What ‘a new computer’ is?

During last months I had several discussions about buying a new computer. Helped few friends with choosing setup etc. And several of them were surprised when I told that I never bought ‘a new computer’.

8-bit era

My first computer was Atari 65XE which my parents bought as a new computer. I learnt BASIC, tried few other programming languages (Forth anyone?) and played games. But it was not platform for long use.


Two years later I earned money collecting berries in Swedish forests and bought my first computer — used Amiga 600. And two weeks later added 425MB hard disk inside. Nice improvement, still same 12” green monitor. More programming, less games. Demoscene watching started.

Time passed, I sold A600 and bought used Amiga 1200 instead. Same hdd and monitor (also same mouse as I liked old one more). Then some CPU accelerator card, then another, new ATA controller, new hdd, used cd-rom drive and used 14” VGA mono monitor.

AmigaOS was great operating system but platform was dying, hardware was expensive and slow, no new software.

Let move to PC

Year 2000 was moment when I decided to abandon AmigaOS and bought a PC. Which reused hdd, cd-rom and monitor. In some sense it was a new computer but still kept something from previous system. In next years some minor/major upgrades happened.

In 2006 I switched architecture of my desktop system. From x86 to x86-64. In as cheap as possible way. It was time when embedded Linux was starting to not be “just a hobby”.

Years passed, processors, mainboards, memory amount, storage, cases, expansion cards, monitors etc. were changing. But still there was no point of ‘ok, let me buy whole new computer’ as most of components were reused.

Do laptops count?

There were several laptops in meantime. One of them (Asus UL30A) was even brand new. But, contrary to other users, I use laptops only during travels — at home they usually sit connected to power and sometimes are used as headless build machine (as I tend to use different Linux distribution than my desktop there).


And none of Arm systems I use count. I bought Sharp Zaurus SL-5500A (no longer own), Nokia N810 tablet and some small board computers like Wandboard (sold), Raspberry/Pi 3 (sold) or RockPro64. Android devices do not count either.


Who knows, maybe one day I will buy a new computer. Whole one — case, mainboard, processor, memory, storage, graphics. Or something NUC like.

Just there is nothing interesting so far to make such buy. Or I am not lazy enough to just buy whole workstation instead of building it on my own ;D

computers desktop laptop my computers sbc