Taming the pile, specs to target?

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Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-11 @ 14:57

Hi all,

So, not trying to boast here, but I have a huge amount of vintage PC parts and systems scattered around the basement and closets. All of which is extremely disorganised, and was stored with various amounts of "care"... some boards just piled in box, some wrapped in AS bags and bubblewrap. Systems in various states, some "as recieved", some cleaned out and fired up a decade ago, some ran until they got flaky then put aside, some half cannibalised. It's a wonderland or nightmare depending on your POV :-D

I recently had a serious medical issue, that has "put me on the bench/sidelines" as it were for a few months. Need to keep things low stress, nothing very strenuous, and try to do relaxing things. This might cause y'all some impatience following my adventures, because I'm not gonna dig to the back of that wall of boxes in one go, maybe not even over a week. May just get into one box every few days or something. However, I want to go through all this treasure/junk, build myself some "keepers" and trade away or sell the rest... well what else am I gonna do, watch TV for months?

So what systems should I build? ... the typical questions answered...

Q: What games do you want to play? A: All of them... I've actually forgotten a lot of games I used to enjoy and expect there to be a lot of "Ohhh yeahhhh" as I dig through my old media. Hoping for new to me discoveries and rediscoveries.

Q: What parts have you got to work with? A: All of them... okay, a very wide variety, I think this post would run to multiple pages... there's not many gaps, some thin patches like I only have one 100mhz capable super 7, and one BX class board. Don't really have many of the highest high end parts in the gfx and sound department, more like standard to mid end for era. Q': Jeeze do you not throw anything away? A': Not much, though I regret parting with a 25Mhz Harris 286 on mobo, and one of those sweet little baby AT AMD 386sx40s years ago.

Q: How much room do you have? A: Kind of undefined at present, I think as I inflict more organisation on the situation, I'll be able to use a 6ft long bench, 3 stacks of 3 system units, monitors above.

So wrapping that up, want a representative spread of 8 or 9 systems from DOS 3.0 to XP, 1984 to 2004. Not sure whether to include in that number the utility box, the interface to 2017, needing to be capable of interwebbing securely, running ubuntu or win7.

So hit me up with your ideas for what 8 or 9 specs to aim for in that era plzkthx, kinda hard deciding when 486s, Socket 5/7/SS and Slot I had huge ranges, up to 5x faster or so.

Thanks muchly in anticipation..
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby Tetrium » 2017-10-11 @ 18:55

Hi.

First thing I can advice you to do, is to get organized.

For obvious reasons, there's already been a couple threads about how to store and organize ones collection.
Here's a few threads:
viewtopic.php?t=29820
viewtopic.php?t=30972
viewtopic.php?t=46031
There's also a link to a page on Vogonswiki in my signature, listing a bunch of interesting Vogons threads. It may hold some interesting information for you. Feel free to have a look :)

But first I'd suggest to get some ways to store your items in such a way that it doesn't get damaged. I'd suggest you get a whole bunch of antistatic bags. This will at the very least help when parting with items and packaging them.

For rigs, I could suggest (from top of my head) something like:
1) DX2/66 16MB RAM or so
2) 5x86 (for coolness factor and perhaps as a spare), 32MB or 16MB FPM
3) Socket 4 Pentium 60MHz :D 64MB FPM or EDO
4) 430TX 233MHz Pentium MMX 64MB Voodoo 1 Virge 4MB ISA sound 64MB EDO
5) K6-3(+) 400MHz to 550MHz. If you use a mobile chip, you can use a slowdown util. Voodoo 2 or 3, Vortex or perhaps some Yamaha sound card. 256MB SDRAM
6) Slot 1 440BX with Pentium 2 333MHz unlocked. 256MB SDRAM
7) s370 Coppermine 1000 or Tualatin 1400. Voodoo 5 or perhaps GF3/GF4 and Voodoo SLI, 512MB SDRAM PC-133
8) Athlon XP 3200+ (or whatever Athlon XP floats your boat), FX5900U or FX5950U, some nice sound card (I'd probably use onboard but I heard Audigy is very nice :P) 2GB DDR-400
9) Northwood 3.2GHz GF6800 2GB DDR-400
10) Athlon64 running at 2.2GHz or so, 2GB DDR-400, GF7X00 AGP or PCI-E

These are just some suggestions, I gave an extra one so you have a spare option...and who doesn't like spares :D

Btw, what country do you live in?
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-13 @ 02:16

Hi Tetrium thanks for getting the ball rolling.

