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Computer assembly: My memories over the years

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Old 30-10-2013, 01:24 PM   #46
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I may not be as old as Dr Philip Teo, but I have been around the computer scene as well as the Singapore internet community. In fact, during those days, newsgroups were the rage, and we first had soc.culture.asean, then soc.culture.singapore. I was involved in counting the votes for the creation of s.c.s.moderated.

As age is catching up on me, my memories aren't as good now. My early memories of PCs weren't PCs... in fact, they weren't called PCs but microcomputers (as oopposed to minicomputers and mainframe computers). I remember the RadioShack TRS-80, which was carried by OG Departmental store (yes, the same OG at Upper Cross Street). I remember Ohio Scientific computer which used a 6502 CPU that was carried by AVS Electronics (now better known as Aztech). Then there was the Commodore Pet, the Atari 400/800 and of course the Apple ][, all using the same 6502 CPU.

I was lucky to be ableto get a genuine Apple][+, complete with a green monitor, a 5.25 inch floppy drive and an Epson MX80 dot matrix printer. Costing over S$6000 for the whole set, the computer came with only 48K RAM.

My first MSDOS machine was the Creative Cubic CT which sported an 8088 CPU. It came with a turbo button that switches the clock from 4.77 MHz to 8 MHz. Those days, the modem speed was 1200bps. Spent a lot of time on BITNET chat, plus all the BBS (RBBS, PC-Board, Fidonet etc).
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Old 30-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #47
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Oldest should be Dr Philip Teo, famed for helping out forummers threatened with defamation lawsuits by Video-Pro.
Hey, I am new here, now what


Wah he like celebrity... This thread power.... All the old bird get digged out.

Glad to see threads like this. This is the section that lead me to create account in hwz. The unconditional help when noobs like me need to DIY PC. And the replies i read that are full of whenever a noob get conned... Very heartwarming if i must say it mushily. HA

Thank you guys man...

My first com was build in my face at around primary 5... still remember go home rush to set up and install maplestory LOL . And then the dialup modem which is so effing loud. At night wanna sneak to play really must have balls. Because the silent house will have the dialing numbers sound...

I guess i'm damn young compared to you guys.

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Old 30-10-2013, 03:46 PM   #48
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first com was a hand me down from somewhere running windows 3.1.

second com was a windows 95 which i used to play pokemon red/blue emulator.

third com was a pentium 3 acer that was running windows me and it costed a bomb. around 3-4k with scanner, printer 17inch crt and speakers. played heroes of might and magic 3 and worms armageddon.

fourth com was built at one of the sim lim shop. cant remember is which but was operated by indians. should be cashtronic or something. bought it after o levels to play wow. lousy sapphire card think doa. artifacts and reboot after 10mins of play. spent like 125bucks for a lvl 5 rogue when my graphic card kept giving me problems. played heroes of might and magic 3 and warcraft 3.

fifth com was a wolfdale e8400 which was also bought in sim lim with 1gb ram and a 9800gt nvidia card. that was a better build experience than fourth com. still playing heroes 3 and warcraft 3.

sixth com which is my current is my latest. 2500k with a 6990. this iteration had many versions. started with a lian li pc7fnw, 2500k, 8gb ram, 2x ati 5850 crossfired, 660w seasonic gold. went into a caselabs sth10 with 2500k with a alphacool 480monsta, mcpx2, swiftech apogee hd. latest iteration is tj08e 2500k with a 6990 with ek wb. still playing heroes 3.

interest have died down recently since it feels like the jump from gen to gen isnt that big anymore. though already theorycrafting for my next wc itx rig with a dual gpu card.
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Old 30-10-2013, 04:10 PM   #49
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Guys! Do you feel that you will be side-lined and isolated when DIY-PCs are really things of the past in the future? Now the young people only use smartphones and tablets. They do not usually use laptops at all nowadays. Even my cousins play games on either tablets or smartphones. One of them even uses an iMac now. When they come to my house during CNY, they still ask why am I still using a desktop and it is a DIY-type. They rolled their eyes when they saw me playing computer games on my DIY-PC. Even the game consoles do not interest my cousins nowadays.

To them, a portable and light-weight electronic device is more feasible and convenient. One of them even said I am a dinosaur and one of the members of a dying breed of computer fanatics. My cousins said the new era is all about tablets and smartphones. Desktops and laptops are things of the past. I should advance before I am 'extinct' for good.

