Anyone still using a ten year old PC?

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Johann Mahne

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Anyone still using a ten year old PC?
« on: 24/10/2011 06:46:54 »
I still often use a desktop PC which is a Pentium 3, 700 mhz. 256k ram. Compaq.
It works fine on Win 2000 and Ubuntu 7.
  Takes about 30 seconds to boot. I don't browse with it. It has no anti virus that chews up memory.

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Offline chris

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« Reply #1 on: 24/10/2011 08:22:31 »
I have a computer that I built in 1999; it's still working - pentium 2 - and is on Windows 95! Beat that! I don't use it much, mind you!

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Johann Mahne

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« Reply #2 on: 24/10/2011 09:06:29 »
Hi chris,

 I can't beat that..

 You can use your old pentium2 much more if you run Puppy Linux on it.
It is a very fast an small OS.
You download for free and burn onto a CD. Your PC runs from the CD and it loads the entire operating system into memory. 64 K is enough memory. When you shut down it loads a configuration file onto your hard drive to speed up the boot time.
 You then leave the CD in and always boot from it.

It's very stable, very fast, you can browse from it and install many free apps.
You can leave Win 95 on your PC.
All your files are accessable.
It's unhackable, so you don't need antivirus.
It is easy to update as it's based on Ubuntu ( Debian )
It's very easy to use as it looks like Win 95.
It's also easy to network.
The online community is very helpful too.

 The only disadvantage is that it was developed in a tiny country called Australia which is across the ditch from us.   [;D]
 

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #3 on: 24/10/2011 09:54:08 »
Sorry, no good.

How about an 8080 system that I built in 1974?

Mind you, the OS is a bit primitve cos I had to write it myself!
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline Mazurka

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« Reply #4 on: 24/10/2011 17:10:27 »
I have a pc in at least weekly use that has a 10 year old monitor, keyboard, mouse, case, psu some wires and a modem card.  The rest has been progresively replaced. 

Thanks for the tip about puppy linux, as it is creaking a bit with xp

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Offline Airthumbs

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« Reply #5 on: 24/10/2011 22:29:10 »
I have an original Apple in the attic, don't know if it works though so I suppose it doesn't count  [;D
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #6 on: 24/10/2011 23:44:27 »
I have an original Apple in the attic, don't know if it works though so I suppose it doesn't count  [;D

I must confess that I did use a bit of poetic license. Although I really did build that system, it's existence is now only virtual. Even if the university had let me keep it, I suspect corrosion would have rendered it useless many years ago.

Our budget was so limited that we couldn't afford to buy a high speed paper-tape reader for it, so I made one instead. Probably went into the trash years ago.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline damocles

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« Reply #7 on: 25/10/2011 04:55:38 »
I still have an eMac (purchased 2001) running System 10.2.8 on a regular basis for several useful applications that run on the mac classic emulator, and that were never updated for more modern systems.

I also have a Chinese abacus (1970) and two different slide rules (1967-68) still in use from an even earlier stage of the computer revolution  [;D]
« Last Edit: 25/10/2011 04:57:47 by damocles »
1 4 6 4 1
4 4 9 4 4     
a perfect perfect square square
6 9 6 9 6
4 4 9 4 4
1 4 6 4 1

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Offline neilep

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« Reply #8 on: 25/10/2011 05:11:46 »
I have an Abacus that I had when I was three years old....It came with no instructions so I don't know how to use it !
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Offline damocles

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« Reply #9 on: 25/10/2011 05:50:24 »
When I visited foreign parts in 1970-1973, an abacus and cash tin was the most common form of cash register, both in Hong Kong and in parts of Eastern Europe.

A Chinese abacus, with its black frame and rounded black beads along 13 bamboo rods of 5 + 2 beads, is a serious arithmetic calculating device/aid.
1 4 6 4 1
4 4 9 4 4     
a perfect perfect square square
6 9 6 9 6
4 4 9 4 4
1 4 6 4 1

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #10 on: 25/10/2011 07:53:40 »

and two different slide rules (1967-68)


Ooo! Slide rules were really cool. I even had a plastic case for mine! If I can find it, I'll post a pic. There's a good chance we had the same ones.