Yah, mostly those organisation threads seem like what I've tried to do, get smaller boxes that stack nice together etc. I had a real good system with frozen burger boxes that fit exactly inside these veggie boxes I could get in a stack, but I only managed to get two stacks of them going before the burgers changed boxes. Getting some envelope boxes from an office now that are a bit bigger but stack neat. I've got most of my ~2003 upward parts in those.

Tetrium wrote:For rigs, I could suggest (from top of my head) something like:
1) DX2/66 16MB RAM or so
2) 5x86 (for coolness factor and perhaps as a spare), 32MB or 16MB FPM
3) Socket 4 Pentium 60MHz :D 64MB FPM or EDO
4) 430TX 233MHz Pentium MMX 64MB Voodoo 1 Virge 4MB ISA sound 64MB EDO
5) K6-3(+) 400MHz to 550MHz. If you use a mobile chip, you can use a slowdown util. Voodoo 2 or 3, Vortex or perhaps some Yamaha sound card. 256MB SDRAM
6) Slot 1 440BX with Pentium 2 333MHz unlocked. 256MB SDRAM
7) s370 Coppermine 1000 or Tualatin 1400. Voodoo 5 or perhaps GF3/GF4 and Voodoo SLI, 512MB SDRAM PC-133
8) Athlon XP 3200+ (or whatever Athlon XP floats your boat), FX5900U or FX5950U, some nice sound card (I'd probably use onboard but I heard Audigy is very nice :P) 2GB DDR-400
9) Northwood 3.2GHz GF6800 2GB DDR-400
10) Athlon64 running at 2.2GHz or so, 2GB DDR-400, GF7X00 AGP or PCI-E

These are just some suggestions, I gave an extra one so you have a spare option...and who doesn't like spares :D


Heh heh, yeah that's the last 10 years but what about the first 10, gonna need 2 benches am I? :D However 8, 9, 10 were a bit faster than I was thinking this range went.

But 1) yes, have thought of that as a classic config for about 1994ish ...

2) I ran one of these (Cyrix) for 6 years or so, big nostalgia feels. It got flaky though, it was getting to that just beyond useful stage before nostalgia kicks in so got retired and forgotten about. So not sure if my CPU got electromigration from running at 120+ for most of those 6 years, or the caps were failing, or the PSU, or it just needed cleaning and putting back together again. I believe however I could go the AMD route, definitely have 1 5x86 or could field an Intel DX4-120. I have a suspicion I also gathered another cyrix over the years. (Often I bought boxes of stuff for one or two newer bits on top and had less interest at the time about the included older stuff, so I've got the remnants of those with things in that I didn't even really mentally register as owning.*) However, I could easily get sucked into that fastest 486 trap and be tweaking and reconfigging that bugger to the exclusion of all else.

*BTW this hoard-i-ness stems from moving to a relative technological backwater compared to larger cities and thus a tendency to buy all the cheap used components I could find. (Because it was a couple hour drive to go grab any piece I was short of otherwise.) Plus attempts to keep the family around about supplied with computers and periodically upgraded. Sometimes felt like I was running a small biz IT dept.

3) Are you trying to catch me out? Yeah I've got one, neptune motherboard, this machine is the single most stable machine on Win 95 I've ever had, it's slicker than a greased weasel in windows, of course if you try to do anything needing some oomph it can't, I think it could play low bitrate MP3s in winamp and browse with netscape when I was last running it in 01-ish. I DO kinda wanna keep it for it's unique-ness, but on the other hand it's performance is not really much different from the higher end 486es and it's not quite fast enough to be in the classic pentium rqd games bracket, well at least to be smooth enough to enjoy, even if they technically run.

4) Yes, this seems like a classic config, don't know about the Voodoo 1 though, maybe a Permedia 2, a Rendition Verite, Number 9 Revolution 3D, with also a PowerVR 2? I mostly think of the Virge as belonging to P133 to 166 systems, but it's a faster 2D pixel banger to pair with a V1 or V2.

