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Pre-Built Systems (2023-05-09)

brook > pcs > prebuilt

I also own(ed) some computers that were made to order.


Probably had a Pentium II with 32MB RAM, running Windows 98.

In 2001 we were given two obsolete PowerBooks running System 7. Couldn't do much with them and the batteries were worn out, only lasting 5 minutes on a full charge.

Don't remember the exact model but it was most likely a C6000. Probably had a Pentium III-M with 256MB RAM, running Windows XP.

Tower desktop that was with me through three address changes, briefly died due to dust-related overheating, then was donated to my aunt.

Dell Dimension 8400
Pentium 4 (3.4GHz), 1GB DDR2-400
GeForce 6800 (256MB), 1280x1024 VGA
160GB HDD + CD-R (later upgraded to DVD-ROM)
SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit
Windows XP Home Edition SP2
  • Built 2008-0?
  • Got 2008-08
  • Retired 2011-09
  • Last seen 2012-0?

Desktop-replacement class laptop, with a screen that somehow got dirt trapped behind it during its one and only address change. After I picked up PC5011, I gave this one to my dad, who gave it to my nephew.

Sony Vaio VGN-AR-850E
Core 2 Duo T8300 (2.4GHz), 4GB DDR2-667
GeForce 8600M-GT (512MB), 1440x900 17"
with S-Video, VGA, and HDMI out
Realtek HD
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 x64

The Decennial Destroyer


Sony Vaio Z2 (VPC-Z2-190X)

"You aren't gonna keep your computer for 12 years; you're probably gonna go through a couple of upgrades."

Me, watching this video on a laptop made in 2011: (blob emoji with neutral expression and sweatdrop)

The laptop itself is ultraportable, but has a Light Peak port that connects to a dock with dedicated GPU and Blu-Ray drive. What I thought was a fantastic concept - being able to purchase upgraded Power Media Docks for better graphics - ended up not being a thing. But, it's a good machine that I'm still using after over a decade (and six address changes).

Components (Standalone)
CPU: Intel Core i5 2540M (2.6GHz)
RAM: 8GB DDR3-1333
GPU: Intel HD 3000 (1GB)
Audio: Realtek HD
LCD: 13.1" 1920x1080
OS: Windows 7 SP1 Professional
VGA, HDMI, 1Gbps, 1xUSB3.0, 1xUSB2, 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0
Components (Docked)
CPU: Intel Core i5 2540M (3.3GHz)
GPU: Radeon HD6650M (1GB DDR3)
+VGA, HDMI, 1Gbps, 2xUSB2
Windows Experience Index: 5.9 (Desktop graphics bottleneck)
Standalone Drives
C: 128GB (64GBx2 RAID0) SSD
E: SDXC card slot
G: MSPD card slot
Power Media Dock Drives
A: Sony 2x Speed FDD (USB)
F: Sandisk MobileMate MS+ (USB Full-size Memory Stick reader)

The Retro Gaming Mini Dream Team


Late-2004 iBook G4 A1054
  • Built 2004-10-02
  • Bought 2017-08 for $129

A few years ago, I started getting into the Apple side of technology, and decided to pick up a PowerPC G3/600 iBook to dual-boot OS X and OS 9 on. The seller decided to send me a G4 that can only run Tiger. But, y'know, whatever; won't complain about more RAM and an AirPort Extreme card.

CPU: PowerPC G4 7447a (1.2GHz)
RAM: 512MB DDR-266
GPU: ATi Mobility Radeon 9200 (4X AGP, 32MB DDR)
HDD: 30GB 4200RPM IDE44 ATA100
LCD: 12" 1024x768
24x/8x SuperDrive
OS: Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.11)
LS-120 SuperDisk (Shared via KVM)
MiniVGA, V.92, 10/100, 2xUSB2, 1x1394, 802.11g

When I got the laptop, the magnetic latch was a bit bent out of shape. I tried to bend it back but ended up breaking it off. Turning it on, OS X had been factory restored, and had no web browser, so I had to open a terminal window and download an old version of Opera (before was purged). Then, I was able to download some files to get Classic emulation working.


Wyse S30
  • Built 2012-06
  • Bought 2019-02 for $39 NOS

A thin client. I was initially going to try running a BBS on it. Decided it'd be better off as a light DOS/Win9x gaming system, but it's taking me forever to actually work on it because DOSbox is faster and easier.

CPU: AMD Geode GX (366MHz)
RAM: 128MB
FDD: 2005 Sony USB 3.5" FDD
VGA, DB9, 10/100, 4xUSB2

After upgrading to a 1440p monitor at my main desk, I decided to move my CRT monitor and Dreamcast over to this system's side of the room.

