Hello fellow amibay members!


New member
Jun 23, 2015
Hi guys. As you can see, I'm new to AmiBay. I found out about this forum from Vogons.com's /marvin section. A little about myself - well, I don't really know where to start, so I'll tell you the story of how I got into computers, and list a few machines I've owned over the years:

I've had an interest in computers ever since I was a kid - generally x86 machines, but not limited to. I'm interested in and collect all kinds hardware - CPUs, motherboards, video cards, sound cards, storage controllers, storage devices, you name it. I first saw a PC in 2nd grade at my school, and was instantly captivated by it. Trough pressuring and a little emotional blackmail I got my parents to source me my first x86 PC - a 486 class machine built by a Romanian company called REL Computers (they're still around, they just don't make PCs anymore). It was a 133MHz Cyrix 5x86, VIA chipset board, 8MB of ram, Cirrus Logics PCI video card, and 800MB Quantum Fireball HDD. No sound card, no CD-ROM drive. It also came with a 14" color CRT monitor and an OKI Microline dot-matrix printer. About the CPU - yes, I know, these are considered very rare now, and yes, it's possible it was actually a oveclocked 4x 5x86-120GP, but whenever I try to picture it in my mind I remember a green heatspreader with Cyrix 5x86-133GP written on it and a fan on top witch I had to clean two-three times a year and even replaced once. I got the machine for my birthday in October 1995, and have used it until late 1999, when I upgraded to an AMD K6-II 400MHz with 32MB of ram, on board video and sound (VIA MVP4). The 586 went thought several upgrades - first the ram was expanded to 16MB and the QF HDD was replaced with a 2GB Western Digital (1996). In 1997 I expanded the ram to 32MB and bought my first sound card, a Yamaha OPL3-SAx board made by some chinese company. To go with it, I borrowed a 24x creative CD-ROM drive from a defective PC my dad had at work. In 1998 I got it a voodoo 2 witch allowed me to play quake (GL_Quake - regular quake still ran rather poorly) for the first time at acceptable framerates (not great, but VERY playable). All parts that went into the PC were purchased by me, using pocket money saved up from school lunches and some money I earned working part-time at a PC repair shop in my home town.

The K6 was purchased by my folks, as a surprise, and required my old 586 as a trade-in / rebate. Back then, they asked me "If you could get a new computer, what would you like to have in it?" - and of course, I asked for the then newly released Pentium II, a Riva TNT, 64MB of ram and a 4GB hard disk drive. What I got is what my parents could afford - a 450MHz K6-2, 64Mb of ram, 4GB HDD, and a VIA MVP4 motherboard with on board sound and video. I was both excited and disappointed by the new machine - sure, the CPU was WAY faster than the 586 - but the on board sound was of poor quality, and the on board-video would perform about as well as my old Creative 3D Blaster II on the 586. I turned it on, expecting all my data and my 3D Blaster to be inside - they were not. Of course, when my folks told me what happened with my old machine, I threw a fit. For the Voodoo 2 alone they could have gotten the motherboard and ram in trade (yes, 3D cards were THAT expensive back then in my country) but my parents couldn't really be blamed, because they had no idea about the value of PC hardware and what was inside my computer. I thanked them for the wonderful gift, and politely asked them to take me to the shop they got the new PC from so I could re-negotiate the deal, and get the stuff off the HDD from my old computer. They didn't get the machine from the shop I usually worked for, so I wouldn't find out about the surprise. The other shop had appraised my 3D Blaster at 10% of it's real value, and had made my parents buy another AT case and PSU when there was in fact no need to. After I threatened to return the new PC, the salesman offered to return my Voodoo2 and the OPL3-SAx, but also replaced the 450MHz K6-2 with a 400MHz K6-2 and the 64MB stick with a 32MB one. I didn't even mention the fact that there was no need to make my parents buy a new AT case and PSU.

Later in ~2002-2003 I replaced the K6 with an 850MHz AMD Duron / KT133 mobo, ATX case+psu and a radeon 7000. Kept my ram (witch by then had been upgraded to 128MB) + 4GB samsung HDD (witch I still have! an the thing still works perfectly!) and of course my 3D Blaster Voodoo 2, witch got a twin sister (in about 2001 if memory serves). I still have the Voodoo 2 cards, the SLi cable and the pass-trough cable. I worked so hard for the first voodoo 2 card, I couldn't bare to sell it, and never have. The two voodoo 2 cards now sit in my P3 V2 SLi win98 box and see weekly use. After that, I went troughs so many PCs - KT333 / XP 2400+ / Radeon 9000 - later upgraded to a Barton 2600+ and a 256Mb FX 5200 (back then i was under the impression that more vram = faster video card) ==> Athlon 64 3000+ with a Gigabyte Nforce 3 board I won at some contest ==> Athlon X2 3800+ on top of an Nforce 4 with an 6600GT, later upgraded to a 6000+ with a 7900GT (AMD fetish, I admit it) ===> then came my first intel PC - a Q6600 I got as a Christmas present (the CPU only) from one of my uncles. The rest is not really worth mentioning - with the exception with my first true enthusiast-level PC - the then just launched skt 1366 i7 nahlem, with 6GB of DDR3, a GTX 480, Antek truepower quattro 850w PSU and twin 250GB HDDs in raid. It was the first and last time I got top of the line hardware.

I've always had a small collection of retro hardware, generally CPUs because of their small size and easy storage, but lately as I got older I find myself remembering my childhood and all those hardware / game publications, advertising configurations and parts I could only dream of. I remember when I got my first sound card and CD-ROM drive, and I could install game demos off the CDs that came with said magazines. Those demos drove me to raise money and buy a Voodoo 2 (lots of them were glide-only). Right now I own a few retro machines - from 386 to socket A and 478 rigs - mostly stuff I couldn't afford as a kid and was forced to skip over - like the Pentium / Pentium MMX, Pentium II, socket 370 PIII and socket 478 P4.

I'm also a fan of classic cars - an even more time and money hungry hobby, although my 1989 3-series is not exactly a classic just yet (my avatar). I've restored every nook and cranny myself - from engine and suspension work, to adding AC and even bodywork and painting it myself. It's not my daily driver since it's hard to maintain a car in good condition that way - especially a 25 year old car.

As for work, I'm a first year surgical resident (general surgery), but I'm considering switching to internal medicine next year since it's less time consuming.

That's enough about me - I'll be in your care from now on!
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