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QOTW: What sparked your interest in PCs?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 28 April 2017, 16:31

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If I think back enough, I was always interested in consoles and games. Showing my age, the Atari 2600 was like mana from the Gods, and playing Asteroids was the epitome of fun.

Yet my real passion for PCs and computing ignited when I saw a friend's uncle build a PC from scratch, handling the AMD 386DX-40 board as if it were gold dust. From there, I was hooked, and started helping building PCs and eventually built my own pride and joy.

And as everyone who reads HEXUS has a keen interest in PCs and computing in general, for this edition of the Question of the Week, we want to know what sparked your interest in PCs?

It could be vague interest, a certain point in time as it was for me, or something altogether different. Whatever the catalyst, we would love to hear about your own spark for PC interest in the comments facility below.

HEXUS Forums :: 57 Comments

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I was about 7 or 8 years old and got sat in front of an old BBC computer, I was amazed that one key could have two different functions, I also had a commodore 64 at home around the same age and used to love playing Dizzy the egg on it, however I had a bit of a hiatus and only really played on Sega/Nintendo systems until I got to a young teenager, it wasn't until I was 13 and we got our first windows machine in the house (P166 CPU and windows 95)that I really got interested in the actual workings of a PC, and then when I was 15 I finally got my own machine and my mother nearly had a heart attack when she came into my room and found me with the PC opened up (I was replacing the video card with a voodoo4, ah memories, I miss you unreal tournament!) - the knowledge of putting hardware together was passed down to me from an older friend I had and I just went from there, researching on the (slow 56k dial up) internet and asking him for help if I got stuck with something.
Circa 1992 I had an Amiga 1200, which I loved (edit - prior to which I'd had ZX Spectrums since about 1983).

But then I remember seeing promo videos for two PC games from Ocean, called TFX (Tactical Fighter Experiment, and Inferno (both used the same engine), and realised how much more impressive PC gaming looked even at that early stage.

Just after that I went to uni and a few guys in my halls had 386 or 486 PC's, and so started playing stuff like Indycar Racing and F1 Grand Prix. VGA PC's were lower res than the Amiga back then, but polygon counts and frame rates were miles better than my Amiga. I realised then I needed a PC, so got my first one around 1993 I think (a 486 DX2/66).

Back then I didn't have a clue, so couldn't understand why my shiny new DX2 performed poorly compared to my friend's. Eventually we twigged that it was because his CPU was Intel, and mine was Cyrix. Still it was fun though, and got me locked into the whole never-ending cycle of upgrading which I still love about PC's (despite the cost). And tinkering with my PC's taught me enough to get my first IT job, back in 2003.
They’re the hate and spite and war against the natural state of humanity. They’re the combined revenge for a billion wedgies delivered over untold millennia. They’re spit in the eye of physical fitness. They’re the Rage of Nerds made manifest on the material plane.

Computers are F' You, that is what they are!
Watching how much fun someone was having playing the original DOOM.
My cousin's ZX80, my ZX81 and, shortly afterwards, the Model Bs at school.