My husband reminded me that it has been almost 20 years since we bought our first computer.
It was a Maxar 286 with 1MB of system memory, 1MB video memory and a processor speed of 12.5MHz. It had a tiny hard drive and was a DOS based interface.(photo taken in our apartment in 1991, please note the joystick and all the MtDew, needed to stay awake to play games all night) We wouldn’t get Windows 3.1 until we upgraded to a 386 in 1993 or so.
It used these sort of floppies
which do not have enough space on them to store this photo of them (photos taken in our junk closet in April 2009, can you say ‘pack rats’?).
and these sorts of floppies, which might be able to hold this photo of them
We had a dial up connection at a whopping 2400kbps and mostly used local BBS sites, but there was this new thing called Prodigy that connected you with the whole country, but only with others on Prodigy. Our phone line was tied up for hours while I posted to forums and sent message to people. There was no internet, no email. We mostly played games like Civilization and Tanks. I wrote grad school papers & then had to take them to a copy store to get them printed.
To the best of my recall, this is my/our 5th computer that I have now. There was the 286, the 386, the one that is in the shed now that I used before going to the Compaq laptop nearly 4 years ago and now this ASUS. I have gone from DOS to Vista, shortly to go to Win 7, with a brief foray into LINUX. I have used 5.25 discs, 3.5 discs, 4mm data cartridges, some other disc thing I can’t recall the name of, CDs, DVDs, EHDs, and USB thumb drives. I can now carry around 1000 times the content of my monster 286 desk top on something the size of a lighter.
I now have 500GBs of hard drive. That is still astounding to me. 6GB of RAM! Holy crap! I can surf the world at broadband speeds. I have 6 email accounts. I have a printer/scanner/fax machine. My computer is smart enough to go out and find the drivers and install that machine without my even asking. Even though it is a 4 year old printer/scanner/fax machine.
I can’t even imagine what the next 20 years will bring.