Christina, Anya, Kyan and I were at Maritim Hotel in Balaclava from Tuesday to Thursday last week from 2 to 4 August. Despite a few shortcomings at the hotel, we had a great time and the food was very good. Here are some photos we took:
- Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3000+
- Motherboard: Abit KV8 Pro
- RAM: 2Gb
- Storage: 160Gb HD
- Video: Inno3D Nvidia GeForce FX 5200
- Audio: Terratec DMX 6Fire 24/96
For the first time ever, I had a 64-bits processor, the fantastic AMD Athlon 64 with AMD64 technology. The processor would boot into 32-bits mode and Linux would transition it to 64-bits where it became a completely different (and much better) processor. In fact, Intel would license the AMD64 technology after some time. At that time, I was running Gentoo Linux in 64-bits mode and it rocked!
I also had a whopping 2Gb of RAM which was a lot for the era.
I purchased the Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 to run X-Plane 9 under Linux and it worked really great on the PC (and also on the iMac I would buy a few years later).
Finally, the PC also had a Terratec DMX 6Fire 24/96 which was a professional audio interface. It came with a break out box which took one bay of the computer. This had a number of connectors including audio ins and outs (in both analog and digital), a microphone number (with a good preamp), a headphone out and two MIDI ports (which I used with my trusty Kawai K4 synthesizer). I remember paying a large chunk of money to purchase the Terratec but I had a great time composing music using it.
I sold the Terratec to a friend of my brother-in-law when I moved to an Apple iMac in 2011 and, shortly after, purchased a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (which is still running great!)
We used our first PC bought in France for some time (with a new hard disk of course) and, five years after returning to Mauritius, decided to upgrade. I bought components from a shop in Port-Louis which does not seem to exist anymore (Professional Computers) and I got:
- Processor: AMD Athlon XP 1800+
- Motherboard: Asus A7V333
- RAM: 256Mb
- Storage: Maxtor 80Gb HD
- Video: Inno3D Nvidia MX440 64Mb + InnoDV DV1000LE
- Audio: Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6
The processor was still an AMD but, instead of getting a K6, I upgraded to an Athlon XP aka a K7. The AMD processors were still so much better than anything Intel had at the time. They were more efficient despite running at lower frequencies and I loved the architecture. As a computer scientist with some computer engineering background, I could appreciate how good the AMD designers were.
I remember having a dual boot system with Windows XP and, probably, Ubuntu or Mint Linux.
We opted for an MX440 graphics card which was, in fact, an Nvidia Geforce 4 MX. I remember that the graphics performance were not fantastic (short of the real Geforce (non-MX) 4) but the card was cheap and, at that time, I had started to play less and use my computer more for music, programming and the web. I didn’t really need top-notch graphics performance.
But I still purchased an InnoDV add-on card to provide a Firewire port to the computer. I used that port to transfer videos in DV format (720 x 576) from my Sony DCR-TRV18 camcorder to the computer for editing. USB was not used for video at that time. The software I used for video editing was Sony Vegas and TMPEGEnc for encoding the rendered videos into H264 (a video codec which was quite new at the time). Interestingly, I would trade the camcorder for an Ethernet switch a few years later after moving to Full HD video…
I was still making music but I settled on the Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6, a very cheap audio card, which, for some reason, contained a very good audio chipset, the C-Media CMI8738. At that time, I had just discovered software instruments such as mda Piano and Crystal and they worked fine on the card.