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Among the more poorly-designed computers in existence.

June, 1997: I graduated from high school. Bereft of using the computers in the school newspaper office, and facing four years of college, I decide to purchase my own.

Please note: I am _still_ using this computer.

The CPU is a black box, approximately three inches tall by fourteen inches long and wide. The monitor sits _atop_ the CPU like a bully crushing the life out of the chess team captain. In four years of ownership, I have experienced these problems:

•I have been forced to reinstall the original software no less than five times.
•At one time the OS refused to recognize the existence of the CD-ROM drive. When I went to use the QuickRestore diskette, it told me to insert the QuickRestore CD-ROM.
•Following no discernible pattern, the computer will refuse to start on some days, citing "Operating System Not Found," making me wonder who or what printed that message on the screen. The only way to correct this is to restart the computer, and when the whirring stops, strike the top of the CPU just left of center with the palm of my hand, at which point a high-pitched ringing begins, the CPU clicks and whirrs a few more times, and then everything works just fine.

I have a nightmare wherein I open up the CPU and there's _nothing inside_, maybe just some straw and a little brown mouse with an abacus...

     The "OPERATING SYSTEM NOT FOUND ERROR" is easily explainable, but unfortunately for you not pleasantly:

     Older IDE hard disks had a problem in which the platters of the disk would expand and contract as dictated by the laws of science when it pertains to metal substances. The problem arise that over time, the disk's platters expanding and contracting again and again would jam up the stylus, or the little needle that actualy reads the data from the disk itself. A common "quick fix" for this would be to bang/shake the disk, thereby freeing up the stylus. You would then be able to see the data on the drive (boot). This was only a temporary fix, and eventually the stylus mechanism would break, or the drive would fail completely, requiring a replacement.

     Lucky for you, hard disks are cheap. Good luck finding one that works with your computer, however, as I suspect it is hindered by the accursed 2.0 GB LBA barrier.

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