VOGONS


Reply 80 of 94, by zapbuzz

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Tali wrote on 2020-02-26, 13:42:

Managed to get 12 Mb worth of SIMMs for the 386 by Samsung. Now waiting for them to arrive... If all goes well, it will have 16 Mb.

Speaking of which, I'm calling that rig "it" because I don't have a name for it yet. P2 is, for obvious reasons, called "Shaman", while his younger sister (a modern rig for video editing/streaming) is called "Sorceress". So, naming ideas welcome.

how bout Da Vinci due to architectural design or maybe Tesla due to the 3 and 6 and his obsession with 369 or combo: Da Tesla 😀

Reply 81 of 94, by Tali

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zapbuzz wrote on 2020-05-28, 19:31:
Tali wrote on 2020-02-26, 13:42:

Managed to get 12 Mb worth of SIMMs for the 386 by Samsung. Now waiting for them to arrive... If all goes well, it will have 16 Mb.

Speaking of which, I'm calling that rig "it" because I don't have a name for it yet. P2 is, for obvious reasons, called "Shaman", while his younger sister (a modern rig for video editing/streaming) is called "Sorceress". So, naming ideas welcome.

how bout Da Vinci due to architectural design or maybe Tesla due to the 3 and 6 and his obsession with 369 or combo: Da Tesla 😀

Too little too late. She's now called the Seer, thanks to the VGA with multiple video inputs. 😜

EDIT: I should probably rename Shaman. It is a dual CPU monster with SLI'd Voodoo 2, but I'm not playing it at all - too much work from home and all. It just sits there most of the days serving as a glorified MIDI source for Roland... perhaps it should be called "Bard" instead of 486? 😀 Nahh, not happening. Played some UT this morning, and it was a blast!

Reply 82 of 94, by Tali

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Today's update has a certain finality to it. The correct caps have arrived, and indeed there is an ever so slight difference in sleeve colour between them and the first batch (while they perfectly match that on the board). Sadly, recap didn't help. The board would boot, but would not be stable, occasionally just restarting. I thought at first the 300W PSU is at fault, but a 1kW Corsair produced exactly the same results. Now I'm not one to write things off easily, but at this stage I'd rather not risk all the other components.

On the plus side, I know the CPU works, and so does the RAM. At least, as long as that motherboard was happy, which could be considered at best "sometimes". Furthermore, I've procured a cooler for P3. While not exactly the fancy one I wanted, this one will still do the job, and with a few mods, will look just fine. Finally, RGB led strips are arriving; and no, I'm not intent on making a Christmas tree, but I do need the ability to get the exact colour I need. Weekend plans: install that BD-RE and generally touch Sorceress up a bit, bringing her yet another step closer to perfection.

Reply 83 of 94, by zapbuzz

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Tali wrote on 2020-05-28, 19:33:
zapbuzz wrote on 2020-05-28, 19:31:
Tali wrote on 2020-02-26, 13:42:

Managed to get 12 Mb worth of SIMMs for the 386 by Samsung. Now waiting for them to arrive... If all goes well, it will have 16 Mb.

Speaking of which, I'm calling that rig "it" because I don't have a name for it yet. P2 is, for obvious reasons, called "Shaman", while his younger sister (a modern rig for video editing/streaming) is called "Sorceress". So, naming ideas welcome.

how bout Da Vinci due to architectural design or maybe Tesla due to the 3 and 6 and his obsession with 369 or combo: Da Tesla 😀

Too little too late. She's now called the Seer, thanks to the VGA with multiple video inputs. 😜

EDIT: I should probably rename Shaman. It is a dual CPU monster with SLI'd Voodoo 2, but I'm not playing it at all - too much work from home and all. It just sits there most of the days serving as a glorified MIDI source for Roland... perhaps it should be called "Bard" instead of 486? 😀 Nahh, not happening. Played some UT this morning, and it was a blast!

