VOGONS


Reply 20 of 52, by kixs

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Went from 286/16 in 1991 to 486slc-33 in 1993 and then back to 386DX-40 in the same year - everything second hand.

I still have a soft spot for 486slc systems 😉

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Reply 21 of 52, by Caluser2000

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imi wrote on 2020-12-31, 19:05:
1988 - 386 DX20 some time later upgraded to a 386 DX40 system […]
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1988 - 386 DX20
some time later upgraded to a 386 DX40 system

1996 - upgrade to a Pentium 90...

I too completely skipped 486, so I have a pretty big soft spot in my heart for 386 because that was my first PC and have been using it for a pretty long time too ^^
afaik we didn't even have a sound card until very late probably around 1995-1996?

Upgrading to a 386DX40 or Cyrix/TI 486DLC 33 or 40 was quite a popular thing.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 22 of 52, by PD2JK

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Our first pc at home was a 386sx-16. I believe it was 1995, rather late.
At school we had MSX computers and a few DX4's.

Philips P3238: Siemens 80286-12 / Highscreen AT: Pentium MMX 200@233MHz / Highscreen ATX: Athlon Classic 1 GHz

Reply 23 of 52, by debs3759

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My first PC was a 486SX33 in around 93. Next up was a K6-2 (I forget which model or what year). Had a couple of hand me downs in between. I never bought a pre-built system, I built all my systems until recent purchases of retro OEM systems.

See my graphics card database at www.gpuzoo.com
Constantly being worked on. Feel free to message me with any corrections or details of cards you would like me to research and add.

Reply 24 of 52, by creepingnet

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If you want to talk real poverty, my first 386/486 was in 2001. It was free!

Basically put, I got a Kingspao Model 35 barebones cased 386 SX-25 with an Addonics Monitor and a 101 key keyboard. I had a loose Zeos 486 DX-33 motherboard laying around at home. For the first six months of using that thing, I spent only a grand total of $30 on it - $25 for a brand new EPO 52x CD-ROM, and $5 for a New Old Stock CMOS Battery.

Then we put down about $200 on it that summer - new HP InkJEt 841C printer - the last printer they made with drivers for Windows 3.1. A 56K US Robotics V-90 external Faxmodem, and a $15 Radio Shack mouse. I also bought a $15 DX4 voltage adapted 100MHz CPU for $15.

THAT was the first computer I had internet on. AOL, $21 a month, using AOL 3.0 and AOL 4.0 on Windows 3.1 over MS-DOS 5.00. Then I downloaded MS-DOS 6.00 from a questionable website at the time - it tried to give me viruses....but because nobody used 3.1 anymore they flew over me like a set of Jet Fighters over the bare desert and quickly deleted from the teensy weensy internet cache on my 124MB Maxtor HDD. Oh, and I was doing ALL of my surfing in 16-color 640x480, so everything was dithered, and my serial port - uni-directional. I had to resort to putting a glass of ice cubes w/a barrier over the top of the modem to keep connected any time longer than 20 minutes. Redneck thermal cooling on my modem because of an uncooperative 8250 UART.

And you want to talk availibility and pricing - they were friggin EVERYWHERE. My next PC? Another 486, this time an IBM PC-330 100dx4 6571-W5K from a bank that I was paid with for fixing my ex-room mate's AMD 5x86-133 - which she gave me three months later when she got a Data General Pentium 90. By that point I had a 386 DX-20 that was $3000 in 1988, but again, cost me nothing. People were literally THROWING old hardware at me - "ah yes, Creepingnet likes old computers, I got this old beige doorstop in my closet, I'll let you have it,actually, I'll pay you $5 to take it away".

At the end of 2001, I had FIVE computers. All 386/486 variations. End of 2002, NINE - including several PS/2's, including a 286. End of 2003, I had four macs, six or seven 486's, a few 386's, 2 286's, an XT Clone, a CoCo III, but my "modern" box by that point was actually modern - it was that 386 DX-20 with the omtherboard ripped out and the backplane modified to accomodate a microATX board and had a Pentium III in it.

When the 486's were new, we did'nt have computers. My mom had a Smith Corona electric typewriter that lead to her banning K-Mart for life. The closest thing I had was an Atari 2600, later an NES, and a Game Boy and SNES I bought with my own money. My older sister had a 386, and the other a TAndy 1000 SX that became my first PC in 1997, but were a split family. I think hers was $1500 and ran DOS 5.00. I spent hours on that thing, and she ran it into the ground, until 1997, when the HDD Died. I almost got it, but we could not fit it into my luggage to take it back home from Idaho. It hit a recycling plant years ago or so I'm told......but if it turns up on unlikely chance, I'm running with it!

