1977 Tandy Model I, with 4K of RAM, and cassette tape filing system. Later upgraded to 16K of RAM. (Eventually sold)
1983 Acorn BBC Model B, with 32 K of RAM, and cassette tape filing system. Later upgraded to two 5.25 inch floppy disc drives, each of 800 K capacity. (Eventually given to a brother).
1986 Acorn BBC Master 128, with 128K of RAM, and two 5.25 inch floppy disc drives. Later upgraded to a hard disc drive of 10 MB capacity.
1986 Acorn BBC Master 512. This was the Master 128 above, with 128K of RAM accessible to the Acorn MOS, with a plug-in 80186 co-processor and 512 K of RAM, for running DOS software. Later upgraded to 1024 K of RAM of which 768 K was accessible to DOS.
1986 Acorn BBC Master Compact, with 128K of RAM, and one 3.5 inch floppy disc drive. Later upgraded with an additional 5.25 inch floppy disc drive. (Eventually given to a nephew).
1987 Acorn Archimedes 310, with 1 MB of RAM, and one floppy disc drive of 800 K capacity. Later upgraded to 4 MB of RAM and a hard disc drive. (Eventually lent to a nephew, and since returned).
1988 Acorn Archimedes 440, with 4 MB of RAM and a 40 MB hard disc drive. Later upgraded to an ARM3 processor, and a PC card with 4 MB of dedicated RAM and a faster and larger hard disc drive. (Eventually lent to a nephew).
198? Acorn Archimedes 3000, with 1 MB of RAM and one floppy disc drive of 800 K. Later upgraded to an ARM3 processor, 4 MB of RAM, and a 2.5 inch hard drive of 40 MB capacity.
199? Acorn Archimedes 540, with and ARM3 processor, 4 MB of RAM, and a hard disc drive. Later upgraded to 8 MB of RAM, and a faster hard disc drive, of 100 MB capacity. Since upgraded to a fast hard drive of 500 MB capacity.
All the above Acorn machines have been replaced by the Risc PC (see below), and put into storage.
1993 Acorn PC, with an ARM 610 processor of 30 MHz, 16 + 2 MB of
RAM, and a hard disc drive of 240 MB capacity. Soon upgraded with an
additional larger and faster hard disc drive of 500 MB capacity.
Later upgraded to an ARM 710 processor of 40 MHz, and an additional
fast hard drive of first 1000 MB, then 2000 MB capacity, plus a
Panasonic PD drive, for reading CD-ROMs and for backing up onto PD
rewritable discs. Since upgraded to a StrongARM 110 processor of 200
MHz, with 32 + 2 of RAM, and a total hard disc capacity of about 5400
MB. The four expansion cards include a SCSI interface for the fast
hard drive and the PD drive (and which can also access a flatbed
scanner), a handheld scanner interface, a video and audio digitiser,
and a direct drive interface for a laser printer. The machine is also
fitted with a 486/100 co-processor, for running Microsoft Windows 95,
and Windows application software. In September 1999, I installed RISC
OS 4 on a new hard disc of 8GB (replacing the previous three
drives). This allowed me to re-organise all my applications and data
files in one logical space.
1999 Packard Bell Club 40 PC. This was bought new to able running Windows applications larger and faster than was possible on the 486/100 coprocessor of the Risc PC. It comprised a desktop case, with a Cyrix processor of 225 MHz, 32 MB of RAM, a 32x CD-ROM drive and a hard disc of 3 GB, with Windows 98 First Edition. It was soon upgraded to an AMD K6-2 processor of 338 MHz, 160 MB of RAM, a hard disc of 17 GB (for Windows 98 software), with a second hard disc of 8 GB (for Linux software). An Epson Stylus Color 740 printer was connected to the parallel port, and a Brother HL-1270N Postscript Laser printer to a second parallel port card. Two USB ports allowed access to a flatbed scanner and a digital camera.
After the virus infestation in November 2002, which necessitated reformatting of the hard drive, it would not accept installation of Windows 98 SE, which was required for running the Microlink Windmill data logging software, (but only Windows 98 FE, with which it had been supplied). It was therefore swapped for the Unisys system (see below).
1999 Compaq Prolinea system. I obtained this in exchange for a 17 inch monitor. It comprised a tower case, with an Intel Socket 5 processor, 16 MB of RAM, a 1.5 GB hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive. I added another 16 MB of RAM, and bought and installed a copy of Windows 98 SE. This machine was dedicated to running the Microlink Windmill data logging software, and collecting data from the heating system each minute, starting a new file every midnight. After the virus infestation in November 2002, which necessitated reformatting of the hard drive, this would not accept reinstallation of Windows 98 SE, and was scrapped.
Up to about October 2002, the machines were connected via Ethernet peer-to-peer networking using Co-Ax cables. The BNC connectors were not very reliable, and this is limited to 10 Mbit/s. I therefore upgraded to a D-Link switch, with reliable RJ45 connectors and UTP Cat5e cables, which supported 10 or 100 Mbit/s, depending on the network adaptor. The Unisys had an onboard adaptor of 10 Mbit/s, while the Carrera had one of 100 Mbit/s, as had the Brother printer. I fitted a Network Interface Card of 100 Mbit/s to the Watford machine.
2002 Unisys system. This was obtained in exchange for the Packard Bell PC. It comprised an Intel processor, 32 MB of RAM, a 3 GB hard drive, and no CD-ROM drive. However, by temporarily attaching a CD-ROM drive, Windows 98 SE was installed. After installing the Microlink Windmill data logging software (which is supplied on two floppy discs), this was dedicated to collecting data from the heating system each minute, starting a new file every midnight.
2002 Carrera SSC system. This was bought new to provide about three times the speed of the Packard Bell PC. It comprised a tower case, with an AMD 1500+ Athlon processor, 128 MB of PC 100 RAM, a 40 GB hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive, with a copy of Windows 98 SE. I used my existing monitor, keyboard, and mouse. After the virus infestation in November 2002, SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional was installed, with a firewall, and it was used for all email and some web access, and as a gateway to the Internet connection via the dialup modem. The Brother HL-1270N PostScript Laser printer was accessible via the network.
2002 Watford Aries Performa 300 lite system. This was bought new and comprised a tower case, with an AMD Athlon 2000 XP processor, 256 MB of PC 133 RAM, accessed at Double Data Rate, a 40 GB hard drive, and a DVD ROM drive. I used my existing monitor, keyboard, mouse, and copy of Windows 98 SE. I connected the Canon BJC 620 inkjet printer to the parallel port, while the Brother HL-1270N PostScript Laser printer was accessible via the network.
2002 Iridium Starbook 505. This comprised an Intel Celeron 1300 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 20 MB hard drive, and a CD-ROM drive, with a copy of Windows 98 SE. This was bought for making presentations, and carrying the reference files.
199? Acorn PocketBook II (ie a Psion Series 3a) with an x86 processor of 7.68 MHz, and 2 MB of RAM (for additional programs and storage).
1997 Psion Series 5, with an ARM 7100 processor of 18 MHz, and 8 MB of RAM (for additional programs and storage). Later upgraded with 16 MB of Compact Flash, for additional storage. Experiences with my Psion Series 5.
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