5) Another Nostalgia sweet spot. I was running a K6-2-350 oc to 450 from 99 to 2002 ish, with a Voodoo 3 PCI ... had it in an ATX TX board though @ 6x75.. Fairly sure I have a III as well as a III+ (Which I'm hoping to save for mobile) now and an Ali V board that should have more stones... and there I go again, I'll be on the fastest super 7 bandwagon.... can put a switch on the multiplier extender setting to flip between 2x and 6x or whatever 2 pairs it ends up at. 5 and 3 maybe forgot which ones pair, @124Mhz FSB.... Addenda: Holy crap, maybe I lied about no other super7, might have an M571, just popped into my head.

6)This seems a bit close in general perf to the prev system, also a bit of a waste of the BX since 333 is a 66 fsb CPU no? ... my BX is technically a ZX, means I get stuck with only 2 dimm sockets. I think I have a 100Mhz FSB 350... but I might be thinking that this wants to be a celeron A rig, on a slotket maybe with a TNT2..

7) Yah, the Tualatin is the ultimate, but bit faster than I was thinking the range would go really. Also seem to have appalling luck with them in the past, so they don't give me the warm fuzzies. For this I'd maybe go PIII coppermine between 600 and 1G... Either a Radeon DDR or Geforce 256 maybe.

Higher speed than that, I somehow wanna do a P4 Rambus rig, with an ATI RAdeon 8500, because that what seemed to be the spendy 3DMark monster that was hard to beat. Though I think I might cheat that with a Radeon 9000 because the 8500 I know the whereabouts of has issues.

So yah, lots of ideas for sweet rigs in there, but there's nothing before midway up the 486es. Damn it's hard to be selective. I'm going through them and mentally having to boot out ideas creeping in, like "No I'm not doing a 6x86 or MII rig..." Also, it seemed like a hell of a lot happened between the end of 1998 and the end of 2001, it was really intense, heyday of the Voodoos, first through 400, 500... 1Ghz...2Ghz... early T&L and 2 more gens. AMD>INTEL>AMD>INTEL>AMD back and forth, K6-3s upstaging PIII and then celerons As getting in the mix and the budget CPU getting 600 (overclocked) before 500 was announced etc etc.

Btw, what country do you live in?


I'm originally a Brit, settled in Canada now. If I'm talking about stuff I did in the day before 97 it's probably in UK, after that, Canada.
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-10-13 @ 03:51

BitWrangler wrote:
Btw, what country do you live in?


I'm originally a Brit, settled in Canada now. If I'm talking about stuff I did in the day before 97 it's probably in UK, after that, Canada.


Ah! Welcome! We have a few ground rules for imported Britons which you may or may not be familiar with. If you have been a resident in Canada for some time, I would ask you to review these rules so to avoid any unfortunate regressions.

Concerning Food
Please spread the joy of eminently drinkable stout, delicious toffees, and Yorkshire pudding. You are not to serve overcooked vegetables or strange meat pies of any sort. For the only universally acceptable meat filled pastry pie in Canada, please talk to your nearest Francophone.

Concerning Sports
Many Canadians will exhibit a lack of patience watching Association Football. These same people will usually find baseball fun and exciting. The cause of this discrepancy is unexplained by science, and we ask that you report such incidents to Heritage Canada for study. Also, due to deficiencies in the Canadian education system, many do not understand the scoring of tennis matches. Others will not understand cricket rules due to regional genetic trends. This is normal. We ask all former Britons to help explain these sports where possible.

Representing your Country of Residence
As a new resident of Canada you are in part responsible for pranking or "pulling the collective leg" of US citizens. The mythology we ask you to perpetuate generally revolves around existing stereotypes and tropes concerning climate and culture. We ask you to reinforce these points at every opportunity:
  1. All Canadians and residents of Canada travel preferably by snowmobile and/or dog sled.
  2. Snowmobiles and dog sleds are usable all year round.
  3. All Canadians know how to make an Igloo. As a new resident, you will have learned to build and live in one.
  4. As a resident of Canada, you are presumably learning the names and personal details of all other Canadians. Feel free to elaborate on your depth of knowledge when asked.
  5. As part of the process to be granted long term residency, you will have undertaken a three month intensive course on niceness and how to apologize.
  6. As a Canadian resident, your daily life is absent critical technologies such as electricity, running water, woven fabric, or the 24 hour day. Feel free to elaborate as any inconsistencies will be accepted to be regional variation.