that is OK i got something to label anyhow 😀
You've done some great works but the thing that stood out to me was your cooling techniques.
You can get thermistor fans to speed up and slow down according to ambient temperature they can quiet things down even when they are used to replace the cooling fan in PSU. There are controlled versions and there are independently controlled versions.
This extends less noise, cooling efficiency, and longer power regulator life but most importantly all independently controlled 12v thermistor pc fans are pre set and independent no controllers or programming required I had them on an old tower many years ago and it only accelerated its rotational speed in warmer months only noticeable in the PSU any other time. They are difficult luxury to buy. Most commonly found in PSU.
I attach an example photo of an indepentant Thermistor regulated pc fan
3 wires - red and black for power yellow for speed measure but self speed regulated. can function without the rpm connected.
I bought it today unfortunately only one on eBay for my region but i got it 50% off

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Reply 84 of 94, by Tali

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Thanks for the info on this cooler. It is a most interesting option, although I normally prefer a slightly different approach.

Also thanks for the kind words, though I'm not quite sure what was so special about my "cooling techniques", I just want things practical, understated yet not entirely hidden from view.

I've planned to devote some time to Sorceress, as I've been mostly busy with other machines, and she's getting a tad sad. Besides, BD-RE drive has arrived for her (don't ask why I need one 😀). In any case, here she is on my workbench in all her naked (no sexual undertones implied) glory. There probably won't be more shots like that, as I usually need her up and running, plus she's not a very light lady to move around.

Anyway, I've been planning to do some cable management, so here is a picture before.
q6GBIqM.jpg

During...
KCP2z72.jpg

And after.
FEZjcpx.jpg

Differences are subtle, but there are no more hanging loose wires. Also, since cooling was mentioned, she's probably the epitome of my approach. Simply put, if it is too loud at full load, it is too loud. Therefore I pick and choose such solutions that can keep running at constant parameters, and are enough for Prime95 - Small FFT (and these two beasts come with AVX extensions, so that's definition of torture), while near silent enough (at least so quiet that my broadcast mic picks nothing up).

That's what my workplace normally looks like, btw. With all this epidemic stuff, I don't just program here, I teach from home as well.
X6smc3v.jpg

A slightly unrelated ending note: since I installed a BD-RE drive, I had to test it. And to do that I just put one very old music CD in, and was shocked with just how nice it sounded. Now, of course it's not the drive, everything is digital nowadays, but the last time I was listening to it I wasn't using SB ZxR... And no, turns out you don't need awesome headphones to hear a difference. Even average ones (some nameless HTC phone headset I had at hand) sounds much better with a better source. Claiming otherwise is like saying "you need clean windows to benefit from clean curtains". Last time I listened to this CD I was using Panasonic cans with probably ESS of some sort, or, heaven forbid, RTL. All I recall was thinking CD was crap. Now... it's eargasm. I want to watch a movie, but I just can't stop listening.

Speaking of which, this drive is also installed into Dell caddy, and I've found an issue with it and standard M2 screws for CDs. Sometimes they are too long (or the caddy material is too thin) that those screws could affect CD-ROM's ability to open. In this case a spacer is useful. Something I had to resort to this time.

Reply 85 of 94, by Tali

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A teeny tiny update. Another setback with Bard, and I'm still not sure if it is the drive to blame or something else, but another DVD drive works. That said, I've come up with yet another Plan, final five be damned 😀.

I've also managed to order an actual Crossfire dongle (now that was an elusive piece of kit, and this isn't the first try, some ended with refunds... so I'm holding my breath till it ships), along with a couple more boxed OS releases. Will probably take a pic or two when they arrive, which isn't happening any time soon, but I'm now mostly covered, aside from the really early stuff. Also, Terratec DMX 6Fire has arrived, and, after a bit of deliberation, I've decided to put it into Emperor. Vista doesn't support hardware EAX, so no loss there, while Athlon-yet-to-be with XP would probably benefit more from some form of Audigy. On the other hand, a roughly 2005 PC with a high end sound card first released in 2003 is not unheard of (pardon the pun). This also puts Emperor as close to completion as possible without a case and some DVD drive. But that will wait; besides, I do have a temporary drive from Sorceress that is now free, replaced by that BluRay.

