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:
Image taken from Recycled
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):
Notice 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:
- Playing Age of Empires—without sound.
- Writing documents and storiesBecause I wanted to become the next J. K. Rowling. Or Ephraim Kishon. I don't know. with Microsoft Office 97 Word—without sound.
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?