I went to college for a Computer Systems degree and programmed on a Bourroughs mainframe in several languages – Cobol and Fortran to name a few. I also worked in the Library on campus and did computer operations on a VAX VMS Cluster (pet-named Fred and Wilma). The VAX had a Pascal language compiler which taught me my first 4th-generation language which I love to this day. The VAX had e-mail and chat-like messaging capabilities and was networked to terminals throughout campus, which gave me my first on-line chat experience. We also had 6 IBM 8080-based PCs in the Lab area where I first played Sierra’s PC Games of Leisure Suit Larry and King’s Quest. These 8080-based PCs were to be historical in that they brought about the dawn of the world-wide acceptance of the Personal Computer.
I graduated college and took my first job as a computer operator for the now-defunct Zayre corporation for their IBM 3080 mainframes. It was here where I first had my own IBM desktop PC to do with as I wished. It was an IBM PS-2 model 50 with a VGA monitor. This is when IBM introduced it’s Micro-channel architecture to ostensibly stem the sudden tide of third-party IBM Compatible clone PCs. A support-rep friend from Memorex Corporation (Bruce Wollschlager) heard me say how I’d love to own my own PS-2 and told me we could build a IBM Compatible clone PC for far cheaper. This is exactly what we did.
My first PC (home-built IBM Compatible):
Full Tower case with a 100 watt Power Supply
80286-12 (12mhz CPU) motherboard
1MB memory (had to use MS-DOS Expanded Memory management to utilize it all)
1 Floppy Controller expansion card supporting up to 4 floppy drives
1 5 1/4 High-Density 1.2mb floppy drive
1 3 1/2 High-Density floppy drive
1 Hard-Drive Controller card
1 Quantum 80MB Hard Drive
1 ATI VGA Wonder VGA/EGA/CGA video card w/bus-mouse port
1 NEC 3D VGA/EGA/CGA Multisync monitor
1 101-Key keyboard
MS-DOS version 3.2 with custom .bat file menu
Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet
WordPerfect word processor
Leisure-Suit Larry versions 1-5
King’s Quest versions 1-3
This PC is STILL used today by a locksmith!
My next PC came in 1996 when I moved south and became a Contract Computer System Engineer. I bought an EPS Pentium 133mhz laptop compouter with a 14.1" LCD display, Pentium 133mhz CPU (fastest at time), 40mb memory (unheard of at the time), 3 PCMCIA slots, 1.2GB hard drive, 8x CD-ROM drive, Crystal Stereo Sound, and Windows 95. This unit is still in my house today running Windows 98 and serves duty for email and internet only (and maybe the occasional word-processing and Spreadsheet with Microsoft Office 98).
In 2000 I bought an IBM Aptiva Pentium2 400mhz 512 L2 cache (fastest at time) with an 8gb Hard Drive, DVD-ROM drive, 128mb memory, Crystal Stereo Sound w/Infinity speakers and ATI Rage Turbo AGP2x video. It came with a 17-inch monitor and Epson 800 Color Stylus printer free. It was upgraded to max memory (384mb) and cpu (P3 600) and serves duty today with 120gb hard drive, 52x CD Burner, 100mb Ethernet and 8x Dual Format DVD burner.
My latest PC was bought just last year – an Alienware 3.6GHZ Pentium 4 with 2GB memory, ATI PCI-E x800 256mb video, Soundblaster Audigy 2ZS Pro 7.1 surround w/Gigaworks speakers and subwoofer, dual 19-inch LCD 15ms monitors, MS Multimedia Keyboard, Intellimouse Explorer 2, 8-in-1 card reader, dual 120GB Serial ATA Hard Drives and dual NEC 16x Dual Format DVD burners.
I am still programming, gaming and building computer systems. I wired my house with 100mbit Ethernet to connect all three computers and two XBoxes together and also to my high-speed internet connection. I also work with Internet website development, .Net C# ASP VB, Infrastructure, Powerbuilder, Visual Basic and much much more.