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.

Computer repair in Southwark; Tourism and Technology

View with the shard, Southwark

Southwark is a prominent area of London and a prime location for tourists to visit. With attractions such as London Bridge, the Shard (pictured above), Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Millennium Bridge all in close proximity to each other and among a wealth of shops, businesses, services like PC maintenance and galleries, it’s no wonder Southwark is always full of an eclectic mix of people. As is important to a capital city, Southwark, historically, has been the centre of trade and traffic over the last few centuries, giving rise to the success of Britain. Located on the Thames between Waterloo and London Bridge it has excellent transport links from is modern architect-designed Tube station, with the Jubilee line, and nearby national rail services.

London has always been very culturally diverse and by the 15th century Southwark had the highest population of immigrants in the capital. 200 years later it was the second most populous urban area of England, City of London taking the top spot. As the Industrial Revolution drew closer, the increase of Irish immigrants in particular was welcomed as many workers were needed to build London’s first railway. As well as the rail network, Borough market, by London Bridge, was opened in 1851 and has continued to succeed. Although it may not offer computer repair in Southwark, being one of the oldest and largest markets in London, Borough market does have an array of foods from all around the world, carrying on the trade of international produce from centuries past.

Many authors and artists alike have added to the cultural wealth of Southwark, with the borough making an appearance as the settings to many of Charles Dickens’ books. Another, and possibly more renowned author and playwright, that is associated with the area is William Shakespeare. His greatest plays were performed in the Globe Theatre including Hamlet, the Twelfth Night, Macbeth and the Tempest. Back then Shakespeare would have hand-written these out in early modern English but if he had been around today, it’s not unlikely he would have typed them up, taken advantage of technology and PC repair in Southwark, maybe even published some of his work on social media sites!

1811 saw the opening of Britain’s first public art gallery, the Dulwich Picture Gallery, adding to the visual arts scene in Southwark. Notable artists include John Ruskin, William Blake and, perhaps one of the most celebrated British landscape artists, Joseph Mallord William Turner. Primarily working in oils, he created works of art still recognized today, some even featuring imagery of Southwark. Although controversial in his time, he then became the Romantic precursor to Impressionism, a movement that produced artists such as Monet. Art has moved on so far from then but Southwark is still very central to the art world, this includes digital art and the use of programs like Photoshop. With the introduction to digital art, the development of creative programs, computer maintenance, new technology and PC repair in Southwark have all become essential to many contemporary artists.

There are many stores in Southwark that you can go to for the latest up-to-date technological devices. PC Hospital, a high quality but low cost PC repair company, is just down the Thames. We offer help with all computer problems for everyone in the area, whether you need a laptop repairer in Blackfriers, computer repair in Southwark or just some free advice over the phone. By calling 0203 714 3567, we can arrange an appointment to be seen within 24 hours.

History, Technology and Computer Repair in London

London westminster and the london eye

London is one of the greatest cities of the world, up with New York, Paris and Berlin, according to Time Out, with such a huge amount of culture and history crammed into a relatively small space. Being the capital of England, and more broadly the United Kingdom, it has so much to offer to visitors, tourists, residents and those who commute in. Within this metropolitan city there are attractions such as the Tower of London, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square; Galleries including the Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery; and museums like the Natural History Museum, the V & A and the Science Museum. That is barely the tip of what London offers. And then there are the services that are there to keep the city moving forward in todays world like the London Underground, computer repair in London, the financial districts, all 43 universities and the emergency services.

The London Underground, more commonly known as the tube, is a vital part of London life, almost as crucial as the internet, smart phones and PC maintenance, it is run by Transport for London (TFL) and stretches as far as Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. In 1863 the Metropolitan railway, now part of the Circle, Hammersmith and City, and Metropolitan lines, was built and also became the first electric traction trains. As engineering and technology advanced, so did the Underground; deep level underground tube railways, that then gave the underground its new name “tube”, were pioneered here in London with the City and South London railway being the first in the world. Then in 2003 the Oyster card with pay-as-you-go and travel card features made traveling on the underground even more streamlined. This mirrored the new societal changes, where consumerism and the fast-paced life of the city has become the norm, PC repair in London supports this growing trend, along with the newest gadgets as everyone is online, which is incidentally even now possible on the Underground!