Reply 86 of 94, by Tali

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PhysX card finally arrived... and I can't test it, since I'm finally at my other apartment, and all the PCs here are running at least Win7. Tomorrow, though... well, hopefully it should work, but that is something I'll need to test thoroughly, considering how the last one behaved. Also cooler fans for 486 have arrived, so more to do on weekend. Expect another update Soon(tm).

Reply 87 of 94, by Tali

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As promised, here's the update. The PhysX card checked out, and is now waiting for Emperor to be built.
YzrOC0i.jpg?1

I've also ascertained that the RAM I have planned for it, or, at least a similar kit I have set aside for another computer and could probably swap if needed, works. With X1800XT and a CPU coming soon, it is indeed close to completion.

I've also received a new CPU cooler for Bard, here's the pic of it installed, with a tad more cable management (cables? what are those? 😀
M0jBRfG.jpg

I'm still waiting for HDDs and another cooler, an amber 14 inch monstrosity to replace the black nondescript one currently installed, and I've also ordered another CD converter board (laptop to regular IDE), this one with Master/Slave jumper. Hope it fixes the issue, but, again, more waiting.

At this point in time everything is waiting for those HDDs, which should arrive some time this week. And, due to excessive amount of work, I'm not even able to finish working on the video with last two Korg demo songs... Ah well.

By the way, could anyone perhaps advise me on a weird issue with Windows 98? As far as I know, it requires 2 Mb of VRAM for 800x600@16bit. However, is it not the only necessary requirement? It doesn't seem to "like" that Mach32, allowing only 256 colours at that resolution, despite full 2 megs of ram on it... Am I missing something?

Reply 88 of 94, by Tali

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An update, mostly positive one this time.

Hard disks are here, and Bard is now working with a permanent solution, a nice 5400 RPM HDD that its BIOS understands... to a degree. It can't quite grasp the immense size of a 40 Gb HDD, but it does understand LBA enough to access as much space as it can. Windows works, everything else works, and so far so good. I've also got RGB LED strips finally, so I can replace the lighting on Bard to the more consistent colour.
8QQudxS.jpg?1

I've gotten a few coolers for various machines, including white one for Emperor and Red one for yet nameless Tualatin...
kmdBwg7.jpg

I've also decided on video cards for Emperor: X1800XT, which is period correct, they even came out the same year as P4 670.
SC102Hm.jpg?1
This one is actually a (rather politically incorrect) master card for Crossfire. A normal card is also purchased, but still being shipped, along with the Crossfire dongle.

Finally, two more boxed OSes are here!
My favourite Windows version of them all,
8Xu6wDn.jpg

And its somewhat older relative,
jQ9meV7.jpg
In this case it even supports Russian and Latvian fonts, which is perfect, considering these became more or less universally supported with W95 onwards only.

Suffice to say, I'm pretty happy with the new arrivals.

Finally, I've successfully tested 512 Mb of CL2 RAM on Tualatin. It works, at least as far as BIOS is concerned, more severe memory tests still coming. But I know what to order, even if I was to replace a module or two (but let's hope I don't have to).

I'm also ordering another case, though not yet sure who will receive it: Emperor or Assasin. Both still need a single part to be complete, and one still needs a part that is being shipped (and running late). So it's a difficult choice.

Reply 89 of 94, by Tali

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About time I posted something here. A bit of an update coming, actually, so I won't be speaking of everything. Suffice to say, there were (and are still planned) changes to Bard, Seer, I've acquired and successfully tested hardware for the future Athlon build (still needs a name), plus there's new hardware coming for Tualatin...

But today's star of the show is the Emperor himself. I've finally gotten a holiday, and instantly went to building this chap all for myself. Therefore not that many photos, but, still, you can get the picture.

