10/8/2001 You'll be sick of it, I know, but I think it's fantastic -- Sunday is the 20th birthday of the IBM PC! I don't have one of the original vintage (although my ZX81 has pride of place on my desk), but I know them well. I can remember eagerly devouring the issue of Personal Computer World (at the time, the only computer magazine worthy of the name) with the IBM cover story and wondering if I'd ever be able to afford something quite so magnificent, quite so powerful, quite so Real Computer. Hey, it even had lower case on the keyboard: an unattainable level of sophistication. And now look at me. Surrounded by gigahertz machines (alas, none of them mine), pulling live video from the Net, searching for aliens and chatting to friends in glorious high resolution technicolour, it might seem as if the young lad's dreams have been answered. But the truth is, I'm perfectly happy with my rather ancient DEC 200MHz Pentium MMX machine, bought for sixty quid second-hand and chuntering away quietly -- ok, not that quietly -- ever since. That was my perfect bang per buck sweet spot, and I'm happy. I know, it's attitudes like that which lead the world into recession and make stout Irish techies weep into their alcopops. But hey, you've got to stop somewhere.