Haiz... Even my wife-to-be also asked why I am so excited about new computer parts? I am just interested in computer stuff. But will I be a dinosaur?
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Old 30-10-2013, 04:33 PM   #50
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hobby... its not ur cousin's or wife2b's hobby, so they not excited is understandable...
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Old 30-10-2013, 04:49 PM   #51
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Can't recall what machine it was, but did learn programming on gwbasic those days.
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Old 30-10-2013, 07:51 PM   #52
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and from my other post....

15 years ago DIY invoice... some ginna here not born yet...

guess the price of the 3 most ex components....

3 most ex is the m/b + cpu, hdd and graphics card?
These 3 can be more than $1000 I think. BH6 is one of the first jumperless m/b and o/c king? Don't think the ginnas will know what is jumper. I missed Abit.
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:19 PM   #53
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sad to say PC is a sunset industry.

i just upgraded my graphic card and using a core2duo E8400 I can play the latest games...no need to upgrade CPU at all
More like SG PC enthusiasts is declining rapidly and some of the remaining ones are not remotely helping in terms of promoting it through their words and actions.

Its still pretty damn healthy in western countries.
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:34 PM   #54
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Guys! Do you feel that you will be side-lined and isolated when DIY-PCs are really things of the past in the future? Now the young people only use smartphones and tablets. They do not usually use laptops at all nowadays. Even my cousins play games on either tablets or smartphones. One of them even uses an iMac now. When they come to my house during CNY, they still ask why am I still using a desktop and it is a DIY-type. They rolled their eyes when they saw me playing computer games on my DIY-PC. Even the game consoles do not interest my cousins nowadays.

To them, a portable and light-weight electronic device is more feasible and convenient. One of them even said I am a dinosaur and one of the members of a dying breed of computer fanatics. My cousins said the new era is all about tablets and smartphones. Desktops and laptops are things of the past. I should advance before I am 'extinct' for good.

Haiz... Even my wife-to-be also asked why I am so excited about new computer parts? I am just interested in computer stuff. But will I be a dinosaur?
Something like to each his own, just take comfort in the knowledge that when your com fugs up you are able to fix it yourself and they have to LLST bring down to "service centre" for "inspection"
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Old 30-10-2013, 10:59 PM   #55
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Guys! Do you feel that you will be side-lined and isolated when DIY-PCs are really things of the past in the future? Now the young people only use smartphones and tablets. They do not usually use laptops at all nowadays. Even my cousins play games on either tablets or smartphones. One of them even uses an iMac now. When they come to my house during CNY, they still ask why am I still using a desktop and it is a DIY-type. They rolled their eyes when they saw me playing computer games on my DIY-PC. Even the game consoles do not interest my cousins nowadays.

To them, a portable and light-weight electronic device is more feasible and convenient. One of them even said I am a dinosaur and one of the members of a dying breed of computer fanatics. My cousins said the new era is all about tablets and smartphones. Desktops and laptops are things of the past. I should advance before I am 'extinct' for good.

Haiz... Even my wife-to-be also asked why I am so excited about new computer parts? I am just interested in computer stuff. But will I be a dinosaur?
I changed to using laptop for over 4 yrs. it still serves the purpose but recently i can't take it anymore, without a DIY PC, i feel a part of me is missing. finally build a ITX system, just to feel complete. so don't worry, you are not alone.
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Old 30-10-2013, 11:45 PM   #56
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with a DIY PC, i can choose what i like.
so many customisable parts. the fans, the windows, the cooling system, the type and size of monitor, the keyboard, the speakers.

with a laptop, maybe just a gfx card and hdd/ram?

with a tablet, i think the only things customisable are the screen protector and back cover. oh yes, and maybe a sticker on the home button



i don't own a tablet
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Old 31-10-2013, 12:03 AM   #57
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Ooooh nostalgic thread!

The industry is moving towards portable computing and remote storage. While it brings unprecedented convenience, they still cannot replace the entire computing/gaming experience on a PC.

I can't imagine giving up on PC builds yet. Downsize from ATX probably, but for sure it will still have ridiculous power under the hood with buckets of speed that I will never need!!!












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Old 31-10-2013, 12:14 AM   #58
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My first DIY computer was a Celeron 500Mhz in 1999. I was a little kid back then. To go back even further, my first computer bought at Sim Lim was a 233Mhz PII MMX in 98.

There was this shop with the best service at level 3, technoforce technology (TFT), the young lady, chris, and the young man with a tiny swastika tattoo on his finger were probably instrumental to my appreciation of hardware.

