My Computers

Here is a page full of information, mostly useless, about all of the computers I own, have owned, or used. Sometimes I remember I have another one and update the page.

Thanks to Nathan Lineback for this idea.

The 286
Sorry, I can't put a picture up, this machine doesn't exist any more.

CPU: 80286.
RAM: 8 Megs.
Graphics: Standard VGA.
Storage: 43 Megs HDD - HUGE!
Comments: The first computer I ever used. Came with MS-DOS 4, which was crap. Dad got DR-DOS 6 on 5.25 inch floppys soon after, along with some shareware software. Ran Windows 3.1 nicely.

The 486
Picture coming...

CPU: 486DX
RAM: 24 Megs
Graphics: Super VGA
Storage: 2x 300 Meg drives.
Comments: Evolved from the 286. Came with MS-DOS 5 or 6, but upgraded to DR-DOS 6. I learned how to program in Delphi on this machine, and I still have it sat in my bedroom. Ran Windows 3.1, and later Windows 95-SR1.

The Amstrad PPC-512

CPU: 8088
RAM: 512 K
Graphics: Monochrome 'supertwist' LCD screen on it. Monochrome CGA is my assumption.
Storage: 720K DD Floppy drive.
Comments: Got it for Christmas ages and ages ago. Used to play KROZ on it. Bloody heavy to carry around. The 1 floppy drive was a 720K one, and it was a big pain in the arse! Acutally, one thing that might (or might not) interest you: I have managed to get Windows running on it! Microsoft Windows 1.01! MS-DOS 3.21 and Windows 1.01 all on a single 720KB floppy disk (which can be downloaded from here), GO ME! ROFL!

The ThinkPad
Sorry, I can't put a picture up, this machine doesn't exist any more.

CPU: either 386 or 486
RAM: 3 Megs
Graphics: Bog-standard VGA
Storage: 100 Meg
Comments: Bought it from CA$H CONVERTERS a few years ago. Cost me £60. Worked fine, just right for playing KROZ or writing BASIC programs on. Shame the screen died.

The Pentium Laptop
Will put a picture up if you want, but it is in very small pieces...

CPU: Pentium
RAM: 32
Graphics: 800*600*true colour Super VGA
Storage: 2 Gig
Comments: Cost £159.99. Ran Windows 98. Only good for playing Age of Empires really.

The Pentium 'Frankenstien's Monster' machine

CPU: 100MHZ Pentium, perhaps with MMX.
RAM: Came with 16. Upgraded to 32. Then upgraded to 128 Megs.
Graphics: VESA 1 or 2 standard SVGA.
Storage: Couple of 1.2 Gig drives.
Comments: Got this from school when I was in my first year. Took it home and rebuilt it so that it would work. When it booted it up for the first time, I screamed out, 'IT'S MOVING... HE'S ALIVE!!!'. Big junkpile now, can't read or write any floppies, and I can't be arsed putting a CD drive onto it.

This machine doesn't exist any more.

CPU: Pentium II at about 200 MHZ
RAM: 64 Megs
Graphics: VESA 3+ standard SVGA
Storage: 2 Gig.
Comments: I bought this from a computer fair a few years ago for £50. It ran WindowsME quite nicely, and I even had it on the Internet way back before we got broadband. The problem was, I tried to upgrade it, but I ended up with the BIOS becoming terminally screwed. Was a shame, I liked mucking around with that machine. I think it's in little bits in the garage now.

Atari 520 and 1040 STe Machines

CPU: Motorola 68000
RAM: 512K and 1024K (1MB) respectively
Graphics: Colour TV
Storage: DD floppy Drive. Hard disk optional. I don't have one.
Comments: Got these cheap (about £10) a couple of years ago. They work nicely on FAST-BASIC. That;s about all they're good for. Would like to get the piece of software to run DOS on it; wouldn't mind seeing if Windows would run :).

The Compaq Palmtop

CPU: Don't know.
RAM: 2 Megs
Graphics: 480*240 4 shade greyscale.
Storage: 2MB volitile memory.
Comments: My first proper palmtop. Served me well, but it was already 8 years old by the time I got it. I should be surprised it worked at all. Found out recently that it had the first version or Windows CE on it to be released, and that version was only marketed for a month or so, so now I'm even more pig-sick. I imagine I'll get it to work one day, but I'll need to get in a hell of a lot of practice with my soldering iron!

