I've used and owned a lot of different computers over the years. Mostly for my own amusement, here's a brief history of them.
Note: This doesn't include the tens of thousands of servers and client workstations I've administered for my jobs. I'm not a monster.
1987 - IBM PCjr
My dad brought this home from work one day. I don't think he or anyone else ever figured out how to make it do anything productive, but I remember playing hangman on it in the basement when I was very, very young, and, to my knowledge, that was the first time I touched a computer.
1993 - Compaq
I don't remember much about this computer, but it was the first machine that I did much of anything with. It and its sweet 486DX2/66 and copy of Windows 3.1…
1998 - Gateway
This was the first computer my family bought when I knew anything about computers. It came with a 350MHz Pentium II, 64MB of RAM, a brand new DVD-ROM drive (the first that anyone around had seen), and a hot-of-the-presses copy of Windows 98.
2001 - Gateway
I don't know exactly why we went back to Gateway, but we did. This particular machine came out-of-the box with a 950MHz AMD Athlon (Thunderbird), 128MB of RAM, and a copy of Windows ME. It was crashtacular and not really useful for anything. However, after my parents got another computer in 2003 (an HP), I was able to take this one and install Linux on it full-time (Mandrake, initially). It was upgraded to have 256MB of RAM, a nVidia GeForce 2 MX400.
2005 - CaveOfBirds
Before leaving for college, I built a new computer (
CaveOfBirds). The CPU
was and AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (first generation 90W TDP/Socket 939), and it
initially had 1GB of RAM and a GeForce FX 5600. It was my primary computer
for the entire time I was at college (running Gentoo ~amd64), and gradually
got upgraded to 4GB of RAM, a GeForce 9800GT, four hard drives, a 620W
modular power supply, and an increasingly-complicated system of fans and
baffling to keep that big slow CPU cool. I still have it sitting around,
but haven't powered it on in years.
2009 - Caladan
Shortly before I graduated, I picked up a used Late 2008 15" MacBook Pro which I named Caladan. Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53GHz, 2 core), 4GB of RAM. Once I graduated and moved to the Bay Area, I didn't really have the patience (or space in my 630sq ft apartment) for a 650W behemoth, so I just used the laptop. I upgraded it straight through to OS X 10.8 (and stayed on OS X; I didn't feel the need to mess around with Linux on the desktop so much when I was supporting hundreds of Linux servers professionally day-in and day-out). It could've kept going forever except for the sad decline of its battery.
2009 - SietchTabr
When I do need to do something on my own Linux machine, I use my prgmr.com
SietchTabr. It runs Debian, and currently has an uptime of 77 days. Generally, all
it does is sit around and run my mailserver and DNS for me; sometimes I use it to test various things that
need to be run on a Linux box (although if I'm testing something particularly intrusive, I'll probably
just spin up an EC2 instance that I can throw away rather than using this box).
It's had some long uptimes.
2013 - Caladan (2)
By 2013, Caladan was getting noticeably slow. It couldn't even run Cookie Clicker without chugging. When Apple released the new Haswell-based Retina MacBook Pros, I couldn't resist. So I went ahead and bought myself a fully-loaded rMBP: Intel Core i7-4850HQ (2.3GHz, 4 core), 16GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 750M. It's called Caladan because it replaced Caladan (huzzah network restore), and it's by far the fastest computer I've ever owned. Also, if I don't engage the dedicated GPU, it gets 8-10 hours of battery life. Can't complain about that.
2019 - CaveOfBirds (2)
After almost ten years, I'm back in the "Desktop Computer User" club at home. Now that I have a bit more space, I decided that I'd like something with a bit more horsepower and screen real-estate than Caladan – thus, CaveOfBirds (2). It's a 2019 5K Retina iMac with an Intel Core i5-9600K (9th Generation, 6 physical cores), 16GB of RAM, AMD Radeon Pro 580X, and a 1TB SSD. Is it the most powerful computer that I could get for that many dollars? Heck no, but it's significantly faster than the MacBook Pro (50% faster single-core Geekbench score, 160% faster multi-core, if you don't want to click the link), and holy cow is that 27", 5120x2880 10-bit-per-channel screen gorgeous. You can see more of my immediate reactions in this blog post.