One important question: Do you want machines that provide wide performance regimes or rather machines that are period correct or useful for exploring different technologies?
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BeginnerGuy » 2017-10-13 @ 07:38

Canadians are a bunch of hosers anyway eh...

I'm assuming we're just talking about machines for a little nostalgia and gaming, nothing super focused or special case.

Just want to add that you said 1984 - XXXX and the earliest recommendation so far has been a 486 66 that I can see, meaning we're entirely in the 90s.. I would personally love to have a 286 AT class with an EGA monitor. If I was going to be running many computers, I would definitely start there, you just can't get that feeling of an old EGA monitor and the super loud IBM speaker anywhere else.

For me the non negotiable machines would be something like the following:

0. Case of Molson Golden (What I'm enjoying right now, even after insulting Canadians).
1. 286 - IBM 5170, any 8 bit EGA card you can find
2. 486 DX~ 33-66, VLB optional.. I would just keep this dos / win 3.1 and avoid going insanely overkill, unless you just want to have fun. The next machines take care of the 9x era.
3. MMX 233 OR K6-2 up to 300~ (or go SS7 and even faster) --> These are great for slowing down by disabling cache or getting very nice win9x performance full speed. Jam your voodoo card in here!
4. PIII Coppermine Slot 1 --> Later win9x games, geforce card (FX 4200?), glide wrapper

It would be hard to want to ditch any of the above, if I had to choose one it would be 3 because 4 will play almost everything equally well, I don't particularly care to just use a glide wrapper too :evil:

Going beyond Win9x you have a bunch of choices.. for me it would just be a super overkill XP machine:
5. Core 2 Quad + 8 GB DDR2 + Any 1080P capable PCI-E card with XP drivers, tons of choices.

I left out the 386, but that's just because I can't think of many games off hand that won't run fine on a 486, but they are out there if you're into late 80s stuff. My next machine would be a 386 class. I would have no interest in Pentium 4 - Athlon 64 era hardware if I had a C2Q on hand.
Sup. I like computers. Are you a computer?
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby chinny22 » 2017-10-13 @ 14:19

First PC was a DX2 66 in 95 so I'm no much help for the earlier systems and speed sensitive games were pretty much sorted by then. Plenty here will know some sweet spots for the early games.
But you can also base systems around OS's rather then games something like.

1) 386, SB Pro /Adlib gaming focus. pure Dos PC?
Basically stuff I don't know about

2) 486 DX2 66, VL Bus, AWE 32 64 Dos 6.22/WFW
DX2 was the defacto PC for such a long time and VL BUS is something different. Lets you compare the AWE against General Midi, although some games may be a bit slow. lack of true OPL wont matter as that's what #1 is for

3) Pentium MMX, Win95 SB16 or similar and enhanced General Midi such as Roland, Yamaha Dream blaster.
Pretty much any game that runs on the 486 will run on this as well, but lets you play with different hardware setup and compare.

4) Pentium Pro, NT4 sound card doesn't rally matter.
Excuse to show off you have one more then anything :) gaming wise you'll probably go back to the MMX

5) BX (or zx) Based slot 1, SB Live for period correct or Audigy 2 ZS for nicer drivers, Win98SE
Legendary chipset, and really the ZX 256MB limit have no impact on a Win98 gaming PC.

6) Late Win9x Gaming PC
I use a P4 because I'm and Intel guy but admit that's boring, AMD Tbird so something similar? (not my area of expertise) or your Rambus system could be good for this.

I would also restore the PC's have sentimental value. Case in point out of my gamming rigs I have
DX2/66 VL Bus
586/133 -PCI based
P3 Slot 1GHz
Duel P3 Slot 600Mhz
Socket 478 P4

But I keep going back to the same 2 PC's
The 586 out classes the 486 in every way but the 486 was my very first PC so will always go to use that PC first
The Duel P3 doesn't really have any benefits over the 1Ghz or even the P4 but I saved that motherboard from my first IT job and get a certain happy feeling from knowing I have 2 CPUS, SCSI, 1GB RAM, basically enterprise stuff I could never of afforded.