The P3 that I got from work

CPU: Pentium III at about 500 MHZ
RAM: 128 Megs
Graphics: VESA 3+ standard SVGA
Storage: 18 Gig. Wouldn't mind an 80 Gig one for it though.
Comments: Someone I know from work built it for me from decommissioned parts and from parts of his own. Now, I have WindowsME on it, and can run VirtualPC, so I have Windows 1, 2, 3.1, 95, Chicago builds 58s, 73g, and 122, and MS-DOS 6.22 on it too! Might be getting a new machine around Christmas, hopefully.

The HP Jornada 720

CPU: 206MHz Arm
RAM: 32 Megs
Graphics: Half-VGA 320x480 LCD with 16,000,000 colours.
Storage: 32MB volitile memory. Did have a 2GB hard disk for it but it died. Going to get a microdrive (20GB :P).
Comments: I've wanted one of these for ages, and I finally found it on the Internet. I have got an old Compaq Pocket PC with the original version of Windows CE (build 576 I think), but it fell out of my pocket a couple of years ago and the ribbon connector to the screen tore, so now I can't use it :(, but I've got this one which is better anyway. I wouldn't mind getting an old one again though... call me if you've got one and you're willing to sell it to me cheap :)!

Sharp PC-1211

CPU: SC-43177 and SC-43178 (early multiprocessor system!)
RAM: 1K.
Graphics: None. It has a 1x24 character alphanumeric LCD.
Storage: Audio Tape!
Comments: This thing isn't actually mine; it's my dad's but he's told me I can use it. It's great for school and college - the ultimate pocket calculator! Programs can be permanently stored on audio tapes using a special dock. We have this at home somewhere, but haven't a clue where it is.

Commodore 64

CPU: 6502
RAM: About 16K.
Graphics: Low-res colour TV
Storage: Bog-standard audio tape machine hooked up via the machine's output.
Comments: Got this for £15 along with a load of other junk, including a Sky keyboard. Never got it to work though.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum+2

CPU: Z80
RAM: 32K?
Graphics: Colour TV
Storage: Built-in tape recorder.
Comments: I have got this machine working. I got it for Christmas a couple of years back. Came with everything except a printer. I have a box (literally) of tapes for this machine, but I can't bring myself to load them because it takes forever. The BASIC is quite nice, though.

Commodore PET 4000 series (or clone)

CPU: 6502
RAM: 16/32K. Don't know other than that.
Graphics: Built in monochrome monitor, capable of 40*25 characters.
Storage: None.
Comments: This machine has been in our loft since 1989 or so. I found it while I was up there looking for my old ukulele (I first started when I was about 3). I haven't got it out yet, so I don't know if it's going to work, but it should be an interesting project. The reason why I said 'or clone' is pecause all the insignia seems to have been removed.

HP Jornada 820

Graphics: VGA
Storage: 32MB shared RAM and Storage - 64MB CF card
Comments: Use this for College work sometimes.

EI-System Laptop

CPU: Intel Pentium something

RAM: 512MB
Graphics: WXGA 1280*800
Storage: 80GB HDD, DVD Writer
Comments: Came with Vista Home Basic, which I upgraded to Business, which I got from college. Great laptop - until it got struck by lightning!

Philips Freevents X59 Mini-Laptop

CPU: Intel Core2 Duo
RAM: 1024MB
Graphics: WXGA 1280*800
Storage: 100GB HDD, DVD Writer
Comments: I got this laptop to replace the EI-System. It came with Vista Home Premium, which I upgraded to Business, which I got from college. It was hell on Earth trying to put Linux on it, I can tell you!

Random Desktop

CPU: Intel Celeron CPU that Windows FLP identifies as an AMD Athlon...
RAM: 382MB
Graphics: I've had it do 1900*1440 or something when running on FreeBSD
Storage: 40GB HDD
Comments: Old lab machine from college, I got this to muck about with operating systems originally, but now I'm going to use it to maintain my website from, and also muck about with operating systems.

ZX Spectrum+

CPU: Z80
Graphics: 256*192
Storage: Tape
Comments: Never used it yet, but it's all there.

MiTAC Laptop

CPU: 486
Graphics: VGA
Storage: Floppy, 500MB HD.
Comments: Used to be mum's but she gave it to me when she upgraded. Has Windows 95 on it, don't really think it could handle much else.

Commodore A600

CPU: 68000
Graphics: VGA?
Storage: Floppy, external HDD.
Comments: Was given to me after it had been rained on at a car boot sale. Therefore, I don't know if it'll ever work. No cables, software, power supply, display, or anything.

