VOGONS


My Collection of Oldskool Fun

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First post, by QBiN

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I figure I'd add my list to the fray. I've avoided it so far because the list is kinda long.: (from oldest to newest)

1 - Original IBM XT (Model 5160) 4.77MHz, 640K mem, with EGA graphics, Dual 360K 5.25" Floppies, 20Mb MFM Seagate HD, 3Com 3c503 10Mb NIC, and an Adlib Sound Card. Runs MS-DOS 3.3

2 - Packard Bell Force 1, 286 10MHz, 4MB RAM, Trident ISA VGA Card, 40MB WD IDE drive, 5.25" + 3.5" HD Floppies, 3Com 3c509-Combo 10Mb NIC, Midiman MM-401 (MPU-401 Compat.) ISA card, and Sound Blaster 1.5 with optional CMS chips. Runs MS-DOS 5.0

3 - Clone 386, Desktop Case, AMD 386-40MHz, 8MB RAM, Trident VGA ISA Card, ISA Multi-I/O card, 80MB WD IDE drive, 5.25" + 3.5" HD Floppies, 3Com 3c509-Combo 10Mb NIC, Roland MPU-401, and Sound Blaster Pro 2.0. Runs MS-DOS 5.0 + WfW 3.11

4 - Clone 486, FIC 486-PIO-3 Mobo w/ i486-DX2 66MHz, 64MB RAM, Diamond Steath Video VRAM (S3 VirgeDX) PCI Video Card, WD Cavier 1.6GB IDE, 3.5" Floppy, 32x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c509-Combo ISA 10Mb NIC, Roland SCC-1 Sound Canvas, and Sound Blaster 16 ISA PnP. Runs MS-DOS 6.22

5 - Clone Pentium, Tyan Tomcat III Mobo w/ Pentium-200, 128MB RAM, ATi xpert@play 4MB PCI + Canopus Pure3D Voodoo 12MB card, WD Cavier 1.6GB IDE, 3.5" Floppy, 32x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c900 PCI 10Mb NIC, and Sounds Blaster 64 AWE Gold. Runs Win95b.

6 - Asus F2B-F w/ P-II 450MHz, 128MB RAM, Diamond Viper 770 (nVidia TNT2) 32MB AGP + 2x Canopus Pure3d-II Voodoo2-12MB PCI in SLI, Samsung 10GB IDE, 3.5" Floppy, 48x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c905C PCI 100Mb NIC, and Sound Blaster 16 ISA PnP. Runs Win98-SE.

7 - FIC PA-2013 Mobo w/ AMD K6-3 450MHz, 192MB RAM, ATi Radeon 32MB-DDR AGP, IBM 10GB IDE drive, 3.5" Floppy, 48x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c905 PCI 100MB NIC, and Sound Blaster AWE32 w/ 16MB SIMMs. Runs Win98-SE.

8 - Asus K7M Mobo w/ Athlon 1GHz, 384MB RAM, Geforce4-Ti4200 128MB, WD 20MB U/ATA-33, 3.5" Floppy, 50X CDROM, 3Com 3c980 100MB NIC, and Sound Blaster PCI512. Runs Win2000.

9 - Asus TUSL-2 Mobo w/ P-IIIS 1.4GHz (Tualatin), 512MB RAM, Geforce4-Ti4600 128MB, WD 40GB Special Edition, 3.5" Floppy, 16X/10x/40x CD-RW, 3Com 3c905 100MB NIC, and Sound Blaster Live 5.1. Runs WinXP-SP2.

Lastly... my everyday PC...
10 - MSI Neo2 (i865PE) Mobo w/ P4-2.8GHz, 1GB DDR-400 RAM, Geforce-6800GT 256MB, WD 74GB Raptor 10K, 3.5" Floppy, LG 52x CD-RW + LG 16x DVD+-RW/RAM, Intel Pro/100+ NIC, and Sound Blaster Audigy 2. Runs WinXP-SP2.

