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I'm not beating about the bush here. It is ancient. As sure as eggs is eggs. And, if I really wanted to ruin your day, I'd say something about the fact that I wasn't alive for the majority of the 1990s. It's worlds away from the swishy, super-speedy PlayStation 5 that has eradicated loading times like an anime villain eliminates their pitiful competition. The blocky Xbox Series X would have been mistaken for a piece of modern art, perhaps by Larry Bell. Even the concept of taking your games on the go with you, be it on the Switch or on your phone, is totally unthinkable in this era. Once you'd left the house, there would be no Internet until you returned, and that was on the proviso that no one was using the landline when you got back. Turning back time to that decade of your life is very weird, once you consider how much has changed. Yet, there's something to be said about the tactility of the computer, the one that your dad would use for emails, your mum would use for forming spreadsheets for the weeks ahead, and you'd use to play The Sims 2.
It's somewhat soothing to listen to the chirps and whirs of Ashton Turner's old computer spinning into animation again, while it's been sitting unattended for who knows how many years in an abandoned study. The set up is an Intel Pentium CPU at 133Mhz, boasting 32 whole megabytes of RAM, and a Crystal Audio ISA sound card. Its ATi Rage II VGA video card offers it the ability to play Duke Nukem 3D in all its technicolour glory. The chunky yellowed keyboard and mouse create this excellently satisfying click-clack symphony that transports me back to playing Neopets on the family computer before I'm called for dinner. Even the terrible screeching of the dial-up Internet connection has been received like the dawn chorus. "So nostalgic," said @a_rash on Twitter. "My first was an 80386 at 25 MHz speed and that magic turbo button could speed it up to 33 MHz." Wild.
It seemed like the absolute pinnacle of technological achievement then, and to be real with you, you've got to give the machine some credit for still working more than twenty years after its release onto the market. In a time where you as much as glance at the new iPhone advert and your device suddenly starts to chug along like a stick of butter sliding down a hill on a chilly morning, it's heartwarming to know that you can rely on this old PC. Just don't ask it to mine bitcoin.
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