This PC was bought in 1999 for $750. Here’s How It Holds Up In 2017.

I Bought this PC For $750 in 1999. I used it for 4 years until 2003. Here’s How It Holds Up In 2017. If you’re around my age, you may remember the late 1990s, a golden age in consumer computing. This was an exciting time where Moore’s law meant more than just double the number of transistors on a chip, it physically translated to double the clock speeds on processors. This meant that computers back then became exponentially difficult to use without upgrades, every 18 months. And the dramatic decrease in price from each iteration would mean you had little time to make your investment in a computer worth it.

This Micron Electronics Millennia P200 Plus had a 200 MHz Pentium processor, 64 MB of RAM and 4 GB hard drive for $4249 in 1996. 3 years later in 1999 a similarly specced PC, with a faster 350 MHz processor, lesser 32 MB of RAM, and also a 4GB hard drive went for $750, literally 1/5, or 20% the price of 3 years prior. In my memory, this was one of the most exciting times to be a computer enthusiast, but a bad time to be a teenage kid who couldn’t afford new things every couple months. This Hewlett Packard Pavilion 4530 was THE computer I rode out the 1990’s with. Bought on June 20, 1999, it was complete with an AMD K6-2 processor running at 350 MHz, 32 MB of RAM, a 4GB hard drive, and SiS integrated graphics, which shared 8 MB of system RAM to render the display. This would be the main workhorse of some of my teenage years. Even already at the time, this was a low-end machine. The HP Pavilion line featured 4000, 6000 and 8000 models. Ones starting with a 4 were the low budget end and models beginning with an 8 were the highest end.

There was a difference in size of the towers in the higher end models. The front of this PC features a simple design, but unfortunately the floppy drive is built in to the case. There is a 32x CD ROM drive, no CD-R or CD-RW capability, and the door underneath exposes a 3.5” bay. Awkward, as you’d maybe hope you could fit another CD-drive underneath, but nope. On the back of this computer, maybe only half of the connections appear in today’s machines.. Aside from the Ethernet port, 3-pronged power, sound module, and MAYBE the PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard, you wouldn’t be caught dead with USB 1.1, Serial, Parallel, VGA, telephone jack, and DA-15 game port that was used for Joysticks and game controllers. The internals of this computer are really cramped when compared to today. I understand this is a minitower, but this case stands at 12.5” tall, quite a difference from the 23” of the HAF 932 in a PC I built in 2010, it’s the most snug fit you can have for this ATX motherboard.

The main hard drive was mounted on the front this way. It’s an ok use of space, I guess. When you look at this configuration, you’ll see that only the expansion slots are easily accessible without removing the 100W power supply. In the expansion slots, you would only be able to find these PCI slots and 1 ISA slot. PCI, not PCI-express. These slots have a maximum data rate of 133 MB / sec, which is about the average transfer speed of these USB hard drives. The cutting edge for graphics cards at this time was the Advanced Graphics Port, which had 1, 2, 4 and 8x variations, but since this is a low end PC, that slot is absent. When we remove the 100 W power supply, we find the hilariously small cooler master CPU cooler, 3 slots for RAM. The CPU is the AMD K6-2 running at 350 MHz and in AMD’s Socket 7. Released in May 1998, it was supposed to be the lower cost competitor to Intel’s Pentium 2.

On a 250 nm process (which is 18x larger than 2017’s Kaby Lake processors), we had a CPU that quickly became budget grade to compete with Intel’s Celeron processors. Wasn’t a fair comparison in my opinion, but fortunately for AMD, the K6-2 was a commercial success and helped lead the way for the Athlon line of processors, which were the first to hit 1 GHz, literally 8 months after I bought this PC. In February 2000. One of the perks of this processor was the use of PC100 SDRAM, meaning it ran at 100 MHz. I upgraded the base from 32 MB to 192 MB back in 2001. Oddly, but maybe not that surprising, there isn’t much else to the internals of this PC. It’s pretty boring really. Maybe one thing of interest is in this side panel that swings out. When we turn on the computer, that pristine vacuum cleaner-like sound immediately fills the room. Computers were notorious for being loud in the 1990s. If you didn’t like it, too bad. At the familiar old Windows 98 loading screen, we have the fantastic sound of nostalgia… And one of my favorite songs ever, the soundcheck for the HP system.

