[ Retro Scan of the Week ] A Packard Bell

May 30th, 2011 by Benj Edwards

Packard Bell Legend 650 Plus in Sears Wish Book 1992It’s just, you know, one a them computers. One a them things. Don’t work.

[ From Sears Wish Book, 1992, p.728 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: In your words, what is a computer?

13 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] A Packard Bell”

  1. arlandi Says:

    a computer? it’s a shiny blinking speaking thingy…

  2. SirPaul Says:

    Packard Bell… That brings back plenty of memories… None of them good.

  3. Xyzzy Says:

    SirPaul, I had the same reation. I spent way too many hours spent trying to help my aunt fix hers, often after tech support tried to update her anti-virus software, install a RAM/drive upgrade, or other things that should’ve been foolproof. I wanted to take a sledgehammer to it by the time she finally got another computer.

  4. XCALIBR8 Says:

    I definitely don’t think a Packard Bell counts as a computer. My friend had so much trouble with his. I got one as a hand me down in the late 90’s and I tricked it out pretty nice. More ram, CPU upgrade, new HD, and new CD burner. It worked for years and the MB never died.

  5. SirPaul Says:

    When we had our Packard Bell (our first computer), I accidentally deleted an icon in the program manager (this was on Windows 3.1, obviously). It might have been a startup item, I don’t remember. The “geniuses” on tech support had my mother ship it to them for repairs, and it took them about 3 weeks to get it back.. Please note that at the time, I was living about 2 miles from their headquarters here. That is just one of many stories.

  6. JackSoar Says:

    In my words? God.

  7. Eagles409 Says:

    Anybody remember the “living room” that shipped with all Packard Bells? It was that interface that was supposed to make navigating Windows faster and easier. I couldn’t get that thing off the computer fast enough. I still have a copy of the program… I wonder if it works with Windows 7.

  8. Donn Says:

    Eagles, would that be GeoWorks?

    I also had a friend with one of those Packard Bells. Poor guy. I wasn’t too much better off with my AT clone, but it was in a big case with lots of expansion slots and drive bays, whereas his Packard Hell was tiny, and was a real pain to get at the internals. And the graphics? CGA, blech!

  9. SirPaul Says:

    Actually, that was something called Packard Bell Navigator. The early versions was just an easy-to-use, colorful GUI, but the version with Windows 95 was in a “living room” motif.

  10. Braybett Says:

    A computer is a device that has a keyboard attached to it. Big, foot and a half long keyboards with lots of little buttons. Buttons for pressing.

  11. mrnukem Says:

    Worked as a repair tech at Tandy Service/Computer City. They always wanted us to get certified with the various computer makers for whatever reason. The running joke was to get Packard Bell certified all you needed was a pulse and a screwdriver…ahhh early 1990’s tech humour..

  12. tony Says:

    I owned one personally, it was fast at the time a pentium 90mhz, purchased in 1994, and while not a very upgradable computer, I used it longer as my main system than any other machine I’ve ever had. I stopped using it as my main machine in 2000 and started using as a linux box for the next two years, I still have it somewhere. My uncle still uses a packard bell 486 to this day and will not replace it, he uses it daily, and while hes gone through a few keyboards and a few monitors, he has never replaced a single component in it except for upgrading the ram probably 10 years ago. They may have gotten a bad rap, but in my experience aside from being horrible to upgrade, the ones I have encountered had lasted many many years.

    On a side note I had a friend back in college a few years back, who was from turkey, and the computer he brought over with him was a Packard Bell P4, apparently they still make computers over seas, or at least some company has bought the rights to the name.

  13. LongFellow Says:

    I had a Packard Bell for a number of years. The only problem I had with it was the 40MB hard drive that came with it was put into park mode and was never able to be removed. It was replaced a number of years later and that 286 beast worked. The only thing it needed was the time set as it did not update for leap year and the time change.

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