MIDI-wise, I have a Roland CM-64, Roland SCD-15, and Yamaha DB50XG that move from computer to computer depending on what games I'm playing. I also have tons of random spare mobo's, drives, CPU's, etc. that get swapped out if a game or app needs something in particular.

Sorry. Told ya it was kind of long.

What do you think of my collection? Questions/Comments/Flames?

Reply 1 of 20, by 5u3

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😳

Very impressive, especially the older ones and of course the K6-III 😁
The only thing I wouldn't like that much are the Trident VGAs 🤣
Do you have all of them set up ready for action? They surely take up a lot of space, don't they?

Reply 2 of 20, by Spotted Cheetah

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"Trident VGA" - yes, what a crap 😜 - i have a P133 which runs one of my home made games 5 times slower with some ISA 512Kb Trident VGA card than my old 25MHz 4.86 did with a VLB 512Kb Cirrus Logic card 🤣

On the other hand nice collection - you have a room full of PCs then? 😁 By the way i am still at Pentium 233 - so in your list my production PC would be a museal piece 😜

Oh, and forgot to mention that that Trident crap one time starts being black & white, other time - after hitting a few CTRL+ALT+DEL starts in color - i do not know who on the Earth figured out this way of monochrome - emulation, but so far i had never seen such anywhere else 🤣

Left this dictatoric junk. No. IV.

Reply 3 of 20, by QBiN

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5u3 wrote:

The only thing I wouldn't like that much are the Trident VGAs

Spotted Cheetah wrote:

"Trident VGA" - yes, what a crap - i have a P133 which runs one of my home made games 5 times slower with some ISA 512Kb Trident VGA card than my old 25MHz 4.86 did with a VLB 512Kb Cirrus Logic card

Yeah... I know. 😢 At the time I was putting some of these boxes back in shape, I needed something I know would be compatible with almost everything out there. Trident, albeit slow as all get out, is almost universally [in]famous.

Any suggestions for alternate ISA VGA chipsets I should keep an eye out for? Did the ATi Mach64's come in ISA?

Spotted Cheetah wrote:

after hitting a few CTRL+ALT+DEL starts in color - i do not know who on the Earth figured out this way of monochrome - emulation, but so far i had never seen such anywhere else

Yep, the Trident in the Packard Bell does that. SUPER annoying.

5u3 wrote:

Do you have all of them set up ready for action? They surely take up a lot of space, don't they?

They are all ready to rock. All plugged in. I saved a lot of spacing by putting them all on a couple of KVM switch boxes (except for the XT because of the EGA monitor). All the cases fit under just one table. 😀

And, Spotted Cheetah, don't feel bad about the 233. It's not a museum piece, neither are mine. You don't touch things in a museum! I still have a blast playing all sorts of games and running apps on all of mine everyday.

PS: The really cool thing... 😁 they all (even the 8bit XT) talk Windows networking (or MS Lan Manager) via TCP/IP to each other. 😳 That way I avoid dealing with floppies almost all together.

Reply 4 of 20, by 5u3

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QBiN wrote:

Any suggestions for alternate ISA VGA chipsets I should keep an eye out for? Did the ATi Mach64's come in ISA?

I just found an article in an old C't magazine (from 1994), where they tested the Mach64 VLB and PCI versions. According to the article, an ISA version also existed (which was not tested). I reckon you have to be very lucky to find an ISA Mach64, since the chip was new back then and everybody bought the local bus variant.

As an alternative, I recommend a Tseng ET4000 ISA (as usual 😉). It has ideal features for a retro gaming card: Fastest DRAM framebuffer on ISA, 100% VGA compatible, very good Hercules/CGA/EGA emulation, VESA 1.2 (2.0 with UniVBE) and some models even come with a TTL output for CGA/EGA monitors. The drawbacks are no GUI acceleration and flaky RAMDACs on some models, but that shouldn't matter when playing old DOS games. Since it was widely used, it can be found easily for only a couple of bucks (or even free 😀).

