I found a magazine from August of 1997. The inside back cover was an advertisement from Micron. Here was the top-of-the-line machine:

  • Intel 266MHz Pentium II (features MMX technology)
  • 32MB EDO RAM
  • 4GB IDE hard drive
  • 19" Hitachi SuperScan CM751 (18" display)
  • Monster 3D graphics card with 4MB memory
  • 3.5" floppy drive
  • 100Mb Iomega Zip drive
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • AWE 64 sound card
  • Speakers, MS Sidewinder Pro joystick, Windows 95, Office 97, etc.

Total price: $4,199.

Don't even ask about the notebooks in the ad.

Amazing. 5-6 years later and CPUs are 10 times faster, we're using 8-16 times the RAM, and our disks are 10-80 times larger. Oh, and not only is everything today that much better, it's probably half the price.

Posted by jzawodn at May 29, 2003 11:34 AM

Reader Comments
# tfr said:

But where are the 38" monitors? :)

on May 29, 2003 11:42 AM
# brandt said:

i remember how impressed we all were back in 95 or 96 when you traded a laptop for 1 GB of disk space. so much for that...

on May 29, 2003 12:41 PM
# Jim O'Halloran said:

Wow, the specs on that are better than my home machine (which I also bought in 1997). About time I upgraded methinks.

on May 29, 2003 06:50 PM
# Anders said:

Interestingly, the above PC with Linux/FreeBSD/etc will still be a great machine (maybe add some RAM...) for running a webserver / all sorts of web-applications, while I suspect you can't even fit Windows XP on there at all...?

on May 30, 2003 05:13 AM
# Arcterex said:

Wow, that sort of hardware (minus the dvd and monitor) are the sort of thing I have in my closet and will give away to friends or throw together a little server out of. It's sad/scary that that hardware is worth approximately $0 to me right now, or less if I have too much of it and it's taking up too much room.

Of course, I also still have my p133 system which ran my website for about 5 years, and an old 486 mb in my collection of computer bits "just in case". I think it might be time to throw out anything that doesn't have an ATX connector on it....

on May 30, 2003 09:24 AM
# Andrew said:

There are things which have not gotten better:

Computers today tend to be louder and consume more power.

Computers today tend to be less reliable (but it's a relative bargain to replace components), especially in the consumer arena.

Computers today are ugly as sin, because they all badly copy Apple design cues.

on June 4, 2003 07:16 PM
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