Last Sunday I had to make room for a dryer in my attic. In order to do that, I dismantled my computer table and finally decided to say goodbye to my two old PCs.
My first, ancient PC (DOS 6.2, Windows 3.1, WP 5.1) had been sitting in my attic ever since I moved here in November 1999. It had either not taken well to the move or been bitten by the Millennium bug, because it behaved erratically after that, and I stopped using it after a while.
Last summer I had already transferred the FileMaker Pro and text files via my work computer to my PowerBook, but there were still some .crd and .cal files I needed to check out, so I dragged down the PC and set it up on my desk. It appeared it had spontaneously uninstalled the disk drives. Reinstalling the a: and b: drives was simple enough, but the hard disk proved a bigger problem. It was a 100 Mb one, or 101.something to be a little more precise (which actually was HUGE in 1992, when 20 to 40 Mb was the norm), and not among the 46 ready-made options listed. So I decided to skip that, booted from the a: drive and checked out my floppy disks in the b: drive. I quickly located the files I needed and formatted the other disks. (I was surprised at how easily those old DOS commands flowed from my keyboard: dir b: /p, format b: /u, etc.)
The next morning I took down and set up my second PC (Windows 3.11 for Workgroups), which I had gotten for free from the university in 2000 (it seems much longer ago). I had hoped at the time I could use the RAM chips and the monitor for my old computer, but they proved to be incompatible and it had been sitting unused ever since in the attic. But not for nothing: last Monday came its finest hour. I could read the .crd files and copy out the information I still needed (with pen and paper, as I had no printer for those PCs). However, it turned out that the calendar programme was not installed and the backup programme didn't work properly, so I had to reinstall DOS 6.2 including Backup in order to restore calendar.exe from the backup copies I always made so meticulously (again, not for nothing), before I could finally read the .cal files. I had 3 years of data in there that I still wanted to keep, because I only wrote in my journal sporadically at the time. Copying those out took several hours (I felt crazy doing it), but at last it was finished and at 11 pm I could finally take the PCs out for the rubbish collectors to take away the next morning. I felt a bit melancholy, very tired but also quite accomplished.
There is now only one computer left in my attic, and that is not going anywhere. It is a cute little vintage Apple Classic which was given to me, also in 2000 I believe, by my then boss. It is actually the one I would have bought in 1992, had it not been for the fact that a good friend of mine had chosen that exact time to start up a PC business and I, to support the good cause, placed an order with him instead.
This morning was the first time I didn't wake up feeling like shit, with a dry throat and a full nose. Maybe at last my cold is wearing off. This weekend I must do at least some of my RIB homework, but I will also really, really try and catch up on my friends' LJs, I promise.