One Whole Decade Ago

Date: 22nd April 1995. Scenario: Jake's so excited about taking delivery of his first computer he borrows his mum's car and drives 200 miles to collect it himself. From the "delivery" note I signed ten years ago today (which I've kept as a memento and happened to uncover by accident last week) here's the spec of that PC:

  1. PTM5D66 PR 256K 1.4 700M 8MB A592
  4. CM1438T .28 14" VGA MONITOR

I can't remember exactly how much it cost but remember it being most of that year's Student Loan. Check that spec out though! Woh. P66 processor with a 700MB HDD and Windows 301. Not forgetting the eight megs of RAM! Which, at the time, was enough for the guy who took my order to question my need for it. How times have changed. I now have a PC with more RAM than that computer had HDD space.

The reason I wanted needed so much RAM was AutoCAD 12, which I was heavily in to using at that point. At the time I thought CAD would be my career (more on that) and so needed as much RAM as I could get. A year later I upgraded it to a whopping 16MB at the additional cost of £190. That's £23 per MB. Now you can pay as little as £0.07 per MB!!


    • avatar
    • YoGi
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 04:27


    i bought my first PC 10 years ago too. march, april or may 95, i don't remember. it was a 486 DX2 66 with a 400Mb HDD and 4 Mb of RAM. DOS 6.22, Windows 3.1.

    the first night i've played doom 2 hours and hours and hours in a row :D

    • avatar
    • Dave in Norway
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 04:53

    This time 10 years ago I had 32mb on my pc at work. I was responsible for all the hardware where I worked and so "procured" some extra ram for myself.

    I thought I was the dog's dangly bits having that much ram, the same as our Notes servers!.

    • avatar
    • Jake Howlett
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 05:06

    I remember not long after I upgraded my RAM to 16MB my then girlfriend's dad went out and bought a PC with 32MB!! and 17" monitor (hated the idea of being out-done by his daughter's boyfriend?). At the time I could see no reason at all for this much RAM. He actually let me unpack and set it up though, which was nice of him. I was like a pig in mud.

  1. Your systems seem very sophiscated compared to nmy PC. I bought my first PC in the Summer 1991.

    It was 386sx16 (16Mhz!), 1 Mb RAM (4 x 256k SIPP Modules), 5.25inch floppy drive, 40Mb Hard Disk, 14inch CRT monitor. DR-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.0 (or was 3.1 ? can't remember). I still have the machine somewhere in my loft in bits.

    The funniest thing, the company who I had bought it from supplied the OS and Windows on 3.5inch disks! Cost approx. £1200

  2. Hi 10 years ago I had an Amstrad cpc 464 with tape and green screen. I only use for play and make simple programs with basic but i only have 14 years old... now this change and this machines give me of eatin.

    The machine:


    Regards from spain and sorry my english.

    • avatar
    • jono
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 06:59

    my first pc was a 286, 256K RAM, no hard drive, cga graphics and just a dodgy 5 1/4 inch floppy drive - used to play prince of persia direct from the disk drive! madness...

  3. I now have a USB key with more RAM than the combined total of the disk storage of my first three computers. The first was nineteen yeas ago, a Mac Plus, with 1 MB RAM and an 800K floppy. That was followed five years later by a Mac IIsi with 5 MB RAM and a 40 MB drive. My first PC was 12 years ago, and if memory serves me right it was a 486/66 with 4 MB of RAM and an 80 MB hard drive.


    • avatar
    • Dirk
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 08:20

    Jake, you started me on a little trip down memory lane.

    In '82 I bought my first computer. A <a href:="http://oldcomputers.net/ts1000.html">Timex Sinclair 1000</a>. It had 2k (yes, that's k) of RAM and 8k ROM. I also purchased the extended 16k memory pack. The computer was ~$100 and the memory was $50 (or about $800 per Mb).

    One of the things I remember thinking was so cool was that it just connected right to my TV and cassette player. Now that I think about it, I had a 25" monitor in 1982.

    Ahh, the good ol' days.

    • avatar
    • Tim
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 10:02

    my phone has higher spec!

    • avatar
    • Dick
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 10:45

    Now you've done it!

    In 1979 I bought a Radio Shack TRS-80 with two 10 inch floppies. No hard drive! Loved it so much, I took it back under the 90-day warranty and upgraded to a 4-user Altos with 4 Zilog Z-80 processors and a hard disk and tape backup. That was when I started getting serious about PCs.

