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Gateway2000 - Classic computing of sorts!


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#1 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:49 PM

Remember the cow spots?

 

I'm sure some of you must have bought or used one of these PC's during the 90's (when it was a much better PC company IMHO), I put a little page online to remember them. 

 

www.atariexplorer.com

 

(click on "The Spotty Box").

 

If anybody has any old magazine ad's or catalogs you can share with me, there is a contact form on the website, I'd be happy to use them on the website.

 

Although, I would have prefered an Atari PC ;-)

 

Enjoy!

 

Karl


Edited by Zafinn Books, Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:53 PM.


#2 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:24 PM

Looks good so far, cant wait to read the history behind this company. And just in time, too, because Im just finishing spiffing up my 486. Next steps are to gather all the manuals and my original catalog. And perhaps recap the crystalscan monitor.

#3 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:39 PM

Looks good so far, cant wait to read the history behind this company. And just in time, too, because Im just finishing spiffing up my 486. Next steps are to gather all the manuals and my original catalog. And perhaps recap the crystalscan monitor.

 

History -> http://www.thespotty...om/history.html

 

Love to see a piccy when you have it up and runnung Keatah!

 

It is funny how we managed to find room for such big computers back then, and yet, I still don't have enough room and everything is much smaller now :)



#4 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:56 PM

Yes this was the full-size 486 desktop. The power supply is the size of a gallon milk jug. The whole box weighing in at like 30lbs.

 

From another post:

"I clearly remember when I ordered my first 80486, a DX2/50, from Gateway 2000, how I had the choice of what productivity application I could get! The salesman made me feel so important because I was getting real & genuine Microsoft software as freebie bonus! It was great. He took the time to explain exactly what my options were what package might or might not be a good fit for me. I felt like a million bucks. I picked Word, as that's what I had a real need for back then. It was nice, sophisticated, and I felt like I was in a real store; but in reality talking on the telephone. And when the system arrived it was ready to roll. There was no other shit on it. Believe it! No malware or shovelware or free trial offers. No half-assed incomplete sigh-me-up payware. No subscriptions and no accounts. It was ready for serious business. Not like the shit you get from retail today."

 

The experience was as good as I had when I bought my Apple II home. And both usages experiences were utterly unlike the Amiga - which turned out to be one promise after another after another after another. With nothing panning out.

 

---

 

I'd like to see other GW2K users share their experiences here.


Edited by Keatah, Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:57 PM.


#5 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:32 AM

Huge cases, and huge prices!  (Circa 1992).

 

 

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#6 DragonGrafx-16 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:08 PM

My Gateway 2000 P5-90 died but it lives on (mostly) inside a generic AT tower I built with a Socket 7 board and most of the hardware reused. Except I'm using an AMD K6 200MHz rather than the Pentium 90 the original Gateway had. The RAM is also different (it's a 32MB stick, single channel/non-parity DDR1 I think) but all the other hardware I had taken from the Gateway. Runs pure MS-DOS 6.22 only.


Edited by DragonGrafx-16, Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:09 PM.


#7 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:59 PM

I'll grant you the "of sorts" but I wouldn't call the old cowboxers "classic" just because they're old.

Unless you would also consider a 1992 Ford Taurus a "classic" as well, in which case we can agree to disagree and I will slowly back away from you, avoiding eye contact.

Fun fact: a bunch of low-end PC brands from the 1990s (eMachines, Gateway, Packers Bell) consolidated into the Taiwanese company Acer. IMHO they make some okay products, but nothing anyone would ever confuse with "classic." Maybe I'll check on your posting history in 20 years to see if you've proven me wrong. ;)

https://en.m.wikiped...g/wiki/Acer_Inc.

#8 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:42 PM

My all-original manufactured-in-1992 DX2 rig has a Multi-Function I/O board with an Acer chip smack-dab in its centre!



#9 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:02 AM

..and the summabitch is loud. Not loud loud like a bunch of fans in a fanboi overclocking rig, but loud in a certain bandpass that resonated throughout the over-large case. It just pulls on my ears like a set of glasses on a hot day. The system belongs back in the 60's or early 70's. Its beefy. But still made of cost-cutting flexible metal. The bigger chassis don't hold shape precisely when the cover is off.

 

And when you turn it off, the two HDD's heads snap back and the whine moves to a lower frequency and then fades. Even the red switch clunks! Thank god.. A breath of fresh air and lemonade in the shade.



#10 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:55 AM

@Flojomojo

 

The word classic can be used wildly these days, but if you were to remember a classic PC brand manufacturer (from the so-called "low-end"), Gateway 2000 (as opposed to the more recent Gateway brand that had been re-banded several times after 1998, and eventually gobbled up by ACER in 2007) was definitely one of them.  It stood out from the crowd and provided good value low-end and high-end PC systems (including Server products via its ALR acquisition in '97).

