Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 6th Nov 2017 15:25 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

There really is no rational reason to restore a late 90s NEC-manufactured Packard Bell computer. Which is exactly why I'm doing it. Join me in getting this unloved machine back to factory fresh condition!

LGR is one of the best and most entertaining technology channels on YouTube, and his latest video from today hits home particularly hard, since these kinds of crappy, low-budget late '90s PCs defined my early teens. Nobody in my family, town, or school had Macs or other types of computers - it was all PC, as cheap as possible, fully embracing the race to the bottom which for many people still defines the PC today.

It's good to see that there are people willing to preserve these otherwise forgettable machines for posterity. They may objectively suck, but they did make computing accessible to an incredibly wide audience, and they served an important role in the history of computing.

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386sx
by cjcox on Wed 8th Nov 2017 18:49 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

Many years ago (7,8,9?) I attempted "resurrection" on a Packard Bell with a 386sx cpu. After populating the very expensive cache memory chips, I was able to upgrade the system to 2MB (the max). Armed with it's Oak graphics at a stellar 800x600 (what was it, like 16 colors?) and with an overclocked CPU, I could barely manage a Mosaic browser (but it was painful)... oh.. and of course I had to add an ISA bus 10Mbit ethernet to the machine as well.

$800+ USD later, it was interesting learning experience (I learned not to do this ever again).

With that said, as a text based Linux host, it was ok, and was ok for text based browsers (like lynx).

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