    In late 1984 I bought four 286 IBM PC ATs with 30MB disks and 640K of RAM for myself and 3 Lattice C developers. They cost about $5600 each. Several years later I upgraded all 4 to Compaq 386s. For my Chief Scientist, I bought 5 MB of RAM with a color graphics card. Pirice tag for that one machine: $13,000. We were running Digital Research's Flex-OS developing software for IBM's Point of Sale system. The performance of the 386s, gave us a significant edge over our competition still using 286s.

    • avatar
    • Michael
    • Fri 22 Apr 2005 11:16

    My first computer was a Commodore 64 purchased in late 82 or early 83 (fuzzy memory) :). I had a 300baud Mighty Mo modem which I used for text editing Cobol assignments for school and would upload them to my school account. In the 20 minutes it would take to walk to school, my upload or paste terminal function would barely be finished the transfer. I had a slight advantage over the other students as the lab was closed nights and most of the weekend. I just happened to make notes during my class tour of the computer room full of minis. The bix panel had the phone numbers labelled very nicely.

    As for the C64, still in the attic however the 1701 monitor has been used constantly for the last 23 years as it's hooked up to our vcr and dvd. There's no tv in the house - that's a whole other matter. :(

    • avatar
    • Andrew Tetlaw
    • Sat 23 Apr 2005 03:46

    My first was 1994:

    486SX33, 4MB ram, 260MB HDD, 1MB VESA VGA

    I can remember spending $AU240 6 months later to buy an extra 4MB of ram!

    • avatar
    • Ben
    • Sun 24 Apr 2005 04:11

    I could only afford to buy my own PC when I started contracting and I, er, went a little crazy....

    P2 450 (£150 extra for a 450 over a 400!)

    128 Meg of RAM

    Matrox G200 graphics card

    2 * Voodoo II 3D Graphics Cards (SLI rocked!)

    21" Liyama monitor (which I use to this day!)

    The cost - just under £3000

    I still remember seeing Quake 2 in full 3d for the first time - amazing.

    • avatar
    • Thomas Schulte
    • Mon 25 Apr 2005 02:34

    Well to throw something into the discussion. My first "PC" was the Commodore C64 with the Tape Unit and extended RAM wich our mother bought for us to help my little brother learning English. She told us to write some program for him that should serve as a Card box with one card for each word he had to learn. This were the days when my programming love/hate relationship started.

    The first PC i bought for myself was a 8086 IBM compatibel PC with 128 KB RAM, DOS2.11 a Hercules graphic card, 14" greenscreen monitor, two 5.25" floppy disks and an epson fx80 line printer. It had the tremendous value of 5000 DeutschMark, which was quite a lot for the student i was at that time.

    Ths computer stayed in use until 2003 as it was for textprocessing by my parents. when we three brothers finally decided to buy them a brand new one. Had a hard time to convince my parents to stop using the old one and succeeded only when we got the old dos 2.11 text processing program running on the brand new PC (and build in a 5.25" Floppy)

    Ahh those were the days.

    And by the way. This old piece of hardware is still around somewhere.

  4. My first IBM computer I bought 1987/1988... It was XT 8086, with 512 K, 20Mb (!) HD, Hercules CGA card, 12' monitor.

    It cost back then something like 2000$...

    And you know what, guys? I had Lotus 1 there...

  5. My first computer (IF you can call it that) was av VIC 20 i got around 81/82. It had 5k RAM, where 3.5 were available for the user. The CPU was a MOS 6502, running at 1 Mhz. I had one game on a cartridge, and no tape, so any other games I wanted to play for the first few months I had to type in in basic, hope I hadn't made any bugs that would hang the computer, and play until the machine was turned off. Next time I would have to type it in again. This was what triggered my programming interest, because modifying lines of code sometimes made interesting results. Of course getting the tape player made it easier. I still do programming, and I owe it all to the VIC 20.

    Btw, The VIC-20 is also the first computer ever to sell over 1 million units, just a few months ahead of the Apple II. :-)

    • avatar
    • Phil
    • Mon 25 Apr 2005 04:31

    My first computer was a ZX-81. 1Kb of RAM and you could connect a normal portable cassette deck to it for saving/loading programs. I remember writing a Parachute (Game & Watch) clone on it - I was most chuffed at the time!

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