Thinking From the Box

This Old Compaq Sings

Jeff Garrison - 2002.09.09

When I last wrote, I lauded the virtues of a Hewlett-Packard Vectra 25/i that I'd paid all of $5 for. It came from a government surplus sale and came with a 100 MHz OverDrive processor.

The other day I was given a Compaq Deskpro 4/66i - because it had no cover. From a local thrift shop, I found another Compaq that was DOA.

For the princely sum of $1, I took that DOA box home and placed it's cover over my free Compaq computer's frame.

Inside the box is an Intel OverDrive processor. I don't know how I manage to keep finding these CPUs, but it was in the socket of my free box. I added all of 32 MB of RAM to this freebox, a 750 MB hard drive from Maxtor, and a 56k Astec modem.

The sound is built-in, the Compaq business sound setup with a single 3" side-mounted speaker. I loaded Windows 95 and started to play. Total capital outlay, $7.50.

My little town's ISP can only push 28,800 baud to my end of town, so I connected at about 26,800.

The other day, the guy who fills our propane tank asked me about a computer for a friend. I then showed him the Compaq. The first question out of his mouth was, "Are you on DSL?" I had to laugh. Then I showed him the connection speed at which this was happening, and he was amazed.

Bear in mind, he has a Pentium III at home. I couldn't say much, as I felt anything I'd say might be construed as an insult to his much newer $1,200 computer.

He left impressed, and I added another notch in my belt in the war against obsolescence for these older PCs.LEPC


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