Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby doogie » 2019-2-11 @ 22:05

50 shades of.....yellow

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The bezels on the bay devices really stood out as yellowed when installed next to each other and in this new case. I started disassembling them, and this'll actually be my first real foray into retrobrighting. Disassembly was easier than I thought, the most difficult part was actually the light pipes on the Plextor drives; whereas the buttons on the face of the drive are just pressure fit on a plastic peg, the light pipes are fit onto a similar peg, but that peg is then melted down to ensure it never goes anywhere.

Fair enough, a little finesse with the xacto knife and out they come. I'm thinking a couple of blobs of hot glue for reassembly should do the trick.

As for the Live! Drive, I'm happy I pulled this thing apart as there's a chance to really get in and clean it.

NSFW shot of the Drive:
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I'm sourcing some 40 volume clear developer peroxide and will warm up the food sealer as well as the sous vide; I'm very thankful for both the 8 Bit Guy's as well as RetroManCave's videos on the topic.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2019-2-11 @ 22:28

Those Plextor drives where the drive to have back in 2000 but why so many ?
Do you plan on copying CD’s and DVD’s ?
And why a Zip drive ? It’s better to have a home network.
Maybe add WiFi to your computer using a WiFi extender that you can plug in your Ethernet cable.
Windows 2000 was built for home Networking and corporate environment.
I bought some Zip drives and I don’t even use them with my old 486 computers. I give my old 486 computers internet access using a WiFi extender. I just plug in my Ethernet cable from the 486 to the extender and now I have WiFi capabilities on the 486. I can access my home network, NAS, and the internet.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby doogie » 2019-2-11 @ 23:01

You're right on all counts, however do remember that the goal is to follow a recipe for an insane machine that was built for a magazine article. That's the reason for the pile of I/O, and for making this a bit of a showpiece rather than optimizing for specific use cases.

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My plan is not to keep this machine long-term; the eventual fate has not been decided however there are a few options being considered.

For literally any other build (in other words - making things easier, not harder), my overwhelming preference is to dispense with floppy and optical media as much as possible, use SSDs for local storage, and offload everything else to my network. I archived all of my software to my NAS long ago for this very reason.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2019-2-11 @ 23:48

How much do you think this computer would have cost back in year 2000 ?
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-2-13 @ 00:05

Intel486dx33 wrote:How much do you think this computer would have cost back in year 2000 ?


its right there in the article https://archive.org/details/Maximum_PC_ ... 0/page/n39
$12K
Its a sex-spec of computer world, totally pointless http://forum.jdmstyletuning.com/showthr ... read/page2
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby D3FEKT » 2019-2-13 @ 14:24

rasz_pl wrote:Its a sex-spec of computer world, totally pointless http://forum.jdmstyletuning.com/showthr ... read/page2


I see what you're getting at but damn kids and their PCs now days are more "Sex spec" with more glowing lights than a whole tokyo autosalon haha
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby chinny22 » 2019-2-13 @ 16:59

DaveJustDave wrote:i think a floppy drive would work just fine in this build and allow you to read and more importantly write floppies for your other, older machines


But what if those older PC's also have gotek's? All my PC's have goteks now, some have an actual FDD as a 2nd drive but most ONLY have a gotek

As for the PC in question
Nvida anything is better choice then the Hercules, not sure what the mag was thinking back then.

But SCSI, Zip Disk, 1 GHz CPU's sperate CD-ROm, RW and DVD drive's all scream turn of the century
But this is the 2nd Duel Slot 1 Rambus PC in last few months, I'm beginning to think I need one

oh and a few of us here know that, in most cases, Win2k is actually the ultimate WIn9x Gaming OS
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby doogie » 2019-2-13 @ 20:02

I ended up swapping the Gotek for a real floppy drive. I understand both arguments; floppies are not super useful to me now that I've got my software imaged and centralized, but they may be for whatever situation this machine eventually ends up in.

chinny22 wrote:oh and a few of us here know that, in most cases, Win2k is actually the ultimate WIn9x Gaming OS


I've found my people! :cool: After all the work poured into application compatibility in the various service packs - you bet it is. You have to figure that the decision to unify the consumer/business OS product lines was not a spur-of-the-moment one; app compat was so good in XP out of the gate in large part because of the work in Windows 2000. And from a stability perspective - well, it's just no contest, sorry.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2019-2-13 @ 20:07

That "2000 Dream machine" is more like a "Nightmare". CD and DVD copying was BIG in the 1990's also ZIP drives and Tape drives.
( Hey, Maybe add a 8mm tape backup too. ) Cheap high speed Network storage did away with the stand alone computers.
That computer is more like a Backup storage server.