So yeh, don't underestimate the value of nostalgia if your lucky enough to have held onto some of your old PC's
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-10-13 @ 15:06

My big question is: what's the fastest system (aside from the freak that j^aws made) which can deturbo/clock down to 8088 levels? 386? 286?
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-17 @ 01:46

BeginnerGuy wrote:Canadians are a bunch of hosers anyway eh...

I'm assuming we're just talking about machines for a little nostalgia and gaming, nothing super focused or special case.

I don't have anything special case in mind, except maybe Need for Speed, it was tweaky about CPUs and CDROM speeds, but that might just require a 2x drive in whatever low speed pentium.


Now I was all 8 bit through most of the 80s, and I was eyeballing Amigas, PCs seemed like just another boring business box, but I was woke by the mainstream coverage of windows 3.0.... figured, maybe there's something in these PCs, maybe I ought to learn myself something about them. So I picked up a pile of Amstrad, and got down to making it work. It was a box of parts of a PC1512 and a PC1640 and a monitor, keyboards, some disks... put all the drives in the 1512 because it had the right monitor connector and booted it into DOS... and the 8mhz 8086 spoiled me... :D

1. 286 - IBM 5170, any 8 bit EGA card you can find

... So when I got one of these a while later, 6Mhz of disappointment greeted me on my first boot, yah, I know it was a mighty TWO eighty six, but virtually nothing ran in protected mode. I was even more underwhelmed by the IBM XT I had at 4.77... However, I did have to run my Amstrad that slow for a couple of games, if the turbo key combo worked right. I found a util that was more reliable. But neither of those IBMs nor the frankensteined amstrad came to Canada with me.

For the slowpoke of the collection I have a clone XT an Apco Turbo, 8mhz v40 .... though I could put together an IBM PC from parts, and have a PC portable that needs monitor sorting out. ... also got a (large) laptop XT with a couple of niggles. (Is there a section for portables/laptops, haven't found it yet ? )

Up from that is a packard bell 286 box, which I think is a 12Mhz, that was okay, no fireball, I think stuff like Test Drive and Wolf 3D like 16Mhz or so better. Think it's just 1MB in there. I do have the remembering of a 20mhz 286 on a board around here somewhere. That would be a lot slicker.

TBC.... damn these posts turn out long, out of time RN.
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby Jade Falcon » 2017-10-17 @ 01:52

gdjacobs wrote:
BitWrangler wrote:
Btw, what country do you live in?


I'm originally a Brit, settled in Canada now. If I'm talking about stuff I did in the day before 97 it's probably in UK, after that, Canada.


Ah! Welcome! We have a few ground rules for imported Britons which you may or may not be familiar with. If you have been a resident in Canada for some time, I would ask you to review these rules so to avoid any unfortunate regressions.

Concerning Food
Please spread the joy of eminently drinkable stout, delicious toffees, and Yorkshire pudding. You are not to serve overcooked vegetables or strange meat pies of any sort. For the only universally acceptable meat filled pastry pie in Canada, please talk to your nearest Francophone.

Concerning Sports
Many Canadians will exhibit a lack of patience watching Association Football. These same people will usually find baseball fun and exciting. The cause of this discrepancy is unexplained by science, and we ask that you report such incidents to Heritage Canada for study. Also, due to deficiencies in the Canadian education system, many do not understand the scoring of tennis matches. Others will not understand cricket rules due to regional genetic trends. This is normal. We ask all former Britons to help explain these sports where possible.

