Vital statistics

Computers I have bought – 1995 vs 2000 vs 2005 (the one I bought yesterday).

  May 1995 June 2000 May 2005
Processor 60 Mhz 650 Mhz
11 times faster than 1995
3 Ghz
5 times faster then 2000
50 times faster than 1995
(Actually it’s not really valid to compare raw clock speeds)
Memory 8 Mb 256 Mb
32 times more than 1995
1 Gb
4 times more than 2000
128 times more than 1995
Hard disk 540 Mb 10 Gb
18 times more than 1995
120 Gb
12 times more than 2000
220 times more than 1995
CD drive 4x CD ? DVD
A bunch faster
16x DVD+/-RW
A bunch faster
OS DOS 6.22
Windows 3.1
Windows 98SE Windows XP Pro
and also 14 inch monitor
Keyboard, mouse, etc
15 inch monitor
Keyboard, mouse, etc
No monitor
Keyboard, optical mouse, etc
Cost $2699 $2892 $1231
Current status Decommissioned
Mostly disposed of
Broke down, being cannibalised On order
Hopefully ready tomorrow

(For a laugh, check out the catalogue from 1995.)

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “Vital statistics”

So the average length of service is approx 5yrs, or have there been others in between?

My ‘new computer years’ have been as follows:

c1994: TRS-80 no hard drive or floppy (given)
1995: Old Amstrad thing PC1512 – no hard-drive (given)
1996: 286 laptop 20MB HDD (died) s/hand
1996 (late): 486 66 MHz s/hand
2000: Pent 2(?) 466 MHz 10GB HDD new & still using it

Note the change from given to s/hand to new PCs (due to greater use/lower prices/affluence).

Length of use has increased and the current computer is the longest ever owned.

Operating systems were DOS then Win 3.1 in 1996 to Win 98 now.

The biggest leap was during 1996 – from DOS to windows and from bulletin boards/packet radio to WWW/email. The change in 2000 was smaller.

LOL that’s great, I really wish I had kept a list of all my PC’s.

What sort of video card does your new PC have?

Hmmmm, a really crude list for me off the top of my head would be:

1982 – Commodore 64, tape drive
1987 – Commodore 128, 1541a disk drive
1989 – IBM 8086, ?Mhz, 1024MB memory (640K to DOS, 384K to RAM disk due to DOS limits), 22MB HD (split into 2 x 11MB drives due to DOS limits)
1991 – BBC with all sorts of addons
1992 – IBM 80286, ?Mhz, 4MB RAM, 22MB HD, Windows 3.0/3.1
1993 – IBM 80386, 33Mhz, 4MB RAM, ?MB HD, Windows 3.11
1994 – IBM 80386, ?Mhz, *16MB RAM* ($1000+), Chicago (Win95 beta)
1995 – IBM 80486, 100Mhz, 16MB RAM
1996 – IBM Pentium1, ?Mhz, 16MB RAM
1997 – IBM Pentium2?, ?Mhz, 64MB RAM,
1998 – IBM Pentium3?, ?Mhz, 256MB RAM
2000 – IBM Dual Pentium3, 500Mhz, 512MB RAM
2001 – Apple 15″ PowerBook G4, 866Mhz, 1024MB RAM
2003 – Apple 17″ PowerBook G4, 1Ghz, 1024MB RAM
2005 (on order) – Apple 20″ iMac G5 (64-bit), 2Ghz, 1024MB RAM

What’s really interesting about the PCs is:
1. Needed upgrading yearly once Windows took over
2. The PCs were constantly modified/reinstalled/fixed
3. None of my older PCs would be usable if running latest Windows
4. Don’t own a single of my old PCs

What’s really interesting about the Macs is:
1. None of them NEEDED upgrading – only upgraded due to “cool” new products
2. Upgrade cycle dropped to two years – but only because of CHOICE as above, if not for cool new products there has been no NEED to upgrade since 2001
3. They ALL perform BETTER today with the LATEST Mac OSX than the day they were purchased
4. Still own ALL of them, and as above are all 100% usable due to performing even better than the day they were bought!
5. Never had to do any reinstalls/repairs/maintenance or even reboots/shutdowns – just open/instantly use/close

