The time: 9.45 am Saturday 22nd September 2001 The place: my front door The occasion: delivery of my new computer. It's four years since I had a new machine, and I'm excited. This particular machine is a Fujitsu-Siemens Euroline 1700 CDRW bought directly from them and ordered three weeks earlier. And now the delivery man is standing at my front door - it's here!!! Three boxes, well packed and complete in every way. Delivered on time and with no problems. Now comes the trek upstairs, the sweat and the swearing. But no! What's this - colour co-ordinated plugs and sockets. Easy. And half-an-hour later I'm sat in front of it and installing software. Yes, it did work first time - all of it. The 1.7ghz Pentium processor, the 60gb hard disk, the DVD player, the CD rewriter, the free software (including Windows Me, antivirus, MS Works) and, best of all, the wonderful, beautiful, glorious TFT flat screen monitor - all worked perfectly. And nearly two weeks later, it's all still working perfectly. So yes, I'm glad I bought from Fujitsu-Siemens and yes, I'm very glad I upgraded to the flat screen monitor. For a machine of the specification, it was the cheapest system I could find at the time, but there's nothing cheap about the quality of it. The only minor problem was that I had to cut the European-style plug off the monitor power lead and fit a UK plug instead. Oh yes, and I had to pay a bit extra for Saturday delivery, but you would expect that. So, in conclusion, if you're looking for a new system, forget the shops and give Fujitsu-Siemens a ring, or look at their web site at www.underagrand.co.uk.
~ ~ For the past five years or so I have been using a PC that can only be described as a “hybrid”. It started off life as an old IBM 486 that somebody or another was throwing into a skip, (salvaged by my brother in law) and since then has undergone various degrees of major surgery in order to optimise its performance. But even with a 4Gb hard drive, an AMD 350Mhz processor, and 128 Mbs of Ram, it could still hardly be described as cutting edge technology. ~ ~ For about the last three years I’ve been threatening to bite the bullet and invest in a new system, but being a canny Scot both by birth and in nature, spending the necessary shillings is something that takes lots and lots of thought and contemplation. ~ ~ So imagine my delight and surprise when my wife arrived home recently with a brand spanking new Fujitsu Siemens Scenic eD computer in the boot of her car. I immediately suspected that the old credit card had taken a severe bashing, but she then informed me that she had been GIVEN the PC for her own use by her employers. (She is currently studying for the ECDL examinations) ~ ~ It was up and running in jig time, and my investigations began to discover what made it tick. The basics first. It came with a 20Gb hard drive, an Intel Pentium Three 933Mhz processor, and 128 Mb of Ram. Also included were a nice, big, crystal-clear 17-inch monitor, a floppy drive, and a 48 speed CD Rom drive.. It isn't a tower system, which I like, as the monitor sits on top, making the whole package very neat and tidy, with not so many wires hanging out the back and cluttering up the whole place. The keyboard is also Euro compatible, which is important here in Ireland as we change over to the Euro next January. About the only thing that was missing was a modem, but that was very quickly put right by a visit to the local computer store. (£40 Irish for a 56K; not bad) It is also came already
preloaded with Windows NT4, and free software included the complete Microsoft Works Suite 2000, Word 2000, and the Norton Anti- Virus programme. There is one serial and one parallel port, and 4 PCI Expansion slots to add extra hardware, that no doubt I’ll get around to in due course. It has a 3D graphics card, but I can’t seem to discover which one from the manual. The mouse is called a “Trekker”, and has a central wheel that you can use for scrolling down the screen. (Very handy when you’re reading an opinion) I’ll probably swap the CD Rom for a combined CD/DVD drive in the near future, but for the moment I’m more than happy with what we have. ~ ~ So how does it run? Let’s just say that I never realised before that I was still living in the Stone Age when it came to my computer system. Comparing it to my last system is like comparing a mini with a Rolls Royce. The first thing is obviously the speed at which it does everything. Now when I log onto dooyoo, it’s like a dream come true. No more frustrating waits while the page takes an age to load. Now it’s straight in there and get reading and rating. The clarity, sharpness and size of the 17-inch monitor are a revelation. Now I can actually make out what some of you guys and gals look like, whereas before you were just a blur in the background. And it is so quiet that you can barely hear it running, whereas my old system sounded like an old gas boiler about to erupt. And as for running computer games. WOW!! The graphics and speed are just simply superb, and my wee nine-year-old daughter keeps pestering me to let her at it all the time. ~ ~ Complaints or faults? Well I’ve only been using it for about a week, so I haven’t really sussed out anything major. I’m still a bit unsure about Windows NT4, but that’s probably because it’s new to me, and I&
#8217;ll most likely work it all out after a while. So far I have to say I’m absolutely delighted. ~ ~ And the cost of this marvel? Well, as I said earlier we got it free, so it cost us nada, and try as I may I can’t seem to get a definitive price for this particular system anywhere on the web. The nearest I can find is for the same system but with an 800Mhz Celeron processor and a 10Gb hard drive that was quoted at just over a £1,000. So I would think our system would be a bit more expensive. This is one happy little fella at the moment, I can tell you.