Computing used to be one of my biggest hobbies. I started in 1983 with a
Sinclair ZX Spectrum with 48KB of RAM and a tape drive. At that time it was
not yet a shame to program in BASIC and when the trend started turning that
way I quickly learnt some Z80 assembler to stay ahead of shame ;-)
At high school I was then for the first time confronted with the world of MS-DOS as they had - at the time - brand new Olivetti M24 machines with a 8086 CPU and 512KB RAM and a 360KB disk drive. Imagine the suspense we were in while interracting with our first ever MS-DOS program: GATO, a submarine game.
Not long after that I sadly sold my Spectrum and bought a no name 8088 clone and started my carrer of pascal programming and getting new high scores in Digger. Another lurch in computer power was my first harddisk, a 30MB Seagate drive as loud as a helicopter (they still make them that way ;-o )
Other steps in my constant race to be at the top of computer power usually lagged behind the latest available machines as my student's budget didn't allow me everything I would have wanted. Thus my waystations were a 286-16, a 386-40, a 486-66DX2 and a 486-33. Since earning my own keep I have been able to keep more or less up to date on the current hardware and I am presently working on a 2GHz Pentium 4 system.
After growing up with the Spectrum's Basic Interpreter I decided that the DOS prompt (version 2.10) was the height of any MMI that would ever be invented and neither Windows 2.0 nor 3.0 managed to get me away from my text command line. With Windows 3.1 I could no longer keep to my principles and have moved along with the masses using Windows 98, NT, Windows 2000 and XP. I have boycotted Windows 95 and Windows Vista, though I might cave in for Windows 7 at some point.
During my studies at the ETH I saw the chance for redemption when I came in contact with UNIX on our SUN Sparcstations. MS-DOS and Windows (with their pseudo multitasking) quickly lost its flavour. I discovered Linux and since then Windows has degenerated into a gaming plattform... Since June 2005 the game that is eating most of my time is World of Warcraft
Apart from gaming and a little home office use, I mostly use computes for work.