 

History -> http://www.thespotty...om/history.html

 

I consider computing on PC's in the 1990's "classic".  Keatah's DX2 was out before the Atari Falcon030...  Most "classic" PC titles hale from this era.

 

Old is not classic agreed, and there are people reading your post who have never seen or heard of a Ford Taurus and would class that as old and perhaps even a classic, but for "old" cowboxers like myself, I think we are on the cusp of being "classic"  :grin:  

 

Karl

www.thespottybox.com


Edited by Zafinn Books, Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:55 AM.


#11 Gamemoose OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:26 AM

My parents bought a couple Gateways in the 90's. One was a tower, which ran all right. The other was a laptop I think my Dad sent back as it had some dead pixels. Gateway stated they wouldn't take it back as a few pixels being out sporadically can happen. It took a bit to explain my Dad did CAD work for his sign business and pixel was out in the workspace. Then it went back. Can't recall if they replaced it or just got a refund.

When I worked at a computer store, a customer wanted a multimedia upgrade. The sound from the CD-ROM would not go through the speakers, even though the cable end fit in the audio port on the mobo. I pulled the plastic of the port off, rotated it and placed it back on. After that, sound worked fine. Weird.
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#12 Wyluli Wolf OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:55 AM

Wow, does this bring back memories.  I went to work for Gateway 2000 right out of high school at the South Dakota location.  My first job was working on the assembly line, in a giant warehouse, building computers.  My hours were from 4pm until 2am and most Saturdays as they were always running behind.  I sure don't miss those freezing cold winters, especially at 2am when you had to shovel out your car, pray it started (no cell phones folks) and drive home on the interstate back to Iowa.

Ted Waitt would show up on occasion, his hair always pulled back in a pony tail and bald as a cue ball on top.

 

I somehow managed to keep one of my later badges (pic below).

 

The museum in Sioux City, Iowa has a display for Gateway 2000.  There were a LOT of folks that worked there from Sioux City, myself included.  Attached are a couple photo's I took at the museum back in 2016.

 

My Badge:

Gateway.jpg Gatway2.jpg Gateway3.jpg Gatway4.jpg
 


Edited by Wyluli Wolf, Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:08 AM.


#13 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:59 AM

"You've got a friend in the business" <cringe>

 

:lol:

 

Anyway, don't mind me, I don't mean to piss on your nostalgia, it's just that I never cared for Gateways.

 

Ask me about Sculley-era Apple sometime and you'll better understand what I'm feeling. Cos you'll be feeling it about me and my opinions about overpriced beige boxes from the 90s. 



#14 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:15 AM

Don't have much experience from gateway or dell in the 1990s or 1980s. My understanding is they were cheaper than other name brands e.g. AST, Acer; but more expensive than quality no-names. Apple was on another order of magnitude.

I use to sell those name brand PCs in the 1990s; never understood why people wanted to pay more for the names.

Edited by mr_me, Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:39 AM.


#15 RandomRonn OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:27 AM

Very nice website!

 

My family's first PC was a Gateway P133 with MMX.

 

I loved that ugly box--tons of nostalgic memories playing Jazz Jackrabbit 2 on that thing.



#16 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:31 AM

Ask me about Sculley-era Apple sometime and you'll better understand what I'm feeling. Cos you'll be feeling it about me and my opinions about overpriced beige boxes from the 90s. 

 

Do tell?   I loved that era.   Had a Quadra... forgot the exact number.  That thing was amazing.  first saw one of those in 1996 I believe and it just blew away the Silicon Graphics machine sitting next to it in the computer lab.  My friends were sold on Macs because of that.   I first got a Mac Plus in 1989 when I was looking for something to replace my Atari 400.

 

As for Sculley era, I loved the Newton MessagePad line.   Got my first Newton 110 in 1995.

 

And Gateway.   I have a fondness for that line mainly because they had an interesting advertising scheme when all computers were either Macs, eMacs, or a variety of PC boxes of many manufacturers with cases that were pretty bland.

 

I would step into the Gateway retail store in Arlington, TX on Cooper and I want to say I took pictures of the place back in the day but I would have to find pictures from 1999/2000.   Wish me luck on that.  :P.  But the whole marketing angle was cute.   Nothing spectacular about the computer or equipment, but what a way to stand out.

 

And for a while Gateway had ownership of Amiga, so probably another reason I payed the place a visit, to see what would happen next with the Amiga line.  :D

 

So in short, we are talking about Gateway years later so they obviously did something rememberable.



#17 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:40 AM

@ Flojomojo - No problem!  We all have our opinions ;-)  I love MAC too!  I have an original iMac, a couple of G5 Towers which I kept because its the best case design ever!  I use to run a school bank on trusty Apple II's back in the day, so Apple has a place in my heart too.

