ScuzzBlog: Diaries March 2024

Entry 9th March 2024: Post 1: Colossus PC - Partners in time.

Colossus PC - Partners in time.

My second Colossus PC was a gift from my fellow director back in
the late nineties. The machine had been used by his daughter at
college. Inside the computer is a voice,fax,modem which was the
main interest for me today.

The computer originally sported Windows 95 but was upgraded to
Windows 98 in 1998. What amazes me about machines of the era is
the boasting of CD speed. I do recall the first time I saw a CD
that had 2x speed, and the owner was well pleased. The concept
of CD-ROM speed has all but vanished into the ether, but the
memory lives on.

In the days of the Colossus the computer magazines were literally
inches thick and filled with full brochures of many many various
PC brands. They all generally were tin boxes shipped from Taiwan
and rebadged in the UK. Very basic in form with likely a Pentium
120 or as in this case a Cyrix 6x86M Pentium class with 127MB RAM.

Cyrix was a Texas based developer of microprocessors founded in
1988. They specialised as a supplier of floating point units for
the 286 and 386 processors. They merged with National Semiconductor
in 1997.

A very clean interior with two hard drives and the CD-ROM and the
floppy drive. In addition to the modem the machine has an Ethernet
network card which I fitted.

The SuperVoice internal FAX modem may look a little elaborate with
the camera port but this was only for the transmission of camera
images and not live video streaming. I mean on a dial-up system
would you expect anything more.

The computer was used at a college facility and on the campus
network for three years. The student was a girl called Toni who
sadly died whilst in Portugal in 2020. She was a good friend of
mine and her college work still sits on the machine.

I have the computer partnering my Amiga 1200 with the Ethernet
card. I basically use the hard drive to store large files for
animation work. She also is networked to my own Colossus PC that
sits next to my Win98 Evesham machine. I still have all my PCs
that were used as main computers networked and in running order.
I also maintain all the paperwork, manuals and discs. It is so
important for me to have support documentation for all my
machines. The Colossus featured today has a very large manual.

On a side note the pre-XP validation era is pretty much the only
period worth collecting older kit as you are free from the
shackles of Microsoft authentication and lets you use your old
Windows machines without internet snooping. They also have the
720K format facility that is so useful for use with the Amiga.
This makes the Win95/98 machines partners in time with the Amiga.

I still haven't had any luck tracking down an original Colossus
but I'm sure one day one will come up on Ebay.

Colossus PC - Partners in time.

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Last updated 9th March 2024

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