London has always attracted people from around the world, and what seems to fascinate many of these tourists is the Royal family and the heritage associated with them. This becomes more apparent after seeing the masses of people building up outside Buckingham Palace taking photos that will then be uploaded to Instagram during the changing of the guard and wondering if the current state of the flag means that the Queen is at home.  Although the monarchy makes up a substantial part of the tourism industry taking in billions of pounds, it hasn’t been in political power, at least not as much as Parliament, since 1707 when Scotland and England joined and Queen Anne was on the throne. Queen Elizabeth II is now more of a symbol of unity and identity for the country, with traditional constitutional and representational duties to perform; she also must keep up to date with the news and current affairs, which is now probably done on her laptop or tablet, even the Queen will require computer repair in London to make sure this is possible!

London has been the capital since the twelfth century so it’s not surprising that there are not only many places to buy technology, but a lot of it is designed here. Scattered through-out London are Apple stores, PC worlds, Currys’, plus department stores where you can purchase high end quality electronics such as Harrods and Selfridges. At PC Hospital, we aim to service your laptops and PCs at a low rate and offer good quality computer maintenance, PC repair in London and Greater London, and provide useful and free information over the phone. Within 24 hours, we can see to your computer, just call us on 0203 714 3567 to arrange an appointment.

Computer Repair in Bromley; A Short Historical Guide

Charles Darwins House bromley Down House

Bromley, well not being the best known area within the M25, has had a few accomplishments in its time. Politically speaking, it has been a Borough of London since 1965, but it’s postcode BR still suggests it’s part of Kent. It is a large suburban town, formerly a market town in 1158, with a population of around 16,850. It has been the residence of a surprisingly high number of famous and influential people through-out history onwards to the present day. This list includes David Bowie, Pixie Lott, Siouxsie Sioux, Christopher Tennant and Charles Darwin among others. Not just a place for the rich and famous, Bromley can provide much needed services like computer repair in Bromley and PC maintenance, a number of shops, bars and restaurants and lastly, but not least, Bromley’s Charter Market, an 800 year tradition.

Charles Darwin was a renowned and celebrated scientist, (1809 to 1882), who was most famous for his theory of evolution; he lived with his wife in Down House in Bromley which is pictured above. Darwin, in his time, was a controversial figure with his theory of evolution contradicting the ingrained beliefs of the church, Christianity and Catholicism. His book, “On the Origins of Species”, got rid of earlier concepts and provided groundbreaking theories that later, after acceptance by the scientific communities and general public, became the basis for life sciences and the diversity of life. The core part of evolution, according to Darwin, was the process of Natural Selection, weeding out the weak to help the species continue to grow and adapt to the changes around them. However, it might surprise you to know that Darwin was infact a believer in a Grand Universal Designer. If Charles Darwin was alive in these times, the amount of technology at his disposal, computer maintenance and PC repair in Bromley and all the resources in London, would have given him the tools he needed to fully expand on this idea and find out unimaginable things!

Another influencing and inspiring person who lived in Bromley was David Bowie; he’s a singer, songwriter, musician and more with his work changing the music industry forever. His androgynous style and looks also made him into a fashion icon and he is still inspiring collections to this day like the SS13 collection for Alexander McQueen, which was just in time for the exhibition on him at the Victoria & Albert Museum and his new album release. He was first noticed after his hit “Space Oddity” and again after “Starman”, this was during the period he was performing as his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Then over the course of the next few decades he produced in a wide variety of styles and has so far had a very successful music career. His music is available to stream off the internet, need help with this? Computer repair in Bromley and other electronic services and shops are available.