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 25 of 52, by frudi

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My first PC, in mid 1993, was a 386SX-25 with 2 MB of RAM, 105 MB hard drive and either a 256k or 512k VGA card (think it was some sort of Trident, but not 100% sure any more). No sound card or CD drive. It ended up not working right, would keep locking up in certain games, so the store eventually upgraded it for free within warranty, first to an SX-33 and then eventually to DX-40, when the first change didn't fix the lock-ups. I also ended up upgrading RAM to 4 MB at some point, for what seemed like an obscene amount of money to 14-year old me at the time. But hey, I could finally run Mortal Kombat with 4 MB, so it was worth it 😀

I skipped the 486 generation and ended up upgrading to a Pentium 100 in late 1995 or early 1996, spending most of my first real summer job's earnings on the upgrade. Worked my ass off working a cement mixer on a construction site 12 hours per day, 6 days a week for 4 weeks, but it was again worth it 😀. Still couldn't afford a sound card initially, but I did eventually get one separately a year later, a Vibra 16; I didn't know anything about FM synth or OPL chips back then, so I don't remember which revision it was or whether it used OPL3 or CQM. I just cared that I finally had some better sound than the pc speaker beeps.

That P100 was the last system I got as a whole system, after that I would just upgrade individual parts at a time (or several parts, when required, such as replacing the motherboard along with cpu and memory, when they were all incompatible with the old ones). It's been 15-ish years since switching out the last of the original parts of that system, the floppy drive. But I sometimes still like to think that my current modern rig is in some way still just an upgraded version of that old P100 😀

Reply 26 of 52, by The Serpent Rider

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But I sometimes still like to think that my current modern rig is in some way still just an upgraded version of that old P100 grinning face

Ship of Theseus much?

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me

Reply 28 of 52, by OzzFan

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My first 486 also happens to be my first computer. Coming from a poor family that viewed computers as expensive toys - and as devices that were taking my parent's jobs away, they weren't exactly encouraging of my soon-to-be hobby.

At any rate, I bought my 486 in 1992. It came with a 486SX 25MHz CPU soldered on the motherboard with an Socket 1 upgrade socket available for future use. It also had 2MB of RAM soldered to the motherboard and 4 30-pin SIMM sockets, onboard Oak OTI66 VGA with 512KB of DRAM, 5 ISA expansion slots, 1 1.44MB & 1 1.2MB floppies, Conner Peripherals 130MB HDD, and PC DOS 6.1. No sound. No CD-ROM. No L2 cache.

After various upgrades, including a DX2-50 and DX4-75 before I realized I could change the bus setting to 33MHz and use a DX4-100, and eventually adding 16MB of RAM in 4 4MB SIMMs (total of 18MB w/the onboard RAM), Creative Labs 4x then 6x CD-ROM drive, 256KB L2, and a Maxtor 850MB HDD, and eventually a Kingston TurboChip 133. I made this system last as I skipped over the Pentium generation and right into a Pentium II 300MHz as my second system. I was a tad early on that second system though, as I had bought an 440LX chipset and in just 3-4 months the 440BX came out with the faster 100MHz Front Side Bus.

A (mostly accurate) listing of my computer systems: http://www.shelteringoak.com/OzzNet/

Reply 29 of 52, by hwh

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I never bought one. But my first computer was a 486-66 hand me down in 1999. I'm not sure what year...94-96? That was my mother's introduction to computers.

It was ready for the web with a blazing fast 14.4 modem. Once I visited the "Starship Troopers" web page and looked at renderings there. Each jpg took...several minutes to load. But it was magical to see data just appearing on the computer without inserting a disk.

My dad had a 386 in the 80s...by 88 at least. He used that until around 1994.

Actually, he bought me a 386-25 at one point (barebones system from mid 90s, maybe 95) but I never did much with it due to lack of CD-ROM, I would go downstairs and use his MII-166. So frankly it couldn't do much. Also no mouse. Hard drive? I mean damn, I knew how to load games from floppies but what was I supposed to do with it...

The MII was not cheap. It was a fast system (with value parts). But that's not a 386/486. The others, damned if I know. My first computer was probably midrange when my aunt bought it; it wasn't a Pentium. I actually don't know what its background was - some kind of generic clone, but not a custom system. The 386, like most of my dad's stuff was a discount system, and my dad likely built it.

