I’ve owned many machines throughout my life, but here’s a few I find special enough to keep track of (and/or name):


Deviating from my decade-long habit of naming machines after Pokemon, I let Windows name my current laptop and it came up with something decidedly unoriginal. I bought it in 2013, when it was by no means the top of the line, but it’s still mostly fast enough for much of what I want to do.

It’s a Toshiba Satellite L50, with a Core i7 3630qm CPU ("Ivy Bridge" core), Nvidia GeForce GT 740M, and I bumped it up a while ago to 16GB RAM and added an SSD before that. There’s a few games I want that it won’t really run, but other than that it’s plenty fast enough - I can run 2 or 3 VMs on it at once and I never really find myself waiting for the thing. It boots incredibly fast with the SSD too.

It runs Microsoft Windows 10 as a base OS, because I game and I don’t know any better.


Sabriena and I bought matching desktops back in Indiana, probably around 2010. I upgraded the power supply in mine, and ended up buying an ATI Radeon HD5770 for it, originally to mine Bitcoin with and the GPU finished up paying for itself. When we arrived in Australia, my desktop’s motherboard didn’t appear to survive the trip so we made one out of two. I used it to begin with until acquiring my Laptop, then Sabriena had it exclusively until we got her a new one. Now it sits connected to the TV, and Duncan primarily uses it.

The desktop is pretty low-spec: an AMD Athlon X2 ("Regor" architecture), maxed out at 8GB RAM and the above-mentioned Radeon HD5770, and stuffed full of all the spinning-rust drives we own.

It also runs Microsoft Windows 10 because games.


Now we’re back to the pokemon. Slowpoke is a Silicon Graphics Indigo2, with an R4400 MIPS CPU, 384MB RAM and the GU1-Extreme graphics card. A smaller, internal boot disk supports the external “/usr partition” disk, which is a full-height SCSI monster.

Before leaving California I sold the monitor that worked with it, thinking I could get an adapter to connect the 13W3 monitor to my LCDs. I eventually got it working again with a serial console though, and it probably still works if I connect it up, but I left it in the USA and at the time of writing I’m in Australia.

It runs IRIX 5.3, which I don’t have install media for. Using growfs on the external hard disk was a nail-biting experience. Lacking the passwords for the machine when I got it, I had to hack the thing locally to get root on it. I’m led to believe it was once owned by the studio that rendered the Colosseum in “Gladiator” but I’ve no idea as to the truth of that claim.