TI Extensa Laptop

CPU: Pentium
Graphics: SVGA
Storage: Floppy, 1.5GB HD
Comments: Got it from a car-boot sale, what else can be said? I played around with MINIX on it, but now I've taken the hard drive out to use with another laptop.

Another ThinkPad

CPU: 486
Graphics: VGA, monochrome
Storage: Floppy, 100MB HDD.
Comments: Got it off someone at college for a few quid, stuck Windows 3.0 on it to play with. Screen's now smashed, but I can use it with an external monitor (I even have a 'proper' IBM monitor from the same time this machine was made). A bigger hard drive is going to be in it soon, but there's no memory slots (in fact, looking at the motherboard, there appears to be no memory and no processor, so it must be microcontroller-based), so I can't stick more RAM in it.

Toshiba Laptop

CPU: Pentium
RAM: Currently 16MB, looking for upgrade
Graphics: VESA 2.0 SVGA
Storage: Floppy, CD, 2.1GB HD.
Comments: Another one I got from a car-boot sale, it runs Windows NT 4 quite nicely. Once I get a bigger (128MB) RAM stick to shove inside it, and a bigger HD (I have a 40GB drive lying around), I'm going to see how far I can expand it. Like all laptops its age, it has 2 PCMCIA orifices on it, so I want to get a network card for it, and maybe even try USB on it (like Nathan Lineback of ToastyTech did). For such an old laptop (1997, I think) it has a lot of modern features, like going to sleep when the battery runs down, and a 24bit colour display. I'm currently using it as a desktop machine, though, because I think it's cool to do that =] .

Another College Lab Machine

CPU: Not sure, but it's 32bit and 2.4 GHz.
Graphics: VESA 2.0 SVGA
Storage: Floppy, DVD-RAM, 2x40GB HD, 1.5TB exterrnal.
Comments: Another decomissioned lab machine from college, runs Debian Squeeze at the moment, and is acting as a server of sorts, receiving files I download, and being the store for all my archives. Eventually I want to upgrade it (well, replace it) with something more powerful that I can use as a webserver.


CPU: New Pentium
Graphics: Don't know, but it's pretty nice
Storage: DVD-RAM, 320GB HD.
Comments: I bought it new to use as my main machine, it runs a token installation of Windows 7 for use with college work, but it mainly runs Debian Squeeze, which is now my favourite operating system. I didn't know the thing was 64bit until I looked it up and read through loads of technical documentation. Talk about unclear.

Acer Aspire One

CPU: Atom
RAM: 1.5GB, upgraded from 512Mb
Graphics: Netbook display panel
Storage: 100GB HD.
Comments: Bought cheap, reconditioned, for going on the Internet when I can't take the VAIO with me. It's not a bad machine, but I probably won't think about buying another.

Fujitsu Seimens Lifebook S6120

CPU: Centrino
RAM: 1GB, upgraded from 512MB
Graphics: XGA
Storage: DVD, 40GB HD.
Comments: Secondhand from what used to be Cash Converters in Blackpool, I originally bought it to run Windows on, but since I installed Windows on the VAIO alongside Linux, this now runs:
  • Plan 9 from Bell Labs, Fourth Edition
  • v7x86 (a port of Seventh Edition UNIX to the IA-32 architecture).
  • OpenBSD 4.7
  • Debian!
And of course it doesn't use a bootloader from any of those systems - it uses boot0 from FreeBSD 8.1! As you can see, I'm now using the machine for playing with operating systems - I do use virtual machines, but they just aren't as good, especially when I've got a machine hanging around doing nothing.

Ben NanoNote

CPU: xBurst
Graphics: 320x240 LCD panel
Storage: 2GB onboard NAND, (currently) 2GB MicroSD - will get a 4/8GB card when I can
Comments: A few months ago I was trawling around on the internet, looking for the world's smallest and cheapest computer. I found this little thing, and bought one immediately. It took me about five months to get it to work, but it's a proper cool little machine - especially now it's got a full programming toolchain on it. The operating system is, of course, Debian, because the only alternative (OpenWRT) is completely lame. In fact, it's this machine that got me into Debian.

Early 1980s pocket BASIC machine

CPU: unknown
Graphics: 1 line of alphanumeric text
Storage: Tape
Comments: Car-boot cale, cost me a fiver. It works nice enough, but I don't use it - not because it's ancient, because I'd most likely break the 1K memory limit.


RAM: 256MB
Graphics: 800x480 netbook display panel, touchscreen
Storage: 512MB onboard NAND, upto 128GB via SDXC
Comments: I've not got it yet, but I ordered one in May.

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