The bytes of computer’s past

They were huge and awkward and required a variety of extra bells and whistles: personal computers have come a long way

The Vernon PC Users' Club takes a nostalgic look back at the early days of personal computers.

The choices for good computer gear were almost unlimited…in 1997.

If you wanted more hard drive space, the smallest drive you should have considered was a 2.1 GIG with a 2.5 GIG being a suitable alternative. If Santa had deep pockets, a 4 or 5 GIG hard drive was the way to go.

A CD-ROM optical drive offering 24X for speed was the logical choice.

With most mainboards today offering decent video, back in 1997 you needed a video card. An affordable decent video card was from Cirrus Logic with 256 MEG of video RAM onboard and it offered a resolution of 1024 x 768. Higher-end cards were from ATI, Diamond or Matrox.

Regarding beeps and noises from your computer, a sound card was required to complete your computing experience. The clear choice was a 16-bit sound card and Creative Labs was the hands-down winner here.  Having a Sound Blaster AWE64 card in your computer meant you had the best of the best.

The most important thing to make sure when choosing a case for everything for your system was to make sure it offered complete upgradability. You had to make sure it was an ATX case for your new Pentium II mainboard. Also that it had at least a couple of bays to add devices of various types like a 3.5 floppy drive or a 100 MEG ZIP drive.

How far the computer experience has come in a short time.

If you would like to submit a question or suggest a topic for future column consideration, please email your question to:

The next meeting of the Vernon PC Users’ Club is Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Schubert Centre. We start off every meeting with a “TANSQ” session. Come see what we’re all about!

Call Betty at 250-542-7024 or Grace at 250-549-4318 for more information.


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