jonfu

My History of Computer Ownership

I thought this would be a fun exercise to try and see how well I could document my computer ownership. Luckily most of the relatively modern things could be determined from records via websites and email, but some of the older information is just my best recollection.

Late 80s / Early 90s

Packard Bell 386 (DX2?) with 12MB (!!!) of memory and I believe a 20MB hard drive. I spent most of my time on this computer playing games. I specifically remember an early flight simulator, flying planes around southern California. I also had my first experiences online here using Prodigy, an early online service. I think we had a 14.4Kb modem and eventually a 28.8k with this PC.

Mid 90s

IBM Aptiva - 120Mhz Pentium II (with MMX!) with I believe a 15" monitor, obviously CRT at the time, running Windows 95. This is where I really got interested in computing and started learning to write software (Visual Basic). I think modem speeds here range from 28.8 to 56K. This was also the first computer that I installed Linux on (Slackware 3.1 and then Redhat 4.x).

Late 90s

Intel Celeron 300A with 440BX chipset motherboard. I think this was the first computer I had in my own room. We also got our first broadband service from Mediacom, the local cable MSO, around 1995 or 1996. This was when I started spending more and more time with Linux and other unix machines that I, uh, remotely accessed.

2000-2004

Here it gets a little foggy and I will just have to piece together from the best of my recolleciton.

I believe it was first a Athlon XP 2400+ release date August 21, 2002 which was later replaced by an Athlon 64 3200+ ("Barton") based machine, but I cannot remmeber any additional details. It looks like the release date on the 3200+ would have been Q4 2003, so that lines up.

Around here I think is when I would have moved to a Viewsonic P220fb monitor. This was an AWESOME monitor at the time, both in its performance as well as its physical size. I just looked it up and according to cnet the weight was 68.34lbs!

2005-2009

Luckily from here I can start mining my order history and email receipts.

I can see an order as far back as 9/24/2007 which included an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield (2.4Ghz, LGA 775) along with an Asus P5B Intel P965 chipset motherboard and 2x1GB of DDR-2800 memory (OCZ). Also ordered a GeForce 8800GTS and WD Raptor 74GB 10K RPM SATA drive to go alone with it apparently. This was a wonderful CPU that lasted a very long time, included duty in a server and small 19" rack I had for several years.

If you search, newegg will actually show orders OLDER than the oldest date in the year dropdown filter. I purchased an E5200 Wolfdale Dual-Core 2.5Ghz LGA 775 on 6/16/2009. I think this was for an HTPC in the living room, which I believe I still might have.

Looks like I also purchased an Intel i7 860 Lynnfield Quad-core 2.6Ghz (LGA 1156) CPU on 9/15/2009. I think this must have been the point at which I started using two computers, one linux and one windows, and sharing the mouse via synergy. I found an order (in my email) from Dell dated 10/7/2008 for what appears to be a single Dell 2408WFP (Quantity 1) for a price of $619! Yikes! Then, two weeks later I won another via an ebay auction for $520.

In 2009 I purchased my first SSD which was an OCZ Vertex 30GB SATA II MLC SSD (OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX) for a whopping $139! Which was $4.63 per gigabyte. As of today (12/2019) per gigabyte pricing for SATA SSD (QLC) is around $0.10/GB.

2010-2014

The first order on January, 17 2010 was an i7 875K, 4GB of DDR-1600 memory and a Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 (LGA 1156) motherboard. Technically right before that I bought an Ergotron 45-218-194 LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm for my two Dell 2408WFP monitors.

2011 was a little less interesting, I did purchase an HD 6970 that I remember serving me pretty well along with another 4GB of memory, presumably to upgrade one of my computers. One exception was that this was the year I purchased an iStarUSA WJ-1560 which was a 15U (600mm depth) server cabinet on casters along with an ARK 4U-500-CA rackmount chassis.

One notable purchase in 2012 was my first Raspberry Pi, a Model B, on 7/7/2012. This would be the first of quite a few raspberry pi I have used over the years.

The next set of workstation components I bought wasn’t until 2013 which was an MSI 760GMA-P34 (AMD 760G chipset) motherboard along with an AMD FX-6300 Vishera 6-core 3.5Ghz CPU, which might have been for a server. This did include 16GB of memory which I think was a significant amount for the time.

From my Amazon order history I can see that on 7/10/2013 I purchased an Intel i7 4770 which would have been my next workstation upgrade. Typically I would upgrade one workstation and use it’s hardware for the second (which shared mouse/keyboard via synergy) and then demote the last set of cpu/mboard/memory to some other task, like maybe a home server upgrade.

2015-2019

New monitors! I moved from a pair of 2408WFP to a set of three Dell U2415 monitors, purchased 9/21/2015 for a total of $883.92 for all three. Both models are 24" 16:10 1920x1200 monitors, but the 2408WFP was an MVA panel and much thicker and produced a significant amount of heat compared to the newer U2415. It was a significant upgrade in image quality.

Looks like my next upgrade wasn’t until 2016 when I built my VR gaming machine. This included an Intel i5 6600 and 16GB of DDR4-2133 memory and a GTX 1070 video card.

On 7/30/2017 I purchased my first Ryzen CPU a Ryzen 7 1700X. Usually this wasn’t a great option, the 1700 was a better choice for the money, but at the time Amazon had actually discounted the 1700X below the 1700 so it made more sense. Used this with 16GB of RAM along with an MSI B350 Tomahawk (Arctic) motherboard.

In 2018 I bought an RX 560 which has been a great video card and served me well. Around 2015-2016 I transitioned to using a single linux desktop PC exclusively, no more Windows or synergy and I’ve been using it since then. This was also the same year I purchased a U-NAS 401 case and migrated my 4770 for duty there with a Micro ITX case and a pair of 12TB HDD.

And finally, a few weeks ago (November 2019) I purchased a Ryzen 2 3900X (12c/24t) CPU along with 32GB of G.Skill DDR4-3600 memory and a Gigabyte X570 I Aorus WiFi motherboard to replace my primary Ryzen 1700X desktop. This was built in a Louqe Ghost S1 SFF case.