Don Hosek - Chronological list of my computers and printers
A note of preface

My computing days go back to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1980ish if not earlier. Back in those days, the key machines were the Apple ][ and TRS-80. Initially I started out writing programs for the TRS-80 (in longhand!) then going to the local Radio Shack and typing them in (while standing up) to see if they worked, and if not what I had to do to make them work.

I'm guessing that it was spring of 1980 that my grade school got its first Apple ][, and I would stay after school every day as long as the teachers were willing to stay while I would sit at an Apple ][+ typing in code (which, as usual, was written longhand) to teach myself the basics of AppleSoft Basic.

Eventually the Apple ][s were supplanted by the Apple //e which featured such novelties as a full ASCII keyboard (UPPER and lower case letters!) and 80-column text displays. I taught my self 6502 assembly language, but since I didn't have the money to buy an Assembler for the Apple, I wrote my code out in longhand (what was I, some sort of masochist?) on graph paper, leaving columns to go back and write in the hex values of the machine code. Yes, I hand-assembled my programs and entered the programs into the computer in hex. I had a few experiences with Pascal, but it was difficult to get satisfactory results with Pascal on the Apple systems of that era.

It wasn't until I was almost out of high school, that I had my first encounters with time-sharing systems (IIT's VAX/VMS network and UIC's IBM VM/CMS mainframe). I learned C, finally wrote some real Pascal programs, even 370 assembler. These two platforms were my main computing arena through college (with occasional forays into the evolving MS-DOS and Mac worlds). And thus ends the preamble to my history of computer ownership.

The computers

My computers are all named after Popes. It won't be until I reach my 24th computer that I have to decide whether to stick with only Pope Whoever-the-first names, or if I'll call that machine XystusII. I think the former as that will likely cover me for computer purchases for life.

  1. unnamed There was one computer that predated my popes line and was never named. Back in the early 80s my cousin got me a Spectravideo 318 in exchange for my writing some little demo programs for the midwest distributor. The most impressive of these was an easy-to-beat Othello game. I spent a lot of time trying to reverse-engineer this system, and wrote a Z80A disassembler as one step to trying to figure out its innards, not to mention spending a lot of time peeking and poking at the ram to see what I could turn up (I found where the display characters were held in RAM so one useful program was one which replaced the relatively useless graphics alternate characters with accented letters so I could do German drills on the computer) (1985-1986).
    Courtesy of google, I've discovered the earliest archived internet message from me, which happens to discuss this system.
  2. Peter 33Mhz 386 "Lunchbox" transportable. I bought this coming out of college with the idea that it would be a good compromise between a laptop and a desk top. It ran DOS 3.3, 5.0, DESQview and Windows 3.0. I sold it to a Harvey Mudd student who was going to Europe and wanted a transportable machine (1990-1993).
  3. Linus Amiga 500. At the time, this was a hot computer. I picked it up used and relatively cheaply, but never did anything more significant than play "Pirates" on it. I sold it to some guy in North Carolina who was putting together an Amiga lab (1991=1996).
  4. Anacletus 33Mhz 486 Frankenstein desktop. My first venture into building my own systems. This truly was a frankenstein system: No two components in this thing were bought from the same vendor. I ran OS/2 on this box. Thrown out after a move (1993-1997).
  5. Clement 33Mhz 386SX laptop. Another OS/2 machine. It had a modular design where one or both batteries could be replaced with different peripherals (I had a SCSI block, and a fax/modem). I sold it to a neighbor for $100 (1994-1996).
  6. Evaristus PowerMac 8500. My first Mac. Top of the line when I first bought it, I've recently retired it. I seem to have lost it (1996-2001).
  7. Alexander Dual Pentium 166MMX system. I gave up on OS/2 and went to NT with this machine. It's on the floor in the office waiting to be resurrected as a FreeBSD machineI threw it away realizing it had no value left (1997-2000).
  8. Xystus Athlon Thunderbird 950MHz. Thence to Win2K. A bit more of a monster system with 512M of RAM and a 20G HDD. However, it's been quite problematic, with the built-in ports being rather flakey and the system locking up with almost any multimedia use (2000-2002).
  9. Telesphorus G4 tower with 733MHz processor, running OS9/OSX. This is by far faster than Xystus and much more of a pleasure to use. As soon as I find the install CD for DAVE, this will become even more of my primary machine (2001-).
  10. Hyginus A Mac Plus. Bought on a lark at the end of 2001 as a bit of antique computing machinery. I may just turn around and sell it again (2002-).
  11. Pius 450 Mhz G4 Cube. Picked it up refurbished from Apple. My music room computer courtesy of its silence. I've hooked up a Samsung LCD display to it and use a Metric Halo Mobile I/O as the audio interface (2002).
  12. Anicetus 800 Mhz TiBook. This is actually going to end up being a replacement for both Pius and Telesphorus it seems. Definitely worth the price of admission (2002-2005).
  13. Soter ?? Mhz 15" AlBook. I took the TiBook in for service in January of 2005, and Apple offered me a free replacement laptop. I don't know specs on it yet.

My printers are named after books of the Bible. I don't expect to have to use separately numbered books distinctively. If for some reason I do run out, I'll start using books of the Koran or something.

  1. Genesis An HP LJIII with PS cartridge. Shortly after I bought this, they released the LJ3P which was the printer that I really wanted. Still it gave me years of reliable service before I sold it to my brother.
  2. Exodus An Epson dot matrix printer, possibly color. I don't think I ever even used this. It came with the Amiga, and I sold it fairly quickly.
  3. Numbers A portable inkjet printer, Brother, I think. $99 back in 92 and a piece of crap. I've got in a box somewhere.
  4. Leviticus Compaq Pagemarq 15. I wanted Adobe Postscript and 11x17. This was the only option. A piece of junk, ultimately. It's sitting in my hall at the moment.
  5. Joshua Epson Stylus 580. A cheap color inkjet, bought to allow me to print while I was waiting for Deuteronomy to arrive I suppose strictly speaking this should be Deuteronomy and Deuteronomy should be Joshua. Or maybe I place the order for the NEC first? I don't remember.
  6. Deuteronomy NEC 1450N. A surprisingly cheap PS printer with networking. I've given up on 11x17 and with a handful of exceptions, this is a pretty reliable printer. Only problem is that I can't get it to print PS that isn't sent by the printer driver.
  7. Judges HP 5150. A nice handy inkjet. I bought it to make it easier to print things while student teaching. It's been my primary printer for a while since I've not gotten around to doing the networking wires in place for Deuteronomy.