The first oversized calculator computer to enter my home was pretty outdated by the time we got it. My dad’s company was getting rid of them and he brought one home. Sadly, his technophobia prevented him from finding out how bad the specs were, even during that time. It was a pre pentium 25Mhz Intel based system, with 4MB of RAM, a 14″ SVGA monitor and a 155MB hard disk. Ha! Just remembering those specs makes me laugh. We got it when Intel had long since released the pentium processors so it was pretty underpowered when compared to what was on the market at the time. I remember seeing other PCs with Windows 95 on them and thinking wow. No one at home knew how to work it either so all we could do was boot it up and stare at the monochrome command prompt. One day my dad typed WIN into it (he had some instructions with him) and bam, the Windows 3.1 splash screen appeared. We moved to India a while later.
I spent a lot of time with that PC, mostly playing Commander Keen, defragging/scandisk-ing the HDD to death, and playing around with the command prompt and batch files. I remember telling a friend in school about my system specs and he being shocked because his video card (my system didn’t have a video card) had four times more memory than my actual system. In hindsight, that was pretty embarrassing. I used to marvel at my friends stories about how they’d taken apart their PCs and replaced processors just because they could. I was terrified that if I took apart my PC it would cease to work completely (this happened a lot when I was a kid taking apart my toys), my dad would not understand, and I would be utterly screwed.
We eventually got another PC, but because my dad used it for work at home it was off limits. Not that this stopped me though, I used to sneak in and use it every chance I got. I even nicked a key for the room it was in when he started locking it away. It was a celeron based system, not that great compared to what was available when he bought it, but it was enough to run Red Alert 2 which was my favorite game at the time. I used to have to install it every time I wanted to play it, and hid the savegame files in a well hidden folder. I used to rename the folder to an ASCII value in DOS prompt, and Windows ME couldn’t access it. Not that this was needed with my dad, he thought I’d infected the computer with a virus because I accessed my Hotmail on the PC, so ASCII values were like Fort Knox to him (no chance in hell).