I started really getting into computers in 1995-6 (My family had an Apple IIe growing up) and built my first two machines in 1996 - and 886 and 686 (I think that's what they were called, cannot quite remember). They were so big, clunky and heavy beasts. Components were huge then as well. I look back and think how funny it was when 56K modems came out and how fast they were: How fast Telnet/BBS text games ran like fluid on the monochrome monitor!!
In 1998 I bought my first "state of the art" desktop pc that came with everything. It had Windows ME installed and a VGA monitor! Then DSL came out and that was incredible! I remember buying my first Graphics/sound card combo and network card and just marveling at how much smaller the components were compared to when I first started tinkering with machines.
In 2002 I built my first "Frankenstein" machines that of course were not very impressive, but I had Windows 2000 on one and Redhat Linux on the other.
Then in 2003 my life changed with hard times and lost just about everything. It was not until 2008 that I owned a pc again, this time I purchased a $1000 Laptop pc: Toshiba Satellite that was practically state of the art then. I marveled at the fingerprint reader, SD card reader, and built-in WiFi. It had an S-Video connection and was amazed I could connect to a monster flatscreen TV (remember those cumbersome floor to ceiling units!) I took care of that baby until 2016 when the heating coil gave out. I attempted to fix it myself, carefully researching DIY tutorials, but it was difficult to find the components. I just could not believe how customizable the Toshiba laptops are compared to an HP. Unfortunately it came down to a myriad of problems that included the motherboard being fried. After spending $300 dollars, I put it aside for awhile. I found out my technologically inept partner had disposed of the laptop (which was in pieces in a box) because he thought it was garbage.
I did build another Frankenstein basic pc from a tower I got for free from a call center that was barebones. It was subpar, but worked.
I had just bought my first pre-built gaming computer (at least that is what it was advertised as) in December of 2017, an HP Pavillion Power Desktop 580-023W priced at $499 but got an employee holiday discount for it at $349. It's connected to an old 32" Sanyo HDTV (2002 model) and I just can't believe how terrible it is to use TVs as a display. The computer the greatest asset in my home right now. The only thing I hate about the machine is the size of the tower chassis (can barely move around inside) and cannot really upgrade the PSU at the moment.) I had bought a PSU 600W bronze (?), but after installing it, the DVD drive would not work only to find out the stock PSU has a power connection to it that the 600W unit I have doesn't. Proprietary?
Everything I've learned about computers was self taught. I wanted to try my hand at becoming a computer tech, but I am so terrible at math I gave up on that. Programming seems to be a better bet.
Edited by Aerios_Discordiae, 24 June 2018 - 02:19 PM.