Representing your Country of Residence
As a new resident of Canada you are in part responsible for pranking or "pulling the collective leg" of US citizens. The mythology we ask you to perpetuate generally revolves around existing stereotypes and tropes concerning climate and culture. We ask you to reinforce these points at every opportunity:
  1. All Canadians and residents of Canada travel preferably by snowmobile and/or dog sled.
  2. Snowmobiles and dog sleds are usable all year round.
  3. All Canadians know how to make an Igloo. As a new resident, you will have learned to build and live in one.
  4. As a resident of Canada, you are presumably learning the names and personal details of all other Canadians. Feel free to elaborate on your depth of knowledge when asked.
  5. As part of the process to be granted long term residency, you will have undertaken a three month intensive course on niceness and how to apologize.
  6. As a Canadian resident, your daily life is absent critical technologies such as electricity, running water, woven fabric, or the 24 hour day. Feel free to elaborate as any inconsistencies will be accepted to be regional variation.


One important question: Do you want machines that provide wide performance regimes or rather machines that are period correct or useful for exploring different technologies?


don't forget the tick charge on restaurant bills for US citizens :lol:
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-18 @ 21:12

... 286es... Now I just eyeballed the stack and there's 2 early AT class cases in there I don't remember much about, one of those also says 286-12 on it, not sure what's in the other one. I believe I deliberately saved one EGA capable monitor, I think it's a Mitsubishi multi sync type with a 9 pin on, that can do herc/cga/ega and maybe vga with a 9 pin adapter. I might have to see if a printer switch with 9 pin serial adapters on it works for EGA, since I'd maybe have to switch it between the XT and 286.... I saw an ATI Egawonder at some point, think that was Canada side, maybe that's still around. Anyway, I think I'm going to have to play with all the 286s before I can figure out which one stays, probably involving which one wants to do 16Mhz somehow. Have a soundblaster, maybe also an adlib card.

386s... ya know, I don't have a DX that I can remember. Unless there's one hiding inside the wall of cases. AST Advantage 386sx25 seems like it could be the winner straight off. Not sure if that takes proprietary RAM though. SB Pro? Whatever ISA VGA I can scrape up... Probably have a shoebox full of TVGA 8900/9000 but I'd rather something different, think I had one by Paradise. I believe I might have a 387 I rescued out of a trashed NEC Powermate. If I can't get 4MB in it though I might pass and move on to the 386/25 baby AT board I picked up because it looked the same as that 386/40 I regret parting with. I am sure I was thinking of another 386 board or box but I can't think of it now. Apart from that there's a PS/2 model 55 I think, 386/16 which I have no great love for it's MCA and the NIC in it is token ring. An sx16 is like "I'll run win 3 but I won't like it, and I won't let you like it either." feels snappier in standard mode on 286s. Then also there's an SL20 laptop and an sx16 luggable laptop needing attention, but blurry mono LCD make these not much fun for games.


Now, deturboing, or clock down, that's a question, in past experience it's highly machine specific. There was only one or two games I remember that had a real problem with the Amstrad's 8mhz where the deturbo to 4.77 was really necessary. However, I can't seem to figure out the turbo on the Apco XT but I didn't really play with that so long. Don't remember trying to run anything and having a problem. AT class machines, can either drop to 4.77, more common in earlier ones, or drop to 6Mhz or 8Mhz being IBM AT compatible speeds. Some of them instead of dropping to 8Mhz drop to the speed of the ISA bus, which you could set to different speed on many 486s.. so if it was asynch timing with ISA that broke your game, you're good I guess, but if it's way too fast, not so much. Another thing on later 486 was it might just disable L2 rather than clocking it down. I've also seen it actually alter multiplier, those displays on front that would be 33/66 lie, you pick what those are set to, but in some cases it could be truth. It's seemed to me that 486s were too fast for the PC/XT class speed sensitive stuff whatever you did, though I think I used one of those slowdown progs before that worked out okay. Some later things like Wolf3D that were just a bit too fast on higher end 486, the deturbo was fine.
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-19 @ 00:56

Maybe I should build this first...
http://www.philscomputerlab.com/4-in-1- ... ng-pc.html
I've got pretty much identical parts.

Edit: General note though, that elastic band would probably drop the fan in about 8 months in our climate (The cycling humidity from 0 to 100% tends to rot rubber bad.) so I'd say do it with zip ties.
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-10-22 @ 21:38

A couple of notepads turned up with lists of parts and proposed configurations, that makes me sound organised, no they were scribbled jots, so deciphering it is NCIS stuff :D

Now I'm seeing a much wider selection of socket 7 stuff I forgot. You know what happens, I get my head into PC builds then shit happens and I don't go near it again for 2 years, so anything I get hold of in the latter half of a PC wave I forget I have, also anything still coming in after a SHTF incident is forgotten too.

