My Computer History


I have used computers since about 1986. Over the years I have used a lot of machines and written a lot of programs. Here is the summary.

High Level Languages

PHP 7.4, 7.2, 5.6 and 4 including deployment to various Linux versions (Red Hat Linux, Centos 7.5, Centos 6.5)

C# and VB.NET using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2010, 2008, 2005 and 2003,
- .NET Framework 4, 3.5, 3, 2 and 1.1
- .NET remoting
- Data Access using Linq, ADO .NET, ADO and OleDB consumer classes
- Deployment to Windows Server 2012, 2008R2, 2008, 2003

- Microsoft Visual C++ (7, 6, 5, 1.52b) using WTL, STL, ATL, MFC and Windows API,
- Borland C++ (5, 3.1, 1),
- Watcom C version 10,
- djgpp,
- gcc on Solaris 2.6, AIX, Linux (Debian 2.2 Kernel).

Visual BASIC (6, 5, 3).

My preferred editor is Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 because it is small and fast and CodeLobster for PHP.
PHP Storm looks good but a bit slow. Eclipse is nice, but it takes too much memory.

Web technologies

PHP 7.1-7.4, 5.6 and PHP 4,
ASP.NET and Classic ASP,
Moodle and Totara installation and customisation,
WordPress installation and customisation,
JavaScript and VBScript (In Active Server Pages, embedded in HTML and running in wscript\cscript on the command line),
Java Sun JDK 1.3 (Eclipse, JBuilder 3).

I have installed and configured IIS 5-10, Apache and Bad-Blue for production and test systems.
I have written .htaccess files for Apache and maintain a forum using phpbb on a Linux server.

Database technologies

Microsoft SQL Server 2012, 2008R2, 2008, 2005 (Express, Web Edition and Enterprise)\2000\7\6.5,
Oracle 8i,
MySQL 5 and MySQL 4.x,
Microsoft Access 2002\2000\97.

Microsoft SQL Server is used in a professional capacity. Microsoft Access has been used on smaller projects. Oracle 8i was used in a previous job. I use MySQL, MySQL WorkBench, PHPMyAdmin and MySQL-Front for maintenance of MySQL databases.

Version Control Systems

Git, Subversion, Rational ClearCase, Visual SourceSafe, SCCS.

Low Level Languages

Intel 80286, 80386 and 80486 assembly,
Motorola 68030, 68020 and 68000 assembly,
Digital PDP 11 assembly,
Zilog Z80 assembly (Spectrum 48k+, 128k+2).

No Longer Used High Level Languages

Ada 83,
Amiga AMOS,
Sinclair BASIC (48k, 48k+, 128k+2),

I have written some C and C++ programs on various UNIX formats in previous jobs and at the University of Paisley, where I studied for 4 years. I graduated there in 1996 with a 2nd Class BSc (Honours) Degree in Software Engineering. I completed my honours project in Enhancing a known Data Compression algorithm where I turned an Adaptive Huffman\Lempel-Ziv compression algorithm into a fully functioning loss-less data compression package. Differential Compression was also investigated.

Operating systems

Windows 10.
MacOS Catalina.
Android devices, MacOS.
Windows Server 2012, 2008R2, 2008, 2003.
Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98, 95, Windows For Workgroups, 3.1,
DOS 6.22, 6, 5, 3,
SUNOS 5.5, Solaris 2.6, Linux (Debian 2.2 Kernel),
Apple System 6 (Mac IIsi), KickStart 3.0, 1.3,
TOS 1.62, 1.06, 1.04, 1.02.

Hardware programmed directly

Thomson PGA video capture card driver (C++) made accessible for VB3,
EGA\VGA graphics cards,
Amiga blitter and copper lists,
Atari ST MFP.

My Computers


2022: Laptop

Dell E5470 (Intel Core i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz), 8Gb DDR4, 500Gb SSD. 4 USB 3 ports. Windows 10 Pro (x64).

2020: Desktop

HP Prodesk (Intel i5 4590 3.3GHz 4th Generation), 8Gb RAM, 500Gb, 2 USB 3 ports, 4 USB 2 ports. Windows 10 Pro (x64).


Dell SE2417HG 24 inch widescreen monitor (March 2020),
Dell 8115 Keyboard,
Microsoft 600 Mouse,
UMC 21.5 inch TV Monitor for vintage computers (via Scart).

Old Monitors are now located here.
Old PCs are now located here.

