Constantly renewed - 10 years+
I've had some of my current "main" computer for over ten years. It started out life as an AMD 350 MHz processor assembled for me and shipped in Fall 1996 from a shop in Chicago that I found on Pricewatch.com. Since then, I've changed hard drives, power supply, OS, motherboard, and much more.
The only two original parts that remain are the case and the 3.5" floppy drive. Everything else has been upgraded or replaced at least once. The most recent upgrade was a larger primary hard drive a couple weeks ago. Current configuration is an Athlon XP 1800+ with 1gig of DDR RAM on a K7S5A motherboard, two case cooling fans, extra USB hub/card reader, running GRUB 1.5 with Windows XP Pro SP2 and Freespire (Linux), an ancient Microsoft thumbwheel (mouse), dual cdrw/ dvd drives, and a 17" CRT monitor which will probably be replaced by an LCD monitor soon. Currently uses two multifunction machines for printing, scanning, copying and the occasional fax: HP Office Jet 6210 and a PSC 1210. Have a Xerox laser printer/scanner/copier that isn't currently connected. Three other computers (two notebooks and a desktop) in the local peer to peer network. Also for phones using Vonage on one line and AT&T on another, so there is a Belkin wired / wireless router, a Linksys router/phone adaptor for the Vonage VOIP line, and an aging Encore hub in case I need more wired connections sometime. Oh, and a Dell Axim X30 Pocket PC.
There is another self-built computer which will likely go soon to the home of my recently married daughter for her use personally and also in working for me remotely. That machine is on a SOYO motherboard running an Athlon XP+ 2400 and 512meg of RAM on Linspire 5.0v2 (Linux).
On the Windows partition of my "main" computer, I run routine maintenance almost every day, using AVG antivirus (scheduled to do a full scan at 4 am daily), Windows Defender and Spybot Search and Destroy anti-spyware, and occasionally Ad-Aware. Defragging is every five days or so; I run Registry Mechanic about every other day, and CCleaner every few days as well. I do the disk check/verify routine at startup every week or so.
On the Linux machine/partition, I just use it. (g)
I also have an aging (6 years)Compaq desktop running a Celeron 1.3 MHz with 512meg PC133 RAM on Windows XP Home SP2
None of my systems are exactly state of the art, but the main computer works pretty well for me doing research on the Internet, writing articles, Email correspondence, constructing financial reports and insurance proposals, building and maintaining web sites, composing music, producing MIDI files, scanning and retreiving documents, etc. etc. etc. etc. The Compaq desktop is OK with frequent maintenance if we don't ask it to multi-task too much. The Acer notebook is almost 2 years old as is OK. There is also a KDS notebook which works but it's on WinME and has seen better days. Driver support is not so hot or it would be a Linux machine already. As it is, it's a candidate for donation sometime soon.
Next machine or major upgrade will likely be to a Dual Core Intel processor or perhaps an AMD speed demon.
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