I'll try to drag out my compasses, dividers and squares too. It could be interesting to see what a "well armed" technoid of the sixties actually had to deal with  [:D]
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Offline Don_1

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« Reply #11 on: 25/10/2011 10:31:41 »
I have an Abacus that I had when I was three years old....It came with no instructions so I don't know how to use it !

It will probably need new batteries by now.
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Offline RD

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« Reply #12 on: 25/10/2011 10:44:19 »
You can use your old pentium2 much more if you run Puppy Linux on it.
It is a very fast an small OS.
You download for free and burn onto a CD. Your PC runs from the CD and it loads the entire operating system into memory. 64 K is enough memory.

64 Mb ... http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=483398#483398

[I'm posting this via Lucid puppy 5.2.5 running from a USB memory stick, rather than a CD/DVD]
« Last Edit: 25/10/2011 10:49:14 by RD »

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Offline imatfaal

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« Reply #13 on: 25/10/2011 11:41:36 »
My sinclair zx spectrum (bought about 1986?) still works - tried it about 6 months ago; took me far longer to find a working cassette deck to load the programmes than anything else.  I just could not get my copy of elite to load though!  Its a very neat book-end most of the time


Could I download an mp3 of elite perhaps and load from my ipod?
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Offline syhprum

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« Reply #14 on: 25/10/2011 12:03:24 »
I have an 8085 computer from the seventies complete with two floppy disk drives that runs a variety CPM programs.

I also have an excelent printer and scanner from 1995 that are in constant use.
« Last Edit: 25/10/2011 12:10:21 by syhprum »
syhprum

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Offline RD

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« Reply #15 on: 25/10/2011 12:25:03 »
My sinclair zx spectrum ... Could I download an mp3 of elite perhaps and load from my ipod?

You may have to use a lossless audio format like WAV or FLAC, as MP3 is lossy and if its bitrate is low the recording may not be faithful enough to load  ...
http://www.freesound.org/people/are16ocean/sounds/128783/
« Last Edit: 25/10/2011 12:27:28 by RD »

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Offline nicephotog

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« Reply #16 on: 27/10/2011 11:31:42 »
I have a cyrix p3 100Mhz FSB , 256Mb RAM i last used 2 years back i built around 2000 - 2002 , It had originally DOS 6.1 with Mandrake 5 , then a couple of years later , win95 then NT4 then Win 2000 / and Mandrake 7 , then 9 , then XP with slackware 8 9 10 . And JDK/SDK's for Microsoft 4 and 5 , then from around 1.3.x Sun (now Oracle)Java SDK's for J2EE and JDK onwards from around 2005 to present last version Java6(what they call it).
Was operating the last time i used it 2 years back but was sluggish (I always keep anti virus because i do all downloads from I'cafes) , i have since upgraded to 2gb core2duo with 300Gb drive and better LCD so i can hammer out code and read documentation more endlessly than before.

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Offline SeanB

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« Reply #17 on: 27/10/2011 22:00:26 »
Rd, I think a MP3 would have no trouble handling a FSK stream, you would have to drop the bitrate to under phone quality and compress it to near noise before it would be unusable.. AFAIK the main issue with Sir Clive's machines ( along with amongst all the others) was that they used a very simple comparator on the audio stream, where you had to keep a very constant level into it. If they had added more robust data separators it would have been better, but those cost a lot more than a 311 comparator and 5 resistors and 1 capacitor.

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Offline RD

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« Reply #18 on: 28/10/2011 01:07:52 »
At first glance the ZX spectrum spectrum (sic) seemed to extend to 14KHz ...

[attachment=15461]
http://www.freesound.org/people/are16ocean/sounds/128783/

But on closer inspection everything above about 3.5KHz are unnecessary harmonics.

