Check out the Original Dream Machine!



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Like the article says.... Oldie but Goodie.

I remember getting a hand me down XT and opening it up, wonking with it and getting WordPerfect 6.0 to run on it... once I gutted the spelling checker and many other pieces from the software.

And yes SCSI was the "way to go" for speed and storage...  but Oh God the price.

And you can imagine the NT machines running two SCSI's in mirror raid, with an extra one on the shelf, just in case...

But then again I was 35 years old getting that XT in the 1990  My boss felt sorry for me and got me a 386-16 back then, Compaq machine...

So I am older than Boot, or CD-ROM.. or just about dirt...  When 1 meg of RAM cost 150 bucks because the factory that made the shellac for the chips had a fire....

Those were the days...

Since then I've been on again and off again the boss, making big purchases and running complicated IT projects.... And I built several machines, the last a few years ago 9550 Intel Vista 64 bit and 4.5 Terabytes of storage on 8 Gig RAM..9800 GTX Video.. 750 Watt PS.. Multi-card reader and COSMOS case.. Really sweet case....  Based on a Dream Machine article.. With a few upticks in areas I could shovel some extra bucks….

You guys give the VERY best advice.

For fun, you guys should post an article showing the relative performance power of all the last three years CPU chips side by side in increasing performance.  I bet there will be some eyes opened there… Like where the 9550 Quad stacks against a mid priced 7 or 5 series Intel chip.






Along with a used keyboard.




Can it run Crysis?



Why does every one ask that? Of cource it can play crisis (on a 16x10 pixel screen that is)



....Trying to run it on a x86 16bit processor.


Those early CD drives were 1x you know.

I am LOL on what the frame rate might be...  it would take the whole of the machine just to paint a 480 x 386 screen like I have on my cell phone.



I still have a honkin 386, 25MHz with a "Turbo" Button and a green lcd that makes it 33MHz when pressed (It also roars a bit, like a revving engine!), 8MB ram, 50MB hdd. 5.25" floppy, no cd-rom, no soundcard. Video is 256 color max, serial mouse and AT keyboard.

 The inside is pretty scary, clean but scary. Dark green pcb with ancient looking chips, as well as a massive power supply (about a quarter of the case) with a huge red switch on the side.

Always thinking of throwing it out, but it still runs fine and might be worth something someday :P



Go back another 15-18 years and I remember working all summer ('78) for the Mod III TRS 80. Base cost $980 (1977), $350('89) for a single sided 5.25" floppy (90k). All for a 8 bit Z-80 (2.0 MHz) maxed out at 4.0 MHz('80). But it was good for BASIC/FORTRAN/Pascal-80/Pascal-UCSD/COBOL/ and Assembly. Times have changed...



I forgot how expensive monitors were back in the day.  My first computer was handed to me with the command, "Go throw this in the dumpster."  I ... simply ... could not ... bring myself ... to obey my sensai's command.

I kept it. I fixed it.

I still could not afford a decent monitor.  So I got the Canadian made Darius "Arc Welder".  It cost $450 dollars (dealer cost).  I may have even got a trident or oak vga card for free.  I don't remember.  The Darius was actually much more than I could afford, had a dot pitch of something like .41 and made everybody's eyes burn after staring at it for two hours. 


Hence forth, the system I built (or salvaged/recycled) was forever known as the "Arc Welder".





and much easier to carry around too


I loved the name Boot -- too bad they had to change it.



Why did they change the name from boot?



Wow... this sure brings back some good memories.  I think I still have the same BOOT magazine stashed somewhere!


Keith E. Whisman

OK hey everyone I'm back... I built a time machine and went back in time to 2007. What in the world happened to President McCain?



He had a heart attack 3 months into his term, and left us with President Palin.  She somehow managed to destroy the world in a gigantic nuclear time paradox within 2 days, resetting time back to 2008.  This time, Obama won the election.



The truly sad thing about this article is that my "CURRENT" machine isn't too much better than this!!!!  Ugh!

My "new" build has been underway for the past three years and is already four years out of date!

I wouldn't trade my family for a new computer at any price.  Renting them out for a short term though......

Thanks for the look back in time!  Keep up the great work!



I love the cover - "200MHz Monster systems with onboard 3D!"



I'm shocked at how expensive that hard drive was. 2.1GB (I looked this up too) for $700? And I thought spending $500 on a graphics card was bad! And $700 in hard drives will net you about 8960GB of space, or roughly 4266 times what you could've bought in 1996.

