Buyink Your Komputor

Guten abend, Vebfolk. Or should I say, guten morgen. Ist never easy to know ven ve are dealing vith ze Internet, ja? Zis is ze miracle of ze Information Superhighway (as it is known if you are ze Vice-President of Amerika) or 'Infobahn' (if you are Herr Chancellor of Deutschland). Never before in ze human history vould you have been able to read my vords at a time of day completely different to ven I wrote zem. Vell, unless you vere ze ancient Egyptian readink mein vords on papyrus—but vould zat have fit through your modem cable? Nein, of course not.

You vill remember how in ze last lesson I showed you how to build your vebpage. But, you may be thinkink, vat use is a veb page if I have not ze komputor to see it vith? Und so I bring you my next lesson: mein Guide to Buyink ze Komputor.

Ze Komputor is probably ze most important item you vill ever buy in your entire life. Zis means zat it is very important zat you buy one zat vill last a verrrrrrrry long time. Vat is ze best vay to tell zis? Vell, surely you cannot tell, if you buy a new komputor. Who knows how long zey vill last? Ze external speakers, ze microphone, ze vebkams—all are gimmicks, ja? Zey are ze electric kan-openers of ze next decade—apparently useful, ja, but ultimately vill sit in ze cupboard vith stale kat-food encrusted on zere cutting-blade.

Nein, ist nicht gut. You are much better to look for a komputor vith a long track-record. Not only can you zen be sure zat your komputor has stayink-power, you vill be able to buy one very cheap! Ja, you can find zem at ze charity stores, ze auktions, und ze autogaragensalen.

Here are some fine komputors zat I have personally tried und recommend. (Klicken on ze names to see vat other vise people have said about zem, und to see pictures.)


Zis vas ze first of many, many PCs vich all run ze DOS, or Das Operatink System. Zis is ze Microsoft operatink system used by many personal komputors even today, some of vich have extra decorative 'Vindows' but are ze same underneath. Vell, if it is still good enough for Herr Wilhelm Gates, ist gut enough for you, ja? After all, he is ze richest man in ze vorld ever to build an enormous mansion, even if it is not as enormous as mine.

Apple Makintosh 128K

Zis vas ze first of ze Apple Makintoshen, und I think vas ze best. As you can see from ze picture, it could say 'Hello'. No other komputor at ze time could say 'hello', at least not in such beautiful curly writink. Clearly, zis vas ze breakthrough zat komputink vas vaiting for, und led to the vorld ve live in today vere ve talk to komputors all ze time, often under ze mistaken belief zat zere are people on ze other end und not simply ze very clever artificial intelligences. (See 'Doktor Komputor's Guide to Mailing Lists' und 'Doktor Komputor's Guide to Veblogs'.)

Unfortunately ze Apple Makintosh 128K could not say much more zan 'hello' vithout you havink to change floppies, so zat a typical conversation vent 'Hello [Insert Disk Named 'AppleTalk 2'], Mein [Insert Disk Named 'AppleTalk 3'] Namen [Insert Disk Named 'AppleTalk 4'] Ist [Insert Disk Named 'AppleTalk 5'] Makintosh [System Error].'

Ze other problem vith Makintoshen 128K vas zat ze screens vere in black und vite, not in ze sparkling 217 veb-safe colours you see now in all zere finite variety. But ze next komputor solves zis problem.

Commodore Vic20

Ze Vic20 displayed many colors, ja? Dozens of colors, all in big beautiful blocks. Zis made ze writink look very big, vich is something ze modern komputors are only now catchink up vith (e.g. Internet Explorer 5 for Makintosh).

Ze Vic20 had 3.5K of RAM. In hindsight zis seems rather extravagant. Ze next komputor vas much more modest.

Sinclair ZX81

Only 1 glorious K of RAM! Ze simplicity of it is breath-takink. Und ze ZX81 had ze flat plastic keyboard vich you could vipe clean ven you spilt Koka-Kola on it. Of course, zen your screen vould read GTFSARSHYFJFOROJ und ze komputor vould crash, und it vould take 45 minuten to load your copy of Clive Invaders into RAM from kassette, but zis vas a small price to pay for being able to pour Koke on your komputor venever you vanted.

Accessories for Your Komputor

Vonce you have your cheap und long-lasting komputor, you vill vant to buy accessories for it. Ze most important of zese is ze external storage device. Zese days everyvun vants a large external hard-disk, vith 12, 20, or even 30 gigabytes. 'Ve vant lots of space!' zey cry. In zat case, vy not get ze 5.25" floppy disk, or ze kassette tape drive? Zere is lots of space on zese—zey are certainly unencumbered by data. Und, remembering zat space-time is ein continuum, zey also take lots of time to read ze data, vich is even better. Zat vay you have time to go und do something else, like vatch television, vatch ze birds fly past ze vindow, or vatch ze flashing kursor on your monitor.

Ze next accessory is, of course, ze monitor itself, if you have not ze Apple Makintosh vith monitor built-in. You vill find zat ze best komputors plug into your television set, vich has big und varm und fuzzy 'pixels'. If you have chosen your komputor visely, zey vill display big green letters in fuzzy pixels on a black background. Just like ze svarm of katerpillars crawling over ze screen. Zis is only a problem if you vere young in ze 1960s und crawling svarms of fuzzy green caterpillars trigger an acid-flashback.

Finally, you vill need ze modem. Zis is a small box zat plugs into your komputor und your telephone. Zis allows you to use your komputor to get your frau, mann, or relative off ze other telephone ven you vant to use ze line, by sending ein horrible noise zat goes 'eeeeeeEEEERRRRRRRRKcccchhhhhhhhBOING'. Alternatively, you could simply valk up to them und say 'eeeeeeEEEERRRRRRRRKcccchhhhhhhhBOING' yourself und save hundreds of marks. Ze choice is yours.


Vonce you have all ze komputor 'hardvare', you vill need some 'softvare' also. I find tveed und pringle to be qvite satisfactory, but many komputor '33l333t haXXXXorzzz', as zey call zemselves, like jeans und T-shirts vith amusink pictures of pengvins. Both forms are soft und long-lasting, kold or varm vash und medium iron.

Mein Konklusions

Vatever komputor you eventually buy, rest assured zat you vill have many hours of happy komputing ahead. Many, many hours. Many, many, many, many, many hours zat you othervise vould have had to fill vith such borink activities as eatink, drinkink, frolickink, flyink kites, valkink ze hund, sex, drugs, und rock und roll. Velcome to ze future!

13 May 2000

<<Mein Previous Lesson · Mein Next Lesson>>


Front · 2002 · Walking West · Dr Komputor · Detail · Found · Rory Central · Textuary · Grinding Noises · Cartoon Lounge · The Stand-Up · The Twisted Bell · Pacific Politics
©2000-03 Rory Ewins speedysnail

dr komputor speedysnail