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Back In Time


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

raymac46

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 10:14 AM

Come hop into the Time Machine with me and we'll go back in time to May 2005.
Facebook was a year old. YouTube had just been launched. The iPhone- say what? Netflix was a video rental company.
I had just retired. My wife was still working. We had not yet moved to our new digs near Ottawa.
My daughter was a newlywed. No grandkids in the picture. They lived in an apartment in downtown Ottawa. But their old Dell Dimension 4100 was giving them problems.
So they splurged and bought a top of the line Dell Dimension 8400 system. That is the one they have handed over to me today. It was leading edge back in 2005 - so what does it look like in 2017?
  • The Case - a tank. Built in Texas, the desktop features one of those Dell clamshell tool free cases. To open it you lay it on its side push a button on the top and bottom and pry it open. It is a ton of plastic and steel and it doesn't quite close the way it should now. It weighs about 25 lbs and is bulky to boot.
  • Processor - from the golden age of 32 bits an Intel P4 540. Hyperthreaded, fast and hot, Hot, HOT.
  • Cooling - aside from the CPU and power supply fans not much. The video card has a small fan too. The CPU fan sounds like a 707 taking off when it boots and doesn't quiet down much.
  • Motherboard - pretty decent even today - features SATA 1 and PCIe 16. Peripherals are mostly discrete though.
  • Power supply - 400 watt Dell proprietary design. Does the job but don't expect to put a GTX 1080 in the box.
  • Storage - 160 GB 7200 mechanical drive on SATA, CD-RW and DVD-RW on IDE.
  • RAM - DDR2 - came with 1 GB now has 3 GB.
  • Audio - Sound Blaster Audigy discrete. Remember those?
  • Video - Radeon X300SE - PCIe and 128 MB of VRAM (Wowee!)
  • Speakers - nice Dell 2:1 system.
  • Keyboard and mouse - USB cable.
  • Ethernet - 10/100 - totally obsolete so I put in a Gigabit PCI card for them.
  • Wifi - you're kidding, right? There's plenty of USB 2.0 ports for a dongle though.
  • O/S - Windows XP which is totally dead today. Maybe you could get this beast to run Windows 7 but it would be like a netbook. Linux is your friend with a lightweight distro like MX-16.
TL:DR - This is the trailing edge of the trailing edge today. It is an interesting archaeological find as it has some technology that is still in use today and some that is hopelessly obsolete. You could use it for basic tasks with Linux if you can take the noise. Nobody would ever mistake it for a tablet or smartphone. :harhar:
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#2 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 08:22 PM

Ah... 2005. That was a good year for me.

Not many of the 12 since have been anything to write home about. :(




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