Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Our computer timeline

Just for the record, here's a rundown of the personal computers Erin and I have owned over the past twenty years or so:

Our very first PC was one Erin found for sale in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin back in late 1996.  It was a used 486 Windows 3.10 box that I vaguely remember paying around $350 for.  When we brought it home and hooked it up to a monitor we'd also bought separately, we found it had belonged to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design until 1994, as the hard disk drive had not been wiped.  It also had Adobe Photoshop 3.0 still installed on it, which gave Erin her first chance to play with the program, free!  It was a pretty reliable machine for three years or so, as I recall.

Eventually I had to get my own PC, and I bought mine new for around $400 at a store in Minneapolis (Dinkytown) in 1997, and it was a Pentium I box running Win95, I think.

Then in early 1999 we got an eMachine that had an AMD K5 processor and ran Win98, which I used at Minicon 34 to run the art show with and then kept for five more years, two power supplies (eMachine's weakness) and an processor upgrade.  It was a pretty solid box for the $400 I paid for it.

In the meantime, Erin's need for a more powerful machine to start printing her art necessitated getting a Cyberpower machine with an AMD Athlon processor and WinXP in 2003, which ran well but died suddenly after three years.  I think I paid about $700 for it, including shipping, as it was the first computer I'd bought online.

Then in 2006 because I had a work-related discount with Dell, I ordered a Dimension E521 for $700 with an AMD dual-core CPU and WinXP, and it ran faithfully until it was replaced in 2010 and then died for some reason before I could repurpose it.  Oh well.

The replacement was a Dell XPS 9000, a very capable machine that still runs and served Erin's increasing need for power to do her digital artwork with an Intel quad-core i7 CPU and 6GB of RAM, running Windows 7.  It was pricey at about $900, but worth it.  (There's a timeline of Photoshop updates that parallels the computer updates, naturally.)  But of course the need for speed never stops and earlier this year it was replaced too.

Our latest computer that we bought earlier this year is a Dell XPS 8700, which despite a lower number has 12 GB of RAM and a faster Intel i7 CPU, still running Windows 7.  It also cost less, at $730, thankfully.  Erin likes it.

In the meantime we've also had an Acer laptop running WinXP from 2005 to 2010 before it died and was replaced by a used Dell WinXP laptop that ran until early this year and was replaced by another freebie Dell laptop running an Ubuntu variant of Linux, Peppermint 3.  It's not used much as I've gotten used to using my Nook HD tablet.  And now we have smartphones too, finally.

That's a lot of computers, and monitors too, as we went through four CRT monitors of various sizes and then a couple of Dell LED monitors.  And a dot-matrix printer, then in 1998 an HP inkjet that Erin used for several years to print bookmarks and magnets with, then in 2001 an Epson 2000P printer that she used to print her artwork with and then in 2009 an Epson 4880 printer that's still running well.  Oh, and there have been two other HP Photosmart printers Erin used to print cards and brochures with.  Oh, and a Zip drive, two external hard drives and etc. etc. etc.  That's a lot of equipment.  And money!

No comments:

Post a Comment