A vitae in computers


And a bit of fancy flavor text. This is more for me, as some kind of diary, than for anyone else. But if you have nothing better to do ($sad), you can read it too. Its covering the development of my computers over nearly a quarter of a century* and around ten-ish generations of x86 processors: from 286 up to coreium. You may see some dedicated but dilettantish tinkering there. You will see the perpetual mainboard (14 years in service), the press board locker of computational awkwardness and some other gruesome stuff.

* holy shit, am i really that old now? It must be true, i have to pay taxes and work for a living. Sure signs of being old ;)


0th gen, C= VC20 without power supply


Back in 1989, or maybe early 1990, i got a Commodore VC20 (even then pretty outdated) on a flea market. It was very cheap for 20DM, but it was in a bad condition and without a power supply. Nevertheless, i really wanted a computer and had failed so far to convince my parents that i needed one of these expensive bleepy things. So i bought this one, draining my pockets for some time.

The missing power supply was a problem. A new one would have cost too much money, considering the unknown state of the badly battered VC20. My father tried to build a makeshift power supply. But we did not have any schematics, not even the pin-out of the power plug. So he tried to figure it out by tracing the circutry. We had much fun tinkering around, so it was not to bad when a large capacitor exploded with a awful "boom" when we switched the thing on. In my memory the exploding cap cut off some parts on the board, but obviously, that was exaggerated.

This machine had a weird power plug, providing ac and dc at different voltages. My father actually figured it out right, but then got distracted by that overly excited child that wanted to hear the thing go "bliep" and switched ac and dc ports. Electrolytic caps do not like ac. They really dont. Well, we had much fun for the money, although no working computer. But i had proven that really wanted a computer, and not just because it was "in". Half a year later i got a used 286.
total: 74.95ms (include: 2.3, request: 0.85, trace: 0.29, init: 3.28, load: 0.01, parse: 64.86, menu: 1.16, template: 2.14, minify: 0.05)