Sitting here at my latest computer and bored, I decided to make my first
Slashdot journal entry, and make it about the computers I have personally owned. By own, I
mean those for which I had both the equivalent of root on the box and I had
leav to commit acts both natural and unnatural upon them,
even if I didn't own them in a fiscal sense.
Commodore Vic 20 'Vicky' (1981-198?)
- CPU: 6502 (1.01MHz)
- RAM: 3.5KB
- Graphics: 176x184, 8 text colors, 16 bg colors
- Storage: audio tape drive.
I had this when I was around 12. I think my dad got it from the U.S. during
a trip. I did some graphics programming on it, but mostly I played games. I
copied some programs out and later, when we got a miniature pen plotter that
wroteon 3 in strips of paper, I drew lots of cool pictures on it (mainly
kaleidascope style designs). There was no true graphics to speak of, it was
connected to a small old tv set via an RF tuner. I guess the computing power
of the computer was on par with that of the NES.
Being in Korea, there weren't any computer shops to speak of, and the ones
that did exist didn't carry any Commodore stuff. Most of it was knock off
"Kapple" stuff. I do remember getting Commodore computer magazines (God knows
how) and drooling with envy over the Commodore 64. 64KB of memory!
Incredible. About the time it started to get old and rank, I was reading in Newsweek
about the release of the Mac in Cupertino. Eventually, we got a *real* computer but
not a Mac...
IBM XT 'The IBM' (1985-1987)
- CPU: 8088 (4.77Mhz)
- RAM: 640KB
- Graphics: 640x480 8bit greenscale
- Storage: 10MB HD, 5.25" FD
This was, my first truly useful computer. I wrote most (if not all) of my
high school papers on it. (In WordStar if I recall correctly). Naturally I
had some games, but I think the one I played the most was one called "Jet"
which was the only one that really ran because of the strange Hercules graphics
card on it. No that's not entirely correct, I must have spent many
man-months/years playing "Sun Tzu's Ancient Art of War" The original. I don't
know if I programmed on it outside of DOS scripts and such.
The Lean College Years (1987-1992)
During my colledge years, I didn't have a computer of my own, but I did make
liberal use of the many Macs scatterred around the Carnegie Mellon campus. At
almost all times, one of my many roommates had a computer (for two years I
lived in a 6 bedroom house with 10 guys), usually a Mac. The games I really
enjoyed playing were "Strategic Conquest", "Pirates!", but the one that sticks
out in my mind is "Armor Alley". We went to many a computer cluster and played
2 on 2 across the digital plain.
Grad School and Beyond (1992-1997)
Mac IIsi (1992-1997)
- CPU: 68030 20MHz
- RAM: 17MB
- Graphics: 640x480 16bit
- Storage: 40MB HD, 3.5MB FD
After going to graduate school at Stanford (having met in the meantime, my
future wife "Eunyoung Chung" at a concert of hers during a visit to Korea), I
realized I needed a PC. I invested $3000 dollars in a
new MacIIsi with color monitor (shunning the more economical B&W monitor).
I upgraded the IIsi to 17MB via 4 4MB 32pin SIMMs. The main program I used on
this computer were terminal apps and Andrew Welch's fabulous Maelstrom. It ran
Wolfram's Mathematica like a champ, and I finished many a homework on it. Most
of my work, however, was done with a Word 5.1 (or was it 4?) and Excel.
I later upgraded it to a 66MHz 601 PowerPC via Daystar's excellent
accelerator, an external SCSI CD player (2x I think) and a SCSI zip drive. But,
the IIsi having a fundamentally slow bus, as the years went by, I felt more and
The Multi-platform Years (1997-)
PowerMac 7200/75 (1997-1999)
- CPU: PowerPC 601 (75MHz)
- RAM: 36MB
- Graphics: 1024x768 24bit
- Storage: 500MB, 100MB zip, 3.5MB FD
This computer, I scrounged from work where they were transitioning from Macs
to PC's. There seemed to be alot of that going on around this time. This
computer served me very well attached to my various peripherals. Mathematica
still ran on it, and I upgraded it through Mac System 8.1. But, in many ways,
it didn't have the grace of the IIsi. Apple seemed to have lost it's way.
Later, I augmented it with another computer, Hugin (also scrounged from
PowerBook 520c 'Hugin' (1997-1998)
- CPU: 68LC040 (25MHz)
- RAM: 12MB
- Graphics: 800x600 8bit greyscale
- 160MB HD, 3.5" FD
Named after Odin's raven Hugin (I thought appropriate since the code name
from 520 series was "BlackBird"). I only used it for a short time since about
a year after I got it, I got another cast off laptop 'sleipnir', and Hugin's
display light failed, crippling the computer. I did manage to rescue the
contents of the disk by downloading to Zip disks. Still, it ran well and was a
pretty nice computer, small and elegant.
