My short inventory and history of personal computing devices

First there was an old (1997) Windows 95 OSR 2 box boasting a P55C Intel Pentium processor with an staggering clock frequency of 166 MHz; 16 MiB of RAM (later expanded to 32), a 1.2 GB* hard disk; it had an onboard S3 Trio64V+ with 1 MiB of video RAM.

* Hard-disk manufacturer ‘gigabytes’.

Then, there was another OEM machine (2002), running Windows XP on a 1.3 GHz Intel Celeron (“Celeron-S”) including 256 MiB of RAM and a 40 GB hard disk; before it was decommissioned for good, it ran both Windows XP SP2 and openSUSE 10.0; it was the first machine on which I ever installed Linux (SUSE Linux 9.3), and my original introduction to Wesnoth (0.9.5 from openSUSE 10.0) happened there; the onboard Intel 810E IGP became the victim of various Linux graphics-related shenanigans. (This was the last computer I ever owned that included a 3.5" floppy disk drive; unfortunately, it was broken and it took me a year and various casualties to figure this out.)

Later during 2006, Blackcore appeared: another OEM machine running Windows XP SP2, equipped with a 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott) with Hyper-Threading; 1 GiB of RAM, a 160 GB hard disk, and an IGP from the biggest piece of shit chipset manufacturer otherwise known as VIA. This was my first named computer, a practice which has truly paid off to this day. It currently runs the same original installation of Windows XP upgraded to SP3; it has run various Linux distributions and versions and I’ve not stuck with any of them simply because VIA is the biggest piece of shit chipset manufacturer.

Following the color-themed naming scheme, Greycore became the first laptop I ever owned around mid 2007; an Acer Aspire 5050 including an AMD Turion 64 MK-36, an amount of RAM I don’t remember anymore, 80 GiB hard disk drive, and Windows Vista. It first ran openSUSE 10.2 and openSUSE 10.3 besides Windows for a long time, until I got fed up with an incident involving a security update utterly ruining my system with terrible timing. It took a while before I finally decided to switch to another distribution instead of keeping the same old 10.3 installation around, but it was worth it — Debian Lenny (testing at the time, Q3 2008) was my choice and I have stuck with Debian ever since.

Greycore was decommissioned once Bluecore took over; an HP Pavilion dv5-1132la running Windows Vista SP1. It was a much better deal than Greycore in the long term, as I acquired it on Christmas Eve 2008 and it lasted until January 2011 with mild wearing symptoms until it finally kicked the bucket (it got better later); Greycore did not last more than a year before it got utterly wrecked.

Bluecore started with 2 GiB of RAM and ended up with 4 GiB as Wesnoth began to demand significantly more memory for compiling. The 2 GHz dual core AMD Athlon 64 performed very well at the beginning, but our favorite open source game’s development largely outpaced it. The 250 GB hard disk served me well despite running into low space situations in various opportunities as I began to experiment with the processor’s hardware-assisted virtualization capabilities. This overheating beast (51 °C - 64 °C idle, 65 °C - 92 °C under load) has only run Debian as its native operating system besides Windows — first Lenny (testing, later stable), then Squeeze (testing), and very recently, Wheezy (testing). The ATI Radeon HD 3200 was an infinite source of frustration when it came to OpenGL on Linux until very late 2009.

Its untimely and infuriatingly IGP-driven demise resulted in Reicore taking over; first temporarily, and then permanently as its 2.1 GHz dual core Intel Pentium T4300 and Intel GM45 graphics processor ended up proving far more worthwhile than Bluecore’s AMD-based configuration. Reicore (an HP Pavilion dv4-1624la) was purchased for someone else at first, and ran Windows 7 until she became mine, and then I proceeded to wipe it out to make room for Debian — first Squeeze (stable), and now Wheezy (testing). I have never run out of space with its 500 GB hard disk, and even today my /home partition has a little more than 50% of free space. It helps that the processor’s lack of virtualization capabilities has not been very encouraging in the virtual machine department, I guess.

1997Intel Pentium
166 MHz
32 MiB1.2 GBS3 Trio64V+Windows 95 OSR 2.0
20022006Intel Celeron
1.3 GHz
256 MiB40 GBIntel 810EopenSUSE 10.0, Windows XP SP2
Blackcore2006Intel Pentium 4
2.6 GHz HT
1 GiB160 GBVIA POSWindows XP SP3, Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 (Squeeze)
Greycore20072008AMD Turion 64 MK-38
2 GHz
??? GiB80 GBATI Radeon Xpress 1100Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (Lenny), Windows Vista
Bluecore2008AMD Athlon 64 X2 QL-62
2 GHz dual core
4 GiB250 GBATI Radeon HD 3200Debian testing 2012-10-22 (Wheezy), Windows Vista SP1
Reicore2010Intel Pentium T4300
2.1 GHz dual core
4 GiB500 GBIntel GM45Debian testing (Wheezy)