My first computer was a 486-33 from Gateway 2000

Actually it was not mine, it belonged to my family.

According to the List of past Gateway products in Wikipedia, that means we got it sometime in 1991, which sounds about right. I would have been 11. Before we got it, I remember helping my dad research computers in Computer Shopper (which was about as thick as a phonebook at the time). I believe there was also an IBM PS/2 in the running.

The 486 refers to Intel’s 80486 microprocessor, which was the last in the x86 series before being rebranded “Pentium” (commemorating the 5th generation). Current Intel consumer processors sold today are from the 7th and 8th generation of the x86 architecture.

The 33 refers to the speed of the processor, in this case 33MHz. Top of the line processors today run at 3000MHz (more commonly written 3GHz).

I remember playing Lemmings, SimCity, and Wing Commander II on it. I also toyed with a shareware ray-tracing program (with a lot of assistance from dad) to create some “photo-realistic” 3D computer graphic scenes. I got very good with DOS. Yeah, MS DOS. I played with QuickBASIC some.

Anyway, I just started thinking about all this after reading that Acer [plans] to buy Gateway for $710 million.



I had on e of those! How big was the hard drive?

probably like 25 or 50MB.

Neal Kaye

My first (IBM compatible) computer, which I purchased in 1993 from a friend, had an Intel 486DX 33mhz, 4MB or RAM, a 2400 baud modem and a 124MB hdd, and an Orchid farenheidt 2D video card. This was a few years before 3D video cards were even available. For it’s time, it was pretty much “state of the art”. I used it, primarily, for Flight Simulator 5.0 and getting on the “new fangled” World Wide Web, which had only been around for a year or so.


I was in awe of my girlfriend (now wife) when she doubled the ram to 4MB herself and showed me how to defrag. now I cant boot her 486dx-33 at all. I did crack the case open thinking maybe the cmos battery – of course it’s no easy pop-in job. maybe i’ll try it anyway. that puppy made it to guam and back with its 14.4 modem card endlessly calling aol.


I miss computer shopper magazine. Each month, I’d read all the articles and build my dream machine from the advertisements. It always included a SCSI drive. :)


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