With an Apple store, PC World and a Currys, Bromley can provide you with technology and at PC Hospital we can provide PC repair in Bromley. With high quality repairs and maintenance available within 24 hours of making an appointment and free technological advice given over the phone, we like to deliver excellent customer service. To make the most of the services available to you call 0203 714 3567.

 

Computer Repair in Canary Wharf: A Major Financial District of London

Canary Wharf at night, viewed from Shadwell.Canary Wharf; one of the main business districts of London during the day and, at night, a dazzling display of pretty lights, bars and restaurants, it is also a place of PC maintenance, major banks and shops. It is connected to the rest of the city via the Jubilee line and the Docklands Light Railway, this line, being elevated above ground, gives one of the best views of Canary Wharf especially at night while travelling though Heron Quays, West India Quays and of course Canary wharf station. Although now it may seem a modern utopia for wealthy bankers and business men, Canary Wharf used to trade in a very different way barely 100 years ago.

canary wharf 100 years ago

Canary Wharf and its surrounding areas used to be an important port, receiving imports from around the world like rum, sugar and, on occasion, elephants. Even further back in history circa 1200, before Barclays, Citi Bank and computer repair in Canary wharf even existed, the whole area was marshlands but by the 1500’s it had been transformed into a port for merchants, seeing off the ships sailing as far America. The early 1800’s saw the opening of West India Quays which, at the time, was considered to be one of the greatest civil engineering accomplishments, although with pioneering inventions from the last few decades, like the internet, along with necessary computer maintenance, it is a difficult concept to conceive. During this time, the area was prosperous from the ports activities, and continued to grow from the importing of raw materials like tobacco and animal skins.

During the 1930’s, while other countries where experiencing financial hardships from the previous world war and the Wall Street crash, the ports of London were responsible for 35 million tons of imports worth £700 million. This made the area very lucrative providing jobs for over 100,000 people; this draws parallels with today’s Canary Wharf, a busy and thriving area, although you can imagine the jobs back then would be a lot more labour intensive and back breaking, rather than the banking jobs, office jobs and those providing services like PC repair in Canary Wharf. However, by the 60’s and 70’s, when the container and cargo ships got too big to get up the Thames and were being diverted to Tilbury, the docks stopped trading and closed up.

It wasn’t until the late 80’s that the plans for what we now know as Canary Wharf were accepted. The 90’s saw the first buildings completed, like in 1991 when the UK’s 2nd tallest skyscraper, One Canada Square, was finished. Fast-forward though bankruptcy and further development and Canary Wharf finally has matched and furthered the 100,000 workers that were employed there 80 years ago. Its advances in technology have been great through-out its time, from ships, cargo and trade innovation to cutting-edge computer systems sorting the finance for the UK, computer repair in Canary Wharf, and the DLR.

As the business men of Canary Wharf want the best in technology, there is a Currys and PC World specially tailored to meet the needs of city workers. We at PC Hospital further the wealth of technology in the area by providing services such as laptop repairers in Greenwich all the way up the DLR line. We can service PCs and Laptops in the Docklands area within 24 hours of receiving a call. In addition, by dialling 0203 714 3567, you can get free advice and information tailored to your needs.

Computer Repair in Deptford and Docklands History of Technology

deptford royal docklands painting

Deptford, situated in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, is a historical landmine. The boarder of Surrey Docks, where we provide computer repair in Deptford and the surrounding areas, is home to such things as the first Royal Dockyard, Deptford Market and one of the world’s oldest stations, Deptford Railway Station. With Canary Wharf on the north bank and the Royal Naval College, now University of Greenwich, on the south bank, it is a highly important area of the Docklands.

The Royal Dockyard of Deptford, in Convoys Wharf, was built during Henry VIII’s reign in 1513; this was just the start, over the next few centuries the Docklands expanded, bringing in goods from around the world. Deptford’s Dockyard was where the warships were built and maintained but has since became synonymous with noteworthy admirals Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake, who Queen Elizabeth the First knighted on this site. Although now the technology associated with the area includes PC repair in Deptford among other things, just a couple hundred years back, it was at the forefront of innovative shipbuilding and design.

