Chris J Powell

Throwback Thursday – Tech the World has Lost – Part 4

As we move to what is being called the Post PC Era (a land of wearable computers, tablets and smartphones) I think back to my first computer that I purchased for myself.  It goes all the way back to 1996 when I found an Advertisement in the Scarborough Weekly paper that for $1 per day I could have a brand new computer.  I thought that this was great as I had just assisted my boss upgrade his computer to Windows 95 using the 13 Floppy Disks that was the norm at that point.  I called and was approved for this wicked awesome deal (little did I know that it was $1 per day for the next 4 years…or something like that.

Beyond getting hooked into an incredibly long lease on a computer that was more than obsolete before it was paid off I was the coolest kid going as I could get onto the Interwebz for the first time.  I remember my first ISP too, it was MSN dialup with the super fast 28.8 kbit dialup modem!!!  I was doing Comic Chat, meeting people from all over the world and loving every minute of my access.

But when I look back through the 16 years that I have been continually online, the tool that I use most has changed dramaticallty:

Packard Bell D160Current MonstaPuter
Processor133Mhz Pentium ProcessorAMD X6 3.2Ghz (6 Cores)
Memory32 MB16 GB
Hard Drive1.6 GB1 – 500 GB, 1 – 2 TB, 1 – 1 TB,60 GB SSD, 250 GB 2.5″ and an External 3TB Drive,
Sound CardStandard PB Sound and Modem CardRealtek ALC889
Optical Drive6X NCE CD-ROMLG DVD Burner
Floppy Drives1x 1.44MB 3.5″none
Expansion Slotsnone2 USB 3.0, 7 USB 2.0, eSata, Multi Card Reader
Operating SystemWindows 95 / then Windows 98Windows 8.1, Ubuntu 13.10, openSUSE


This computer though let me cut my teeth and really get a feel for what it was to be in the new Connected world.  I held onto this computer until 2003 making several upgrades (new modem, several new hard drives, memory upgrades) until I decided it was time to learn how to build a computer myself.

Packard Bell has gone away and come back again (only in Europe) but I will forever remember the Packard Bell D160 as what helped me become what I am today.





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