Monday, December 14, 2009

286 AT

Though my first computer was a 4k TRS-80, a Radio Shack Computer in 1978. The first modern day PC we owned was a PC(personal computer) AT 286 clone assembled in Silicon Valley and which sold for $2500 when I bought it sometime around 1985. Though I taught all my older kids to program their own games in Basic language with the TRS-80 by 1980 to 1984 we were definitely ready for a computer with floppy discs, a mouse and a printer. Though it operated at first mostly in MS-DOS(Microsoft Disc Operating System), soon we bought a Windows version of that era to run on it which was a big improvement even though we also used MS-DOS for many uses, games and operations as long as the current Windows allowed that easily.

Tonight my son, now 35 and one year away from graduating as a nurse(he was a computer tech during his 20s) opened up my old AT 286, the one really old computer I have kept that long except for my most recent most recent 4 or 6 computers. We immediately realized that we couldn't operate it because mouses are no longer in the serial bus mouse format(most are USB now which wasn't likely then in public release or possibly even invented yet then). Also, we remembered that it was a 20 megabyte hard drive which he eventually upgraded into a 386 with a 120 megabyte hard drive sometime after we returned from living in Hawaii in 1990. We also realized that a different type of keyboard was used then as well. And we don't have any keyboards of that type left. So we neither had the right mouse or the right keyboard anymore to operate it. However, we could plug in a small flat screen and we would know right away whether it was still working as the 386 with a 120 megabyte hard drive that we modified it to years ago. However, though the power supply still worked since we didn't get out images out of the flat screen we realized that something had failed during the last almost 20 years since it had been an AT 286. However, it was fun to see if we could still get it to run as a 386.

We used it until we bought a 486 in the early to mid 1990s. However, the 486 is now long gone.

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