Sunday, July 16, 2006

I Have Divorced My Freshman Computer

I finally threw away the computer I first received back in September 1998. The hard drive wasn't responding well and we've a newer computer already in the apartment so it was time to part ways. Despite an ominous start when the hard drive crashed in the first month, this computer kept chugging along, even as I tinkered with it, for better and for worse. This computer was my experiment that taught me how to do (now very simple) upgrades like increased RAM, new Ethernet card, CD burner, and BIOS settings. After trying to get a DSL connection working with my Windows 98 (which MS just stopped supporting), the computer was upgraded to Windows 2000 which significantly eased my connection issues. Installing the CD burner was a great learning experience about master/slave cables and proper pin connection placement.

No hard feelings, right?

The video card on my Dell Dimension 350 (that's for its blazing fast processor) was much too slow for any modern videogames, so my microsoft sidewinder was relegated to Fifa '99, Wipeout XL, and any number of emulators and roms when I was in the mood for old school games. I didn't mind this weakness because my roommate's Playstation served my playing needs well enough. Not to mention, at the time, the "large" 10 GB hard drive didn't have much room for game files thanks to Napster and my room's shared T1 connection. Fortunately this computer was always there for procrastinated schoolwork. From compiling my radio class final project throughout the night after my first project fell through, to MS word and HTML processing, I never experienced any error messages when facing a deadline. In fact, I never saw the blue screen of death until this year and it never had any viruses.

I ain't paying no alimony!

Though there were many great advances in computers and the Internet from 1998 to 2006, the mains ones this computer experienced (and ones I can remember) were in:

Web browsing: Netscape Navigator to Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox

Instant Messaging: ICQ (pronounced "I-seek-you") to AIM/Yahoo!

Operating System: Windows 98 to 2000 to XP (installed only at the end to recover data from broken hard drive)

File sharing: Napster to MD network of shared drives/terpshare/terp underground to Gnutella to KaZaa (only for a day because of its spyware) to bit torrent

Fantasy sports: Smallworld to to Sandbox to CBS.Sportsline to Yahoo

To this fine computer that taught me a lot about how computers work and how to fix them, especially when I was the reason it needed fixing in the first place, and never crashing when it held the only copies of my school papers - thanks for the memories.

1 comment:

Eric said...

It doesn't sound as much like a "divorce" as it does a mercy killing for a PC dating from the last millenium. May it rest in peace with K.I.T.T.