Reply 30 of 52, by jesolo

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Here in South Africa, availability of computers were never really a problem. As in many other countries and due to the era, personal computers were just very expensive. I think once AMD & Cyrix (and to a certain extend some other CPU manufacturers) started to enter the CPU market, did the price of computers really start to drop.

My father bought our very first computer back in 1987. It was an Olivetti M19 and was essentially a turbo XT clone that could run up to 8 MHz (or 7.16 MHz to be more precise). It also came with an EPSON LX-800 dot matrix printer.
I think he paid something like $1,500.00 US for it (using exchange rates from that period) and that was quite a steep amount to pay for a computer back in 1987.

We completely skipped the 286 era and my father then bought an AMD 386DX 40 MHz custom build computer in late 1992. This came with a 1.44 MB floppy, Tseng Labs ET4000 ISA graphics, 14" SVGA monitor and a Conner 120 MB HDD. No CD-ROM, no sound card. I have no idea what he paid for it, but due to the prices of PC's falling, I think he paid more or less the same that he paid for the Olivetti M19 (but you got much more than what you had with the Olivetti).
Since this was our family computer, my brother saved up some money and later bought a generic Sound Blaster 2.0 clone (the brand name was "Toptek") that we installed in that computer. Later on he bought a Sound Blaster Pro II clone (Sound Galaxy BXII) so that we could experience some of our later games in stereo.

I bought my first computer at the end of my high school year in November 1993. At that time, the fastest computer I could afford (with money that I saved up) was basically a 486DX-33. Around the same time, I read about the new CPU's from Cyrix and decided to go for the Cyrix 486DLC 40 MHz with its math co-processor. My computer basically had the same setup as my father's 386DX-40 but only with the faster CPU. I still have that computer and the Cyrix CPU's and I do have a bit of nostalgia for those Cyrix CPU's.
Had I known what I know now, then I probably should have gone for a 486DX-33 as there was a better upgrade path and a bit better overclockability. I cannot quite recall what I paid for that computer, but I think it was around $1,000.00 for it.
I only bought my first sound card almost a year later which was a Sound Galaxy Basic 16. I know I paid something like $160 for it (using exchange rates from that time), but I never installed a CD-ROM into that computer. Only got that with my next purchase.
I held onto that computer until around 1997 when I finally upgraded to a Pentium 166MMX.

Reply 31 of 52, by Caluser2000

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Found the price listing for my first x86 system.Well my first computer really. Mine had a mini AT flip top case, 1meg of ram, 3.5" HD fdd5. 25" HD fdd, 14" VGA monitor with OAK 256k video card, enhanced AT keyboard, 2 button serial mouse, joystick, 44meg IDE hdd and a 9 pin Panasonic dot matrix printer. All brand new and cost just under $nz2500 all up. Cheaper than the IBM all in one 286/10 PS/1 and had more expansion options. No software so I bought DRDos 6.0 and GeoWorks Ensemble Pro which was a lot less costly and took up less hdd space than a MS Dos 5.0/Windows 3.0 combo with decent software included. The PC General store was just a block away from my work place. I purchased a Activision Thunderboard to go in it a bit later when I had gained a bit more experience with the system. Maxed out the ram 6 months after I got and fitted a 210ish or so meg IDE hdd. Ram was around $nz100 per meg at the time and I was young and in the military so had lots disposable income.

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There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 32 of 52, by dionb

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My first 486 - and first laptop - was a Thinkpad 755CE (DX4-100) around 2001, bought for very little and used solely as a word processor for taking notes in lectures. I was the first student with a laptop in class, raising quite a few eyebrows, even though the machine was essentially obsolete at the time. How times have changed 😉

Back when 386 and 486 were new, I wasn't buying my own computers, but my mother bought her first (and only) 386 in 1988, an IBM PS/2 model 70 with 386-16 (this was before "DX" branding), 4MB of RAM and a 60MB HDD, with 30MB partition with OS/2 1.1 (I assume it was FAT16, as this predated HPFS) and 30MB PC DOS 3.3 partition. It came with a 12" VGA and a ProPrinter III (not 100% sure of the latter, but in any event an IBM dot matrix printer contemporary to the PS/2). This was a seriously expensive beast. Retail price would have been just over NLG 10k (USD 5k in 1988), but my mother worked for IBM at the time and was able to get it discounted to NLG 5k (USD 2.5k), and thanks to a fiscal scheme to promote home computing, was able to deduct that from her taxable income, so we ended up only paying about half that. When we bought it, it was the most powerful computer anyone we knew had. Unfortunately we didn't get another until 1995 (a no-name P60 for me, another IBM P90 for my mother), by which time it was awfully outdated.

