Nostalgia for the old school PC

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 9:46 PM | comments: 0

I've got two PC's that followed me out to Washington that I have no use for. The first one is the machine I used as my desktop for many years, complete with clear sides and aluminum case. The second is what used to be my home theater PC, pulling down over-the-air HD, but it was replaced by a silent Mac Mini (running Windows 7).

I'm giving the desktop to a friend who wants a spare PC, so I'm formatting the drives to erase my po, er, "data" so he has a fresh start. I feel a lot of nostalgia for this box. The power supply is practically new, and probably the third that lived in that case. It has a mobile Athlon XP overclocked beyond its spec, and an entire gigabyte of RAM! It even has a floppy drive.

This is a relic from the days when you regularly replaced parts, and reinstalled Windows probably once every nine months. It was a pain in the ass, but there was something fun about it. Busting open a new video card that scored you an extra 2 frames-per-second in some shooter was cool. It was fun to dress up the machine and put lights and other crap in it too.

In late 2006, I bought a Mac Pro, and the old PC was retired. In late 2009, I sold that computer (for $1,200!) and bought a 27" iMac. I don't miss the clunky tower, or constant upgrades. When I do use Windows, it's a virtual machine that I can trash and instantly restore.

What a difference a few years makes. Now I get many years out of a computer, without having to upgrade it. My laptop is closing in on three years, my iMac on two. Both are more than adequate. I'm not upgrading hard drives or CPU's or any of that. I admittedly miss the tinkering a little bit, but not really. Gone are the days of drivers and IRQ's and all of the things that made computers more complicated than they had to be, and I think we're better off for it.

So long, old PC. We had a good run, but you're not going back to Cleveland with me.


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