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Reply 22 of 46, by Cyberdyne

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Stone age to (Ok a had played with a friends Amiga, and had a CGA 286 at home) 486. And then after Athlon XP to late Core2Duo, and then AMD A10 APU. Last two are still operational, and I do not think I will ever buy a new computer. My Raspberry PI is taking over my retrogaming and media needs (Retropie + Kodi). My army of 486-P3 are sustaining my retrocomputing needs. And all the quick Youtubing, News, Wiki, Maps and so on, comes from my phone.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 23 of 46, by Tetrium

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I basically missed everything after LGA775 and everything after the 8800GTS. I did keep up a bit better with the AMD stuff but mostly due to a friend of mine keeping me updated.
I did not miss the era from before the Pentium 1 and I did get to actually use a PC or other computer from before that era back when those were still new (like Amiga 500 for instance), but I often had no idea about the internals apart from "Oh it's a 486 with a color graphics card but no sound card" and learned most of this after I started the hobby.
But actually the biggest significant period of computer development which I missed is actually the current one. A PC that is 10 years old now can still do most basic stuff I need from it today (and quite literally so). This feat was impossible when you were to try something like a Pentium 60MHz from 1993 with software made for an Athlon XP 3200+ from 2003. That difference is just insane! Now 10 years PC evolution seems rather stale to me in comparison.

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Reply 24 of 46, by Nexxen

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Everything before 1988.
Even if I had stuff from before I didn't live it.
386 being a huge thing is still present in my memories.
486 "alternatives", I read that in Pc magazines 😀

But all the technical aspects were too difficult to understand.

Nothing else in the world smells like that.
I love the smell of burnt components in the morning.

Reply 25 of 46, by Namrok

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Tetrium wrote on 2021-09-15, 12:28:

I basically missed everything after LGA775 and everything after the 8800GTS. I did keep up a bit better with the AMD stuff but mostly due to a friend of mine keeping me updated.
I did not miss the era from before the Pentium 1 and I did get to actually use a PC or other computer from before that era back when those were still new (like Amiga 500 for instance), but I often had no idea about the internals apart from "Oh it's a 486 with a color graphics card but no sound card" and learned most of this after I started the hobby.
But actually the biggest significant period of computer development which I missed is actually the current one. A PC that is 10 years old now can still do most basic stuff I need from it today (and quite literally so). This feat was impossible when you were to try something like a Pentium 60MHz from 1993 with software made for an Athlon XP 3200+ from 2003. That difference is just insane! Now 10 years PC evolution seems rather stale to me in comparison.

Punching out around the Core 2, Geforce 8000 series was good timing. For years and years, my Core 2/Geforce 8800 GT rig was good enough for everything. I upgraded to an SSD at one point. Then parts would fail, like the mobo and cpu in 2013 or so, and I'd upgrade those. But I almost never felt compelled by it's sluggishness to upgrade to the latest and greatest. At least except for the GPU which I would upgrade perfunctorily whenever I'd go to play a new game and the framerate couldn't stay above 30. I believe it got upgraded twice over 10 years? Maybe three times?

It wasn't until 2019, 12 years later, that I finally built a brand new computer totally from scratch again. The Zen2 architecture, and the RTX 2000 series cards were just too tempting. A part me of regretted not waiting for the RTX 3000 series cards and the Zen3 CPUs I knew were around the corner. But that regret was short lived as the initial shortages of those parts turned out to be permanent. Especially for the GPUs.

Over the intervening years, nothing was exciting about computer hardware. Intel dominating the space, releasing what felt like the same chips over and over again. And I honestly couldn't tell you what major feature advances GPUs made between the Geforce 8000 series and the GTX 1000 series. Speed obviously. But hard on or off qualitative features? At least not that I noticed. A little cursory research shows the 8000 series were Nvidia's first unified shader architecture, with more generalized programmable cores. A model that generally didn't change in a revolutionary way until we got AI upscaling and raytracing.

Reply 26 of 46, by BitWrangler

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Cyberdyne wrote on 2021-09-15, 05:09:

Stone age to (Ok a had played with a friends Amiga, and had a CGA 286 at home) 486.

Nexxen wrote on 2021-09-15, 12:37:

Everything before 1988.

Yeah, I didn't havea difference engine, or an ENIAC or a PDP5, or a Super Foonly or an Altair... 😁

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 27 of 46, by Carrera

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pretty much stopped in 2005 and picked up this year... I gave up and went to a ma and pa computer shop that still existed and he helped me configure a computer but he built it... since then though I have started converting older PCs to SSD .... sad I know..