Aside from all the quirks of Windows 98 that makes this distinctly 1990’s computing, including the sounds, themes, screensavers, 16-bit color, 800×600 resolution, there’s quite a few barriers in this system that completely isolate it from today’s real computing environment. Most of these have to do with things we take for granted today. One of the biggest barriers is the notion of drivers. In today’s world, we can plug in a USB device and expect it to function within a few seconds. Whether it’s an audio interface or a USB Hard drive, we don’t need to install anything, it just works, it’s native to the OS. That isn’t the case in Windows 98. Anything that’s plugged in must go through a wizard and needs to have drivers installed, maybe from CD, maybe from Floppy Disk, or maybe through Windows Update. But you need to have it installed to work. This is a problem when the ethernet port on the back of this computer is through an expansion card that I lost the driver CD to years ago.

Luckily for me though, the drivers are still installed on this PC, so i can access internet through this ethernet port. Which comes to the second problem. In Windows 98, you must configure internet before the computer knows to access it through the ethernet card… But, the worst problem here is the fact that there are very few websites today that work in Internet Explorer 6. That’s right, IE 6. And aside from MSN and Bing, literally no other site loads.

Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Google. Even when I try to look for Firefox, it says my computer specs are below the minimum So… I could install Windows XP on this machine, it does fit the minimum specs. But there’s something unique I can use this PC for. For anyone who runs games released before year 2000, you’ll find that it’s hard to get some of them working on modern hardware. There is a preliminary solution for that in GoG.com, but for games like this Evolva (on GOG), Hexen II, Virtua Fighter II, or one of my personal favorites, an old indie game named Stick Fighters Brawl II by Kevin Reems.

The game didn’t even really have proper sound, but written in QBasic, you’d need emulation to run it on modern hardware, whereas it runs like a dream on this machine. There’s a certain feel to these games when run on older hardware. The experience is exactly as I remember it back then. It’s just not the same on modern hardware, even though it is much faster with way more perks, like larger resolutions, ultra wide monitor support, minimal input lag, the ability to handle large battles. Sometimes getting games on this PC is kind of a pain. For Stick Fighters Brawl II, because this PC cannot access Archive.org where the game is hosted now, I literally had to transfer the hard drive to my main Desktop and load the game files there manually. I could have used a CD-R, but I don’t have any with me, and the main computer no longer has a CD drive.

Also, with older CD ROM drives, they aren’t always guaranteed to read CD-R disks. I remember this one having trouble with it. Also, modern computers can’t access this PC via network. Perhaps I haven’t read up too much on it, but honestly, I don’t think I really want this thing connected to anything. I’m not too bothered that I can’t really browse the internet on this machine— I have more machines that can than I know what to do with. But, I only have 1 machine to natively play these kinds of games. So, it’s been 18 years since I bought this computer. It has followed me through 7 different moves to 4 major cities. Fun fact: your skin turns over every 27 days. It’s been more than 6500 days since I first bought this computer So my skin has turned over 245 times since My outward physical appearance is literally different, 245 times since I bought this computer. No matter the changes in me as a person, this will always be my PC, from 1999.

At PC Hospital, we help you solve IT problems.

PC Hospital the same day service company!

Keeping your computer(s) in tip top shape at the workplace or at home is essential. The computer has simply become an integral part of every household and modern business. This is simply because computers have completely revolutionised how we conduct business and relate with each other. Whether you need your PC to carry out important official tasks, communicate urgent messages to colleagues/clientele or to enjoy your favourite computer game, you need to have the machine operating at optimal levels at all times. This can only be made possible if you have a highly skilled IT consultant readily available to handle any glitches at all times.

