/var/log/computers

With a bit of nostalgia, after going through the history of waltz for the new incarnation of the about page, I thought I could also go through my history of desktop hardware. However, this turned out to be rather difficult, as I did not really keep track of my computers as a child and teenager. Consequently, this undertaking turned mostly into me digging through pictures on the web and comparing them with my ever-dwindling memories of what I had previously owned and used.

Nevertheless, I decided to devote this (mini-)article to my first-ever personal computer:

Compaq Presario 7222

Around '99 (when Compaq still used to dominate the personal computer market), my father acquired a shiny new tower (Compaq, too), running Windows 98.

And I was given this gem:

Compaq Presario
7222Image taken from Recycled Goods.
Please imagine a bulky CRT screen placed on top of it.

According to the data I could find about itSysOpt, Kahlon, the CPU was an Intel Pentium 1 (that would be x586, I believe) with a whooping 100 MHz, 8 MB of main memory, 1.2 GB of storage (not sure if the hard drive was 5.25 or 3.5 inches) and support for various phone technologies that I have never got to know before they became extinct in the personal PC sector. According to the data, it also had a sound card, even though I tend to associate this PC with "no sound"—mostly because I never had any audible warnings when enemies attacked me in Age of Empires.

Attached to it was a bulky CRT screen (the same dirty white), and—drum roll, please—my favourite keyboard of all time (in the same dirty white):

Compaq
Split-Spacebar KeyboardNotice the split spacebar? The Split Spacebar?? SPACEPAR!?!

Yes, the split spacebar. I think my love story with this computer was also partly grounded in this keyboard. The left space key was actually a backspace, which meant that I could comfortably erase my typing errors without having to move my fingers around too much—which in turn drove me to learn touch-typing (at the age of 11, I think, without even knowing how a computer really works).

I have kept that keyboard for as long as my computers used to provide a PS/2 port—which was roughly until 2007.

The machine itself was running Windows 95, and during my childhood, it served two purposes:

And things had to be done in precisely that order. If any application was launched before running AoE, AoE would simply hang. But it was enough, and I had a happy childhood—and who needs Internet, anyway?

Did I mention I had no sound?

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