Started off with the usual Fractal Design Define R6 case.
xP1G8UI.jpg

This is also my first build with RGB lighting. The passive kind, mind you, I don't like all that sparkling, ever changing will-o-wispy look. I just needed to get some purple non-UV to supplement the UV strip that went into this chap. And here's a test:
c50OUjo.jpg

Now then, installing the rest of stuff... A nice ECS P965 board, in glorious purple, a Crossfire Edition Radeon X1800 XT (master card, with that special port for the dongle), and, as promised, a P4 3.8 cooled by EDIT:Asus Arctic Square monstrosity.
gvNNS6x.jpg

It also has an Ageia PhysX card inside (this, second one I tried, the first being DOA, actually works, and the seller claimed it was a preproduction sample by Ageia themselves - perhaps, who knows?), and a DMX 6Fire audio card, which, considering it is superior to Audigy in all but being software only, is a complete non-issue in Vista, which is pretty much a cutoff point for hardware sound.

This thing ran on P4 2.8 before during my tests, and the cooler managed to keep the CPU below 40... That same cooler with those same settings is barely keeping the 3.8 monster below 60. I've already ordered a replacement fan for it (original was flakey at best, and the white Akasa 80mm fan seems a bit too weak), so there's that.

I've also gotten very weird effects on boot with BIOS logo...
tjjPSUW.jpg

That said, the card booted Windows perfectly, and no artifacts anywhere. Perhaps, this is how BIOS hacks for displaying those logos (mis-)interact with the external compositing engine this card has? Don't know, and probably shouldn't care, so long as it works.

At any rate, waiting for the second card to arrive (and yes, in ATI's version of multi-gpu setup the master card goes into secondary slot for some reason, so the topmost PCIE is free, waiting for the slave card.

Now there are a few more things. I've gotten the XP box for future Athlon build.
8KKvMfl.jpg
Nothing special, but makes me happy. Now I just need DOS 6 for Seer and W95 for Bard...

Finally, now that we can proudly shout "Long live the (new) Emperor"... which sticker do I use?
9d2lOQj.jpg?1

This here is a bunch of various ones for more than this machine, but there are two P4 HT stickers, a flat one and one with some relief. Which one would you suggest? I'm leaning towards the non-flat one (it is also slightly wider). The round red Intel one will probably go to the Seer, since there aren't any 386-specific stickers that were originally produced, and the Xeon will sadly not happen. Tried it in Abit board, but there were memory errors (which weren't there with the same memory and a Q6600 - perhaps that particular CPU has cache issues, perhaps the board doesn't like 1333, but the memory errors appeared on 1200 also, which was a perfectly stable overclock for Q6600 for I can't remember how many years now, so I've ordered a new 3 GHz Core Extreme, and will see where that one ends).

Finally, future plans:
There's more to do with Bard and Seer, and, perhaps, I'll finally finish the video with Korg NX5R demo songs (I've replaced the fuses, so it is now properly protected against dangers of 220V 😀)

Reply 91 of 94, by Tali

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Nope, it's from elsewhere. Pick another guess? 😀

Plus, a small update incoming.
I've gotten a new video card for Bard, this time it is the same Mach32 engine, but with VRAM and a proper, arguably the best DAC ever found on a VESA card (as opposed to the worst, by BrookTree, that the former card had). And it shows, or, rather, doesn't: flickering is nigh absent, and that's on an LCD through a KVM switch!

SlLRK0h.jpg
As for DOS speed of this card, well, it's still over 9000, or, more specifically, same 76.9 thingamajigs, whatever it is measured in, meaning, this card is just as fast (and is more into early PCI performance territory), as the previous one. It's just that it is also better for windows, and did I mention that awesome DAC? I did? Ah, well... 1024x768 at hi color in W98 is still pretty awesome on a souped up 486 in my book.

5rxoWg8.jpg

Then, another package arrived, to add to my OS collection.
hXA2lqz.jpg

But, as always, two steps forward means at least one will be back. I've received the fan for the PhysX card. Alas, one of its blades broke off. Now I don't suppose I've mishandled it (nor should it be so fragile to begin with), but I cannot rule it out completely, therefore I won't bug the seller over this; another replacement has been ordered, and now I just have to wait.

