Mini Turn of the Century Computer Lab

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Mini Turn of the Century Computer Lab

Postby detritus olentus » 2019-3-12 @ 03:08

So I've been putting this all together for some time because when I work on nostalgic projects things really do tend to get out of hand. I've acquired 3 Optiplex GX1 midsize machines and matching dell monitors for them. Ive got 2 Pentium 3s and a single Pentium 2 all with varying amounts of ram due to receiving upgrades from my box of spares. The 3 Optiplexes are running Windows 2000 because I deemed it easier for software compatibility and I believe it's what my elementary school had running back in the day. To top off the whole affair I got my hands on a Compaq Proliant G1 with dual Pentium 3 600MHZ processors, 768MB of ram, and Server 2003 R2 to set up a DNS server so that I could do the old login experience properly. This took the most time as I have no experience with Windows Server operating systems which required learning how to set up DNS and make accounts and get the computers into the domain. Generally speaking I suck at networking. These Dells are great little machines because they have built in ATI rage graphics (4MB I think) that's expandable with SG ram assuming any can be found.

GX1.jpg

PCs.jpg

My favorite computer model in my favorite form factor! One day I'd like them to have SSDs but I've only got so much cash for such shenanigans. I recently had a few friends over and had them all up and running for games of drunken Oregon Trail.


Server.jpg

ServerM.jpg

I took the old SCSI drives out of the server and ended up passing them along to someone I thought might put them to better use. It uses a SATA PCI controller and boots from an SSD that's stashed up in front of the power supply. The SCSI array was extremely loud and I didn't trust it to keep running given the age of the computer.

I'm sure you're all tired of me posting about my love of Optiplex machines by this point but here I am again.
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Re: Mini Turn of the Century Computer Lab

Postby oeuvre » 2019-3-12 @ 13:25

This might work to increase the VRAM to 8MB https://www.ebay.com/itm/314298-001-Com ... 2045891584
Retro PC Intel i5 2500, 8GB RAM, AMD HD7770 1GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
Main Desktop Intel i7 6700K, 32GB, AMD RX580 8GB, NVMe SSD + HD, 10
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Re: Mini Turn of the Century Computer Lab

Postby detritus olentus » 2019-3-12 @ 13:50

Thank ya sir! I will have to look into that
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Re: Mini Turn of the Century Computer Lab

Postby harddrivespin » 2019-3-12 @ 14:17

I really like the Proliant's case!
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Re: Mini Turn of the Century Computer Lab

Postby chinny22 » 2019-3-18 @ 14:15

indeed you have a nice little little time capsule, all based around Slot's as well, my favourite CPU type :)
I always liked the idea of 4 identical machines to play my favourite LAN games.
I cant remember which, but know some games allowed for a dedicated server if you wanted to find anther job for your Proliant.

I also added a sound card to my ProLiant 1600 to play period correct mp3's in the background in between games
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Re: Mini Turn of the Century Computer Lab

Postby Katmai500 » 2019-3-20 @ 20:08

Oh WOW! I totally forgot about those Dell soundbars for that generation. That's awesome! :-D My middle school computer lab was decked out with these Optiplexes back in 1999 and I have fond memories of playing Age of Empires on them. A bunch of us also downloaded Napster on them. That school T1 line was awesome compared to the 28.8K modem I had at home. :lol:
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