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?
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
I still use my Commodore 64. Not only for playing my favourite games, but I also use it for tracking and managing my household finances. For the finances, I use a combination of Easy Working: The Planner (a spreadsheet program) and a program I wrote in BASIC that is a simple bank account ledger "book". I called it Ledger64.
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?
Thanks! And glad you liked the photo.
Yup, the old beast still runs well. Can you believe that there are some people out there still making peripherals and writing software for the C64? Over the last couple of years, I've purchased a ethernet modem (to get on the Internet), SD card reader, and a virtual disk drive device for mine.
I have quite a few games in my collection of floppy disks. But the ones I play the most these days include Power Drift, Beamrider, Gyruss, Frantic Freddie and Armalyte.
If you're interested in reading more of my musings about growing up in the "golden age of computing", as I like to call it, feel free to stop by my Commodore 64 site here: Load "$"
I also started a Commodore computer user group, here on Vivaldi at: https://vivaldi.net/en-US/unity/groups/item/134-commodore. Feel free to join up and chat more about the good ol' C64 days!
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.