Old guys reminiscing about their hardware 😆


Keeping it vaguely music related :wink:

My milestone in PC music came with the increased HDD drive space. I remember the hard drives went from my 1st proper pc’s 20mb (good old 286 with ms dos) to 40mb, 80, 120, 240, 512mb, 1gb (woohoo), 3.2gb, and so on. Around 20gb started to make sense for a healthy start to make an mp3 collection, although i don’t quite remember when it really started.

I think the main evolution into PC music came for me around the late 90’s when i got a CD duplicator on my PC and was the talk of my circle of friends and relations as I could copy CD’s (at a full 1x speed!) at reasonable cost which beat cassettes hands down!

Then a couple of years later I got my first HD based walkman device which was the creative ZEN with 60GB of space. Now that was wonderful. A real gamechanger…

I ripped all my CD’s to WMA format, as MP3 was not really a “standard” back then.

Its really been downhill since then, lol :slight_smile:


i had a zx81 too. Haha. With the xpansion and that clunky optional kb upgrade thing, lol. I remember typing in machine code , a load of hexadecimal, pages of it from some magazine. One digit or letter wrong and it would bomb out, it actually worked, some zombie chasing game. Never saw the ZX1 work so fast, it was surreal at the time.

(1AM0B1 Modu) #63

About ‘84 - ‘85, I bought my first hard drive, a massive 30 megabyte expansion card that cost £300 then or about £650 at current values. The sheer bliss of not having to constantly feed in those massive big floppy discs.

(Mike O'Neill) #64

Are we really ALL that old

ZX81, Apple ][ , not even the E, various PC builds from there on

Samsung , Lenovo , Sony laptops , when will it stop

Got into music at university with a Sinclair DIY amp , then Armstrong , Quad then moved to South Africa which melted my ESLs.

Now 90% headphones , Audiolab M-DAC to HD800 ! Other 10% is. Soundbar for WAF

Still a rocker at heart but no hair to shake these days



This thread brought back all sorts of memories…the bizarre ZX81 was also my first computer, lots of time spent with a BBC Micro, Amstrad PCW8256, Amigas and ‘ultimately’ a 286 with, IIRC, a whopping 20MB HDD. The last gifted to me after my first computer virus experience (via a racing game)…it successfully took out my Dad’s work computer…it was deemed more cost-effective to isolate me to my own PC after that :grin:

Edit: How could I also forget many happy hours with the Spectrum +2…:grinning:

(Tony Reimann) #66

Mike, I fear we are and if that is true I fear for hifi in general as we aren’t going to be around that much longer in the grand scheme.

(Martin Webster) #67

We probably need a special kind of DAC that takes into account our hearing loss … oh, wait a minute I think Schiit already make these. :laughing:

(Daniel Beyer) #69

Actually, I have a Creative Zen Vision W in my hands as I type. Going with me on my vacation. No not for music. It has a CompactFlash slot and I use it to unload my Nikon’s pics while on vacation, as I refuse to bring a laptop.

(Richard Miller) #70

1986? Did you mean Internet or Arpanet? :wink:

At any rate I was a poor college grad student in 1986 so all I could afford was a Leading Edge Model D with an 8088 processor and MS-DOS. OTOH my hardware was awesome :sunglasses:. I’m talkin’ DUAL floppy drives! OMG come to think of it, digital music was still a Star Trek fantasy. Wow this really IS off topic.

(Martin Webster) #71

CompuServe was pretty dominant in the UK too by the early 1990s.

(Richard Miller) #72


Well, I was only joshing a bit in an attempt to respond to your nostalgia based humorous post in kind. I certainly didn’t intend to debate the arcane details of Al Gore’s quest to invent the Internet. Obviously I took your usage of “Internet” literally whereas I now see that you were using the term a tad more loosely; that is in reference to CompuServe and the like.

So yes, I am well aware of the pre-Internet online services such as CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL, etc. that absolutely did exist in 1986. It’s just that an open TCP/IP based publicly accessible Internet did not. However, the ARPANET from which the public Internet was born, was well established by 1986; its roots going back to the late 1960s. Of course ARPANET and the family of purpose build closed networks associated with and spinning off from it were restricted to Government and academic research sites and the like in those days. I suppose one can argue that this is all semantics and context and that since ARPANET was the early “network of networks” that evolved into the so-called “Information Super Highway”, then it was the early Internet and thus “The Internet” even back then. So in hindsight, I would not dispute that.

Nevertheless, people were not getting on the Internet from home computers in 1986. They were getting on walled garden online services like CompuServe and AOL at that time, but those services were their own thing; not the Internet. In fact according to the Wikipedia article you provided, CompuServe didn’t establish even limited Internet access until 1989:

CompuServe was the first online service to offer Internet connectivity, albeit with limited access, as early as 1989 when it connected its proprietary e-mail service to allow incoming and outgoing messages to be exchanged with Internet-based e-mail addresses.


(Geoff Coupe) #73

I think there’s an argument to say that Usenet newsgroups were early users of the internet and drove its spread. While originally Usenet was using UUCP, it started using NNTP (over TCP/IP) as the transfer protocol in 1986…


A little intense for this particular thread, but whatever. :laughing:

The forum seems to promote that.

(Martin Webster) #75

Actually, it was @Slim_Fishguttz’s message. I replied because I hadn’t picked up on the year until I saw your post and reread the original.

I’d completely forgotten about CompuServe; I used the free trials (CDs on the covers of magazines) many times before signing up to Netcom UK. Later, a local ISP happened to be on the same cable company network, so I connected for free in the evening (until they closed down that loophole.)

That would have been the first half of the 90s.

(Daniel Beyer) #76

I still have a netcom email address


Mine was a Sol-20, S-100 buss based computer. Built circa 1977. Used an 8080 cpu.

(Andrew Cox) #78

Alright, lets get real.

Hands up all those who were warned not to “fold, spindle or mutilate”.

I wasn’t personally but in my first year of Uni (1980) there were comp sci students who used punchcards on a VAX.

(Geoff Coupe) #79

I was using punchcards in 1970 at Uni, and I was still using them in my third place of employment in 1980…


It’s pretty bizarre to imagine where we all may be in 20 yrs time (apart from 6ft under of course :slight_smile: ) in terms of hardware. All our data will be 99% cloud based, for sure, with local backups just for posterity, and onto bandwidth of 10s of gb per second to handle all our HD streaming, 8k video and such; far more lifestyle stuff internet integrated seamlessly. Phones will be pretty redundant as phones i mean. Multi purpose and maybe a return to more application dedicated comms, sure, but cell networks for actually speaking, how quaint? Completely active wallpaper replacing TV’s?

It’s going to be a heady ride.


And on a more musical note, I forgot about my first Walkman Phone. Hah. Sony came out with some neat device which was a breakthrough at the time. It was really crap in hindsight, but I was blown away!

2005, hah. Seems like yesterday for so many things and yet for the hardware revolution… a century ago.