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Full Tower PIII600 256MB 60GB ATI Expert 8MB + video out 31/2,51/4 Zip,Ls120, CDR,CD, Tape,DVD WinME
SBlive 17" 56K 10/100
This has been my main computer for about five years, in one form or another, and is a perfect demonstration of how fast technology moves. When I first put him together, Bigguy was state of the art, and then some, with many frills and extras. Intel had just announced it's new MMX technology, and the new socket 7 boards had just been introduced. This machine initially had a Pentium MMX166, a 6.4gb hard drive, and a 2mb svga video card. The 6.4gb hard drive seemed extravagantly big at the time. I put a full 64mb of ram on him at a time when most computers had 16mb or less. My cd writer, and cd reader are both SCSI devices, and a zip drive at that time was something you had if you were a graphic artist or some such thing. The only acknowledgment I made to the past was in the addition of a 5 1/4" floppy for the large amount of data I had on that media. I later added an LS-120 drive, and upgraded my modem to 56k, I also upped the memory to 128mb. I have since put in a card that will let this machine emulate an Apple II. I did this because, for several years, the old apple was my main computer. These were the years during which I went back to college, and I am slowly (VERY SLOWLY) transferring all of my old Apple stuff to this computer. The card is pretty neat. It will actually run an old style apple drive, so that you don't have to screw around with trying to read Apple disks on PC drives (nearly impossible). You also can transfer files (via the tried and true sneaker net) without the grief of trying to network these dissimilar computer types. Bigguy is still my main computer although he is no longer my most powerful. This is my Internet machine, and it is the machine that this web page was written on. It is also the machine that most of my graphic work is done on, although I find myself using the NT workstation machine more and more, particularly for AutoCAD and Photoshop. At one time Bigguy had dual boot capabilities between NT4 Workstation and Windows 95. I really liked this, but the limitations of fat16 (the only file system both os's can see) meant that I needed THIRTEEN partitions in order to get reasonable efficiency out of the hard drive. There were other problems, which I will not go into a lot of detail about except to say NEVER USE AN ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAM IF YOU DUAL BOOT. Of course, I was using a single, massive (for it's time) hard drive, and was hamstrung by the need to use fat16. It is possible to use more than one hard drive, and partition using fat32 for Win98/95, and ntfs for NT4, or even to format different partitions on the same drive using the different file systems. The problem is that even using such a system, the boot sector must still be in fat16. I eventually concluded that for all the time, trouble, and money spent I may as well just put the two systems on two different computers. One thing that was amply demonstrated by this system was the clear superiority of NT over Win98/95. On the exact same system, with the exact same software and hardware, operations in NT were significantly faster, and the system under NT never crashed.
    This computer was initially set up as a graphic arts machine with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Quark, along with the Microsoft Office Pro Suite, and AutoCAD 13. This was a reflection of my finally getting a diploma (in graphic arts of all things). Bigguy is presently configured as shown on the main page, and is running Windows 98SE (soon to be upgraded to ME) on three big (15gb) fat32 partitions. Every piece of software I own is on this machine, and it can read just about every type of media there is. Bigguy is also set in a very comfortable work area between two desks and a window with a drafting table and my dining room table right next to it. No wonder it's my favorite.
    Bigguy had been updated, initially into a Slot 1 machine with a Celleron 400 CPU, then a PIII 600. I also brought his memory back up to 128mb, which is what it was before I used some of it to build Littleguy. I have increased it still more, to 256mb. Bigguy was also made to run the newer version of Windows 98, though I kept the older version on Littleguy.  I have now set that machine up, once again, to dual boot. This time it is Windows ME, and Windows 2000, which are the operating systems. The new mother board, and operating systems seemed to install well, and I have just replaced the 45 gig drive with a 30. This is because, my motherboard seemed to be choking on teh larger drive.  Bigguy had been getting a bit flaky, so I used the opportunity to redo his drive. I also added an SCSI tape drive; a Travan 4 which holds up to 8gb (compressed). Since I do not have a cdrw (merely a cdr), this tape drive may come in useful, and I always welcome the chance to be able to practice backing up. I also installed a DVD drive. The dvd uses a software player (Power DVD) to play movies, and it works wonderfully. This was  the third major upgrade for Bigguy in the three years I have been aquatinted with him.
    Though I said I would not do it again, prices have dropped to the point where I had to get the larger hard drive (his fourth HD upgrade) for big guy. Since I had to redo his drive any way, I found an AT motherboard which supports the PIII cpu, and installed it. I have also considerably improved Bigguy's sound with a Soundblaster Live card. Big guy will soon be updated to the new Millennium edition of Windows (Windows 95 part 5). I wanted to stay mainstream with Bigguy, and so did not install Win 2000. Bigguy will remain my "comfort" machine. That is to say, this will be the machine I use for the internet, games, and general computing. Though  not my most powerful, Bigguy has been considerably improved, and is a machine of respectable abilities. It has my best speakers, and monitor, and is still my favorite machine. I continue to say that each update of Bigguy will be the last, but it seems as if this is the computer that will not die. As many times as Bigguy has risen, I ought to rename him Phoenix. I had to go through quite the machinations to get the machine to see the 45gb drive, finally resorting to the 30 gig unit. I am happy to say that there is no longer a drive translation program running. There si now a better motherboard, which can directly see a 60. I have also learned to hate Windows ME, and have removed it, making Bigguy a 2000 machine, though I still flirt with the dea of dual booting, or even a quad boot (2000, 98, Unix, Linux), but who knows. The problems I had bettween my old zip, and LS-120 drive have been solved by the new board. The LS-120 seems to be going the way of the Zip drive (and the dinosaur), but it is still handy, from time to time. Most storage devices have been rendred moot by the drop in prie of CDR/CDRW units. Bigguy has now been equipped witha removable hard drive bay.