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What got you started with PC's? Tell your story.

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Sorry for the platitudinous ramble. Just struck a chord.

That was the most beautiful bit of off-topic rambling I think I've ever heard.

EDIT:

I love these threads, and I just scrolled back to see I hadn't commented on this one yet that I could find.

For me, I'd always been an inquisitive kid. The type to take apart the remote control to see how it works, and get grounded for it. I played some old games on my mom's PC back in the windows 95 era, but would have never dared to touch it for fear of breaking what amounted to a huge investment at the time.
Played consoles as a kid mostly. Xbox came out, and one fateful day, I discovered The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. Played that game religiously for years. Eventually I found out that you could mod the PC version, and I absolutely HAD to get in on that. But there was no way my mom's PC was going to handle it, and they wouldn't let me upgrade it.
I literally found a PC sitting beside a flee market dumpster, and asked them if I could take it. They said it was broken, so sure. I got on the 56k interwebs (yea, my small town still had dial up) and researched my butt off.
I fixed the computer, as it luckily had a good motherboard. Upgraded it to a Pentium 3 500mhz. By this time, I had a small stash of "broken" computers from various sources, and stole all the ram out of them, and upgraded the original computer with it. Had a whopping 768mb of ram, which was utterly massive in that day. 1gb ram sticks wouldn't be affordable for another several years on the consumer market, and a computer with 256mb of ram was considered a high end computer. Luckily, the original motherboard had three ram slots, and with a bios update and three sticks of salvaged 256mb of ram, I basically had a supercomputer. Eventually found a Pentium 3 1ghz, and that thing flew (compared to what it was before lol). The graphics card was a Radeon 9550 AGP. I played SO much Morrowind, WoW vanilla, Guild Wars, etc on that thing.

Skip forward a few years of being the go-to tech nerd in town, several jobs and a stint in the Marine Corps later... A buddy of mine got me a job in tech support at a local company. I'm still at that company, but am now a certified Software QA Engineer, and now get to break software for a living.

Long story short... I owe my career to Morrowind. Thanks Bethesda!
 
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Well,back in 1999 my wife said i'm spending way too much time on console (typical psx widow talk:D) so we bought our first pc, comaque pressario 2000 .Well ,best part of of the setup were JBL speakers :roll:Roughly 20 years later i,m playing Tomb Raider 2 staring Lara Croft on emulator ,old habits die hard it seems ;).
 
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Well,back in 1999 my wife said i'm spending way too much time on console (typical psx widow talk:D) so we bought our first pc, comaque pressario 2000 .Well ,best part of of the setup were JBL speakers :roll:Roughly 20 years later i,m playing Tomb Raider 2 staring Lara Croft on emulator ,old habits die hard it seems ;).
It's kind of impressive that you had a wife before you ever had a PC :p

I'm in my 40s now.. and most likely never will be married.
 
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Storage Apacer pcie ssd 240 gb
Case scratch build
Power Supply inter tech 650w 80+bronze
Software Ubuntu bionic beaver 18.04 lts
It's kind of impressive that you had a wife before you ever had a PC :p

I'm in my 40s now.. and most likely never will be married.
Dude, me thinks it is more impressive that i'm still married :laugh: ,28 years and counting.
 
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M0rafic

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The first computer I bought cost me about £250 in 1979, I can't remember what it was called, It had an led display, a rom with BASIC on it and you had to plug it into a tape recorder to save/load programs. There was an option for an external hard drive (or as they were then winchester disks and it could also be upgraded to run cp/m . Needless to say as a student reading computer science I couldn't afford the options. I hated it, I despised Basic and after being switched on half a dozen times it went up in my parents loft.

The first computer I fell in love with was the ICL 2980 mainframe running vme/b, programming monte-carlo neutronics simulations and x-ray crystallography stuff for the Atomic Energy Authority, sheer bliss. It even had a magnetic drum! The only one I have ever seen.

After that real-time radar processing and air traffic movements in CORAL66 and assembler at the National Air Traffic Control Centre in West Drayton and 4 massive IBM 9020 D's to play with each of which was made up of 3 or 4 "smaller" IBM 360 series mainframes. There was a folder containing maps by the door of the machine room so that people could find their way around. I'm autistic so I used to go in there for hours at a time to work. Just coming out for lunch and the odd coffee break.

Then Mrs Thatcher decided to cancel the project I was working on so it was out into the real world.

