This computer is never obsolete


My college roommate had one of those. He kept the sticker on it because it was pretty clearly obsolete when it was new.

In its dank carcass resided dark spirits. And we referred to it as THE E-machine in tones usually reserved for the eldrich places where the polite rused to tread.

Also there was lots of porn on there, and noone seemed to know where it was coming from.


Never obsolete. Unless you are an MCI/UUNET™ customer.

1 Like

A friend of mine’s father is some sort of cryo scientist. He swears by BBC model B’s for measuring his experiments. Never discount ancient hardware (if anyone has an Archimedes and/or an A4000 taking up space, they have a home here…).

1 Like

Upgrading to the newest machine every 2 years for $99 sounds pretty awesome.


The fine print:

Special eMachines™ Upgrade for $99 to eMachines™Network Members Only

Subscribe to the eMachines™ Network for 24 consecutive months and we’ll upgrade your eMachines™ for only $99 (plus shipping)!

Here’s how it works: If you live in the contiguous U.S. or Canada, we’ll contact you after you’ve subscribed to The eMachines™ Network for 24 months and offer to upgrade your eMachines™ PC to whatever processor technology is built into whatever eMachines™ PC you can buy at the time of the upgrade for whatever you paid for your original machine. For example, let’s say your eTower* PC was priced at $399 (not including promotional discount) and runs a 366 MHz processor, but at the time of the upgrade $399 would buy an 800MHz eTower. We’ll upgrade your eTower* to 800MHz.

All you have to do is ship us your PC within 90 days, plus $99 (or Canadian equivalent), proof of purchase and payment for return shipping. We’ll promptly upgrade it and return it. Note: you’ll have to back-up your data to avoid accidental loss, and use the original packaging (we have replacement packaging available).
See more detailed information


A friend has an old pick-and-place that runs off OS/2 Warp!!! He updates the parts database with a 5.25" floppy!


There are still functional 5.25" floppy drives? Hell, there are still functional 5.25" floppies? Those haven’t been made for like 20 years, and they do wear out.

I mean even my 3.5" 1.44MiB floppies would die in a few months. What makes the 5.25" floppies last so long?


I have no idea but I’ll ask him next time I see him. He keeps the db on the hard drive so the floppies don’t get used every day. But i/o to the hd is not network; it’s sneakernet. Maybe he has a secret stash of blank media.


How else are you going to read your floppies?


I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be so sure. Don’t forget that they weren’t only used in conventional PCs. Some devices like scientific instruments have much longer lives.


If you don’t use them all the time and protect them from heat and moisture, they’ll probably last a while.


Windows CE, ME, NT.



afaik first published on Geocities - another “never obsolete” thingy


Well, it could run Arch Linux, in theory…


Not quite sure, the processor (Looks like requires the CMOV instruction in order to be a 686 class processor as required by Arch Linux, otherwise it would be a 586 which would require a 386 distribution, but still, there are plenty of those, like Debian or the BSDs.

CMOV was introduced with the Pentium Pro architecture, but to be completely sure if it is supported, I would rely on checking the CPUID of the processor itself. :blush:

Also, recently a secondary restriction/requirement even for a 686 distribution, is to support SSE2 instructions, due that many third party or binary blob closed source components require that instruction set. In this case, it definitely doesn’t support SSE2. :cry:

I had that hobby of taking olds machines and put those to run with a Unix distro just for fun, usually NetBSD for somewhat old machines (486 with 66Mhz and 8MB RAM), which were kind of the first I had ever used, never went to anything older than a 486. I even went to eBay to get the maximum amount of RAM for a specific motherboard, sometimes it was just 4 sticks of 1MB.

This e-machine would run any legacy Unix very happy, just add an Ethernet adapter and you would have a nice little server for telnet access or static web pages.


486!? Luxury!!

But really I didn’t know about that instruction. I have fond memories of building quite old machines, when you had to get drivers either from friends or USPS.


How long til the cost of its power consumption outstrips the hardware cost savings vs. buying something newer, equally capable, and more efficient?

The 5.25" floppies for my Apple ][c still work - I still pull it out sometimes (once a year) to show the kids stuff. They think it’s cool.

I have some 3.5" floppies too (mac and pc) but I never have need to use them since everything on them got migrated to a hard drive or cdrom.

About that e-machine, though, am I the only one that pulls the stickers off a computer as soon as I have it?


Still though, I distinctly remember back in elementary and middle school we used 3.5" floppies and they’d go bad in a matter of weeks or months. Maybe the school was in a weird magnetic vortex, maybe we only got the cheapest crappiest floppies.

I’m leaning towards magnetic vortex, since a few years later my thumbdrives went bad at about the same rate as the floppies in that building.