I have committed my weekend almost entirely to computers. I bought a new one. I bought a dell 8400 3.2 GHz with a gig a ram and and 160 g HD.

I decided as part of this effort I would review my computer situation and get as many of them working as possible and networked. It all takes time, especially for me cause I don't call tech support much and I enjoy figuring stuff out. I have 4 computers working at this writing which is 4 more than at the beginning of the weekend.

This exercise has been a great time for me to reflect on the computers in my personal life. I remember the feeling when I bought my SX 64 that I worked on today. I bought it from COMB for about $650. It must have been 1985. I was elated at the power and enjoyed having the gadget tremendously.

Then I got my first PC. I pieced together parts starting with a 40 meg drive that was flakey from work. I scrounged other components over time and I bought a case from Jamco and pieced together parts and software for almost the next 10 years, upgrading the 80286 up ending up with a 500 M HD. (1989 to 1997). That computer I still really like. It is working today. It needed a little persuasion to get it going. It runs autocad 10 just fine. The OS ended up as DOS 6.22. That was last of the last. I never wanted anything to do with Windows although I did own a couple of Macintoshes along the way. I hope to find a use for the 286 just I had hoped to find a use for the commodore 64. It is just so sad to watch technology move the way it does. I have probably about 1000 dollars into the 286 over the years. I used this machine for BBS and fidonet stuff.

The next computer that had problems today was my first laptop. It is a sharp. I paid 1700 bucks for that one. It runs win95. I upgraded the memory and had a few fits about microsoft. This was my first real internet box. I have it networked today. I have been thinking about how to turn it into a heads-up display for the truck. I had a GPS in it for a while. It has a ...get this a 14.4 modem... fast huh? We all said that that 9600 bps (baud) was the theoretical maximum for phone lines. And indeed that statement was based in fact. Compression algorithms changed the facts. I remember feeling like I bought a new car with that one. I felt somthing special.

The next machine was win 98 machine 500 MHz which is my backup machine. That has made it back. It has been upgraded both in mass storage and ram. last week the CDROM drive crapped out. It was getting weird and intermittant on the bus. Now it is ok with a scronged CDROM drive. I have Douglas's machine apart here which we built as a Linux box. The motherboard seems to have given up the ghost. The other laptop I got from dad has been flakey.. I will be replacing the CMOS battery for real now. I was fudging not having a cmos battery in it for a while.

The biggest thing was that I threw out my SX 64 portable computer today. It has a floppy drive problem. I think I could have fixed it but for what? Games? Even the Ham shack doesn't want that computer anymore. That marks the first of my personal computers taht has been put in the trash. Today. They are a lot smaller than cars.

My new computer today does not give the joy I felt over previous computer purchases. I requires attention and networking it is still a pain. The bloatware XP professional is bloat beyond belief. The gui changes and it all become tiresome. The only good thing is that I can listen to better music easier when trying to get the machines networked. There was only one computer... make that two... downstairs I didn't get to this weekend. It is good. It is the best way to learn. Put the time in.

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