So as well as the M571, there's a "Vx Pro+" and a "VP3 AGP" board listed. also T2P4s and an P5F76 ... hey there was an Abit around that will take K6-2s too but that was a 430VX.... I think the Vx Pro board might be an M538 or close relative. can't think of what the VP3 board is, it's also crossed off on a build list, did I kill it? Was I just marking things off as I gathered them to actually put that rig together? Guess I'll find out if it turns up.

Then Slot 1/370 stuff is more extensive than remembered also "AX6L", "PC Partner BX" "P2L97" "PC Chips" Think the PC chips one is one of those AT/X all onboard deallies. Real vague about the PC partner BX, apparently it's AT form factor, 2 DIIMM, AGP. onboard sound. 66-124 bus clock, and it would run a decased PII 350 at 433.... Now I vaguely remember doing that, bolting a heatsink on it direct.

There's more surprises in the socket A stuff, like an AUIHB Tbred -B, another board or two I forgot. Another S754 board I don't remember.

Gfx surprises also, like I didn't remember I owned a SiS Xabre, or a second GF4200.

Anyway, lots to find an play with still. Might consider recreating some of these rigs I specced out, I probably had reasons, best use of available parts, best match etc.
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Q

Postby HeavyD8086 » 2017-10-22 @ 23:53

Hey, I'm going to add my two cents, though my systems only go back to 1997. I can play back to Space Quest 3 w/ MT32 emulation on a spare tablet.

P200MMX w/ Voodoo1, Auducian 32, 64MB RAM, Win 98: My main MT32 box. Can't think of a reason to have the Voodoo because I have:
Dell Optiplex GX1. Mostly stock. 500MHz P3, on-board ATI Mach64. I swapped RAM to 256MB and added two Voodoo2 for SLI. I'm currently playing through Half-Life 1. It has a SB AWE 64 as well. I also wanted to play Black and White so I built a:
Tualatin 1.4 with a Geforece 4 4200. Runs quite well. SB Audigy. Won't play Half-Life 2 with the eye-candy I want, so built a:
Athlon XP 3200+ with a FX 5950 Ultra. Runs windows XP well and was awesome until I wanted to play FEAR, so I re-assembled my:
Q6600 with a 8800GTX. 4GB Ram, Asus Xonar DX. Runs FEAR very well at 1600x1200.

I really want a 286 with VGA. I had to be a student for a while and couldn't afford a computer upgrade from 1999 to 2003, and really feel like I have that period covered now. When I was a kid though, I went directly from a Tandy 1000 to Pentium 90 and missed out on 386 - 486 computers. That's the next gap I feel I have to fill.

Good luck and have fun!
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-11-05 @ 22:11

I have reached a bit of an impasse with this at the moment... I've found stuff that needs other stuff to go with it, but I've forgotten where that stuff is, or I know where it is and it's 3 stacks deep, or it's currently inaccessible due to my stupid cat climbing in amongst my camping stuff and making it avalanche across one of the "aisles", so I can't get down it without digging it out, and everyone in the fam too busy to get help with it. Mainly stuck the wrong side of that is all my software on floppy, drives and older expansion cards and motherboards.

Anyways, despite that, there's stuff turning up that's surprising me, and stuff turning up I'm glad to see, like confirming the existence/location of a DX50, 5x86 and a V20, then WTF, how did I get so many K6-2 350s, K6s and IBM 6x86s??? Then I'm expecting to find a GF2 GTS and I find a GF256, and I'm wondering if I n00bed the ID, or whether the GTS still lurks somewhere. I found two Voodoo 2 reference models, and I swear I had a Diamond Monster 3D II that was fancier... but I only remembered having 2 V2s total. My Voodoo 3s however, not turned up yet, I had always thought of them as a little special and not stored them with the hoi palloi, so they're probably in one of those "somewhere safe" nooks or crannies you get to last.