Still got, still working

2020: Atari 520STFM

TOS 1.02, Single Sided Drive.
This machine was very reasonable priced as owner said it was not working.

New Drive Belt Fitted (3/1/2021).
Mouse cleaned inside and out.

2020: Amstrad CPC 464

I always wanted to try one. Got one with a new PSU and scart video adapter cable.

2007: Commodore C64C

Nice, clean machine.
Has 8580 SID chip.

2007: Commodore C64

Needed VIC-II and keyboard from spare parts machine.
Has 6581 SID chip.

2006: ZX Spectrum 128k+2

Good for RGB-Scart testing.

2002: ZX Spectrum 48k+

Bought on eBay for £8. Took a bit of cleaning up but now in excellent condition. I had to get one for old times sake.

2000: Atari 520STFM

TOS 1.04, 512k RAM. Bought a second hand STFM AGAIN because I thought I might have a go at programming an emulator but it is simply too difficult! Excellent for nostalgia. Second hand fun.

2000: Atari 2.5Mb STF

Used for spare parts to make the STE work during disk conversion.

2006: Replacement PSU and keyboard purchased. Original floppy drive returned to this machine.

1994: Commodore Amiga 1200

Excellent demos and a few good games. The hard disk is really required to use the North C compiler. The Zappo external PCMCIA CDROM beat PC drives at that time, but I still swapped it later for the hard disk. 68020 was nice, Kickstart 3.0.

2006: Amiga PCMCIA TCP-IP link setup!
2006: 60Mb hard disk broke! Replaced with a 230Mb hard disk.

1992: Commodore Amiga 500

Kickstart 1.3, 512k Chipram, 512k Fastram. Modified (track cut) to provide 1Mb Chipram for CDTV.
A very nice machine.

1991: Atari 4160STe

TOS 1.06. Originally a 520k machine upgraded to 1Mb by 4*256k SIMMs.
After a few years the keyboard, floppy drive and power supply all had to be replaced.

2006: Short button floppy drive and matching lid purchased, original key tops used, STF keyboard used. Upgraded to 4Mb.
2001: Floppy drive, keyboard and PSU from 2Mb STF used. The STF has a long button so I had to use the STF lid too!

1986: ZX Spectrum 48k

Second hand, but this was the first computer I ever owned and I am extremely fond of it. A classic.

2007: Rusty, weak DC Socket replaced with one from a Panasonic TU-CT21 Freeview Box on 22nd April 2007. Next day was the 48k's 25th Birthday!
2001: The keyboard was cleaned and membrane replaced. I bought 2 keyboard membranes from Trade-In-Post for £6 each just incase it ever needs another one in my life time.

Games Consoles

2010: PlayStation 3

For GT5 and Afterburner Climax.

2007: Nintendo DS

For Yoshi's Island DS.

2007: PS-One

Required for Arcade Party Pak!

2006: Sony PlayStation 2 Compact

Ideal for Outrun 2006, GT4, THPS 3 and Klonoa 2 and an excellent DVD player.
Model number: SCPH-77003 CB

2006: Microsoft XBox

For Panzer Dragoon Orta and Outrun 2. Second hand of course.

2004: N64

Purchased second hand with Mario 64 and Mischief Makers.

2000: Sega Dreamcast

Shenmue, Shenmue 2, MSR and the best version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

1997: Sega Saturn

Essential for Sega Ages, Sega Rally, Sonic Jam, Panzer Dragoon, Panzer Dragoon Zwei and Panzer Dragoon Saga.

Sold on

Classic computers

1990-1991: Atari 520STFM

TOS 1.04, 512k RAM. Sold to upgrade to an STe.

1988-1990: ZX Spectrum 48k+

Better keyboard, loudspeaker and less wobbly interface. We bought it with Full Throttle from John Menzies. I regret selling it now...

Games consoles

25th March 2005-23rd April 2007: Sony PS2 Compact

Swapped for Mark's old PS2 so he could upgrade, old PS2 traded for Nintendo DS.

1st December 2001-25th March 2005: Sony PlayStation 2

SCPH-30003 R, traded-in for a PS2 Compact.

3rd January 1998-21st December 2001: Sony PlayStation

Rage Racer, FF7, Retro Force and Klonoa were excellent but now I can play them on the PS2!

Old backup drives

100Mb Zip Drive (22/3/1997-21/12/2003).

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