So a sample rate of 8000Hz (telephone) would be sufficient, (I'd still use WAV rather than MP3 though).
« Last Edit: 28/10/2011 01:15:05 by RD »

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Offline techmind

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« Reply #19 on: 03/12/2011 22:45:42 »
My sinclair zx spectrum (bought about 1986?) still works - tried it about 6 months ago; took me far longer to find a working cassette deck to load the programmes than anything else.  I just could not get my copy of elite to load though!  Its a very neat book-end most of the time


Could I download an mp3 of elite perhaps and load from my ipod?

I wouldn't recommend using lossy compression (eg mp3) on computer data... but I've tried it and an mp3-compressed BBC computer cassette software will load from an MP3 player.
Bearing in mind the data rate on those tapes was pretty low (1200bps), even a 16- or 32kbps mp3 will probably do.
"It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not succeed, become scientists." - Schmidt-Nielsen "Memoirs of a curious scientist"

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Offline techmind

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« Reply #20 on: 03/12/2011 22:53:56 »
My main computer is nine years old (ten in a few months). Pentium 4 / 1.8GHz and upgraded to 768MB RAM. It runs Windows XP just fine. I haven't bloated it with MS office (which'd be the death of it), but it's fine for some programming and web-browsing. Many anti-virus progs would probably be too much, but it works just fine with NOD32 which is a decent antivirus which is lightweight on resources. It'll even (just) allow me to watch standard-definition TV via a USB satellite receiver. I open it up every year or two and hoover the dust out, so it doesn't get clogged and risk overheating.
The biggest limitation is that because it's only single-core, one processor-intensive operation (like converting RAW photos to JPG) causes everything else to grind to a halt until its finished).

The original hard disk failed years ago, but I replaced that, and since supplemented it with a second HDD.
The computer did go totally dead about a year ago. I tried swapping the power supply, but it made no difference. I then swapped the CMOS battery coin-cell for the one in my calculator (it turned out the original had gone flat)... and the PC came back to life (with the original PSU) - and has worked ever since.

I did buy a new laptop last year, so I wouldn't be stuck if the old PC failed again - and of course the new one lets me watch HD TV and Blu-ray which is nice. It'll also find optimal solutions to arbitrary states of Rubik's cubes in a few 10's of seconds and all sorts of other tricks the old one wasn't up to.
« Last Edit: 03/12/2011 23:12:58 by techmind »
"It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not succeed, become scientists." - Schmidt-Nielsen "Memoirs of a curious scientist"

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Offline techmind

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« Reply #21 on: 03/12/2011 23:02:43 »
The BBC micro in the cupboard still worked the last time I tried it (less than a year ago). It's rather weird using it with a LCD TV monitor though  [;D]
(And playing tape data to it from my modern PC or mp3 player)
"It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not succeed, become scientists." - Schmidt-Nielsen "Memoirs of a curious scientist"

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Offline techmind

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« Reply #22 on: 03/12/2011 23:05:03 »
My parents' printer is still a trusty HP LaserJet 4M+ (probably about 15-16 years old) ... they were built like battleships (and weighed as much!!!), though my dad has had to make a few small repairs to the mechanics.
"It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not succeed, become scientists." - Schmidt-Nielsen "Memoirs of a curious scientist"

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Offline chris

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« Reply #23 on: 03/12/2011 23:35:03 »
My sinclair zx spectrum (bought about 1986?) still works - tried it about 6 months ago; took me far longer to find a working cassette deck to load the programmes than anything else.  I just could not get my copy of elite to load though!  Its a very neat book-end most of the time


Could I download an mp3 of elite perhaps and load from my ipod?

I had lunch - and dinner - with David Braben who wrote Elite the other day. What a lovely guy. We discussed the Elite story; I still remain gobsmacked how he got that software to work with about 20k of memory to play with (on a BBC at least). That game was a legend and, in my view, has never been beaten.

