25 April 2011

Partially resurrecting an elk

Many years ago, lost in the mists of time, in 1994 to be exact, I bought my first "own" PC: a 486 with 8 MB of RAM. I called it The Elk, because compared with the exceptionally feeble family 386SX I had been sharing up to that point it was A Powerful Beast with Horns. After a while I upgraded it with a faster chip, and then later it got a new motherboard with an AMD K6 and 32 MB of RAM, along with a second hard disk and a better monitor. By now it had been renamed Elk III.

Oh, the power.

You know what happened next. The Elk went the way of all silicon-based lifeforms: it got slow, it got unreliable, and it got replaced. Newer, faster PCs took its place, and it lived out the remainder of its days under my desk, initially as a dual-boot test machine (Windows 95 and NT 4), and then gradually as bit rot set in, the CMOS battery failed and so on, it ended up as a dual-non-boot doorstop.

Æons passed.

A couple of years ago, I was having a clearout. I gave what was left of The Elk to my mate Dave, to add to his growing collection of electronic memorabilia (or spare parts for his "messing about with microprocessors" hobby projects). Imagine my surprise and delight when I see this post on Dave's blog Yes I am a geek, but no I don't care, documenting his use of a certain motherboard with an AMD K6 and 32 MB of RAM... The Elk is alive, Igor!