QBiN wrote:
Spotted Cheetah wrote:

after hitting a few CTRL+ALT+DEL starts in color - i do not know who on the Earth figured out this way of monochrome - emulation, but so far i had never seen such anywhere else

Yep, the Trident in the Packard Bell does that. SUPER annoying.

Once I had a similar problem on a Cirrus Logic VLB card, it turned out that the BIOS chip was not sitting properly in the socket.

QBiN wrote:

They are all ready to rock. All plugged in. I saved a lot of spacing by putting them all on a couple of KVM switch boxes (except for the XT because of the EGA monitor). All the cases fit under just one table. 😀

Amazing! I can barely manage the "spaghetti style" cable mess that comes with only 4 PCs (and 7 soundcards) 😵

QBiN wrote:

PS: The really cool thing... 😁 they all (even the 8bit XT) talk Windows networking (or MS Lan Manager) via TCP/IP to each other. 😳 That way I avoid dealing with floppies almost all together.

Ah, that explains all the 3Com cards... They always had good DOS support.

Reply 5 of 20, by vasyl

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I recommend a Tseng ET4000 ISA

I second that, many games supported it directly, significantly more than Trident. Trident 8900 was actually not too bad but 8800, and especially 8800BR, was junk for all practical purposes.
I have to comment on this part

100% VGA compatible

ET4000 is very compatible but not 100% so. Sure, there were some minor differences but there was one interesting item. ET4000 had different memory layout in mode 13h (320x200x256), believe it or not. I can imagine a game that would fail because of that but I haven't seen one yet. I know of a few games that have special code for ET4000 just for that issue.

Reply 6 of 20, by Spotted Cheetah

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I think - at least mine - the Cirrus VLB card is a good thing too. Until my 4.86 worked i never run in troubles with it, since it was even listed in Ralph Brown's list, i wrote a tiny DOS app for it in NASM what pushed it's VESA modes' refresh rate high (Although this was only needed on my LCD to reach 1024x768 in Windows 3.1. The LCD was not really happy with the original 46Hz interlaced mode). If i had a VLB slot! 😀 That performance was simply awesome what it offered.

As i can remember to that Trident card everything is soldered in on it. Anyway i will check if not...

I never said i feel bad with my P233, it is a good piece: i can even watch DIVX movies on it when i wish! 😀 - for programming it is perfect, Windows boots in 5 seconds, Slackware Linux in at about 7, so no problem at all. Maybe i will only change when 64bit PC's will be that spread that i will simply have to compile my Windows apps on one.

EDIT: Damn, i so badly mistaked... The Cirrus card had 1Mb of memory, could display 640x480 in 24bit depth, and of course 1024x768 in 256 colors.

As i checked out the Trident card it really had three chips plugged in (one BIOS and two memory chips) which i took out and cleaned with contact - spray. Did not help, the behavior remained 😜

Left this dictatoric junk. No. IV.

Reply 7 of 20, by QBiN

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Spotted Cheetah wrote:

the Cirrus VLB card is a good thing too.

Any opinions on the Cirrus Logic ISA chipsets (e.g. CL-542x)? Compred to Tseng, ATi, or others of the time?

Reply 8 of 20, by Spotted Cheetah

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I think mine was a CL - 5426, but i do not have it now nearby... It is better than the Trident 😜 . I think it had at least VBE 1.2, maybe 2.0, but not 3 - since i have not got anything in what i could use it, i can not test. The speed seems to be awesome - i also have a PCI card, i do not know what kind now, in one of my P133s with 1Mb of memory, maybe some S3, and i do not think it can overperform the Cirrus card.

Left this dictatoric junk. No. IV.

Reply 9 of 20, by laxdragon

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Qbix, that is an awesome collection of hardware. Good job mate.

If you keep these all on your desk, I'd like to see a picture of that.

laxDRAGON.com | My Game Collection | My Computers

Reply 10 of 20, by QBiN

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So I picked up a 1MB CL-5424 and a 2MB ATI Graphics Ultra+ (Mach32)... Both ISA.

