What is it?

Why the quotes around "PC"? The initials P.C., among other things, stands for the words Personal Computer. I don't really like the fact that when people say personal computer nowadays, almost all of them mean an Intel compatible processor running some sort of Microsoft operating system. A C64, VIC20, PET or Amiga are also personal computers in my understanding of the phrase.

Rants aside, I've joined the throngs, and do enjoy it somewhat - but still leave plenty of time for my other machines. One thing I do like about owning a modern machine is being able to go into a store, and buy a game for it - especially going through the bargain bin and buying a great game (that's a few years old) for $5 - $15.

What do you have in your collection?

Current system:
AMD 2200XP+, 512 MB RAM, 80GB 7200RPM Maxtor, 64MB Radeon 9000, 52x24x52x16x CDRW/DVD combo drive.

My previous system (out on loan):
Duron 1200, 256 MB RAM, ABIT KT7-RAID motherboard, two 30GB 7200RPM ATA/100 Maxtor harddrives in a RAID-0 (stripping) configuration - 63MB/s sustained!! - 32MB Rage Fury Pro w/ Video In/Out, DSL modem, Wave/4 sound card and a 8x/4x/32x CDRW.

My older system:
K6/233, 64MB RAM, 8.4GB hard drive, Voodoo3 2000 PCI video card, 52x CD-ROM and external 33.6 USR Sportster.

I also have an old 386SX/20 notebook that I bought brand new in 1992 (I believe, for $1400 CDN), and various whole and partial machines that run from a 486sx down to an 8088.

What are you doing with it?

Primarily, surfing the web to keep up with the latest classic computer/gaming news/releases, email. They also get used for emulating from time to time, though I prefer the real thing.

I also use the newer machine for multi-track recording - both fixing up old 4-track recordings I've done, and for new stuff. Check out the official PSW site for more details!

The K6/233 is used regularly by my daughter Rianna - she especially likes the Reader Rabbit series.

Games I've been enjoying lately include:
Deep Space Nine: The Fallen - fantastic game - great graphics, sound, story, gameplay, everything!

Some of my older favourites:
Rama - Based on the Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee book of the same name (actually, it's more based on Rama II) this is a fantastic sci-fi/adventure/puzzle game. Great graphics, very atmospheric music, and huge - and better than anything else, I found it in the bargain bin at Walmart for $15! :)

Star Trek: Judgement Rites - This was also a great game, around the $20 mark. In fact, the wrong CD was put in a few thousand of these boxes, and I was lucky enough to pick it up. They mailed me a replacement CD, and I got to keep the wrong one they put in - a virtual tour of the Enterprise bridge. The game itself reminds me of the early Sierra adventures, but you go through 8 Classic Trek episodes, with *all* the dialogue (and there's a lot of it!) recorded by the original actors. Great game.

Interstate '76 - Very cool game, although this one was closer to the $60 mark. There are only two downsides - the language used in the game was crude at times, but disabling the voices made the game pretty hard to play :) - and, it needs a pretty hefty processor to play at a decent speed. When I put a K6/233, it finally ran nice and smooth. Anyway, the basic idea of the game is: you're a fella who takes over your sister's secret life of being an auto-vigilante in an alternate 1976, after she is killed. You avenge her death, and manage to save the earth at the same time, all while driving her car around the southern U.S. states, blowing up anyone who gets in your way. Hmm, I spent money and time on this? Well, it was fun. Update 991015 - I wasted yet more time on this game - I bought a Voodoo3 2000 PCI for my computer, and had to go back and replay this great game.

Need For Speed 3 - This game was no fun at all until I got the Voodoo3 - then suddenly, wow! Excellent racing game - and it takes quite a while to get good enough to actually win in the Knockout competitions.

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Last Update: 2004.04.13
Robin Harbron - macbeth@tbaytel.net