I know it's a SCSI drive, but still.



I don't remember its model so I can't look it up, but a few years ago I got a really old ProLiant server that had quad Pentium Pro 133MHz CPUs, 512MB EDO RAM and a SCSI RAID of three 4.3GB Barracudas. Does anyone know how old it probably was and how much it would have been? I don't think it was too new, because if Pentium IIs had come out I don't see the point of using original Pentiums with half the speed.


Keith E. Whisman

Ahh the era of the Pentium Pro. That CPU came out back in 1995. You could only run it with Windows NT as it didn't support 16bit code at all. The Pentium Pros were actually meant for work stations and servers and the like. Gamers were blessed with the "supperior" Pentium MMX processors. 

So your computer is around 15years old and it was a very expensive machine back then. The SCSI Seagate Barracudas were the fastest hard drives on the planet back then and some of the most expensive. In 1995 most people had 500MB hard drives as the 1GB hard drives were just starting to trickle out. Also I remember there was a limit on hard drive size of around 500mb. MS wouldn't partition any more than that. But new technologies came into existence that eliminated that problem. Now there is a 2.1Tb limit... Have we come full circle? 



I totally forgot about Zip Drives.  They enjoyed what, a two year lifespan?  I remember my first computer had one because everyone else had one but they got quickly overshadowed by CD burners.  Ah, the memories :)



While I understand the change from Boot to Maximum PC, I still believe that how Boot was setup was better than how things currently are in Maximum PC.  But back on topic, it's amazing how much advanced the entire PC industry has grown in such a short amount of time.  Makes you wonder why the automobile industry has done so little, over the last (almost) hundred years, eh?


Fecal Face

If this was a dream machine back then, what are we going to have 15-20 years from now?

In 20 years, it will probably change from buying 1TB hard drives, to 1PB (Petabyte) hard drives. Or maybe everything will be solid state? Who knows...



Thanks for posting this!

I remember my faithful P90, dreaming of getting a CD-ROM drive.  2X baby!

I feel old remembering all that old hardware, and my old AWE 32 (that was a great card).



My first PC had a 40MB hard drive.  A friend said, "40MB!!!  You'll never fill that!".



I used to always read CD-Rom Today and was excited about the first issue of Boot!  To me the ment no more MAC crap.

Looking back at this artical I got a kick out of the statement "get a case with dual fans".  I find that funny as the compiter I am using now has 5, all but one of them are 120mm, the other is 200mm.


vikojhons (not verified)

Thanks again for a very well written post, I thought I would leave some positive feedback as this blog has me coming back time and time again, many thanks from the UK and keep up the good work.
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What if, say, the $647 gaming PC fell through a rift in time and ended up in 1996? A matchup between this Dream Machine and the $647 PC would be hilarious. Even better, what if, instead of the $647 PC, one of those $9000 Maingear/Falcon Northwest/Digital Storm/etc. monsters?



Instead of the $647 pc, how about the Dave Murphy $500 Hobo Special?



Wonder what kinda parts we'll have in 2020 -- SkyNet is born....



HA! I still have 2 ISA Soundblaster AWE 32 somewhere. 

I used to use them to have 4 line ins to record multi-track audio with Cool Edit

Now I use a 16 in Tascam USB pre amp :) which is probably cheaper than the launch price of 2 AWE32



You oldies had it good back in the day! ;)



"Boot recomendation; 200mhz Pentium; $495" 


Now, im running an OC'd athlon ii x4 620 at 3.5Ghz which i got for $90.

Damn, technology really grows outdated FAST.



haha wow, I forgot about EDO RAM and the P 233MHz CPU.  That is the first rig I remember having... back in 5th grade



"Mike Brown, the only current staff member who was also around back then." I take umbrage to this  statement -- and therefore this article. I was a columnist for boot from Issue 0 -- and the image in this story is of Issue 1!



Jon was here too!



Just a quick glance, but I didn't see the price of Windows 95.



24 MB hits the "sweet spot", man, computing has changed so much in so little time.



"ahh those sweet days of xfiles, duke nukem & bill in the white house, life was good!" Now I didn't notice what OS was being used, I imagined it was W95, but some say only WNT. I had a winbook that sported a 1.3 GB drive, it was huge at the time. Like Ray Kurzweil's predictions, it's all pointing to the Singularity. As we have witnessed, Moore's Law has been doubling in most area's every 12 to 14 months and it shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

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