Reply 28 of 46, by BitWrangler

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Tetrium wrote on 2021-09-15, 12:28:

A PC that is 10 years old now can still do most basic stuff I need from it today (and quite literally so). This feat was impossible when you were to try something like a Pentium 60MHz from 1993 with software made for an Athlon XP 3200+ from 2003. That difference is just insane! Now 10 years PC evolution seems rather stale to me in comparison.

If you'd got a 486 DX 33 in 1990 with 16MB in it, and through the years installed Win 98 and put at least a 14.4k modem in it, you could be running Office 97 and surfing the web on it in the year 2000*, with patience of course. But software and web bloat got very rapid, P5/P54 only got a year or two grace over the 486, and P6 class only a couple of years more. By 2005 you didn't wanna be trying to use anything more than 4 or 5 years old, or a diallup modem, and it stayed that way until into the 2010s where software devs seemed to calm down and stop shoveling everything full of useless crap. It was practically an explosion since RAM requirements seemed to expand faster than Moore's law through that decade, though there was probably a few years lag they caught up on. No doubt though broadband rollout and rapid advancement in storage space for low cost permitted it.

Edit: Also XTs weren't really really obsolete until a couple of years into the 90s, Windows 3.0 put them on notice, but there was still new DOS software coming out they would run, but Win 3.1 sealed it and DOS was abandoned en-mass for office/productivity. But for people who the last DOS software did everything they needed, they probably chugged along with them into the mid and late 90s.

Edit2: * In particular 99-2001 was the era of free diallup, so I was scrounging and building like crazy, though DX2 or better for preference, giving machines away to everybody I knew without internet, so they could get online for the first time. I guess it's a bit of a confession that as a result I evicted a few 286 and 386 from their rightful home and put 486 or P54 boards in them.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 29 of 46, by gerry

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-09-15, 13:41:
Tetrium wrote on 2021-09-15, 12:28:

A PC that is 10 years old now can still do most basic stuff I need from it today (and quite literally so). This feat was impossible when you were to try something like a Pentium 60MHz from 1993 with software made for an Athlon XP 3200+ from 2003. That difference is just insane! Now 10 years PC evolution seems rather stale to me in comparison.

If you'd got a 486 DX 33 in 1990 with 16MB in it, and through the years installed Win 98 and put at least a 14.4k modem in it, you could be running Office 97 and surfing the web on it in the year 2000*, with patience of course.

that's true but also shows the stretch needed in that decade compared to a 2011 PC being used today, the options differ but imagine a core i3 from 2011 with 4gb - such a pc can still run win 10 fine for most people's tasks and alternatively there are various linux distributions that would be fin too. The only thing you couldn't do was play the latest games, but then a suitable gddr5 card with 2gb gram would actually enable a great many games from the last decade with modest settings, even on the (now) old i3

perhaps missing a period of a few years since the switch to 64 bit really isnt a big deal, no shocks like before - except maybe lately; coming back to many-core cpu and monstrous graphics cards!

Reply 30 of 46, by the3dfxdude

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A big period of computer development I did not experience was the beginning of electronic design through the early 8-bit computers. But this era can be summed up pretty well if you take a beginning design class, as they cover alot of what they did in class. So you can cover in a matter of weeks what took a number of years.

From there, I just wish I had started a bit sooner. I started reading about the details of computer theory in the early 90's, and really was too young still to realize what was currently happening in the industry. If I had the tools and contacts to actually land a job that early on, it's likely I would have experienced the rush that was going on. Today, it's been pretty much has been done to an extreme extent, what we are getting down to do now, while it is crazy on a more scientific stand point, the impact is much less noticeable to the average person. We are also so used to computers in daily activity, having yet another electronic gadget thingy doesn't receive the acclaim it used to. We sort of just expect it to be a thing anyway.

Reply 31 of 46, by creepingnet

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I missed pretty much all of it.....

I got my first Tandy 1000 in 1997 - yes NINETY-SEVEN - it was already 10 years old. By that time, everyone had Pentium/Pentium II machines. I was handing in homework on PIN-FEED printer paper from a Tandy DMP-12.

