I got my first computer on my 11th birthday, and I still have it today. It is a Dell Dimension 5150C with a 2.8GHz Intel Pentium D and 1GB of DDR2 RAM. It originally had a 160GB hard drive and ran Windows XP, although it has since been upgraded to 500GB and now runs Ubuntu. Back in 2006, I thought it was the best computer ever built.
I had just arrived home from school and my friends were hanging out in my bedroom. It was a 90 minute bus journey home back then, so if my friends were coming to my house, they’d probably get there before me. Anyway, I went up to my bedroom and saw a computer on my desk. This was such a surprise that I had to go downstairs to confirm with my mum if the computer was actually mine.
I was not allowed to turn my computer on straight away, because all my friends were here. They would all want a go too, and one of them would break it. I enjoyed this birthday party. It was one of the best I’d had. I got a pet hamster from my brother, and I had a home made SpongeBob SquarePants birthday cake (my favourite cartoon back then). Still, part of me wanted everyone to piss off so I could try out my new computer.
When everyone left, I turned my computer on to try it out. I had played with computers at my school, so I already knew a few things. I could maximise and minimise windows. I quickly figured out how to change the desktop wallpaper. The two problems I had with the computer at the time were the lack of Microsoft Office and it crashing when I tried to play a DVD.
A few days after I got my computer, my mum got a internet connection installed. I didn’t realise this at the time, but having a computer is basically useless if you don’t have Internet access. Sure, I could play Pinball, and I figured out the trick to getting DVDs to work, but I didn’t have access to YouTube or the wealth of SpongeBob content available online.
After a few months of having this computer, it started having problems. Every time I opened the Internet browser, it would crash. I was using Internet Explorer 6 at the time, because I didn’t know about Mozilla Firefox. From then on, I accessed the Internet by opening Windows Explorer and typing an Internet URL in the address bar. I don’t know why, but that worked.
After lessthan two years of having my computer, it had more problems. The anti-virus software that came preinstalled on the computer somehow disabled internet connectivity. It was asking for some password, and the password reset question was “What was the make of your first car?” I didn’t know how to fix the problem back then, so I had to live without internet access until we had the money for a new computer.
A few months after I got a new laptop, one of the people I subscribe to on YouTube posted a video about how to fix different computer problems that can cause a blue screen of death. One of the tricks he mentioned included a way to disable all the third party startup applications. I tried that trick on my old Dell and it worked.
As I said, I still have this computer today. It is currently being used as a server for some of my movies and TV shows. With only 1GB of RAM and the outdated CPU, I don’t think it could easily be used as someone’s primary computer. However, when I want to watch South Park on my Mac without being tethered to an external hard drive, the old Dell is a great machine for fulfilling its purpose.
Saturday 14th September 2013 - 2 comments