PC hospital has been providing high quality and cost effective IT consultancy services in the UK for almost three decades now. Over the years, we have built partnerships and developed our expertise with a broad range of software and hardware vendors including leading brands such as Microsoft, Dell, Apple, HP, Compaq amongst others. Here at PC hospital, we are acutely aware that ICT is crucial to your business operations and that’s why part of our core strategy is offering timely solutions to ICT problems that may pose a serious risk to your firm’s operations.

In line with our policy of providing an all under one roof IT services, we offer these and other services;

PC and laptop repair services. Whether your computer has malfunctioned or you wish to have it upgraded, consult our technicians for a tailor made solution. Our team will also solve any issues you have with accessories such as printers, scanners and any other accompanying equipment.

Networking solutions.

Network is essential for both internal and external communication. Internet connectivity can be interrupted due to problems with the service provider or due to malfunctioning equipment internally. At PC hospital our network experts are always on hand to troubleshoot and rapidly restore networks.

Lost data recovery. The bulk of important organizational data is stored within our computer systems. A system crash can therefore have devastating effects on normal business operations. Should you lose access to crucial data at the workplace, do not hesitate to contact us. We will quickly dispatch our team of data recovery experts to get you back on your feet in no time.

Internet services. Our services now include a broad range of web based business solutions. If you’re looking for an IT consultant to help you tap into the numerous advantages of having a strong web presence, look no further than PC hospital. From web design to content development and even internet marketing, we have you covered.

PC and data security. Through our Bullguard antivirus software, we help protect your information systems from malware that may cause costly damage to your business. Free downloads are available as well as optional support from our technical team.

At PC hospital UK, We pride ourselves as an IT consultant with a difference. We realize how much downtimes can adversely affect your operations and bottom line. Our highly trained personnel are therefore on hand to quickly respond to any problems within the shortest time possible. Simply call us and our technicians will be on hand to promptly resolve your problem.

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How to trade Bitcoin like a Boss

 

A nameless cryptocurrency fanatic capitalized on this week’s dramatic bitcoin price plunge by diligently scooping up ​​​​$400 million worth of bitcoin.

 

Cryptocurrencies have had a tumultuous start to 2018. At the beginning of the brand new shiny year, many Crypto currencies had been riding a wave of exponential growth, and the market capitalization of the crypto currency space grew to the point that a $1 trillion valuation didn’t appear unreasonable. Then, early in the New Year, lack of confidence collapsed the market, and the top 1000 cryptocurrencies slumped significantly, causing a global crypto currency depression.

 

At the same time as the price crash won’t have been the cryptocurrency bubble pop that many analysts have anticipated, it did imply that top cryptocurrencies, even industry leader bitcoin, fell to their lowest levels in months.

 

Although bitcoin dipped south of $6,000 per coin in early February, according to marketplace Watch, the rate has consolidated and risen substantially. In fact, it has climbed gradually each day and has climbed more than 60% in the past two weeks or so, eventually clambering up to and above $10,000.

 

Questions are now been asked, who is The Bitcoin Whale?

Reputedly, the nameless cryptocurrency trader who made a prime investment inside the high risk Cryptoverse imagined that this upward trend will continue. Nonetheless, bitcoin’s spot price remains some distance beneath its all-time high of shy of $20,000 per coin, attained in December in 2017.

 

Who made the astonishing ballsy purchase? As of now, his or her identification has been tough to nail down, almost impossible if they choose to remain anonymous. Alex Sunnarborg (Tetras Capital founder) commented “not sure who that large purchaser was, however many have sold this dip and bought the rebound after regulatory clarity within the U.S. and Asia”.

The acquisition was made between February 9 and February 12 to an account related to the bitcoin address 3Cbq7aT1tY8kMxWLbitaG7yT6bPbKChq64. That account has seen its bitcoin balance balloon from 55k BTC rocketing north to almost 96k BTC. Whoever you are thanks for showing us all how to trade like a Boss!

Windows 10 Troubleshooting

Windows 10 Troubleshooting, it’s all covered here.

