Old guys reminiscing about their hardware 😆

A little off topic, but I built my first PC in 1986. The motherboard cost $400 and used an 286 CPU. Addressable memory was 640K, unless the CPU went into ‘protected’ mode or one bought an expansion board that used something called ‘expanded’ memory. DesqView was the goto desktop. At that time it was said that Windows ran almost everything that DesqView could run. The internet consisted of, by and large, CompuServe.

End of war story.


I remember those days. The giddy feeling when I had two 5 inch floppy drives so that I didn’t have to switch floppies to make my pirate copy of Choplifter! And the 80 column card in my Apple 2E…80 characters per line!

My first media PC was in a huge tower case that could hold like 10 HDDs. I spent most of my time backing up MP3s and replacing dead disks. It’s sooooo much easier now!


Bit earlier for me. Apple II then at Sperry 1st 8086 PCs came with 256K and the rest came in an antistatic tube and you had to clip in yourself. I spent quite some time as the PC guy cramming SCSI, Netware/ TCP/IP drivers up in that 640 1024k gap.
Nowadays assembling a NUC in a fanless case stretches my abilities.

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Nice to see someone else of my generation. Started with an Apple II with 32K of RAM in 1978. Had to save up the $300 to add the final 16K it supported. Started with Netware running on Token Ring and ARCNET networks before migrating to Ethernet. Later in the mid 1980’s I bought about $6,000 worth of memory chips to add memory to the PCs we used at work. While plugging them all in was a bit tedious the reason I still remember the event is the fact that the amount of memory I bought for $6,000 would have cost over $1,000,000 back in 1978. Seemed amazing at the time but of course things have changed so much more since then.

I assembled my NUC last year with no issues but did not go for the fanless case, hopefully I could manage that today if needed :roll_eyes:

Not sure I have much to add to this thread. Ripping of CDs could surely be added but as mentioned many times in this thread there are already world class products that do it and would it be worth the Roon team’s time to develop something as good. I appreciate the viewpoint that Roon could do anything but I know that Roon was designed to be driven from a local database and grafting on bits to provide alternate ways to find and play music seems like an unnecessary effort. Especially when in my opinion they may very well need to move to a cloud based system of some sort to be able to provide access to the complete TIDAL and Qobuz libraries for searching and Radio play.


Good old arcnet. I spent years in effect making network routers by installing Arcnet, Corvus Omninet, ethernet and broken ring in Netware servers.
Netware 1 onward.
In the noughties one of my colleagues retired and said it had been great to see multi processors, hot swap memory and disk arrive…but never mind 60s mainframes :stuck_out_tongue:

Did not use Corvus Omninet but I did convince my boss to buy me a 20 MB Corvus hard drive. The thing was a monster size wise but what it offered was the ability to unplug from an Apple computer and plug into an IBM PC computer and retain access to all my UCSD Pascal source code. This allowed me to produce an IBM version of the commercial software we sold very quickly and easily.

We used Proteon for our broken ring, it drove us crazy. We inherited the ARCNET in late 1990 when we merged with a competitor and moved into their offices. It was just as problematic and we ripped it out pretty quickly.

Really got a lot of value out of Netware but had to let it go eventually and move to Windows and AD.


Yeah me too Netware was a geeks delight but £2k for the dev kit Vs £0 for msft was always going to spell doom.

Sorry, can’t help myself.

At my first tech job, in 1978, the company took all its new programmers to the data center to show them the tech. The highest tech, at that time, was a 10MB hard drive (or drum, as it was called) the size of a 50 gal. barrel. It was in a glass case and we stood round and marveled as it tortuously turned in response to a request for data.

The last, I promise.

BTW - This thread has been completely hijacked.:laughing:

Yep, and now split out to its own.

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I’ve fallen down this reminiscing rabbit hole before.

I changed the title as a joke. If anyone’s offended I can change it to something else.

No it’s very appropriate.

Yep we had them with a mechanical rev counter.

Oh, good grief! I’ll have to dig my S-100 system out of storage and see if the UCSD Pascal p-system still boots on the 8" hard-sectored floppy drives!

If any in/visiting the UK wants to geek out from the beginning of computing onward then on the same site as Bletchley Park, where you can see colossus, is


Personally I’m happy you went with Old and not Older or Oldest :stuck_out_tongue:


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Don’t have it anymore and can’t even remember the name of the manufacturer but I bought an S-100 based system for a non-profit back in the day and ran MPM on it to allow two different users to run different apps of mine off its two eight inch floppy drives. Fortunately I was able to move them to an Ethernet based Netware network later.

Good times … Tim

Started on a IBM 360 model 30 in 1975. Learnt 360 assembler and was a systems programmer on IBM mainframes into the 90s. There are many times I wish I had remained a tech :grinning:

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8088 for me with 2 5/14 inch floppy drives and an ATI CGA emulation card into a amber monitor. about 1985.

MIne was a UNIVAC 494, base 8. Imagine my surprise when I moved to an IBM machine and discovered that, unlike COBOL, JCL and assembly language differed from one OS/machine to another.

Ouch. In grad school I had to write an 8080 assembler program in 360 assembler… Still have the deck somewhere. What a nightmare!

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