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #24 on: 04/12/2011 12:56:41 »
I think that some bits of the GPS system are more than 10 years old, so lots of us use 10 Y O technology.
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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #25 on: 04/12/2011 23:50:58 »
My sinclair zx spectrum (bought about 1986?) still works - tried it about 6 months ago; took me far longer to find a working cassette deck to load the programmes than anything else.  I just could not get my copy of elite to load though!  Its a very neat book-end most of the time


Could I download an mp3 of elite perhaps and load from my ipod?

I had lunch - and dinner - with David Braben who wrote Elite the other day. What a lovely guy. We discussed the Elite story; I still remain gobsmacked how he got that software to work with about 20k of memory to play with (on a BBC at least). That game was a legend and, in my view, has never been beaten.



Not to brag or anything, but, I wrote a two person interactive "Battleships and Cruisers" that would not allow any cheating. It ran in 1K of 16 bit memory, AND I made the computer myself [8D] (This was before microprocessors.)
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #26 on: 06/12/2011 16:09:44 »
My sinclair zx spectrum (bought about 1986?) still works - tried it about 6 months ago; took me far longer to find a working cassette deck to load the programmes than anything else.  I just could not get my copy of elite to load though!  Its a very neat book-end most of the time

Could I download an mp3 of elite perhaps and load from my ipod?

I had lunch - and dinner - with David Braben who wrote Elite the other day. What a lovely guy. We discussed the Elite story; I still remain gobsmacked how he got that software to work with about 20k of memory to play with (on a BBC at least). That game was a legend and, in my view, has never been beaten.


Meeting Braben sounds amazing! ... Can't get him on the show I suppose?

Frontier (Sequel to Elite) was the first PC game I ever bought; for our family's first PC. Although there were games of equal ingenuity coming along by then I still list it in my top ten.

And even that only came on a Double-Density floppy disk, which seemed pretty incredible to me.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2011 16:12:01 by peppercorn »

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #27 on: 06/12/2011 18:29:33 »
And even that only came on a Double-Density floppy disk, which seemed pretty incredible to me.

Floppy disks! How high tech is that! I had to do everything in paper tape on an ASR-33 at ten characters per second.

(While working, I might add, in my office which was cardboard box in middle o't road.)
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline peppercorn

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« Reply #28 on: 07/12/2011 13:40:50 »
And even that only came on a Double-Density floppy disk, which seemed pretty incredible to me.

Floppy disks! How high tech is that! I had to do everything in paper tape on an ASR-33 at ten characters per second.

(While working, I might add, in my office which was cardboard box in middle o't road.)

.... By 'eck!


Even with the undreamt of quantities of storage today's programmers have at their disposal I still think it would useful for them to occasionally spare some thought for cleverer memory management.  The, apparently unnecessary, bloated nature of many applications these days (not to mention certain operating systems!) gives one much to nibble quibble about!! [::)]

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Offline Geezer

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« Reply #29 on: 08/12/2011 00:26:53 »
And even that only came on a Double-Density floppy disk, which seemed pretty incredible to me.

Floppy disks! How high tech is that! I had to do everything in paper tape on an ASR-33 at ten characters per second.

(While working, I might add, in my office which was cardboard box in middle o't road.)

.... By 'eck!


Even with the undreamt of quantities of storage today's programmers have at their disposal I still think it would useful for them to occasionally spare some thought for cleverer memory management.  The, apparently unnecessary, bloated nature of many applications these days (not to mention certain operating systems!) gives one much to nibble quibble about!! [::)]

Hear! Hear!

As soon as the H/W guys figure out how to make the memory larger and the processors faster, the S/W guys figure out how to piss it all away. That's a slight exaggeration of course, but there is some truth to it.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force ćther.

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Offline lightspeed301

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Re: Anyone still using a ten year old PC?
« Reply #30 on: 04/01/2012 02:55:11 »
I regularly use my old PIII Compaq Armada E500 at 800 mhz. It was designed for Windows 2000 but it came used with XP.

