My first taste of the drug

By on Jan 10, 2008 in Blog Posts | 2 comments

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Though I had spent time fiddling with an old Tandy and a Commodore 64, my first true personal computer was a Packard Bell 486 DX/2. This was apparently a very popular model (as seen in the picture to the left), as many people now look back on it with joy. Joy that they have moved on. That model was a nightmare – but it was my first. Many hours of Doom and Sim City 2000 were played. My first experience online using a 9,600 baud modem was had on this machine. It was the first machine I had to troubleshoot, which is pretty much how I’ve learned everything I know about technology. Unlike most customers, I’m grateful to Packard Bell for pushing such a dog of a machine on unsuspecting customers. Had it not been for the poor combination of hardware and software bundled with this machine I’m certain I wouldn’t be where I am today. The speakers, CD-ROM drive, floppy drive and hard drive all failed at some point during the systems use but mysteriously the monitor lasted for a decade after the rest of the package was stowed away. Even the power and reset buttons broke after a few years. This experience taught me several valuable lessons:

1- Never buy from Circuit City or other such chains. You’re going to get ripped off.
2- Don’t buy cheap computers. They always fail and never have a warranty to cover anything.
3- Research before you buy and don’t rely solely on sales people to advise you.
4- No matter what anyone tells you, in the computer industry proprietary technology is bad.
5- Never give up on a problem that you truly believe you can resolve.
6- Microsoft Bob was the worst software ever created.


What it was like shopping for a computer in 1995

What it was like shopping for a computer in 1995