So, it looks like you were unable to resist the glossy ultra polished TV Ad’s with the adorable progeny of the current generation being used to coax you into a false sense of security and the assumption that this Microsoft Windows upgrade will go smoothly without mishap. Well not to worry we’ll do our best to highlight the worst bugs in Microsoft windows 10 and the troubleshooting steps you will need to take. You may have to adapt out the instruction a little as every system differs slightly but if we point you in the right direction you should be ok.

Shiny New Windows 10 operating system

.”How to fix Windows 10’s worst problems – BetaNews

http://betanews.com Wed, 12 Aug 2015 10:47:22 -0700

Microsoft is rolling out cumulative updates for its operating system on what appears to be a weekly basis at the moment. These updates fix some problems, but not all. In some cases, they even cause more trouble, and …

Read more …

You should also deep dive into this equally post which we found also to be helpful.

5 common problems people are having with Windows 10

http://bgr.com Thu, 30 Jul 2015 12:41:00 -0700

If you do update to Windows 10 in these early days — here’s how to skip the queue and install Windows 10 right now — these are some of the common problems you may encounter. Of course, we’ve also included some notes …

Read more …

Windows 10 troubleshooting tips

On the whole, for most people with newer computer hardware the upgrade delivered from the internet has been a success. As time goes on and the lessons are learned through Windows 10 inbuilt error reporting process,  the next brave wave of upgrade pioneers will have an easier time of it.

Now that you have read the most problematic problems with windows 10 I am sure you have the confidence to take on the world. If you don’t, you can always contact us and we will be very happy to step in and sort those nagging issues with the windows 10 upgrade for you. Troubleshooting the next batch of internet woes is something we could do all day, a puzzle a day keeps the grey matter ticking over!

Litecoin mining my experiences, the good the bad and the ugly.

rg2b Litecoin mining my experiences, a place to discuss my own foray with Litecoin mining.

If you’re new to the world of Bitcoin, Litecoin and crypto currencies in general. A simple definition would be to say that they are a new form of digital currency. In very much the same way that we have adopted the credit card after years of using physical paper money (Cash), it is hoped that Litecoin and other crypto currencies will gain acceptance on the basis of their significantly lower transaction charges in comparison to credit cards and interbank cash transfers. This is achieved by a decentralised system where the transactions are checked and verified by the computers of ordinary members of the public. Typically referred to as “Litecoin miners”. All the transactions are secured with the highest forms of encryption, it’s very design makes the system almost impossible to take advantage of as it would mean an attacker would have to have the combined processing power of the entire Litecoin network at their disposal to even begin to attempt to compromise its security.

What’s in it for the Litecoin miners you may be asking yourself. Well the system is designed so that those members of the public using Litecoin mining machines made by companies such as Alpha Tec and KNC miners would themselves be given a reward of FREE coins as long as they kept their machines running on the network. This process is called mining as you are in fact generating new coins as well as assisting transactions between two parties. Possibly a buyer and a seller of Litecoins or simply the movement of Litecoins between two different accounts. These accounts can sometimes be referred to as your Litecoin address or wallet address. As this is a decentralised currency, securing  the PC with which your account is most commonly accessed is fairly important as with any form of currency. Securing a digital wallet is very simple it just requires  a few clicks on your mouse acknowledging you want the wallet encrypted and providing a passcode.  I would always recommend securing the wallet first before actually moving coin to it. Once encrypted the process of compromising it is very difficult. There are other options to use an online wallet  with 2 factor authentication and have them provide much of the security for you. There security policies will be in line with the global ISO 27001 standard.

The primary reason for starting this blog post is to publicly review my recent purchased Alpha Tech Viper mining machine in January 2014. Prior to this date I had built a couple of Litecoin minings rigs using 7950 and R290 I will be documenting my success and failures  in attempting to enter the crypto currency market at such a late stage. Come back to review later post and see how I am getting on with the project.

Litecoin Dream

 

The Litecoin mining Dream!