My computers over time

Here is a list of the computers that I or my family has had over time, as I remember them.  A lot of this is written 10-20 years after I last saw these devices so a few details might not be a little off.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 9370

  • Purchased April 2020 while I was in St. Augustine.
  • Intel Core i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM, 460GB SSD

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro-1370

  • Purchased as a birthday present for myself in 2015.  I had been in Best Buy and thought that the thinness of the computer was incredible, like two pieces of cardboard stuck together.
  • I knew from reviews that the CPU would be weak, and it has been, but it has been good enough for almost 5 years now as I write this.

Surface RT

  • This was a gift from Microsoft while I worked there, it was cool but I never ended up using it much.  The keyboard had no moving parts but worked very well.

Acer Aspire 1420p

  • This was given out to attendees at Microsoft's PDC 2009 event.  I did not go; I bought one for myself a while later while I was working at Microsoft.
  • It had a resistive touch screen which I believe was sort of lame as capacitive touchscreens of that size were just starting to become available around that time.


AMD system

  • Shortly into my freshman year at NDSU my friend Mike and I went to Best Buy and purchased copies of Half Life 2.  My Toshiba R15 was all but unable to run the game so I soon ordered $800 worth of parts.  This system played the game quite well.
  • Specs
    • Dual-core AMD 64-bit
    • 512MB RAM
    • ATI All-In-Wonder graphics card
  • The All-In-Wonder TV tuner drivers were crap and always crashed so I was never really able to watch or record TV like I had dreamed of.
  • In my junior year I had this system (in the clear case) poorly positioned on top of a baseboard heater in the dorms and something overheated and blew out a bunch of components.  I have long regretted that I had many of those parts replaced under warranty...not very ethical.
  • At some point I realized that I could buy a second Proview PL713s LCD screen for pretty cheap used so I got that.  It was pretty awesome to have two matching LCDs!

Lenovo laptop

  • This had very similar specs to the Toshiba Satellite R15 system.
  • I bought it from my friend Sarah for maybe $50 when she no longer had a use for it, in the fall of 2008 I believe.
  • I used it to run Linux, possibly in relation to my senior design project?  But we rented a couple laptops for that so maybe not.

Toshiba Satellite R15 Tablet PC

  • I really wanted a tablet PC for college so I convinced my parents to get this one.  It cost $1500 and I believe I had to chip in about $500 of that.
  • I purchased a second battery for it.  Then they issued a battery recall so I got each of my two batteries replaced, except I did not send the "dangerous" ones back, so I had four batteries that I used.
  • The story of why I put an SSD in it.
  • I took my Proview PL713s with me to use as a second screen.

AMD Duron

  • Around 800MHz I think
  • This was auctioned at a surplus sale that the BSC Vocational Center and my friend Jeremiah was at the sale.  He didn't know what speed it was but did know that it was a Duron so I looked up that processor and was VERY excited to be able to get it for some price ($50?) even if it was the slowest model.
  • This lived in my clear case (almost all parts built of clear plastic).  Maybe the Pentium II system did too?

Pentium II 233MHz overclocked to 300MHz

  • I think I cobbled this together from a massive pile of junk that a guy from our church gave us.
  • On 2020-07-16 I found some more info in this newsgroup post from 2020-05-08 when I was digging into some old newsgroup posts for nostalgia's sake.

...the power supply will be adequate. Especially
considering that I have 2 harddrives, 2 optical, floppy, 10/100
network card, soundcard, dual video cards, an auxilary fan, and a
wireless network card all running off of a 200W power supply. I
suppose modern processors take more power than my lowly PII 233MHz,
but I think most people oversize their power supplies. Although it is
fun to have lots of extra...

  • The dual video cards reminds me of the monitor setup.  I probably started with one CRT but eventually got a ProView PL713s LCD screen on Black Friday.  This was in the days when the sales actually started on Friday, probably at 6:00AM.  So I ran the CRT and LCD side-by-side, probably until I left for college and took only the LCD to run as a second screen with my tablet PC.

Compaq Presario

  • Specs
    • AMD K6-2 (300MHz?)
    • 128MB RAM
    • 8GB HDD, was the interestingly large 5.25" form factor
    • 17" CRT
    • Windows 98 SE
  • Purchased in 1998 for about $2,000?
  • Came with a huge binder of games on CD
    • Oregon Trail III
    • Incoming: Rage
  • Added a 52x Pacific Digital CD burner
  • Windows 98 SE added USB support so it was sort of able to use a crazy wireless card (PCMCIA I think) that sat in a USB adapter.  But there were ongoing issues, so eventually we upgraded to Windows Me.

IBM PS2 running Windows 3.0