A part of Andrew's PAGE
My first computer actually belonged to my Aunt (who bought it used around 1993 or 1994) but she allowed me to play games on it and use it for homework. It had an AMD 386 SX-20 processor; probably 8 or less megabytes of ram, a 420 megabyte hard drive, a 36X CD rom that I added later and ran Windows 3.11
I kept the 386 until 1999 when we bought a new computer custom made from a company called Nutrend (now ABS). It had a BCM QS440BX motherboard with a Slot 1 Pentium III 450mhz processor, 128megs of PC-100 DIMM Ram, an 8GB hard drive, 40x CD Rom, an ATI Rage IIC graphics card, a Yamaha DX series sound card, and a Lucent Technologies 56K modem all housed in a Superpower Zephyr KS201XP Case. It ran Windows 98SE and was also my first computer to connect to the internet. Before I got this computer; my internet access was either courtesy of my neighbors or through computers at my local library. I know 56k dialup modems sound slow today but they were becoming mainstream back then; only ISDN and T-1 connections were the high speed alternatives but were mainly used by businesses or schools.
When I got this computer; Clinton was near the end of his second term, the Y2K bug was all the big hype, I was just entering Jr. High, My Space was an online file storage site, and Diamond Multimedia had recently released the world's first MP3 player the year before; the Diamond RIO 300.
Fast foward to 2003 and as with all computers; my 450mhz P3 eventualy became obsolete within those four years but I still held onto my original system and little had changed. Around summer of 2003, my 17" Secptre Dragoneye CRT monitor blew up (something shorted out inside). It was replaced by a NEC 1760V LCD monitor. From there on, I slowly began upgrading my PC. My first major addition to my hardware was a LiteOn LTW 851S DVD burner. Most of my firends only had plain CD-R/RW burners at that time but the price of DVD drives were becoming cheaper by then. I bought mine for about 120$ but about a year earlier; they would have costed over 300$. My next few upgrades for that year included upgrading to Windows 98SE to Windows XP, adding a Netgear ethernet card, replacing the stock case fans with Panasonic Panaflos, changing to a 400watt power supply from the stock 250watt, upgrading the ram to 384mb from the original 128, and then replacing the original video card with a Radeon 9200.
Installing Windows XP took up almost my entire 8GB hard drive so when I had saved up enough again; I bough a Hitachi 7K250 160GB hard drive around Christmas of 2004. It still only has 8GB on it currently (I don't download or rip CD's a lot .) I originally planned to buy a Seagate or a Maxtor brand hard drive but my mom said Hitachi was a very good brand so I got it instead. It was also on sale at Fry's for around $140. After getting the Hitachi drive; I read about it and found out it was rated very good by Maximum PC and PC Plus magazine. I was also surprised to learn that Alienware and VoodooPC gameing systems also use Hitachi drives in their products.
Other than a few BIOS updates; I still had my original QS440BX board with the same Pentium III humming away. I found out about a company called Upgradeware. They made an adaptor card called the SLOT-T which allowed me to use a socket 370 processor (Either a Celeron Tualatin or a Pentium III Coppermine) in my old Slot-1 board. With that, I also got a Celeron 1.3ghz processer. It worked in my old QS440BX board without a hitch. Any of you with older computers that you still plan to keep or upgrade should try this or any other Upgradeware products.
The Celeron rig was very short lived though; an overclocking attempt I did a month after I got it in Feburary of 2005 lead to a disaster when the heatsink fan accidently got disconnected and I fried my motherboard, adaptor card, and processor.
Because of the "meltdown," here is my current rig.