 

@ RandomRonn - Thanks for the nice words, I couldn't find much online about the company, so I did :-D



#18 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:40 AM

I think "Classic" is a subjective enough term to be used as the sayer sees fit.... but I say that with some qualifications...

Classic could mean "iconic"--- the 57 Chevy, the 67 Mustang, the 32 Ford Coupe, the Macintosh Plus, C64, the Coca Cola bottle shape...

Classic can also mean "Groundbreaking" or something that (while it may not have lasted long term) had a lasting impact on an industry or culture--- the round-backed iMac, the Edsel, Crystal Pepsi, FMV CD-ROM games, the Virtual Boy...

All about perspective. ;)

#19 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:41 AM

Lots of Gateway on eBay right now, but to me it is not the same unless it has cow spots.

 

(I can hear Christopher Walken saying "I have a fever for a new computer and I need MORE COW SPOTS!!!")

 

Anyway, the CD case... classic!

 

And cool.. mugs!

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#20 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:42 AM


And for a while Gateway had ownership of Amiga, so probably another reason I payed the place a visit, to see what would happen next with the Amiga line.  :D

 

So in short, we are talking about Gateway years later so they obviously did something rememberable.

 

I wrote a little piece about that on the website, you can read it here http://www.thespottybox.com/barn.html - Scroll down to the end of the page.



#21 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:49 AM

Wow, does this bring back memories.  I went to work for Gateway 2000 right out of high school at the South Dakota location.  My first job was working on the assembly line, in a giant warehouse, building computers.  My hours were from 4pm until 2am and most Saturdays as they were always running behind.  I sure don't miss those freezing cold winters, especially at 2am when you had to shovel out your car, pray it started (no cell phones folks) and drive home on the interstate back to Iowa.

Ted Waitt would show up on occasion, his hair always pulled back in a pony tail and bald as a cue ball on top.

 

I was in Sioux City a few times, always had a great time there.  I was always asked why someone from Ireland would want to go to South Dakota when I was getting connecting flights from Chicago or Minneapolis :)

 

Check these out - http://www.thespotty...ottythings.html



#22 Keatah ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:23 PM

I don't necessarily consider my system classic. I may say "classic" because "old". But certainly there is little or nothing unique. different, or rare about the hardware. And each bit of hardware, drives, cards, memory, and so on, all of it came from different manufacturers. I will also say the mobo is rather bare and basic in features, as are the BIOS options. Nothing extravagant like you'd find in Pentium II/III systems a few short years later.

 

I do however consider the software classic. Windows 3.1 & MS-DOS 5.0. And all the games and applications we ran on it. The software shaped the use of the system. It gave flavour and personality to +30lbs of cheap clone metal.



#23 Zafinn Books OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:15 PM

I don't necessarily consider my system classic. I may say "classic" because "old". But certainly there is little or nothing unique. different, or rare about the hardware. And each bit of hardware, drives, cards, memory, and so on, all of it came from different manufacturers. I will also say the mobo is rather bare and basic in features, as are the BIOS options. Nothing extravagant like you'd find in Pentium II/III systems a few short years later.

 

I do however consider the software classic. Windows 3.1 & MS-DOS 5.0. And all the games and applications we ran on it. The software shaped the use of the system. It gave flavour and personality to +30lbs of cheap clone metal.

 

I think we can agree there is some (a little bit) classic-ness to an older Gateway 2000 system, cowspots and all :thumbsup:    The steel box and fairly generic internals are nothing we will see on an episode of "My classic computer" (if such a show existed) in the next 10-20 years, but you'd be surprised how rare some of these PC systems will become, especially as they are so commonly tossed into the recycling bins or sadly part of yet another YouTube destruction video!

 

PC's do not have a large collector fan base like the home computers have had, but perhaps their time will come :)

 

I think the other part of the story here is the company itself, and its roots and quirky marketing, that was unique in the computer world and as Opry99er said earlier, it did impact on the culture, so to some degree when you compare Gateway 2000 to a Micron, Dell, Compaq, HP etc, they do have a little justification of being a classic machine if not by hardware alone.



#24 doctorclu OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:56 AM

I was checking the internet archive, mainly to see if they had the pictures of the Gateway locations.   I loved the one in Arlington, TX.  Actually looked like a barn.

 

So far nothing, though I did find information about the Arlington location.

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 9.40.03 AM.png

 

Even a class schedule:

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 9.40.36 AM.png

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 9.40.44 AM.png

 

I accidentally looked at the current site for Gateway was glad to see the icons of the marketing were still featured:

 

Screen Shot 2019-03-27 at 9.41.13 AM.png

 

Good stuff.  I hope I stumble across the old pictures at some point.  The Gateway retail place was a hoot.



#25 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:59 PM

I've been to one of the old physical stores ... I don't recall if it was shaped like a barn or not, but the lighting inside was definitely barn-like, and there were bales of hay everywhere. Pretty funny. 






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