My PC History

In the early days of my internet years when I was still learning how to code HTML (circa 1999), one of the many infos I put up on my personal website was my PC history. I believe that being introduced to the personal computer at a young age was instrumental to what I am doing today.

The summer before high school back in 1991, my cousin urged me to take computer classes at STI (Lotus 1-2-3 and Sidekick). Despite my hesitations (I’d rather go to Nintendo computer shops and play Battle City or Super Mario) I obliged knowing I couldn’t get them to back out of the idea even if I wanted to.

Yugatech 728x90 Reno7 Series

After the summer classes, my uncle brought home an IBM 5151 with him (I think he was working with Texas Instrument in Washington then). It had 2 floppy 5 1/4″ diskettes, green screen monitor which runs on an Intel 8088 4.77 MHz with 64KB of RAM. (That’s the first commercial PC from IBM right?)

It was followed (in 1993) by another IBM PC/AT x286 with 20MB of HDD from Priam, CGA monitor from Packard Bell, a 5 1/4″ floppy drive (640KB) and 3 1/2″ diskette drive (1.44MB). I crashed the hard drive while playing with Stacker which (I didn’t knew) was a compression-drive utility for MS DOS. I used that to do my high school thesis paper while most of my classmates were still using a typewriter. (Wordstar is the best!)

In college (1996), my parents managed to get me an Acer laptop running on a Cyrix 486 DX4 100MHz with 8MB RAM, B&W 640×480 LCD screen and 320HDD. I was able to run MS Windows 95 there although it would hang if I upgraded to Windows Plus!. (RAM Double solved the problem.) I spilt rubbing alcohol on the keyboard so I had to plug an external one to be able use it.

Right after my 1st graduation, my aunt got me a desktop PC as a gift. I still have another year for my other degree so it still proved quite usefull. The Pentium was so popular then that you only buy an AMD if you don’t have enough money. The rig was a Pentium II 350MHz with 6GB HDD, 64MB RAM, 16X CDROM and an S3 Savage 3D 8MB.

From then on, it was just a matter of upgrading each part one at a time — Pentium III 450MHz (2000), AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2003), AMD Sempron 3100 (2006).

All these time, 15 years after I first encountered a personal computer, I can still remember the excitement I felt when I’m was using Wordstar 6.0 and memorizing all the control shortcuts.

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

13 Responses

  1. Avatar for Miguel Miguel says:

    And I’m planning to post mine as well. But the right time will be when I get my next PC from my employer, in a week or two.

  2. Avatar for jun jun says:

    @ vern

    so you have one too???

  3. Avatar for vern vern says:

    lol. The obligatory “My Computer History” post. Every geek has one at one time or another.

  4. Avatar for jun jun says:

    this thread brings back a lot of good memories:

    my first computer circa 1986 was an apple II+, 56k ram or lower than that. still needed a boot disk to start up, had two separate 5 1/4 drives for storage. green monitor. we had lots of fun playing pacman and space invaders on it. i think we had one or two of those because they broke so easily, something about old age…

    we progressed to xt, 286, monochrome, and i was fortunate enough to experience owning a 16 mb hard drive for the first time. by the way the ram was only 4 mb so of course i had to upgrade it to 8 mb, you can just imagine how much that cost! at least more than a thousand pesos! soon after i upgrade to 386 then finally to 486 dx4.i used windows 3.11 for the first time. i believe that i had one of the best computers in my school that time! i was thrilled to own such a fine ass machine. running windows 95 and with 32 mb of ram i knew i had to get a bigger hard disk so i got a 5 gb seagate 5400 rpm. it sure cost a lot and i thought to myself how on earth could i ever fill it up with so much stuff. not long after i got my first 4x cdrom and that to me was so cool! by the way i bought a sunstar colored monitor along with the dx4, my first vga monitor!!!

    a year later i upgraded to 586 with a 20 gb harddrive then later to a k6-2 500 mhz. i also bought an inno riva tnt2 agp 4x with 32 mb ram worth around 2,700 pesos from pc express shaw, one of the first pcxpress stores in the philippines. that k6-2 lasted a long time until i got a sempron 2200 last year. imagine, it lasted for more than 5 years and in the process i added a dvd 4x writer, used windows 98, me and xp sp1 on it.

    last year i was able to salvage some money to get my current desktop, an intel p4 3.0 ghz with 2 mb l2 cache, with hyperthreading, 1 gb ddr 400, pci express video. though i love my current system i kinda miss the good old days when we had so much fun playing carmen sandiego and typing our reports using wordstar. it sure is good to reminisce. sorry for the long post, i guess i got carried away.

    @ taorist

    oh yes, the commodore 64. i do remember that!

  5. Avatar for Abe Olandres Abe Olandres says:

    @ Llyod

    Thanks for the correction. Intel had a cross-over there – P II’s and P III’s in the 450Mhz.

  6. Avatar for Lloyd Lloyd says:

    I don’t think myself as that “Old” but it’s already more than a decade since I started using computers. Time really flies when it comes with technology.

    I think you got a typo there….. Intel released their Pentium III line with a with speeds of 450mhz. I believe your using a Pentium II 350mhz processor. =)

  7. Avatar for jobert jobert says:

    8 inch floppy disks
    Optical Disks the size of a laser disk
    The 5’14 inchers where you cut the other side so you can use the other ummm… side…
    The osbourne
    The timex computer that was displayed in Makati. I forgot the name of that computer…
    PC-Jr. Remember that?
    Atari 1200XL
    Commodore 64
    Coleco Adam
    The Amiga
    Mac Classic.

  8. Avatar for Major Tom Major Tom says:

    I can’t believe myself that just about a decade ago, I was still using wordstar and thought that it been must have been the peak for word processing, far better than the typewriter…who would have thought…

  9. Avatar for vespinoy vespinoy says:

    Haay the TRS-80, i had a chance to play around with that way way back. yup casette tapes they were. my first real computer was an xt or was it an at, this B.W. (before windows) Dos was the way to go. I actually had a better time moving around in Dos than in Windows 3.11 or Windows for Workgroups. I was so intimidated by the mouse the first time I used it, and oh the colored VGA monitor was magic!! hehe.

  10. Avatar for taorist taorist says:

    Commodore 64…one of the best gaming platforms then.

  11. Avatar for rnoldz rnoldz says:

    Yeah, Wordstar was so popular back then. But before Wordstar, we had to learn BASIC programming using a pre-historic PC. Oh yes I remember those green monitors we use to have in our high school computer laboratory.

  12. Avatar for Abe Olandres Abe Olandres says:

    Casette tape? Whoah! The closest pre-PC, pre-Internet I ever used was a Texas Instrument digital chess board where you can hook up into a phone line and play with someone else online (sort of).

  13. Avatar for Noemi Dado Noemi Dado says:

    This is going to show how old I am already. I can remember the first desktop we had in 1979 or was it 1980. Well I shared it with my brother. It was a TRS 80 and the media used then was casette tape. I was quite mesmerized by it. Whenever the tape would tear, I’d just splice it with “scotch tape” and it’s good to go. I don’t remember the RAM. There were no computer schools then so we did our own self study on the BASIC language. No windows just the good old DOS.

    The first PC I owned personally was in 1986 when I gave birth to my eldest daughter. I know it was 12 K RAM, green monitor. Bill Gates said that 12K is all the memory you will ever need. See how far we’ve come . And every 2 years , I buy a new desktop or upgrade my current one if it’s still working.

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