Oldest Computer still in use.

  • As a companion to the Thread re: first computer, what is the oldest computer still being used for normal operation on at least a weekly basis. (Normal being web surfing, Emailing, word processing and the like.) And why?

  • Moderator

    Oldest in present use is a 12-year-old HP P4 tower that came loaded with XP, but which i rescued from obsolescence by loading Lubuntu onto it Why? Because.

  • I have a Compaq Presario M2000 laptop. Don't know exactly how old it is, but from what info I've pinned down it was probably made circa 2003-04. I bought it on eBay about a year ago for $32 including shipping. It has Linux Mint 17 XFCE on it. It originally ran XP, and came to me w/Ubuntu, but it barely ran with that (512 MB RAM). It uses a usb wifi stick and keyboard because some of the keys don't work all the time, and it lives in my husband's workshop. I use it about once a week when I'm out there keeping him company, and I've actually done parts of some of my freelance writing projects on it. For Internet, the only browser that isn't glacially slow is Netsurf.

  • The oldest I use currently and productively is a TC1000 (2003) tablet PC, recently I exchanged its MB with the just one year younger TC1100's one.

    It runs win 8.1 perfectly well, and a couple of linux distros in multiboot.

    Then I have still with me an Olivetti Envision 400 (486dx4 100Mhz) and two Envision 75 (Pentium 75), they are all from 1995, and they are the first real HTPCs

    The Envision was a greatbut unlucky product (as often happens) 10 years ahead of its times, who contributed to kill the Olivetti brand (the company who invented the Personal Computer in 1964, again 10 years ahead its times). 😞

  • System:    Host: antiX1 Kernel: 3.19.1-antix.1-486-smp i686 (32 bit gcc: 4.9.2)
               Desktop: IceWM 1.3.8
               Distro: antiX-15-beta1-V_386-full Killah P 16 March 2015
    Machine:   Mobo: IBM model: 26474MU
               Bios: IBM v: 1AET64WW (1.20 ) date: 10/18/2006
    CPU:       Single core Mobile Intel Pentium III - M (-UP-) cache: 512 KB
               flags: (pae sse) bmips: 2398 speed: 1200 MHz (max)
    Graphics:  Card: S3 Graphics SuperSavage IX/C SDR bus-ID: 01:00.0
               Display Server: X.Org 1.16.4 driver: vesa
               Resolution: 1024x768@60.00hz
               GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on llvmpipe (LLVM 3.5, 128 bits)
               GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 10.3.2 Direct Rendering: Yes
    Audio:     Card Intel 82801CA/CAM AC'97 Audio Controller
               driver: snd_intel8x0 ports: 1c00 18c0 bus-ID: 00:1f.5
               Sound: ALSA v: k3.19.1-antix.1-486-smp
    Network:   Card-1: Intel 82801CAM (ICH3) PRO/100 VE (LOM) Ethernet Controller
               driver: e100 v: 3.5.24-k2-NAPI port: 6400 bus-ID: 02:08.0
               IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
               Card-2: Ralink RT2800 802.11n PCI
               driver: rt2800pci v: 2.3.0 bus-ID: 07:00.0
               IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
    Drives:    HDD Total Size: 1082.2GB (6.6% used)
               ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST980815A size: 80.0GB
               ID-2: USB /dev/sdb model: DataTraveler_2.0 size: 2.0GB
               ID-3: USB /dev/sdc model: Expansion size: 1000.2GB
    Partition: ID-1: swap-1 size: 1.12GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda2
    Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 60.0C mobo: 54.0C
               Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 0
    Info:      Processes: 98 Uptime: 23:28 Memory: 204.5/1004.9MB
               Init: SysVinit runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 4.9.2</filter></filter>


    Daily runner tester with Wireless N Pcmcia, 4 port firewire,mini firewire, 2 usb 2.0 pcmcia, DVDROM and watches movies and plays anything I throw at it. Including youtube. Games played in Dosbox.

  • you, my friend, win. thanx for the pic … its nice to see that that old beast is still purring. but since you brought it up ... which games?