Another thing is, I thought I had a slotket deployed in a minitower box, with a PIII 933 in it, yet I found 3 slotkets, which is all I remembered owning... I checked that intel approved slotket chart the other day and none of them were approved for PIII. So then, are the Celeron 1.1 Tualatin and the 2 PIII 1000s any good? have I actually tested them in a PIII capable board/slotket yet? and where the hell is the 733 I thought I had that was good and working? There might be some lame(r) celerons to turn up yet too. One slotket is the MS-6905, rev 1.1 and I am hoping to find modding details to allow it to run PIII or tually. Finding plenty of AGP cards, rages and tnts, not so many PCIs yet, apart from a Trio GX.

I got out a Toshiba Satellite, P133, expecting it to have a floppy drive annnnnd it doesn't. So little bit stuck for "bootstrapping" things along, i.e. getting DOS and windows onto stuff older stuff can read. Might have to pull out that PIII 933 system which I thought I set up fully, and see if that will bridge the gap between win 10/7 current boxes and old stuffs.

The notepads have been less helpful than I thought, still tantalising me, I've found less than a quarter of the stuff on them, and I'm fairly sure I had that ready to go. Took it out of one area and lost it in another I think... (i.e. it got kinda plowed under, stuffed to back of closet, in "modern PC" area.)

I must have 3x as many CPUs as motherboards for them though. When I'm figuring out what to sell I think I'll do a few "tinker" systems, like socket 7s with an Intel fitted and, Cyrix/IBM and AMD CPUs as alternate spares. Might work with some 486s too, intel dx33 and cyrix dx2-80 or something.

Everything seems to happen in mildly interesting little snippets, I figure I'll save them up, put a load of them together for a post, then forget half of them.
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby Tetrium » 2017-11-07 @ 07:01

You will need an area where you can sort your stuff. Best is a room with lots of room on the floor and a table or 2. And some racks or closets where you can store some stuff temporarily.
It's basically like a postal sorting room, you'll really need to get organized as this will help you in the long run when it comes to building new rigs :)
I know about the getting lost while sorting, it happens to me all the time. I'll start sorting some motherboards and 2 hours later I'm busy reading paper manuals I found and thinking of what jumper settings would work best with whatever I have in my hand that moment. It will help you in the long run :)

The stuff that needs other stuff are best put in a large box (or a stack of boxes if it's a lot of parts) and labeled "Stuff needing other stuff that are somewhere in the pile".

One good reason to sort, box up and label your parts is that this way it doesn't matter if you forget what you have. If you're looking for any particular part and if you've sorted everything and labeled everything, you will find out of you have said part or not without having to bulldoze your way through stacks of PCB jungle and little bits everywhere :dead:
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Re: Taming the pile, specs to target?

Postby BitWrangler » 2017-11-07 @ 15:23

Maybe in unicorn and rainbow land everyone has an unused room to use :D Actually that's a bit of a sore point, do have an extra bedroom that several times was vacant for as long as a week, and we just start planning to move another rooms contents into it to sort or organise or get out of the way to renovate/paint, then all of a sudden there's another relative that's desperately homeless...

But yeah, pretty much have one table and not much floor near it, so couple of boxes at a time thing. Mainly just have to catalog, superficially sort, and label so I've got a start on the organisation... When I say superficially, I mean, motherboards, drives, RAM, rather than by generation/specifics. Think it will take a second pass to make the latter happen.

A decade or so ago, I started trying to find some database or something that I could log parts into and be able to go "Show me what you got.... in 2x AGP" or etc, but I'd get 20 or so records into various programs, to try them out, and find huge fails. Funnily enough one of the best ones I found was intended for a video tape library, had enough sortable fields, but you had to abuse the field names, like Director might be interface type or something..... However... turned out that was just trialware limited to 40 records and being a decade old when I found it, all contact info had gone dead to pay the few bucks for a license, and no trace of them on google. Anyway, messing around there was yet another way to procrastinate :D

I need some post it note type things with glue as good as blue masking tape.

Well anyway, on backpedal for another week again an incision opened up with an infection. Will just have to open a towers of hanoi game on dosbox for practice.
Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. Most recently toyed with DOS era stuff 15 years ago, so memory might be rusty. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=56382
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