Somehow stock-control, accounts, payroll, MRP etc the normal commercial IT stuff was about as stimulating as last weeks porridge, so I switched from coding to the operations side of things. Plus by this time the IBM AT and a million clones had arrived and I was pretty sure I wanted nothing to do with them. So I switched from programming mainframes to looking after mainly Dec VAXes, with the odd Sun Solaris box and for a blissfull six months one summer I negotiated my way into working constant night- shifts looking after two rooms full of VAXes and a by then superannuated ICL 2960 still running 10 years after its proposed decommissioning date. In the whole six months I didn't see anyone.

But then thanks to all that time with VAXes running VMS got me a normal 9-5 IT job with loads of network pc's running wfw 3.11 because they also had VAXes running their email system and real-time data-logging and archiving. Doing stuff with VAXes usually meant out of hours even if it was only defragging disks and rebuilding databases. And what do you do at the end of a long day when there isn't really much to do except wait. You play Prince of Persia or Doom on one of those annoying pc's just to pass the time. When the VAXes were replaced with HP intel powered servers I left and went working for Dell, telling other people what to do with broken/failing servers or I played with servers. On the occasions when I was the one who turned up to look at a clients kit rather than the usual site engineer it was really important to Dell that it be fixed. It wasn't unknown for planes and helicopters to be chartered to ensure that the person who was going to solve the problem got there in time. Even if "there" was a ship in the middle of the atlantic.

Anyway I did at one point think of getting a Dual Processor VAX but they use rather a lot of power. So I made do with a dual celeron Abit BP6 (a 100% overclock to 400Mhz) with scsci drives and DAT tape an ATI 2d graphics card an ATI 2d graphics card and a pair of Voodoo 2's (this was pre-Dell) I also bought a few old IBM desktops on a pallet along with a HP 4MV A3 laser printer and a lasejet III. the Laserjet 4 had a jetdirect card in it so it was handyand i had a little network of 4 or 5 pc's. I also bought an ibm thinkjet.

Then came Dell, and a burglery so all the kit got knicked. So given the company discount I bought the XPS m1330 I'm typing on. Its had a few upgrades since but it will happily play Skyrim and Halflife 2 so it does ok.

As for Dell I retired on health grounds and am now reasonably content, last month I picked up a Dell Precision T7500 as I still like the idea of multiple physical processors even if for most tasks there is no benefit in the real world. Just like the dual celeron machine was absolutely useless for gaming back in the day it was fun to build.

Similarly just to be awkward the 2010 T7500, has an NVMe boot drive, the games etc, sit on a a group of SAS drives plugged into a raid controller from a server forming a raid 5 array. And it has 48Gb of triple channel ram along with a vega 56. It doesn't really need the complexity at all, I'm useless at gaming but its just pushing the envelope without having to have the latest bit of kit where it isn't going to provide much real benefit for having spent an awful lot of cash.

I have learned two things in working in IT, how to make old kit go far faster than it should be capable of and that being on the bleeding edge means you pay through the nose, the promises are never delivered on for a year or perhaps even two before the drivers and firmware catch up and let you finally get the performance AND reliability that initial release offered.

God I've waffled on.......

Mike
 
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It's kind of impressive that you had a wife before you ever had a PC :p

I'm in my 40s now.. and most likely never will be married.
Say in Vader voice--"Impressive. Most impressive." :D

Never say never friend! In my circle of friends we never thought our friend Ed would get married and he did--at 40. And I thought that if it can happen to him it can happen to me, and it did--at 37. I think getting married later is actually better as you know yourself well enough to know what you need and want in a spouse. :love:

Dude, me thinks it is more impressive that i'm still married :laugh: ,28 years and counting.
Say again in Vader voice--"Impressive. Most impressive." :D

Marriage can be hard, but hard in a way you've never known before you were married. But if there's a commitment of each person to the other no matter what, somehow that becomes something that is hard to explain--a solidarity, a uniformity. Yes, it can come with a lot of butting of heads, but gives one something that you never thought you could attain. (Just 6 years married here.)

This talk of marriage and PCs, reminded me of the funniest article I ever read:

http://users.rcn.com/alderete/humor/comp/scott-adams.html
The funny thing is, is this has become true! I remember when being into computers or video games put you on the fringes of society. Now, it's mainstream! And the girls! Where did the hot geeky girls come from?!?! These were never around before. :cry: PS, I'm writing this in boxer shorts in front of a 22" CRT running 2560x1600 via vga, haha.

Women generally do like intelligent men, period, so being an intelligent gentleman is the tortoise in the race of life. ;)

I love reading the posts here. I thought I had added my own, but didn't see it so I'll have to do that sometime. :)
 

Aquinus

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High school, it was a 2.4Ghz Northwood Celeron, FIC motherboard, Radeon 9200. I used spare parts from my earlier computer, an eMachine. First computer I ever built. I still have it, it's in the attic. :laugh:
 
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