Royal Victoria Victualling Yard and Rum Stores

 

The Thames side entrance to Royal Victoria Victualling Yard, Deptford, is yet another historical landmark in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Back in the day it was a place for naval ships to stock up on provisions before their long journeys across the seas. Pictured above are the gates and the rum stores, where rum that had been imported from the Caribbean was stored, leading to the immense wealth in London via the sophisticated banking system.

Another, less well known figure of Deptford is Samuel Pepys, who was a naval administrator and a Member of Parliament, but is now more known for the diary he kept in the seventeenth century. This diary has been an important primary source for English historians as it depicted, firsthand, the Restoration, the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague of London and the Second Dutch War. Nowadays, instead of a diary, it is not too hard to imagine that he would have blogged about these events, making use of our services like computer repair in Deptford, all the while being a big hit in social media.

So, thoughout the historical background of Deptford, pioneering technology has always played a major role in the advancement of the area. Nowadays, new technology is not reserved solely for the Navy or the Industrialist. The closest tech store is the PC world located on Old Kent Road. We at PC Hospital also offer cost effective computer services, specialising in Computer and PC repair in Deptford, and are available for call outs within 24 hours. Computer advice and help is also offered via our phone number 0203 714 3567.

Deptford Docklands Map

Computer Repair in Greenwich, Can this be True?!

01.Greenwich Picture Thames View Greenwich University

Greenwich, situated in south east London (SE10), is home to many tourist attractions and has a rich, naval, historical background. Among the wealth of historical sites are also many useful modern day necessities such as the Astronomy Centre, the O2 Centre, a variety of restaurants and computer repair in Greenwich. Overlooking the Thames with transport links via the Docklands Light Railway, Greenwich is easily accessible from the heart of London and can make for a great day out sight-seeing for tourists, locals interested in their area’s history and newcomers finding their way in south east London.

One of the most globally known landmarks of Greenwich is the Royal Observatory due to it being the location of the Prime Meridian, the basis of longitude and Greenwich Mean Time. Built in 1675 for King Charles II, the observatory was used to trace the stars across the sky; it now stands as a divider between the west and the east which draws in visitors in their thousands. It is also home to a 4.5 billion year old asteroid and holds exhibitions as well as providing free entrance to the Astronomy Centre.

Another main attraction is the Cutty Sark, a Nineteenth century sailing ship from a time before technology, smart phones, tablets and PC repair in Greenwich existed. In her heyday, this ship passed through all the major ports of the world and was primarily a cargo ship weighing 963 tons at a length of 280 feet. Although compared to modern day container ships of up to 12,000 feet, the Cutty Sark may sound small but at the time she was considered large and powerful, able to withstand rough seas and stormy weather. It has been restored to its former glory and now resides a couple minutes walk away from the Cutty Sark DLR station, holding tours and giving visitors a unique experience.

When in Greenwich, a trip to the market is a must, from food stalls offering delicacies from around the world, perfect for a snack or lunch, to local, independent boutiques and stalls selling an assortment of decorative and handmade one-of-a-kind items such as clothes, ornaments, accessories and jewellery. It is one of London’s top 10 markets and is open all week excluding Mondays. As well as the specialist products, like antiques, arts and crafts, and homemade foods, that the market can offer, the area as a whole can provide important services such as computer repair in Greenwich if the need so arises.

Technology, although not obvious at first, is available in the Royal Borough of Greenwich with a PC World and Currys situated in Charlton. PC repair in Greenwich is also something that is offered by PC Hospital which services the area. On occasions, computer repair appointments can be arranged within 90 minutes of calling the office, and at the very least PC Hospital will offer same day services. In addition to repairs, free computer and technology help and advice can be offered providing you give them a call. They can be reached  on a local number 0203 714 3567.