Ugh, The days of tape libraries and backups devices. What a pain. I love the Apple iCloud.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-2-13 @ 20:26

Intel486dx33 wrote:Ugh, The days of tape libraries and backups devices. What a pain. I love the Apple iCloud.


WTF? In case you didn't know, tape is still pretty much king. What do you think organizations which are mandated to preserve their data use, buddy?

Hint: It's not iCloud.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby doaks80 » 2019-2-13 @ 20:30

Intel486dx33 wrote:That "2000 Dream machine" is more like a "Nightmare". CD and DVD copying was BIG in the 1990's also ZIP drives and Tape drives.
( Hey, Maybe add a 8mm tape backup too. ) Cheap high speed Network storage did away with the stand alone computers.
That computer is more like a Backup storage server.

Ugh, The days of tape libraries and backups devices. What a pain. I love the Apple iCloud.


Were you drunk or stoned when you wrote this?
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby wiretap » 2019-2-14 @ 10:10

Man, I could only imagine if my workplace used the cloud and had it had a data breach. Sorry 3.5 million customers, our iCloud account got hacked and your bank accounts are all now drained and your identity is stolen. lol ....yup we still use on-site tapes and RAID arrays at multiple company-owned datacenter locations.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby slivercr » 2019-2-14 @ 15:55

doogie wrote:I ended up swapping the Gotek for a real floppy drive. I understand both arguments; floppies are not super useful to me now that I've got my software imaged and centralized, but they may be for whatever situation this machine eventually ends up in.

chinny22 wrote:oh and a few of us here know that, in most cases, Win2k is actually the ultimate WIn9x Gaming OS


I've found my people! :cool: After all the work poured into application compatibility in the various service packs - you bet it is. You have to figure that the decision to unify the consumer/business OS product lines was not a spur-of-the-moment one; app compat was so good in XP out of the gate in large part because of the work in Windows 2000. And from a stability perspective - well, it's just no contest, sorry.


Win2k is my go to for this mobo, but I do like having Win98 if only for DOS and Need for Speed 2 SE (easier to install Win98 than to "massage it" into working in Win2k). BTW, I love the case you chose! Can't wait to see it assembled :)

EDIT: Goteks are nice and all, but I "need" a floppy drive to play with my Mavica :cool:
Outrigger: OR840 / 2x P3 1000 / 2 GB RDRAM / QuForce FX 5800 / Win98 - Win2k
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby doogie » 2019-2-15 @ 19:53

Got some time to work on a couple of the details today.

Cooking up some drive bezels. Mmmm...bezels. :lol:
The water is at about 150F/65C, bags are full of 40 volume clear developer peroxide, with most of the air drawn out. Lighting is nothing special, so I may have to improve that portion of this science experiment.
Even after about an hour I saw dramatic improvement in the less yellowed parts, so I'm hopeful. We'll let it cook for another few hours and watch the progress.

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While that's simmering..

Making a Live! Drive cable:

I picked up a ~25 inch, 40-pin (no, not 39) cable from Amazon. "Uxcell" makes these and they're by all indications of perfectly adequate quality.
Armed with the xacto knife, it's been quite a while, but I did OK:

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I was reminded that it's very important to take your time with this, and I must be getting old because I really wished for a magnifier light in between me and the cable.

1/2" sleeving, and then 1" 3:1 heat shrink over the heat gun.

Image

Not my finest work, but it'll do.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby doogie » 2019-2-15 @ 22:35

Results are in on the parts that were not quite as yellowed - pretty good!

We have 2 "controls" here - both the PX-40TSi and the Zip 100 drive were NOS/sealed and thus kept out of the sun.

The Live! Drive is perfect I think - matching up very close against the Plextor CD-ROM. I of course removed the knobs, IR window, and optical plugs; you can see that the peroxide did not damage the printing whatsoever. Awesome!

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The process worked a little too well on the Pioneer bezel - it came out very white, but I suppose that's still an improvement.

Image

Meanwhile, the Plextor burners were much more yellowed (one uniformly, one with various yellow spots) and continue to cook; we'll see how they fare.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby HeavyD8086 » 2019-2-16 @ 00:47

You've motivated me to buy a sous vide. My wife will thank you.
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Re: Recreating MaximumPC's Dream Machine 2000 (Plus!)

Postby doogie » 2019-2-16 @ 01:12

HeavyD8086 wrote:You've motivated me to buy a sous vide. My wife will thank you.


Yeah, aside from making plastic white again, you can make some really delicious food!
For retrobrighting, I highly recommend this method. When restoring parts of various vintage and condition, you've gotta watch closely. I didn't get perfect results, but it's damn good compared to the "before" picture from earlier.
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