Down in the basement I cached an 8088 that probably still works. Two large floppies and no hard drive. DOS 2.6 at best. Word Perfect 4.0.  Has an add-on board for memory. Might total 1 meg. Could use it for word processing and even have a carbon ribbon daisy wheel printer for high quality stuff. Thirteen characters per second.....and until very recently I also had one of those HP LaserJet 4s.  Lightning finally fried it. It might have worked on the 8088.

I am probably the only person on the planet who ever surfed the WWW with an 8088. It had a 10 meg hard drive and I ran a DOS browser called Arachne.  Took about ten minutes to load a single page. But I did it!!!!!

« Last Edit: 04/01/2012 03:00:57 by lightspeed301 »

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Offline lightspeed301

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« Reply #31 on: 04/01/2012 03:07:48 »
Pepper

High density floppies! I actually forgot about that. One point two megs on the five inchers? Back in about 1970 my cousin took me to his UC Irvine IT lab. He proudly showed me an early version of Space invaders. Not very much more then Pong, really.

PS I still have my original AOL account from when it was strictly DOS. Had a four digit password. No WWW but a fair number of publications were available. I remember reading The Atlantic.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2012 03:15:22 by lightspeed301 »

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Offline syhprum

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Re: Anyone still using a ten year old PC?
« Reply #32 on: 05/01/2012 22:56:29 »
I have a vintage 1980's 8085 computer complete with two 5 inch floppy drives that runs CPM software (also with cassete tape input) .
It comes with circuit diagram that shows every chip.

syhprum

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Offline syhprum

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« Reply #33 on: 05/01/2012 23:09:02 »
I have a home made device for displaying weather satellite pictures that I built out of TTL chips to my own design in 1984 which really amounts to little more than a video card but of which I am inordinatly proud and keep connected up and occasionaly run pictures from my mini disk recorder.   
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Offline polytope4d

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Re: Anyone still using a ten year old PC?
« Reply #34 on: 30/11/2012 16:20:26 »
I have a 10+ year old ECS motherboard, P4 1.7GHz processor, the Samsung 40 GBhard drive and the case (all are 10+ yrs old)). The CD-RW drive (7+ yrs old), PSU (1 yr, 3rd replacement) and CRT 15"Monitor (6+ yrs) and DDR2  400 RAM (5+ yrs)were all upgraded. Yes, the computer still works on Win XP, there is Office 2003, Foxit reader and Irfanview and an old ver. of Avast AV, and nothing much. To boot it, sometimes you've got to clean the RAM, put it back and it works fine. Replaced the CMOS batt a few yrs ago. :D
« Last Edit: 30/11/2012 16:31:51 by polytope4d »

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Offline grizelda

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« Reply #35 on: 01/12/2012 03:20:01 »
I have a bunch of old Toshiba Tecra 8000 laptops 300 - 400 mhz Pentium 2 which I use with Audiograbber hooked up to a tuner to take radio programs and mp3 them to burn on cd for later listening. Been doing it for years. They never die. Probably because they don't use the new politically correct solder instead of lead.

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Offline Ethos_

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« Reply #36 on: 01/12/2012 22:20:10 »
Actually, I just purchased a new Gateway because my 10 year old XP recently bit the dust. All good things must come to an end,............ RIP old XP.
"The more things change, the more they remain the same."

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Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #37 on: 02/12/2012 10:25:17 »
Sad to say that I just tried to power up my Commodore Pet and it no longer works.

It's possible that the roms have lost their memory but it's more likely that, if I were to replace a few capacitors, I'd still have a working computer from about 1980 (judging by the date stamps on the chips).
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Offline neilep

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« Reply #38 on: 02/12/2012 10:28:59 »
I got one of these in the loft

Amstrad PPC640 (UK 1988)



[attachment=17318]
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Offline Airthumbs

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« Reply #39 on: 21/12/2012 19:06:05 »
Elite was the best game ever once you managed to dock for the first time that is!
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (Einstein)