01/22/2001

When I was 10, it was a very good year. Well, not really, but I can’t pass up the obvious Sinatra reference. Bear with me.

I had a conversation the other day with Gatermann that I thought was pretty funny. Tom sells cameras, and he’s got this Mac-o-phile who comes in and always talks about how great his Mac is. But his Mac is really a five-year-old Power Computing Mac clone, and he does all his day-to-day work on PCs. He always talks about how much better his Mac is than a PC, but he never uses it.

At any rate, Tom’s got another regular who’s in the market for a computer. This guy’s trying to talk him into an iMac or a Cube or something, but he’s torn. It just seems a PC gives you more bang for the buck, he thinks. Tom told him to look into an Athlon-based system.

I told Tom to tell him to go to micronpc.com and configure a Micron Millenia with an Athlon, since Micron does the best job of any direct build-to-order vendor I know of not giving you cut-down components, and their prices are generally really good. Tom snickered. I asked if he had a computer.

“He has a PCjr.”

I hit the table with both hands and nearly stood up. “He’s got what?” Tom didn’t even really know what a PCjr is, other than it’s really old.

“A single-floppy wannabe IBM XT, with 128K of RAM,” I told him. “Vintage 1984.”

Still snickering, Tom said he told this guy that if he did decide to upgrade, he knew of a guy (me) who might be interested in buying the PCjr.

I laughed. Well, let’s see. I’ve got this PC/AT I’ll be fixing up. I’ve got a PS/1 I can rebuild. And I’ve got a still-useful IBM computer that also happens to be unmodified, a ThinkPad. So since this is IBM Central anyway, why not? Then I remembered why not: I don’t have that kind of space. I’d have to put it in my kitchen, but there’s not really any room for it there either. Any computers I bring in at this point have to serve some function, and making people wonder aloud, “Why on earth do you have one of those!?” doesn’t count.

I did ask Tom a question. If this guy had a PCjr, why’s there any question what to get? He got 16 years out of a wannabe PC, so why not just get a PC again? Besides, I can give him a 5.25″ drive and install it so he can read his existing disks if he wants.

And yes, that’s all I’ve got. Hopefully I’ll have some energy for tomorrow.

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