The Saviors of Wallet (New Hardware Avoidance Strategy)


HP Pavilion TS 15-n013ca
  • Built 2014-11-07
  • Found 2016-??
  • Repurposed 2018-09 to 2020-12
  • Re-repurposed 2023-03

A Left Behind Special that's just been kicking around. Ran some autosurfers and offer walls back when I was into that scene. Didn't like doing much else on it because the included hard drive was dogshit slow. At one point I planned to turn it into an ad-blocking DNS forwarder, but decided to Linux it instead.

Stock Configuration (2014-09)
CPU: Intel Core i3 4005U (1.7GHz)
RAM: 6GB DDR3L-1600
GPU: Intel HD 4400
HDD: 750GB 5400RPM HDD
LCD: 15.6" 1366x768
8x DVD±RW drive
OS: Windows 8.1
HDMI, 10/100, 1xUSB3.0, 2xUSB2, SDHC, 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0

It was fine until I turned it on one day, and it suddenly gave me the caps-lock blink code for 'RAM error'. This led to a guideless full disassembly and I broke the case when I didn't notice a screw hidden behind the DVD drive. And for some fucking reason the RAM is on the underside of the motherboard! From there I found out that the 4GB module was toast. Opted to get a new kit for it and give the working 2GB stick to the Inspiron, since DDR3L runs fine in DDR3 laptops.

NHASty Upgrades (2023-02)
RAM: 8GB DDR3L-1600 ($22)
HDD: 480GB SSD ($26)
OS: Linux Mint XFCE 21.1


Dell Inspiron N5050
  • Built 2012-02
  • Bought 2012-05-03
  • Retired 2020-08
  • Repurposed 2023-03

A Best Buy Special that was my dad's personal system for a few years, then got used as an HTPC during 2017-2020. Retired after it started having trouble staying connected to wifi.

Stock Configuration (2012-02)
CPU: Intel Core i3 2350M (2.3GHz)
RAM: 4GB DDR3-1333
GPU: Intel HD 3000
HDD: 500GB 5400RPM HDD
LCD: 15.6" 1366x768
8x DVD±RW drive
OS: Windows 7 Home
VGA, HDMI, 10/100, 3xUSB2, SDHC/MSP, 802.11n

Looking up an iFixit guide to replace the hard drive gave me the idea to upgrade and Linux it. Repasted it while I was in there and found the CPU is in an rPGA-989 socket, so I could swap it out with another G1/G2 processor. Not much point dumping more money into what was meant to be a stopgap, though.

NHASty Upgrades (2023-02)
RAM: 6GB DDR3-1333 (+2GB DDR3L from the Pavilion)
HDD: 256GB SSD originally meant for PC5004C ($33)
OS: Linux Mint XFCE 21.1

The Do-Nothing Burgers


Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Version 1.2
  • Built 2015?
  • Bought 2018-01-05 for $70

Originally picked it up because Hey Why Not, then decided it'd make a nice server for self-hosting a website, forum, and Pleroma instance. (I never actually got around to doing it, of course.)

SOAC: Broadcom BCM2837 (Quad-core 1.2GHz ARMv8-A Cortex-A53)
HDD: 32GB Sandisk microSDHC Class-10
OS: Debian 9 (no GUI)
HDMI, TRRS, 10/100, 4xUSB2, 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.2?

Came in a starter kit that included a plastic snap-together case, aluminum heatsinks, SD card, and 5V 2.5A power brick. Adding two 30mm fans ($8) on GPIO 3.3v pins dropped idle temps by a further 22°C

I've been meaning to repurpose it as an MT32-Pi for use with the eventual MiSTer setup (and/or PC5003 via its serial port).


Dell Chromebook 3100 Education
  • Built 2021-03-05
  • Got 2022-03

College freebie given to my dad. Not sure if we can use it for anything.

CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 (2.8GHz)
RAM: 4GB LPDDR4-2400
LCD: 11.6" 1366x768
OS: chromeOS

Future Acquisitions

As stated on my Tech Wishlist, I'd like to also have some sort of Tandy for 1980s DOS computering, a Color Classic (or equivalent) for early-90s Maccing and Apple II games, and a few others for the ace thetics.

Useful Links System 7 Today A collection of classic software for making Mac OS 7 more useful. Mac OS 9 Updates .smi disk images of last known versions to get your Classic Mac updated. Macintosh Garden The Mac Orchard Macintosh Repository The Mac SE Support Pages Shuriken Update/enhancement/software pack for Tiger.
Repurposing Thin Clients 57296 Chromebooks Craig's experiences with Google's laptop OS.

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