Eric G. Schwartz

My Computer Experiences

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My first experience with a computer was when I was about 15, at Radio Shack with the TRS-80 Model I.  I was so thrilled when I could save my programs to cassette tape.  In 1981 I wrote a program that allowed me to draw on the screen using the arrows and toggle between draw and erase mode.  I saved the program to cassette and printed it out.  Today it is, of course, obsolete.

In September 1981 I went to Cal. Poly. Pomona and took a class in Fortran IV.  We used a mini computer and recorded our programs on both hard drive (huge by today's standards) and punch cards.  I spent 8 to 12 hours a day messing around with the computer.  I wrote my own email program and a random quote generator program.  I still have the random quote generator on my micro computer in a GWBasic program.  I got into trouble for writing the email program but the administration still gave me more disk space to fool around with.  I saved my favorite programs to punch cards and printed out all my programs in batch on the page printer.  I had a stack of the old (huge) paper and some punch cards for years.  I threw it all away, being so out dated.

In 1990, while I was learning about the old XT, in ITT Technical Institute, I got an IBM XT clone.  I put an 80 Meg hard drive on it and filled it up in a few years.  I wrote a lot of Basic and Batch files.  I still have some of them, but they don't work very well on my current computer.  In 1993 I got another XT and converted it to an AT.  Wow, I thought it was fast.  I put a 40 Meg IDE hard drive in it and set it up as a public BBS (bulletin board service) for a while.  I never charged for it, but I met some interesting people.  It was fun for a few years, then both computers' hard drives failed.  I was going to upgrade my computer to a 386 or 486.

I got a Pentium 120 Mhz with a 1.2 Gig hard drive in 1997.  It came with the hard drive almost full with software.  I deleted what I could and added some interesting software.  I added a 6.4 Gig hard drive and my computer functioned better and had plenty of space.  I added 24 MB more RAM to make 32. Eventually I upgraded to 64 MB RAM.  I sold this computer.

I upgraded to a Pentium 4   1.6 Ghz computer with an 80Gig hard drive in June of 2002. It has a 56K modem, Windows XP, 256MB Ram, a DVD Rom, and a CD-RW drive.  My printer, scanner, and keyboard are connected to USB ports.  There is one more USB port for my digital camera.  I am happy with this computer and can do whatever I need to do without any problems.  The speed is lightning fast. I installed a 5 port USB 2.0 card. I upgraded to 768MB Ram. I installed a 160G hard drive to back everything up, by ghosting the drive from time to time. I ghost to a 750G USB hard drive, now, for back up. This has saved me from reformatting a few times! I got a 19" LCD wide screen monitor and downloaded the latest driver from Nvidia (graphics card) so I could set the resolution to 1440x900. I upgraded to 2GB RAM.

I got a Pentium 2 350 Mhz computer in 2005. I put 192M RAM in it. I installed a 6G HD, sound card, NIC card, 56K Modem, and networked it to my other computer. Internet connection sharing works. I made it dual boot DOS 6.22 and Win. 95b. Later I upgraded to Windows 98. To boot to DOS 6.22 I need a floppy disk. My niece currently has this computer. I got this computer back and just donated it Goodwill.

I got a Pentium 3 1.0 GHz computer, in 2008, and put 512M RAM and an 60G HD in it. I set it up to quad boot to DOS, Windows 98, Windows XP, and Ubuntu. I am having a lot of fun learning Ubuntu mostly, with this computer.

At the end of 2008 I got an AMD computer, with a 1.5 Ghz processor, a DVD Rom and a CD-RW drive. I put my old 256MB Ram, from my other computer, in it, a GeForce3 video card and an 80GB hard drive in it. I installed Ubuntu 8.10 and am currently working on it. I may have to wait for Ubuntu 9.04 to come out before I get it working correctly. This computer has some 3D effects and could probably run Windows Vista if I added another 256MB of Ram. This computer failed and I replaced it twice with the same almost exact computer. It is actually a Compaq Presario 6000 series with an AMD Athalon xp 1700+ (1.47 Ghz). The one I got in Feb., 09, had a bad floppy, bad, DVD Rom, a 10G and a 20G hard drive. I replaced the floppy and added a DVD-RW, GeForce3 video card, wireless network card and 512MB Ram. I may put in 1G. I installed Ubuntu 8.1 on the 20G hard drive and it is running fine. I have this computer running Windows 7 Beta on an 80G Hard drive. This computer is now dual boot with Ubuntu 9.04 now too.

In April of 2009 I got a dual core AMD computer, with a 2.3 Ghz processor, a DVD-RW, 3GB of Ram, a 250G Hard drive, and Windows Vista Home Premium. It is a Compaq Presario SR5710F. I am learning to use Windows Vista and loving it. Windows 7 seems to be very simular to Vista. I installed Windows 7 on this computer when it came out.

In February of 2012 I began playing with Server 2008 on a computer. In April of 2012 I started playing with Windows 8 and Server 2008 on another computer. I am not too fond of Microsoft's Start Screen. They are trying to compete more with Mac. It would be interesting to have a touch screen though, as it is designed for that.

In May of 2012 I got a Mac Mini with a 2.5GHz i5 processor and 4GB of RAM. I recently upgraded it to 8GB of RAM. I have migrated from my Windows 7 computer to the Mac. Programs that don't run on Mac run on Virtual Win7 or XP, using Oracle Virtualbox.

In February of 2015 I got a Lenovo with 3.6GHz i7 processor and 8GB of RAM, Windows 8. I recently upgraded it to Windows 10. I actually had the beta on it first so I have Pro. Also, I put an SSD in it so it is lightning fast!

In February of 2016 I migrated my web site from Server 2008 to Ubuntu 14.04 with LAMP for an experiment.  I may keep it like that.

In March of 2016 I moved the web site to another server after installing Ubuntu 16.04 with LAMP. This server is a slight hardware upgrade as well.