My Computers

I own a pretty substantial amount of computers, though not nearly as many as some collectors out there. I also lack literally any sort of pre-Y2K PC, so that's a problem.

All of my systems' hostnames are named after blocks/items that can be found in Minecraft. Don't ask why, I just needed some kind of theme other than "Kokoro-<SYSTYPE>", and since my phone was named Quartz and my MacBook was named Prismarine, I went with it.

Prismarine


This is my main computer, a 2017 MacBook Pro (MPXV2LL/A). I got it as a graduation gift in May 2019, and I've used it near-daily since then. It also powers my main desk setup - yes, I use a laptop in place of a desktop! Specs are as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-7267U @ 3.1 GHz
  • GPU: Intel Iris Plus 650
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Monitors: 1080x1920, 1920x1200 (Apple Cinema Display), 2560x1600 (laptop's panel)

I decided to go with a MacBook Pro instead of something like a ThinkBook or some random gaming laptop for a number of reasons:

  1. I don't really play PC games that much. Hypocritical, I know, since I literally do gamedev, but I really don't need super powerful graphics in that regard either since I mainly make 2D games.
  2. I prefer macOS. It's a bit of a shocker to some, but yeah, I actually prefer it for a number of reasons. I'm not going to act like it's a perfect OS by any means- Catalina and Big Sur are definitely taking things in a bad direction- but for now I like it. I go into detail on this on the Q&A page if you're interested in why I like it.
  3. I didn't want to mess with hackintoshing. I used to do it with my previous laptop, and it took too much work to get it as perfect as possible. Even then, things like iTunes and Photos would just refuse to work, no matter what I tried.

Sapling


Sapling is one of the first computers I ever used, and probably the sole reason I'm so invested in computers nowadays. My parents got it in 2004 as the family PC, giving me my own account some time in 2006. That was a mistake! I ended up spending hours glued to the office desk just doing whatever on this PC, much like I do nowadays :p

Around 2010, my mom got her own laptop (and so did my sister), leaving me with total control over the PC at this point. Despite it being excruciatingly sluggish by 2010 standards, I managed to use it up until 2012 when my dad gave me his old iMac. Before then though, it saw its fair share of 2000s internet, flash games, MSPaint usage, shareware games, and towards the end of its first life, some long Minecraft sessions. I even used Linux for the first time on it!

When I switched over to my new-old iMac, Sapling got relegated to a tinkering machine, where I would try out various Linux distros (as well as Haiku). That changed suddenly when, one day, after installing a copy of some Linux distro, it no longer got past the BIOS splash screen. So, it ended up in storage...

In 2014 I pulled it out of storage to disassemble and re-assemble it, mainly to prepare myself for Beacon's build process, but also to clean everything out. It had a pretty substantial amount of dust caked everywhere as a result of operating in a tight corner for almost a decade. Even still, after cleaning things out, it wouldn't get past the splash. Then I did this before putting things back together :)

Fast-forward to early 2019, where I'm screwing around, trying to put Sapling's internals in Beacon's previous "gaming" case. The PSU's cables wouldn't reach, so I decided to put everything back. Then it struck me- I had a leftover PSU sitting around, why not try to replace the PSU? Lo and behold, that somehow allowed it to get past the splash screen once again!

I initially reinstalled Windows XP as that was what it ran for most of its past life, but after realizing how sluggish it was (even on a near-fresh install), I decided to swap it out for Windows 2000, which ended up being a much better fit. I also managed to find the exact same model of monitor and speakers that we had with the PC, before they were both thrown out/donated. Interestingly enough, they were found at pretty local thrift stores, too. Perhaps they're the exact same ones as before?

Specs are as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.8 GHz
  • GPU: Intel 82855 GME
  • RAM: 512MB
  • SOUND: Mad Dog Prowler 4.1 DSP

Charcoal (Y2Ktop)


I go into a ton of detail about this laptop in this blog post, so I'd rather not rewrite stuff here.
In short: Pentium III laptop, latest Debian.

Lapis


A Windows XP laptop set up in a desktop configuration, part of my main desk setup. Not really much to say about the history of this laptop, other than that it came with Windows 7 and used to be my sister's. Specs are as follows:

  • CPU: AMD E-350 @ 1.6 GHz
  • GPU: Radeon HD 6310
  • RAM: 4GB DDR2

Beacon


This was my previous desktop computer, now relegated to a gaming-only setup amongst my console gaming area. It's still pretty powerful despite not having had any hardware upgrades since 2017.

This was the first computer that I built myself; I originally put the parts list together sometime in late 2014, but it wasn't until early 2015 that I had all the parts together to build it. After having to game on pretty underpowered hardware my whole life, it was a nice breath of fresh air, even if I was only using pretty mid-range specs for the time.

Unfortunately, the graphics card I picked out (a Radeon R7 250X) died after a year, causing reboots every time I did anything that even remotely taxed it. After sending it in for an RMA and waiting about a month for the replacement, I was back in action... for about a month. Then the replacement card died, doing the exact same thing. I still wonder if they just sent the same card back.

I moved onto an R7 360, which performed more or less the same as the old card, until my birthday came around the next year where I got an RX 480. Since then, that's been the last hardware upgrade I've done, aside from switching to a new case and adding lighting strips.

For the first few months, I had Windows 8.1 installed, later upgrading to 10, then some time in 2017 I installed Kubuntu. I used Kubuntu as the main OS on it until I got Prismarine, after which I decided to make it a gaming-only PC as Prismarine serves both desktop and mobile use now.

Current specs are as follows:

  • CPU: AMD Athlon X4 760K @ 3.8 GHz
  • GPU: Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480, 8GB
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3
  • MBOARD: MSI A78M-E35

Noteblock


A Windows 7 laptop set up in a desktop configuration. It's part of my main desk setup, sharing the portrait monitor with Prismarine. I mainly use it for FamiTracker and OpenMPT, as Wine became non-functional with macOS Catalina. I also use it for any modern Windows programs I may need, as using Beacon for anything non-gaming-related is pretty annoying.

Specs are as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-2310M @ 2.1 GHz
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3(?)

Hopper


The iMac I used to use before Beacon became my main computer for a few years. It's a mid-2007 model, more specifically an iMac7,1. I got it for my birthday in 2013, and even by then it was pretty outdated. Still, it was a nice improvement from the previous iMac I was using, which would lock up sporadically due to GPU thermal issues.

Being a used computer, it came with an older hard disk with an unknown amount of wear. This wear began to show in the summer of the same year I got it, when the iMac would begin to lock up and sometimes show the dreaded "folder-with-a-question-mark" on power-on. Sometimes I could get it to boot up successfully and use it for a while before symptoms would come back, but after a week or so, the disk finally died out for good. Luckily I was smart enough to do a backup while the disk was slowly dying, so after getting a replacement disk installed, I was on my paws again.

In 2018, I decided to upgrade Hopper with a new CPU, SSD, and AirPort Extreme card. I have yet to buy a 4 GB stick of RAM to max it out on that end. Rumor has it that the graphics card can be upgraded too, but it requires a specific card from a specific model of iMac, and it's not easy to get a hold of one by itself.

Nowadays it sits in my main desk setup, being used for Twitter, Telegram, and Discord, as well as any potential 32-bit app I may run into.

Current specs are as follows:

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 @ 2.5GHz
  • GPU: Radeon HD 2400XT
  • RAM: 4GB DDR2