Compaq Questions

edited January 24 in Hardware

I would like to know what the first models were and their specs. I know the series was first introduced in 1993, but I want to know what exactly they were. (And yes, Google was tried; I asked one of my teachers to look it up, and he did, but he couldn't find anything.)

I do know that the models available in 1994 were the 433, the 600 series, and the 800 series.

I also found that back in 2004-2005, there were people on this forum bashing Compaq. However, I heard that some of their products were good. I want to know what exactly was good and what exactly was bad. Although I already know some of it (such as all of their laptops from 1998-2001), it would be nice to also mention it here. And yes, I know Compaq seemed to be innovative and a trusted brand in the 80s, before a decline in the early 90s in terms of sales, then a resurgence in 1993-1998 and then the decline. Compaq was the dominant PC brand from 1994-2001.

Thanks.

Comments

  • Is 1993 a typo? I’ve got a compaq portable from ten years before that, 1983. In the 1990s and early 2000s and probably all the way until today, there was a very big difference between business machines and home machines. Compaq deskpro have almost always been well built machines. Their home computers, such as the presario, were less appreciated. Also there was a big issue that people always thought they were going to need to upgrade their PC, but almost never actually did, other than maybe a bigger hard drive or some ram. So computers that were very proprietary as far as power supplies or lots of integrated stuff on the motherboard were always looked down on by “computer people” and I’m afraid I was guilty of it too.

  • 433 could be Presario all-in-one or Contura Aero laptop, I think the desktop and server lines were still using Deskpro and SystemPro monikers. The 433 just meant the CPU was a 33 MHz 486 and all the product lines for a time included CPU speed in the model name.

    Early Compaq machines were lunch pail equivalents to the IBM PC followed by improved lunch pail models that matched the AT and even AT style systems with 386 and 486 processors. In 1984, Compaq added Deskpro which were standard desktops a bit smaller than the IBM counterparts. Those also got improved processors generally before any one else made it to market. 1989 introduced the SystemPro which was the server line which had large caches and many other features to improve performance though at high prices. The online issues of PC Magazine would allow you to read enthusiastic reviews of each new Compaq release.

    Some time in the early 90s, Compaq changed CEOs. The new CEO cut production costs which bumped the profit line at the expense of reliability. That loss of reliability led to Compaq having to cut prices and trying to increase volume to generate revenue. The same poor strategy was being implemented at Apple with similar results. Compaq then tried to bolster service contracts by using non-standard power supplies and hard disks that contained the BIOS. Compaq technicians were the only way to get replacement parts that worked.

    Compaq also bought Digital Equipment Corporation but no idea what to do with it and killed off what would have been Compaq's entrance into mid-range corporate computing.

    Compaq was then put out of its misery in one of the more poorly conceived mergers with HP. There had to be cheaper ways for HP to get a brand name for their planned low-end mass markets machines.

  • edited January 24

    @jafir said:
    Is 1993 a typo? I’ve got a compaq portable from ten years before that, 1983. In the 1990s and early 2000s and probably all the way until today, there was a very big difference between business machines and home machines. Compaq deskpro have almost always been well built machines. Their home computers, such as the presario, were less appreciated. Also there was a big issue that people always thought they were going to need to upgrade their PC, but almost never actually did, other than maybe a bigger hard drive or some ram. So computers that were very proprietary as far as power supplies or lots of integrated stuff on the motherboard were always looked down on by “computer people” and I’m afraid I was guilty of it too.

    Yes, I made a typo. I know Compaq was founded in 1982 with the Compaq Portable coming out in 1983. I was talking about the first PRESARIO models.

    As far as 433 goes, it was the Presario all-in-one that I was talking about, but was it introduced in 1993 as one of the first Presario models, or in 1994?

    I also wonder whether or not the short-lived Compaq Evo line from 2001-2002 was good (that line became the HP Compaq line when HP took over).

  • edited January 24

    @menage said:
    [...] Compaq then tried to bolster service contracts by using non-standard power supplies and hard disks that contained the BIOS. [...]

    Yeah, my HDD-less Armada 1790 was afflicted with the lack of BIOS configuration. To its credit, it was a real bulky, solid machine with an internal CD-ROM and floppy drive. It would have been quite enjoyable if I ever managed to find a caddy for it.

    The Compaq Presario 2200 was a blunder of its own, due to its Cyrix MediaGX onboard hardware coupled with a 486-compatible CPU (in 1997). It requires an obscure key combination to be pressed at startup to load Windows 98 setup!

    I also had a Compaq Presario 5027 desktop, a Celeron-300 with win98FE. It held up quite well 14 years after manufacture with no indication of hardware issues.

    Yes, it did have a Quantum Bigfoot 5 1/4" HDD, much like the fabled 2200, and it probably doesn't take ECC RAM like the motherboard in my IBM PC 300GL, but I'm sure it would have persevered had I not mothballed it.

  • I still want to know: what were the first Presario models when the line was introduced in 1993?

    Also would like to see where I can find a complete list of all Compaq machines, perhaps with all their specs.

    Thanks.

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