pc history


february 2001 issue pc world magazine


Dell was selling the Dell Inspiron 8000 Laptop with a Pentum 3 Processor at 700 Mhz, 15" SVGA TFT, 128 Megs SDRAM, 10 gig hard drive, 8x DVD Drive, and Rage Mobility Video for $2,349.  Competitors like Systemax were introducing the first generation Pentium 4 (1.5 Ghz Processors, 128 megs ram, 30 gig hard drive, Windows 2000 and Office 2000 Pro) for the sum of $2,799 (a P4 1.4 Ghz without Office and with Windows Me instead of 2000 sold for $1,949).  A Dell Dimension 8100 P4 with the expensive Rambus memory set you back $3,509.  Windows Me and Windows 2000 was in its prime.  What we know as Windows XP, codenamed "Whistler" hadn't been released by Microsoft.  Compaq was really Compaq (not HP), and Macromedia really was Macromedia (not Adobe).

In Top of the News, discussing upgrading to Windows Me entitled "Life with Me: First 100 Days," it begins, "Anyone who's upgrade to Windows Millennium Edition will tell you it's the best version of Windows ever - or the worst.  Immediately upon installing Windows ME all my problems went away."  But other upgraders called it a "freaking disaster" and the "buggiest Windows I have ever used in my life."

Further, in the article the author cited "Windows Me has generated more problem reports in three months than Windows 98se has recorded in over a year."

PC World tested the first generation Pentium 4 Processors - a 1.5 Ghz P4 in a Dell Dimension 8100.  For the jump in clock speed compared to a 1 Ghz Pentium 3, the initial test reports for the P4 left them underwhelmed.  The Pentium 4's strength was in multitasking (running several applications at once).  "Unfortunately, our tests show that while it's a fast processor the Pentium 4 isn't yet as impressive as its paper trail might indicate."