When I got my first Windows capable PC, a 486 DX-33, in 2001, I was at war with everyone else. Everyone was trying to sell me on junking the 486 and buying a Pentium 4 with Windows XP - because "it's 2001 man". Well, I have news for you, I can't AFFORD a Pentium 4 with XP, so I'm going to milk every ounce of power out of my 486 I can milk from it. When people were putting in NVIDIA cards, I was pitting in a 512K ISA SVGA card. When people bought SoundBLaster Live 5.1s, I bought their old SoundBlaster 16. We both bought IDE CD-Burners, I was running mine of VESA at best, and STILL Burning CDs in Windows 98 SE.

When people were starting to get into GTA San Andreas and AMD dual SLI....and talking about 64-bit Windows....I was starting to get some Pentiums to use. I got my first Laptop computer - a (surprise) 486 with a DTSN color screen, 14.4K Modem, and Windows 3.1....and it was AWESOME. People would joke about battery life, until they saw me slapping in the 250 degree NIMH pack from another stripped out laptop connected to a printer power supply used as a charger with oven mitts, and proceeded to run DOOM for 3 hours on a single charge on that laptop. Sippa' coffe for Twinhead!

I built my Pentium III that same year out of a 386 DX AT clone and a bunch of parts from dead Pentium IIIs. I had that machine 7 years. I started my YouTube channel with it, doing all the regular things....and my laptop? 1995 IBM ThinkPad 755CD with LiIon battery, 2 hours of life, running OpenOffice on Windows 98 SE - and I took it to work, and did legitimate work with it, and it was already a decade old.

My first gaming rig? 2008, third hand Pentium D CPU, new motherboard, new crappy taiwanese case that crumbled to pieces till I Bought an Antec, and the crown jewel was a NVIDIA 8800GT that did not survive the rest of the PC. That was the biggest piece of crap I ever owned. Abit AW9D soundcard blew the left channel for seemingly no reason, cooling issues galore - had to have a Zalman Fatality cooler installed after 2 intel coolers failed to keep up, even with a thin coat of Arctic Silver. IT ran XP SP3 first, and it ran great, then I put 7 on it, then 10, and 10 was the end for it, it just could not be happy.

And since then, I've always been behind.....my main portable modern system? A 13 year old IBM ThinkPad T61 running LInux Mint. My main desktop - an almost as old Dual Xeon Dell Precision with a Floppy drive that I just got a week or two ago - it replaced a OptiPLex 7010 with a Core I5, and it eats the i5 for lunch in Linux! I just don't care anymore....I'll just take everyone's "old crap" and run it into the ground, revive it, sell it, and take in some more "old crap" and keep it alive for longer than the "Service Life" is by the manufacturer. If anything, I'm keeping "Retro computing" alive with my "modern computing".

My first server? A nearly year old Dell dual Xeon D610 PowerEdge tower that sounds like a GE Jet engine starting up when people start hitting my Plex collection. About the newest thing I have is a Raspberry Pi 4b Retropie that is the current problem child. always needs an update, always something that won't sync up, always some part of the UI, or the Shinwan Twin controller that won't work.....but my Xeon Precision or the ThinkPad? Those things will run even if it's raining on them and it's 120 degrees outside somehow.

And to add to hilarity of my weirdo computer usage, what's my #1 driver? My 28 year old NEC Versa M/75 with FreeDOS. Yeah, I use it more than the modern systems - and it has a touch screen (well, soon anyway), and runs Windows, and DOS, and Linux, and does what I need it to do. If I were the Scotty Kilmer of computing, it'd be my 94' Celica. That crazy old Versa carries the tradition that old Twinhead began.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home - ending 9/2021
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
NEW WEBSITE - 9/2021 https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 32 of 46, by mihai

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From 1988 until 1994 I had a Spectrum clone. I was quite obsessed with it, spent all my summer holidays coding / playing. There was no TV programming nor other entertainment options.
I managed to learn on my own the assembly language for it; took me weeks to understand the concept of a file header.

I skipped the pre - 486 era and went directly to socket 7 / cyrix processors in 1996 I guess. Since then, I missed nothing; I have thrown away / sold lots of hardware, which I regret now. I have kept however my 1999 3dfx voodoo 2; it works great even today.

Reply 33 of 46, by chinny22

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Was thinking along the same lines as this topic when LGR made that video about the Creative multimedia pack.
Our first PC (not counting the IIe) was a DX2/66 with a CD-ROM and soundcard so for me never experienced how amazing it must of been hearing real sound and music from a game.

That same 486 lasted till '98 So I missed out on early 3D but I was interested in computers so now new the tech I was missing out on

Reply 34 of 46, by cyclone3d

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2021-09-14, 14:07:

I always miss the current era and go back to it later. Saves a lot of money and eliminates stress over status striving.