I wonder if anyone has any contact with them or know where they are working now.
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Old 31-10-2013, 12:48 AM   #59
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Bought a K6-III+ from technoforce technologies. Should still have the cpu and receipt somewhere
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Old 31-10-2013, 02:04 AM   #60
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I started off in 1989 with a 2nd hand Epson PC, model was PCJ1, no harddisk and only 1 5.25" floppy drive. Booting up is always via floppy disk and swapping the disks around for different applications. RAM is 256kb or 512kb then. Not ready error reading drive A: is the most common error message pop up, followed by Data error reading drive A:. By then the disk is gone with full of circular scratches.

In 1990 finally got my new Datamini XT/AT PC (still remembered the green reflective logo). That one was slightly better, 1mb RAM and 20mb harddisk. Learnt my first language - GWbasic with it. Majority of the time was playing games. RTK1 with the copy protection on the floppy, every few min it'll seek the disk or won't continue. Katong Shopping Center is a weekly hangout to get games. Games manuals are photocopied. Inceasing RAM is interesting, goes by multiple rows of DIP IC chips. Invested in a 8-bit SB soundcard for $220. First time opened casing and installed the card. Didn't know was supposed to connect to external speakers and was wondering why no sound came out from the internal speakers.

Subscribed to Teleview service by Singtel, that's the only national connectivity before the rise of Internet. Modem was a 1200bps ISA card that runs almost 3/4 length of the casing. I still have that antique chucked somewhere. And connecting to BBS was a daily activity, exchanging messages over Fidonet.

1993 upgraded PC to Datamini's Multi-flex series. The mainboard is on a expansion card and their concept was for easy upgrade to a different processor generation. Specs was a 486-DX-33 with a 1.44" and 5,25" floppy drives, 2x cdrom drive, 4mb ram and 120mb harddisk. Cache memory can be upgraded by buying 4 or 5 pieces of DIP IC chips.

These PCs then had a key where my parents could easily locked it to prevent the PC from booting up, effectively preventing any usage. Later learnt that this could be bypassed by using the small black jumper caps to short the pins. Afternoons when no one's home, it's PC time and back to studies in the evenings.

1994 started my first DIY PC from scratch. Bought a motherboard with a onboard AMD 386 processor. Started my first networking by connecting the 2 PCs together using BNC cables. Hub n 10mbps Ethernet cards were out of reach then, not to mention switches. An ISA BNC only NIC costs $60. Started inviting friends over to play network games. Upgraded my modem to a US Robotics 33.6kbps. Friends who were richer and had cash bought the higher end US Robotics Courier 28.8kbps or Zyxel modems. Envy them back then.

And coz of the high speed modems, the 16450 UART chip on the serial I/O card could not handle and causes either dropped calls or errors. Learnt from a friend how to desolder the chip from the card and resolder a new 16550 UART chip as replacements. Picked up my soldering skills here.

early 1995 started getting on the Internet. Subscribed to singnet and has 12 hours free monthly. In no time this quota was exceeded. It was cheaper then to apply for a 2nd account than pay excess charges of $1.95 per hour. End up usage was so huge that I have 2 accounts with Singnet and 1 more with Pacific Internet.

After which I lost track of my upgrades. Upgraded the CPUs to 486DX4-100 and Pentium-90. Both CPUs bought from PK Computer at Funan. don't know if they're still around now.Tried various x86 CPUs from Cyrix, IBM, AMDK6/K6-2 series and Texas Instruments.

Next comes NS and I started losing touch with the race for newer CPUs. After NS, built an AMD Duron system, 650 mhz??? and later upgraded to an Athlon CPU. Stopped there for quite sometime as the technological chase wasn't a priority anymore. The Athlon PC is still working today, that is after replacing a number of capicators that were bloated and leaking electrolyte. Now passed on to my kid to play simple games.

Last built a mid range system few years ago with 8gb DDR2 ram, AMD X3 CPU to host my VOIP setup on VM. Looking back, I've spend a bomb on all these stuffs for the experience, but no real use.

Company provided me with a laptop, so no longer see the need of building another rig for personal use. I have another spare board, salvaged from someone who wanted to discard it and managed to get it working after replacing the capicators, which are a common problem for motherboards in the early 2000s.

The revolution from desktop PCs to portable laptops and tablets cannot be denied. But when talking about processing power and battery lifespan, there are still some hopes for desktops.
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