  • Moderator

    So we were moving some stuff to make room for furniture going (temporarily) to storage, and ran across a Packard Bell PB 500 from about 1985-87, and a Kaypro 16 from about 1984-85. The PB runs MS DOS 3.3, but won't boot (does a successful memtest of its 640K of RAM, however). I suspect bad boot sector on the HDD or a dead system battery. The Kaypro, however, boots and runs. You could have knocked me over with a feather. It was my wife's old accounting machine back in the day. I can't remember any of the old CPM commands any more, but I was able to get it into a Wordstar directory with several files. It was nothing short of amazing.

    Come to think of it, the Kaypro 16 was Kaypro's first IMB-PC compatible machine, so it might have run DOS, too.

  • For me that would be either my Tandy 1000 SX, or my PCJr.


    Sadly, no pic of my Junior yet. Right now it's on the opposite end of the desk from my T1K, with a C64 sandwiched between the two.

    Though what I use those for is testing game development… as I'm REALLY weird, I'm still writing games for DOS that run on as little as the PCJr... and when we say "little" the PC Junior qualifies as it's the slowest PC compatible EVER.

    See, they cheaped out leaving off some fairly essential parts of the PC -- it has no DMA controller, no dedicated keyboard controller, so things like floppy and keyboard operations are handled by the CPU using the NMI -- non maskable interrupt. Worse, the bottom 128k of memory is shared with the video, meaning that every time the video card reads from that bank of memory, it prevents the CPU from reading from that area. On average this works out to said bottom 128k ranging anywhere from 30% to 50% slower than it would be on a real PC or XT, taking the already painful 4 cycle wait and upping it to 6 to 8 cycles.

    ... that could use some explaining. The PC's DRAM had access timing issues that results in every byte of memory access taking FOUR bus cycles. This basically means the max memory bandwidth on a 8088 PC compatible is only 1.19mhz, a quarter that of the CPU. This works out ok in most cases as most opcodes in the CPU take more than one clock cycle, the average being 3 for most simple operations and some taking as much as 246. (32 bit divide by 16 bits). To help speed things along on the slower instructions the CPU has two separate "units" -- the EU or execution unit, and the BIU or byte instruction unit.

    The EU does what it sounds like, it just executes commands. While the EU is running code the BIU has a 4 byte cache (6 bytes on the 8086) it can fill up pre-fetching data. Naturally when the EU is writing to or reading from memory the BIU is suspended.

    Still even with all those tricks, quite often a lowly 8 bit 1 mhz 6502 could do things faster than the "16 bit" 8088 at 4.77mhz. That sixteen bit in quotes since the 8088 only has a 8 bit data path. 😞

    I know, I know... blah, blah, blah...

    So far I only have one completed game, though version 2 is coming soon (hopefully). Some health issues and hospital stays threw a monkey wrench in the works, much less that I'm USELESS during summer (we're not friends).... I'm hoping in a week or two to get back on track and finish up the second version.

    For now, you can get the existing version here:

    Or the beta C64 version here:

    The C64 version is on hold since I've kind of lost interest in that platform due to the cultish nature of the commodore "scene" -- those guys are CREEPY. (Admittedly demo-coders and I never got along to begin with, was why I was never big into the Amiga)

    I've got some java crapplets up there so you can try to play it in the browser. If you haven't mastered DOSBox, don't have a retro machine to try it on, or what-have-you there's a pretty cool unsolicited review here:

    He's right, I didn't get the memo.

  • My oldest currently running computer isn't too old (maybe circa 2006), but I've a real workhorse of a keyboard.
    It came with Pentium 166 (with MMX 😎 ) in the summer of 1996, it has the unusual feature of having the specialised Windows 95 keys, and an old-skool AT plug that even when new, had to be fitted with a PS2 adapter.
    It's been a real favourite to type on and it's coming up to 20 years of heavy daily use.

  • Ambassador

    Right now I use an Acer Aspire 6930 laptop. I am using it massively every day since 2006, even with more modern games, programs like Blender, Worldbuilder and animations, without any problem.

  • The oldest computer I still have up and running is ZX Spectrum +2A which is a late model, made after Sinclair's computer business was acquired by Amstrad, but it's still pretty nice to have and it's as close to the original as I can get. I was using local Eastern European clone is the 90's - early 00's, equipped with Beta Disk interface / TR-DOS 5.04T
    Here are a few pictures of my +2A. It's a 100% compatible with earlier games, but otherwise pretty nice. Even an integrated tape deck (datacorder) still works.

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