HP Vx 'Odin' (1997-1999)
- CPU: PentiumPro (200MHz)
- RAM: 32MB
- Graphics: 1024x768 16bit
- Storage: 200MB HD, 3.5" FD
This was the first desktop I put Linux on. RedHat 5.2. Setting up the
graphics cards and networking was a great bother but very educational. Linux
2.0 ran like a champ and I had uptimes of 9 months and more. And very fast to
boot. I compiled many a program on it and wrote many a script on Odin. I also
used it as a Poscript printer server for my 7200. I also tinkered with lilo
enough to multi-boot with Win95, although I don't think I ever booted into
Windows after I got things running.
Toshiba Tecra 520CDT 'Sleipnir' (1997-2000)
- CPU: Pentium MMX (166MHz)
- RAM: 32MB
- Graphics: 800x600 24bit color
- Storage: 2GB HD, 10x CD-ROM, 3.5" FD
This was my workhorse computer for many years. It provided great
performance under RedHat 5.2, especially once I recompiled the kernel to be
leaner and switched to using the AfterStep window manager. I used it to browse
the web using my ricochet (may it rest in peace) network connection.
Unfortunately, towards the end of it's tenure, Sleipnir could no longer maintain
a charge in its batteries. It would report 3 hours of battery life after a full
charge and then promptly shutdown 20 minutes later because it ran out of
Palm Pilot Personal 'Munin' (1997-1999)
- CPU: Dragonball (16MHz)
- RAM: 512KB
- Graphics: 160x160 1bit
- Storage: 512KB
Some people may not consider them computers, but hey, this is my list so
I'll add what I want. Munin was my main handheld for two years. Munin was the
other of Odin's Ravens, and the name means 'Memory'. I thought it very
appropriate for my backup memory device. I later replaced it with a
Gateway Solo 9100 'Sleipnir2' (1999-2000)
- CPU: Pentium MMX (266MHz)
- RAM: 196MB (woohoo!)
- Graphics: 1024x768 24bit
- Storage: 4GB HD, CDROM, FD
This was an awesome kickass machine (and at 8 pounds plus could be used to
bash a car window in case of emergency). I installed Mandrake 7.0 on it and had
considerable trouble setting up XFree86 and sound (lots of trouble with the
sound). Once I had it set up and running, it ran great. It had/has a bright
big display. It was one of the few laptops (then and now)
which allowed you to have both CDROM and floppy drive in at the same time. I
did have some strange errors with sleeping and the harddrive, but an obscure
apm option in the apm-scripts cleared this up. Running Mandrake, I did lots of
development and research on Sleipnir2 (Once I find a good name, I stick with
it). Like Sleipnir I, it's battery continued to deteriorate and in the end, I
only was getting around 2 hours of uptime from two batteries. Unfortunately, it
really wasn't mine, and I turned it in to upgrade to a lighter/faster laptop,
Palm III 'Munin2' (1999-
- CPU: Dragonball (16MHz)
- RAM: 2MB
- Graphics: 160x160 1bit
- Storage: 2MB
Munin II was my main handheld up until recently. The case creaked alot and
I had lots of intermittent digitizer problems. I don't think the PalmIII's were
engineered as well as the Palm Personal/Professionals were. I did get a Palm
Keyboard for it and it proved to be useful.
PowerMac G4/450 AGP 'G4'
- CPU: G4 (450MHz)
- RAM: 704MB
- Graphics: 1280x1024 24bit
- Storage: 60GB, DVD-ROM
This is my current desktop. I'm running MacOSX and couldn't be happier.
When palm was running short on releasing the desktop software, I compiled the
pilot-xfer package and was able to backup and install software on my computer.
It started out as a 350, but I picked up a 450 processor board for about $100
bucks a couple of years ago.
Dell Latitude CPx 'Sleipnir3' (2001-)
- CPU: Pentium III (650MHz)
- RAM: 256MB (wheee)
- Graphics: 1024x768 24bit.
- Storage: 6GB, CDROM, FD
This is my current workhorse, with two batteries I can get close to 6 hours
of uptime. Installing Linux 7.1 was a snap and it compilies our current work
code base in about 80% of the time of a 1.2GHz Pentium III. It is lighter than
Sleipnir the 2nd and has a better screen. I really like the easy modularity of
the batteries and cdroms. I'm even considering adding a DVD-Rom drive (around
Handera 330 'Munin3'
- CPU: DragonBall-VZ 33MHz
- RAM: 8MB
- Graphics: 320x240 4bit
- Storage: 8MB, 128MB CompactFlash
Munin the Third was a birthday present from my wife of 7 years (I chose of
course). With the great (I mean GREAT) QVGA screen and backlight, compact flash
expandability and sound recording capability. I think it's the best Palm clone
out there. Highly highly recommended.
Hope this brings back some memories for people.