IBM really took their employees' computers seriously. They even had a week-long course for the employees' children in the school holidays at their NL head office. 11-year old me loved it - if only for the disks full of games we shared about while we were there.

Reply 33 of 52, by Unknown_K

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I sold my 286-12 Packard Bell and put together a 386DX/40 sometime in 1992 and put a 387 coprocessor and upgraded the RAM to 16MB in 1993 I think.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 34 of 52, by AlessandroB

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dave343 wrote on 2020-12-31, 17:39:
AlessandroB wrote on 2020-12-31, 17:06:
1989 - Amiga 500 1 Mb ram 1992 - 486DX2, 4Mb, 250HD, Trident Svga VLB, SBPro1 1994/2007 - a lot, VERY LOT of PC: Pentium 133, 16 […]
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1989 - Amiga 500 1 Mb ram
1992 - 486DX2, 4Mb, 250HD, Trident Svga VLB, SBPro1
1994/2007 - a lot, VERY LOT of PC: Pentium 133, 166, 200, 233MMX, PentiumII 266, Celeron300A, Duron, AthlonXP, Barton, PentiumD...
2007 - Macmini G4 (just to test the SWITCH")
2007 - Today MacBook Pro, Macbook Air, MACPro

I was totally in love for the computing.

A DX2 in 1992! that machine must have cost 2 kidneys in 92 haha.

late 1992, or can be early 1993 but not after first part of 1993.
I remember my father pay 4.000.000 of Italy Lira, around 3.200 US dollars.

Reply 36 of 52, by PTherapist

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My first home PC was an 8088, 2nd hand, given to me free around 1995!

Prior to that, the PC never really entered into the equation nor was it desired. Nevermind the cost, but generally nobody in my circle of friends as a kid ever considered a PC for home use. At home we all had Commodore 64 or Sinclair ZX Spectrum computers and at school we had Acorn BBC Micro or Acorn Archimedes (later RiscPC) computers instead. The Commodore Amiga was the ultimate desire in the early 90s, but none of us could afford that and often ended up getting games consoles instead. Me personally I wanted an Acorn RiscPC, but yeah there's no way my parents were affording that! I did loan an Amiga from a family friend in the early 90s and loved it though.

It wasn't until 1995 when I first used 80186-based PCs at secondary school, but our "IT" lessons were rather limited and mostly spent hours doing pointless tasks in Logo. Shortly afterwards I got the 8088 at home and finally started teaching myself how to actually use a PC properly. That same year the school upgraded to 2 classrooms full of 386-based PCs running Windows for Workgroups 3.11.

So getting to the topic title, my first home 386 was a 2nd hand freebie that I got around 1997, a 386 DX-40. I kept that for about a year and then paid to upgrade it to a Pentium 100MHz in 1998 (basically just used the 386 case and swapped out everything else). Around this time my school also upgraded to Pentium-based PCs running Windows 98 and by the time I left school in 2000 there was really only the 1 quirky eccentric teacher with specialist software who still had an old BBC Micro, the PC had well and truly taken over everywhere!

I completely skipped 486 PCs until the early 2000s when people were practically giving them away to get rid of them.

Reply 37 of 52, by radiounix

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Our first family PC was a 486DX2/66 local bus system in late 1994. Approximate cost was $2000 fully outfitted.

My parents added a second 812MB hard disk and upgraded to Windows 95 a few years later, then in 1998 added a 4.3GB hard disk and 32MB of RAM to hold all of my downloads and allow the latest AOL to run properly.

Reply 38 of 52, by Jo22

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I don't know for sure, but I think 386/486s were around throughout the whole 90s.
My father ran Win95 on a 386DX-40 since '95 or so.
Personally, I had a 286 at the time which stayed my main PC until 2000.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 39 of 52, by digistorm

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Our family had a Tulip 386sx/16 with math copro in the 90s that my dad got from his boss to be able to do Autocad stuff at home. I have no idea what that one cost, but I was able to buy myself a budget 486 (486dx2/66 with 4 MB RAM, 540 MB hdd and VLB I/O and VGA (1 MB) in 1995 for about 2000 Dutch Guilders (about 1000 dollars at the time). But it took a lot of upgrades to make it games-ready. It had no sound card, no cd-rom, no speakers… but at least I could do my school papers which had to be done on a computer as mandated by the school.