According to what I've read up on, the 5424 is the slower of the two and easily slower than a Tseng ET4000. However, the same info I've read seems to suggest that an ATi Mach32-based ISA card should handily beat a ET4000 (at least a ET4000AX or W32) for both DOS and Windows3.x performance.

Reply 11 of 20, by QBiN

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So a couple of things have changed, and I'm listing them because Robertmo seemed interested. 😈

My 286...
Pulled the Trident out and dropped in the CL-5424. Improved speed of all VGA games.

The 386...
Same thing; pulled the Trident ISA VGA card and dropped in the ATI Mach32. Win3.x speed improved noticeably.

My Athlon 1GHz...
Swapped Mobo's to an Asus K7M266 w/ an AthlonXP 2100+. Everything else is the same. Good engine swap though.

My main (current) PC...
I sold the GF-6800GT, and replaced it with a Geforce 7800GS.

Reply 13 of 20, by QBiN

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3 Years have past. I past my 5 year wedding anniversary two years ago and now have a toddler running around the house.

So... some sacrifices had to be made. I had to prune down the number of computer hardware in the house. Except for the 286 and 386's, I tried to keep motherboards that could accomodate a variety of procs, so I'd at least good platforms for running the other procs in my collection.

I get by without the 286 and 386 by using DOSBox or Virtual PC. I couldn't give up the XT... it's too rare. Although I regret not having the 286 and 386 anymore.

UPDATED:

1 - Original IBM XT (Model 5160) 4.77MHz, 640K mem, with EGA graphics, Dual 360K 5.25" Floppies, 20Mb MFM Seagate HD, 3Com 3c503 10Mb NIC, and an Adlib Sound Card. Runs MS-DOS 3.3. Added Orchid TinyTurbo XT (286+cache with toggles for both) accelerator card.

2 - (GONE) Packard Bell Force 1, 286 10MHz, 4MB RAM, Cirrus Logic 5424 ISA VGA Card, 40MB WD IDE drive, 5.25" + 3.5" HD Floppies, 3Com 3c509-Combo 10Mb NIC, Midiman MM-401 (MPU-401 Compat.) ISA card, and Sound Blaster 1.5 with optional CMS chips. Runs MS-DOS 5.0 Stripped of the good hardware and given to GoodWill.

3 - (GONE) Clone 386, Desktop Case, AMD 386-40MHz, 8MB RAM, ATI Mach32 VGA ISA Card, ISA Multi-I/O card, 80MB WD IDE drive, 5.25" + 3.5" HD Floppies, 3Com 3c509-Combo 10Mb NIC, Roland MPU-401, and Sound Blaster Pro 2.0. Runs MS-DOS 5.0 + WfW 3.11 Stripped of the good hardware and given to GoodWill.

4 - Clone 486, FIC 486-PIO-3 (SiS) Mobo w/ i486-DX2 66MHz, 64MB RAM, Diamond Steath Video VRAM (S3 VirgeDX) PCI Video Card, WD Cavier 1.6GB IDE, 3.5" Floppy, 32x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c509-Combo ISA 10Mb NIC, Roland SCC-1 Sound Canvas, and Sound Blaster 16 ISA PnP. Runs MS-DOS 6.22

5 - (GONE) Clone Pentium, Tyan Tomcat III Dual Proc (i430HX) Mobo w/ Dual Pentium-200's, 128MB RAM, ATi xpert@play 4MB PCI + Canopus Pure3D Voodoo 12MB card, WD Cavier 1.6GB IDE, 3.5" Floppy, 32x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c900 PCI 10Mb NIC, and Sounds Blaster 64 AWE Gold. Runs Win95b. Stripped down to parts. Case given to GoodWill. Kept parts.

6 - Asus P2B-F (i440BX) w/ P-II 450MHz, 128MB RAM, Diamond Viper 770 (nVidia TNT2 Ultra) 32MB AGP + 2x Canopus Pure3d-II Voodoo2-12MB PCI in SLI, Samsung 10GB IDE, 3.5" Floppy, 48x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c905C PCI 100Mb NIC, and Sound Blaster 16 ISA PnP. Runs Win98-SE.

