. I was afraid that the PC would burn from using several hours straight, my fear was quadrupled when I learnt that the CPU didn't have a heatsink or a fan of any sort. Yes! I took apart my very first computer not more than 3 months after getting it. Once we were playing a game during a heavy rain and nearly got struck by lightning. I was nervously waiting for electricity to come back to make sure the PC wasn't kaput. 

I was basically using the PC for playing games and most importantly learning how to use a PC :) Didn't have internet back then so unlike thesedays everthing was learnt by trial and error. With the 120MB of hard drive space I was deleting everything that seemed unnecessary to gain free space, once I deleted io.sys , command.com and msdos.sys files :) and saved the PC miraculously by putting a 3.5" floppy disk with those files at boot time which I brought copied from a Win 98 PC from the school computer lab.
After using nearly 2 years straight, the time came for me to go for a faster PC with multimedia capabilities. So I reluctantly sold it to a friend of mine and got a Pentium 166 (No MMX). 
Though the current PC I use is easily five hundred times faster and has literally 1000+ times memory (8GB) and has blistering fast graphics I will cherish the moments I had with the mighty Compaq Prolinea forever!

Click here to view a disassembled Compaq Prolinea  4/33 in it's full glory.

5 comments:

Anusha Dharmasena said...

I'll post a reply when I get home. Will have to be an entire post. It's long. XD

GayanNR said...

:D :D

Ravin Perera said...

Wow! just saw this. I think I might have been luckier than you. We got our first family computer in 1998 and it was a Pentium 1 200MHz MMX machine, 32MB RAM and a 2GB quantum HDD running Win95. But my experiences have been identical to you. Games, friends, cousins, winamp! I also remember how I got scared for breaking the computer when MS word got stuck. (Didn't know about ctrl+alt+del then)

MyBlog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GayanNR said...

@Ravin
Winamp!, Winzip!, ACDSee! Sigh!