My Computer Desk (1999)

A few months ago The Retroist posted his computer setup from the mid 1990s. I found a picture of my own computer setup from the late 90s so I thought I would share it as well.

Rob's Computer Room, Heather 02

Oh boy.

I had a lot of things going on back in 1999. I was a Luddite (and still am in many ways) who was hanging on to DOS so strongly that I had two workstations, one running Windows 98 and one dedicated running DOS (mostly for old games that simply would not run on a Windows 98 machine). Additionally at work, I was just getting into Windows networking and so I had a Windows NT Workstation and a Windows NT Server also running. The fifth machine was connected to a BBS machine that I kept up and running until Y2K.

Obviously this was taken at a time before flat panel monitors were available and KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) units were affordable. Back then, running five computers meant having five keyboards, five mice, and as you can see from the picture, five monitors. To manage the heat in this bedroom I had to regularly turn off the monitors that weren’t in use; regardless, this room hovered around 80 degrees year round.

On the far right hand side of the desk (under the black speaker) is my old CD-ROM changer. It was an external SCSI device that held 6 CD-ROMs at a time. Each one got its own drive letter and it was connected to my BBS.

A couple of other things I see in this picture: to the left of my desk was a spinning CD-Rom tower. To the right was a laser printer I found in the trash, sitting on a black milk crate. I still have that printer somewhere, although I think the milk crate is worth more at this point. I also see a Stormtrooper coffee mug and an alien-shaped novelty cup that I think made its way back from Vegas. The other thing that sticks out to me is that none of the computers have cases on them. Back then I was adding more RAM, upgrading hard drives, or performing other upgrades frequently enough that the cases tended to stay off.

Rob O'Hara

I'm into old video games, old arcade games, old computer games, writing, photography, computer/network security, and of course, the 1980s!

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4 thoughts on “My Computer Desk (1999)

  1. Great photo. I would often go through phases where my machines were more often than not.

    Right when I closed them is when they would start making some weird fan scraping noise.

  2. Rob, my home office is in the basement. Freezing down there. According to you, the solution is to turn on 5 computers and 5 CRT monitors to warm the place up. I only have 3 CRTs… I better find 2 more!

  3. Justin, more computers and more monitors will definitely raise the temperature down there. Unfortunately they will also raise your electric bill!

    And Retroist, there was only one time I regretted not having cases on those machines. One time while playing a particularly exciting round of X-Wing I managed to spill an entire glass of Kool-Aid into my main machine. Fortunately nothing was damaged. OH YEAH!

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