My Computer History

Only a few people know this but I could have been in computer industry.

My so-called “love affair” with computers goes all the way back to the late seventies. Though not technically a computer, my dad bought me an Atari 2600

and it was not strictly a computer because it only played games. But I remember the countless hours I spent on it.

In 1983, however, I got the Commodore VIC-20:

This was my first formal “computer.” A quick review of its specs floored me. Run by a CMOS 6502 1Mhz chip, it has 5k RAM and 20K ROM and loaded programs by a tape drive for an average load time of 5 minutes.

Imagine that. I used to get by with these specs. A typical MS Word document occupies more memory that this baby’s RAM. And in 5 minutes, one can download 5 mp3 songs (with a DSL connection, of course).

With this computer I leaned to program in BASIC and machine language.

I could have gone further in computer programming. However, I was sidetracked into pursuing law and hence, those days were over.

Then, I had my PC-clones:

1. An XT-286 with a 20MB Hard Drive, 64K RAM, running Wordperfect 5.0, Lotus 123, Harvard Presentation Graphics

2. A 386 running Windows 3.0 and related applications

3. A 386 monochrome laptop, running Windows 3.0 with a 2.4 Kbps modem. I used to visit BBS’s with this baby…

3. A 486 DX2-66Mhz running Windows 95, a CD-ROM drive and an external 14.4Kbps modem

4. A 486 DX4-100Mhz with the same specs.

5. A Pentium-100.

6. A Pentium II-350Mhz (which I still have). Originally, it had an 8Gb Hard Drive, 32 Mb Ram. Now, it has 256Mb RAM and 20 gigs of hard drive space, a 16X CD writer, a USB 2.0 expansion card that runs its WiFi USB dongle. Still works well although my father uses it now. Surprisingly, it now runs on a Windows XP OS with some minor speed irritations.

7. An Acer Celeron 433 clunker with 160Mb RAM, 6Gb Hard Drive, a 24X CD-ROM and a built-in 56Kbps modem. It still works and my daughter uses it for web-surfing as it also has a WiFi dongle.

8. A Duron 800Mhz, now pimped up with DVD-ROM, a CD writer, 512 Mb RAM, 40Gb Hard Disk and WiFi.

9. And my latest baby, my Celeron 1.3Ghz laptop.

Here, my computer use was limited to applications. Never got around to taking up programming again.

Of course, I had my share of PDAs:

1. My first one was a Sharp organizer I won in a company Christmas Party raffle. I think it had 8Kb of memory.

2. Then, I got a Palm M100. It was a good device, though lacking in memory (only 2Mb) and ran on 2 AAA batteries. Backing-up to a computer was a must.

3. Though easy to use, I was not satisfied with the Palm OS so I got a iPaq 3760 with a CF adapter with extra batteries and a 64 Meg CF Card. I ditched it when the internal battery gave out and HP refused to repair it.

4. Now, I have my iPaq 2210 with an extra battery, a 256Mb SD card, a 128 Mb CF card, a CF Modem and CF WiFi adapter and an extra 128 Mb SD card for songs.

Looking back even on my own computer history, I am amazed how things have progressed. From being satisfied with 5K of RAM, even the 256 Megs on the SD card (even with the extra 128 megs on the other card) and the 40 gigs from the hard drive will not satisfy our needs anymore. Now, even my PDA is faster than my Pentium II-350 that still works…

Try tracing your computer history and see how far you have come… and where we are going…



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8 responses to “My Computer History

  1. uy atari! ehehe. i still remember when my neighbors and i were playing pingpong/tennis (bars and square pingpong ball). we used to have commodore 64, the floppy drive was almost big as modern day desktop cpu! things are getting smaller everyday…

  2. i’m always fascinated when people trace their computer history. shows how fast technology is changing. a validation of moore’s law. our age are probably not that different, but i started with a 286 and kept all the programs on discs kase wala akong pambili ng hard drive (na nuon e ipina-park pa). although wasn’t really big on games, kaya walang appeal sa akin yung atari at commodore.

    an dami mo naman pdas. super organize ka siguro ano? šŸ™‚

    what i miss most is my manual typwriter.

  3. I remember parking my hard disks…heheheh! Sorry, I digress. Mahirap kasi ang tigang sobrang repressed…

    With all my scheds (hearings, meetings, etc.), I can’t possibly live without a PDA anymore. I even have all the basic laws I need in pdf or pocket word format for easy reference during hearings… That’s why a palm-based PDA will not work for me anymore.

    If you can see my organizer, you’ll see that I have appointments as late as December 2005…

    Oh, and I still have a manual typewriter (a portable Olympia). I need it to type forms (for the SEC, BIR, etc.)


  4. Anonymous

    Hey Atty. Punzi,

    My computer history was like a necessity because I have to find a job. Kasi walang trabaho after I graduated way back when. Anyway… it shows you’re a creative person. You make good use of these gadgets in law. By now, the computer industry is nearing it’s mature stage. What was like a stone age programming style then… now efficiency has increased dramatically. I see computers as a tool. I don’t like useless technology.

  5. I guess we’re not that much different. Also started out with an Atari 2600 (still works) but we split off when you went Commodore’s way. I went off to an Apple II Plus, then a 286-12, then 286-16, skipped the 386, went to a 486-DX4100, then a Pentium 100, followed by a Pentium 200 MMX. It was about this time that I left Intel and went AMD, via an AMD-K6-2 350, then an AMD K6-III 400, an Athlon XP 2000+, and finally an Athlon XP 2400+.

    Am looking forward to my 64-bit PC from AMD as well.

    Console wise, went through a Family Computer, a PS, a Dreamcast, and a PS2.

    For a PDA, have only one, an iPAQ 4150.

    What? You didn’t go through the family computer phase? šŸ™‚

    Cheers to gadget freaks! šŸ™‚

  6. Oh, I forgot I got a Gameboy during my law school days. Now I run GB Color and SNES simulators on my PDA.

    I chose the iPaq 2210 because of its dual CF and SD slots. I have a lot of CF stuff that I did not want to part with just yet.

    I’ll probably settle with this PDA for now since the batteries are external. The “irreparable” internal battery of the 3760 was the only reason I parted with it. It was still working (but continually having it plugged in defeats the portability aspect of the PDA.)

  7. Almost got the Tungsten T3, was turned off by the fixed battery. Was after the small size and the wi-fi thingy, so I settled for the 4150.

    Ok, beat this…nakaka 999 ako sa Popeye sa Game&Watch noon. Game B pa yun a? hahahahaha šŸ™‚

    Man, I can be so pathetic. šŸ™‚

  8. OO nga pala! Nakalimutan ko yung mga “Game & Watch” days ko!

    Alam ko naka 999 rin ako non (parang walang miss pa ata yon) kasi birthday gift sa akin ng tita ko yon.

    Alam ko meron akong vermin, popeye, at chef (at fire ata pero hindi ko na maalala). Ang alam ko yung popeye widescreen pa yon hindi katulad ng vermin na regular.

    Meron akong mga G&W games sa simulator ko.

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