1978: TRS-80 Model 1, level 1 (4K ROM, 4K RAM)
1979: TRS-80 Model 1, level 2 (16K ROM, 12K RAM)
1980: TRS-80 Model 1 + expansion, 48K mem, 92K floppy.
1981: Apple ][+, 64KRAM, 320K floppy ($1600 in 1981!)
1982-1985 bazillions of upgrades to Apple.
1986: Amiga 1000, 512K memory, 880K floppy * 2.
1989: Amiga 2500, 68030, 4MB memory, 71MB SCSI HD
1992: Amige 4000, 68040, 8MB memory, 200MB SCSI HD
1994: Warpdrive for A4000, 68040 @ 40Mhz, 800MB SCSI HD
1994: sold up Amiga for …
1994: P90, 64MB memory, 540MB hard disk, 17″ monitor, CDROM $4,000.
1996: P166 chip, $800, Orchid Righteous 3dfx 3D card!
1998: P2-400, 128MB memory, 2 * 8GB disk drives, $3,000 – Voodoo2 card with 12MB memory, upgraded to Matrox G400 (dual monitor capable), CD Burner
2000: AMD 1200, 512MB memory, 20GB disk drive. GeForce2 card 32MB memory on board.
2003: AMD 2800+, 1GB memory, 2 * 80GB disk drives Nvidia 4200 32MB memory. $2,800, DVD drive
2004: Upgraded to ATI 9800XT video card with 256MB memory.
2004: DVD Burner, Cougar HOTAS joystick throttle, lots of add-ons and doodads.
2005: Logitech MX-1000 Laser mouse, two 200GB drives and an external USB2 drive enclosure, for $500 all up.

I figure my next upgrade will be in 2006/2007. Depending.

All of my spares have been consumed by friends and family, I have upgraded people’s computers more times than I can recall, and helped many people with their computers back in the days when you needed more than just a screwdriver and a CD — back when you needed to know BIOS settings, card drivers, modem settings, and all that junk.

These days computers are essentially solid-state lego, whack them together and they go. Heat removal is the biggest problem, compared to the bodgy hardware (albiet built like a tank) of the 90’s.

It will be amazing to see what 2020 brings us.

Not going to bother with years….

Commodore C64, Tape drive
BBC Model B – $1,000 ?
another BBC Model B (won in a contest)
BBC Master 128 (traded one of the B’s fo rit) – $??
Acorn Archimedes 300 $3,000 (no HDD, 4MB RAM!)
secondhand 70MB RLL HDD for A300 – $700 !
8088 PC – too much
80486 – $3,000
P200MMX – $2,000
and it still runs (kinda)

plus various cobbled together pentiums…
Ran a Novell server on a 386SX-16 for ages (in an old tank flip-top case :-)

Think it’s about time to upgrade – I’d really like to have USB at home….

Commodore C16 with tape drive, later updated to 1571 low profile double sided disk drive (still bigger than the keyboard though…) – got duped into thinking it was going to be better than the C64…
Commodore C128 (much better than the C64)
Amiga 500
Amiga 1200 with 10MB ram! Also added 40MB HD and then a 120MB hd (still hiding in a cupboard somewhere… can’t give away an old friend!)
PII 133Mhz I think it was…
PIII 750Mhz 256MB
and soon to be delivered:
PIV 3.0Ghz, 1G mem… am I looking forward to this beastie!

1992:$2800 486DX33, 4M ram, 128M drive, tseng3000 video

1997:$2700 P2300MHz, 128M ram, 8.4G drive, rage128 video

2003:$700 AthlonXP2000 (1.67GHz), 256M ram, 40G drive, radeon7500

hi all,

anyone want to sell their old Amiga or C64 gear or old 8 or 16bit magazines? please email me – gizmomelb ‘at’ netspace ‘dot’ net ‘dot’ au

Comments are closed.