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Category:Science & Technology, Educational
Tags:computer, 90s, junk, Packard Bell, why I couldnt play Doom
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Comment count is 17
hammsangwich - 2014-01-14
I think I had this exact computer. It slowly degraded in usability and performance so much so that my dad took it back to Best Buy like 4 months later and they let him exchange it for a Compaq all in one. That thing was a champ.
SteamPoweredKleenex - 2014-01-14
A woman in tech support where I used to work bought those from Best Buy knowing they'd break down. She got the extended warranties (before they became one-use things) and would get a practically new PC every couple of months with faster hardware and just swapped out the drives.

Packard-Bell also bucked the system by releasing model numbers that made no sense. I still don't know what a "300 SX" was.

Old_Zircon - 2014-01-14
We had the 386 with a Boom Board soundblaster clone that worked sometimes.

Nikon - 2014-01-14
SX = SuX

Old_Zircon - 2014-01-15
The Packard Bell was useful for a couple years; the old Leading Edge 286 my dad gave me when he got the Packard Bell was still good for some things (WORDSTAR!) well in to the Pentium 1 era, when the third party EGA card failed.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2014-01-15
Why did it degrade in usability and performance? Was that not just the OS filling up with more crap?
That still happens with contemporary OSes. Its good practice to reimage your PC every year at least.

Old_Zircon - 2014-01-15
We didn't have no stinking windows on there, this was pure DOS, no hard drive.

It didn't degrade so much as it sucked from the start, was obsolete in a year, and was built with a proprietary L shaped motherboard so you could only upgrade it an with OEM motherboard (which they stopped using when the 486 came out from the look of it, so I guess you couldn't even do that). My parents stretched it out longer than they should have and then got a Pentium 100.

Boomer The Dog - 2014-01-14
My mom's first computer was a Packard Bell Legend 10-CD with Windows 95. I think it had the SX-something processor, that I upgraded to DX2-100 as I recall.

Memory was upgraded, as well as the HD. She got a good one, hers kept working.

My idea is it could be the leaky battery that made his fail in the end. I would have snipped that battery out and cleaned off the corrosion with toothbrush and alcohol, then blasted with air to dry, before turning it on. Corrosion stuff on the board can be conductive, then power through the board can cause a short or open, especially high current, high frequency traces.

EnochEmery - 2014-01-14
I still have my Packard-Bell. It's propping up the broken slat under my futon bed. It's very good for that purpose.
Nominal - 2014-01-14
Was there any reason to ever turn off the turbo button on those things?
Grandmaster Funk - 2014-01-15
Most old turbo buttons slowed the computer down, to let them run really old games that didn't regulate their own timing and relied on the delay of chugging through the executable itself to give the game its timing. Thus when those games were run on faster systems, they would be lightning fast and unplayable.

Confusingly, different computers for different manufacturers differed on whether "off" or "on" meant the computer was being slowed down. My old 386 had a digital display with Mhz so you could tell easily. On that one, turbo "on" meant the computer was being slowed down. Go figure.

So basically you'd use it any time you needed to slow down your computer, which seems like an odd thing today, but at the time, not all software took processor speed into account.

BorrowedSolution - 2014-01-14
StanleyPain - 2014-01-15
The gem of this is the bizarre document he pulls up in MS Word. Seriously, pause the video and read through some of that shit. What the fuck...
Old_Zircon - 2014-01-15
I was going to submit it anyway, but when that happened that became the reason.

Scrotum H. Vainglorious - 2014-01-15
"why I couldn't play Doom"

I know the feeling of missing out on genre defining tittles like that because your family had a shitty PC.
Old_Zircon - 2014-01-15
We would play it at the drummer's house for a few hours after band practice but he hogged it. By the time I could actually play it at home, quake was only a year or so away.

Jet Bin Fever - 2014-01-19
I remember upgrading from a 486 to a Pentium 90 and thinking I could do ANYTHING with that computer. Sad memories.
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