7 - FIC PA-2013 (VIA MVP3) Mobo w/ AMD K6-3 450MHz, 192MB RAM, ATi Radeon 32MB-DDR AGP, IBM 10GB IDE drive, 3.5" Floppy, 48x IDE CDROM, 3Com 3c905 PCI 100MB NIC, and Sound Blaster AWE32 w/ 16MB SIMMs. Runs Win98-SE.

8 - (GONE)Asus K7M266 w/ an AthlonXP 2100+, 384MB RAM, Geforce4-Ti4200 128MB, WD 20MB U/ATA-33, 3.5" Floppy, 50X CDROM, 3Com 3c980 100MB NIC, and Sound Blaster PCI512. Runs Win2000. Stripped of the good hardware and given to GoodWill. Did nothing the following P3-Tualatin didn't do better.

9 - Asus TUSL-2 (i815) Mobo w/ P-IIIS 1.4GHz (Tualatin), 512MB RAM, Geforce4-Ti4600 128MB, WD 40GB Special Edition, 3.5" Floppy, 16X/10x/40x CD-RW, 3Com 3c905 100MB NIC, and Sound Blaster Live 5.1. Runs WinXP-SP2.

10 - MSI Neo2 (i865PE) Mobo w/ P4-3.4GHz, 2GB DDR-400 RAM, ATI-X1950XT 512MB, WD 74GB Raptor 10K, 3.5" Floppy, LG 52x CD-RW + LG 16x DVD+-RW/RAM, Intel Pro/100+ NIC, and Sound Blaster Audigy 2. Runs WinXP-SP2.

New Daily Use PC...
11 - (NEW) ASUS P5Q-Deluxe (P45) Mobo w/ Core2 Duo E8500 (3.0GHz), 4GB DDR2-1066 RAM, Geforce GTX-260 Core216, WD 150GB Velociraptor, LG DVD Burner, Built-In Broadcom GigE NIC, and Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (PCI-E). Runs Vista Ultimate 64bit.

MIDI-wise, I still have the Roland CM-64, Roland SCD-15, and Yamaha DB50XG that move from computer to computer depending on what games I'm playing. I also have a few random spare mobo's (including the ones scavenged from the above machines that were sacrificed), drives, CPU's, etc. that get swapped out as needed if a game or app calls for it.

Reply 16 of 20, by keropi

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On the vga matter , I don't like the Tseng cards because of their bugs in games like Apogee's ones... all 3 I have tested have a strange scrolling bug...
I am a fan of Cirus chips and S3 cards, personally speaking I never found a bug using them 😀

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
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💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 18 of 20, by bushwack

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QBiN wrote:

3 Years have past. I past my 5 year wedding anniversary two years ago and now have a toddler running around the house.

So... some sacrifices had to be made. I had to prune down the number of computer hardware in the house. Except for the 286 and 386's, I tried to keep motherboards that could accomodate a variety of procs, so I'd at least good platforms for running the other procs in my collection.

Were any pics of your old setup around? I like to see that before you did the cut backs.

I only keep 2 retro rigs in the house and post about them here in the forums. The garage is a different story where I have a few stacks oftest machines that I don't use on a regular basis.

Reply 19 of 20, by QBiN

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bushwack wrote:

Were any pics of your old setup around? I like to see that before you did the cut backs.

I only keep 2 retro rigs in the house and post about them here in the forums. The garage is a different story where I have a few stacks oftest machines that I don't use on a regular basis.

No pics. 🙁 I had most of them on a BlackBox brand 12-to-1 KVM switch to keep things manageable. The XT was completely standalone since it uses an XT (think, no AT KVM compatibility) and an EGA (ttl signaling) card & monitor.

rangga wrote:

QBin.. I'm interest on the 486 (and ibm xt if possible) please check your pm ..Thankyou

It wasn't meant as a classified or a giveaway, rangga. 🤣 Thanks for your interest though.