I mostly do this as well. My main desktop is still running a 5th gen XEON but I really, really want to get a new Ryzen setup. There are games that I play that are CPU limited even when I have all cores on my current system overclocked to 4.6Ghz. uggghhh.

I've looked into getting a 6950X but the slight bump in performance in some areas and slight loss of performance in other areas makes it not worth it at all.

Back in the day, I missed the Geforce FX area as far as video cards go and I pretty much always had AMD setups until I got a C2Q 6600 setup.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
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Reply 35 of 46, by drosse1meyer

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-09-17, 16:01:

Was thinking along the same lines as this topic when LGR made that video about the Creative multimedia pack.
Our first PC (not counting the IIe) was a DX2/66 with a CD-ROM and soundcard so for me never experienced how amazing it must of been hearing real sound and music from a game.

That same 486 lasted till '98 So I missed out on early 3D but I was interested in computers so now new the tech I was missing out on

It was quite the novelty. The CD/Sound card bundles of the mid 90s were a huge deal. My parents were amazed when we would watch movie clips from Grolier Encyclopedia 🤣. (Today they look ridiculously primitive, of course.)

Last edited by drosse1meyer on 2021-09-17, 22:36. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 36 of 46, by Gmlb256

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For me it was the era between DOS and early 3D accelerators as it was the golden age of PC. Although I'm not nostalgic about 486s or anything below, I was familiar with some popular DOS games such as Wolf3D and DOOM back then.

Reply 37 of 46, by BitWrangler

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Heh yah, I got my first "multimedia kit" and was glued to the screen for 2 weeks until I'd seen every clip on every CD that came with it. (Yeah, I was so hip I was bingewatching before bingewatching was cool) Mine was an aztech kit I got on clearance with a 4x drive so I was a year late to the party I guess. The included documentation was confusing as it seemed to be for every aztech card made, as were the drivers and utils, and mine was neither a washington nor a sound galaxy 2, which were the frequently referenced ones. Not sure if I still have that or not, fairly sure I still have the card and CDs somewhere though.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 38 of 46, by Bruninho

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I missed the 68K & PowerPC eras of Macs. I came when the party was coming to an end (2006 Intel transition), the only PowerPC Mac I have ever used was a G4 when I was at university, around 2003-2004. And if my memory serves well, it had OS X Tiger or Panther, I used it for a very brief period, for Photoshop mainly, because I was graduating in Advertsing & Marketing and had assignments to be done there; their laboratory was full of G4 Macs. Once I knew more about them, I was in love with the G4 Cube, but never managed to get one with the glass enclosure in pristine condition. Probably never will. Then I knew OS 9 and... dang. I realized what I missed, a beautifully designed operating system. I would only use a mac again in 2010 when I was gifted a 13-inch Intel Core 2 Duo MBP. We still have that mac and last week we sent it to a shop for repairs. That was my first ever owned Mac and since then I have only used Macs.

The 90's, those were the days, I would love to go back to that decade just one more time. My awesome grandpa was alive as well, I remember when I brought a Pentium laptop running Windows 95 (don't remember what model though, I remember the brand - Toshiba?) to his home for weekends and holidays. I sat in a table playing racing games like Grand Prix 2 on it next to him, while he was on his sofa reading the newspapers and watching my gameplay. Man, those were the great days. Until his final days around 2016, I always came back to tell him about my kart tournaments and show him the trophies and medals. My dad and I found that laptop last year, completely destroyed by the passing of the time (30 years, man!). We managed to power it on first attempt, only to stop in a boot error and then in a few minutes later it would never boot again.

I just don't miss reinstalling Windows 95 several times...

Nowadays, emulation is the (cheapest) way I've found to fill in the OS 9 PowerPC era and bring back some 90's memories as well for games. My personal "time travel machine".

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

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Reply 39 of 46, by pan069

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Errius wrote on 2021-09-14, 17:58:

The whole Voodoo/Glide thing passed me by.

Same here. I also missed the whole Quake thing since I had a 486 that wasn't capable of running Quake in any meaningful way. I got that 486 in 1994 and upgraded to a Pentium II in 1998, I think it that one had a TNT card in it (Viper 330? 🤔 not sure...).

Actually, coming to think of it, anything after 1995/6 is pretty much a black hole. That's the period I went into the workforce, so no more time for games. 😀