The Good Ol’ Days

PC from the 2000's
old pc by Uncle Saiful is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

First PC Experience

The first time I got my hands on a computer, more appropriately a PC was way back in 2001. My grandfather bought a brand new PC. The processor was an Intel "Coppermine" Celeron. The PC had a CRT monitor, a 56 Kbps dial-up internet, and an old-style CPU case in off white color. It had Windows 98 for an OS and my brother and I used to play Road Rash, Need for Speed II and online games on Miniclip, and Cartoon Network.

Intel Pentium 4
Intel Pentium 4 by Sh4rp_i is licensed under CC BY 2.0

First PC at Home

Our school curriculum included computer science from middle school which taught us various parts of the PC, software like Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), MS Paint, Macromedia Flash, Visual Basic, and programming languages like Logo, C, and C++.

To help with our education my father bought a PC in 2003 and it had the Intel "Northwood" Pentium 4. It was similar to the PC I described above in terms of appearance and features. It ran Windows 98 as well.

Let me tell you the Internet service in India those days would test your patience. The dial-up service hijacked your phone lines when in use so you’d not be able to receive any calls or make any. The ISP in our region was BSNL and the service was prepaid. You had to pay up to get a letter with the data top-up code. It was expensive and you had to keep track of how much data you used. It was about INR 800 or about $11 for a GB @ 56 Kbps. India and the world has come a long way in terms of Internet service offered then. The modem used signaling in audible range hence the dial-up internet sounds.

Intel Core 2 Duo
Intel Core 2 Duo by wetwebwork is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

My First PC Build

In 2008, our first PC was coming of age. It had slowed down considerably and was no longer able to run Windows XP smoothly and it definitely wouldn’t have been able to run Windows Vista or the then-upcoming Windows 7. So instead of hiring someone to upgrade the PC I hit up the internet, did some research, and proposed my father to lend me money for the parts and I’d build it myself.

I recall that I opted for Intel "Conroe" Core 2 Duo since it was moderately performant and was within the budget. Other peripherals and parts included an LGA775 compatible motherboard, a micro ATX case, and an optical DVD drive which was all the rage back then. In the process of building, I picked up several skills one of which was formatting a PC and installing the OS for which the technicians often charged INR 1600, about $20.

This PC served us for about 6 years until 2014. It was able to survive the replacement from a CRT monitor to an LCD, from an inkjet printer to a laser printer, and from dialup Internet to ADSL. Currently, I do not know what motherboard it has or processor since my father gets it serviced at a local shop but I do I last installed Windows 7 on it and it’s still in use.