VOGONS


First post, by BinaryDemon

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Hi,

So I take a lot of chances on ebay in the hopes of finding something unique. In my recent ebay searches for 386, I happened to come across a listing for a Tektronix RIC386 controller. It's apparently an old controller for an oscilloscope or similar hardware that captures data via something called a GBIP interface. It was listing fairly cheap and some google searches had indicated it was a "80386SX, 4 MB DRAM, 50 MB HD". So I bought it, and got some nice surprises.

It's an 386sx-20, but 387-20mhz chip is included as well. 4mb DRAM is accurate, but mine came without the 50mb HD. It has two 16bit ISA slots, built-in VGA, built-in IDE.
Honestly I love the design. It was so clean, either it saw very little use or it operated in a clean room environment.

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So here's my plan - Dos 6.22 + Win3.1 as OS. I have a spare Yamaha MF-009 ISA card for sound, and the other slot will have an IDE->Compact Flash so I don't need to open the case to remove the Compact Flash. I'm sure some people would use the 2nd ISA for a network card, but I have no plans for networking this PC.

Oh and checkout this sexy bootup screen:

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I'm still not finding a lot of information online, what's a good dos utility to help identify the vga chipset. I'm guessing it's the VLSI chip?

Any thoughts? Hopefully I can finish the CF-IDE setup tomorrow and run it through some benchmarks. I'm betting Doom will be a slideshow.

-BinaryDemon

Last edited by BinaryDemon on 2020-01-07, 03:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 1 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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Ok so no matter what I do, this new forum seems intent on showing the thumbnail of Boot Screen upside down. I've rotated it, save it, and re-uploaded and it still orients upside-down. Seems OK when viewed fullsize. 🙁

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 2 of 12, by Errius

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Yes, I've had that problem with my own pictures. I think it's a gentle hint from the site owners that we should use external hosting.

Windows XP End of Support is on April 8th, 2014. Click Here to learn more.

Reply 3 of 12, by xjas

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^^ Or you could, you know, report this as a bug instead of assuming malice. It looks like the forum caches its thumbnails and didn't update this one when the image was re-uploaded. @BinaryDemon - did you try changing the filename?

selected builds & megathreads { Quick & Clean | Like a Hipster | Only One 'T' | In a Lunchbox | IT IS THE NINETIES }

Reply 4 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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xjas wrote on 2020-01-07, 03:34:

^^ Or you could, you know, report this as a bug instead of assuming malice. It looks like the forum caches its thumbnails and didn't update this one when the image was re-uploaded. @BinaryDemon - did you try changing the filename?

Yes, original pic was 1q, then I tried 1qa, and I stopped with 1qb. It might have to do with the attachment id number (0), that never changed.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 5 of 12, by BSA Starfire

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What an interesting little machine! The VGA chip is the WDC 90C11(Western Digital paradise).

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 512K, Conner CFA-170A
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,ALi M1217,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A. Soundblaster 1350B.
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66(WB), 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA, Win 95.
Cyrix MII 333, Rage Pro Turbo 8mb, SB16, WinME

Reply 6 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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BSA Starfire wrote on 2020-01-07, 06:51:

What an interesting little machine! The VGA chip is the WDC 90C11(Western Digital paradise).

Oh thanks a bunch for that info. For some reason I was guessing Western Digital was the ide controller.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 7 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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Ill post some pictures later, but I used FreeDos and Phils Computer Lab Benchmark Suite to get some quick scores.

3DBench 1.0 (Slower PCs) = 7.5
Chris's 3D Benchmark 320x240 = 5.4 (3.2 fps)
PC Player = 1.5

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System Information 8.0 = 16.9

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Landmark System = CPU 30.60mhz, FPU 50.54mhz, Video 3298.79 chr/ms

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TopBench = 49
Speedsys = CPU: 3.25
Doom min. details = 2134 gametics / 6979 realtics (~10.7fps)
Doom max. details = 2134 gametics / 26915 realtics (~2.8fps)

CacheCHK reports 16kb cache. Neat.
I still can't tell how much vram is onboard, the utils in the benchmark suite simply report > 256kb.

It seems to be doing very well for a 386sx-20, I guess the 16kb cache explains that. Still any gaming will be restricted to the pre-DOOM era.

Last edited by BinaryDemon on 2020-01-08, 01:45. Edited 1 time in total.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 9 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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mpe wrote on 2020-01-07, 16:14:

Does it actually have any cache or it is just detection going crazy?

It looks like it does because in cachechk the memory access speed drops after 16kb. It’s 105-106 us/KB and then it drops to 179 us/KB after 16kb. There’s also the cache .... OK on the boot screen which had me curious.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 10 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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Some progress. I had to remove one of the fans to route ide and power cables over to the isa slots. Internal CF will be 512mb. Replaced the Rayovac 844 brick that no longer held a charge with a 3xAAA battery case. Generic Yamaha MF-009 installed. Hopefully I'll get some time Wednesday to install and configure software.

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Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 11 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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I grabbed a few minutes this morning to setup some software and learned some tid bits.

The bios is not Y2K compliant. 😀

I have 512kb of video ram.

Also I don’t think my Yamaha MF-009 is functional. SETUPSA.exe didn’t detect it. I didn’t get a chance to try swapping ISA slots or a different sound card. Could also be a result of running isa bus at 10mhz instead of 8mhz.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 12 of 12, by BinaryDemon

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Update:

The Yamaha MF-009 doesnt work. ISA ports fine. I swapped in an ESS Audiodrive 1869F and that's working as expected. I tested a cheap optical serial mouse, and I hate it. Unless someone can recommend a specific optical serial mouse, I'm going to have to go with the traditional ball mouse.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!