As for Bard, a couple cables and it will be complete, and I will finally be able to close the back lid on it.

Plus, eventually (and I mean "very very eventually", if that is a thing) I'll be needing a sticker with a Cyrix logo. Got my hands on some interesting chip, and now (rather passively, considering shocking prices) looking for a proper motherboard to support it. And yes, this one will be paired with a GUS, if/when I get one.

Reply 92 of 94, by Tali

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More of a rambling than a proper update, but my eyes quite recently fell on my first ever laptop, a Fujitsu Siemens C1010, and I've been thinking... that thing has been with me for 8 years before getting permanently stored in its bag, and I still love the thing. Sadly, 8 years of being daily driver is quite a bit for a laptop, so there's some damage to everything, including the power plug on the motherboard (and, considering the configuration of the board, it's not just the plug, but an entire corner of the board breaking off).

A quick glance at parts available on eBay revealed that most of the things that I would need are there, but for the newer C1020 model. It does share the same case and most of the internals, save from the motherboard, which is not Tualatin/Celeron SDRAM, but P4 DDR variety, meaning, if I replaced that, it wouldn't be exactly the same machine. The one I had was a Celeron 1066, though I wouldn't mind, at this time, upgrading it to a P3. Now, P4 is a different matter, and, frankly, I wouldn't want it. Furthermore, the list of parts to be replaced is pretty long, meaning, about the only things that would remain of the old laptop, would be the screen, the CPU (should I keep it), the RAM, Floppy, HDD and a couple covers. I'd need replacing the lid, as there is a large crack, the keyboard is pretty worn, the palm rest is also in a poor cosmetic state... There's more, too. I'd say, about half the laptop needs replacing.

Now here's the tricky question. P3/Celeron at this point is unattainable, since there are simply no motherboards on sale, and without a working mobo everything else is rather pointless. With C1020, almost all parts are available and very cheap, I could rebuild the whole thing in less than 100 Eur or something, except for the lid. And a new lid is needed badly regardless, but it is something I could replace eventually, since the computer itself would work. Now, should I go for newer model, or do I try to keep the original?

On a more pleasant note, got my paws on an Aztech sound card for Seer, so now she's going to have Covox and DSS support. But that will wait a bit more, as that's not the only part needed.

EDIT: Ah well, decision's been made. Now all I need is some patience... and a lot of luck.

Reply 93 of 94, by Tali

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I've received the replacement fan for the Tualatin's future video card, and here it is installed. It fits and is surprisingly quiet, which is a blessing, considering I couldn't find the exact original one. I guess, this wasn't the most common of video cards (which is why it is insanely awesome to me), and lack of spare parts comes with the territory.

ELps2SF.jpg?1

I've also replaced the antique thermal paste and the pins holding the heatsink... now it all is nice and snug as a bug in a rug.

Furthermore, I acquired yet another module for my midi collection, and this time it is an actual synth in addition to being a rompler. Now I'm beginning to consider getting a keyboard... after all, why not?

Plus, I've changed my mind about replacing the Akasa fan on P4. According to words of ancient wisdom (perusing the old forums brought such info), Prescotts aren't supposed to drop below 50 on idle, let alone on load, and 60 at load is actually a very good temp, with above 70 being normal for stock Intel cooling at max revs. So, I guess, I should be happy with this setup as it is.

Reply 94 of 94, by Tali

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Here's the card for Seer. And another one... this time I've managed to install the ram without breaking anything, which is a blessing.

XfxBLDL.jpg?1

And there they both are, already inside.

2Epk3kJ.jpg

Now I just need that IDE controller, and we can call it a day. Still, I've run some Lotus off the fdd, and it instantly picked up FM music! As fine as that PC speaker sounded, there just is something about FM and old games... especially if played on a real Yamaha synth!

So now I have SB16, SB Pro, and, thanks to Aztech, also DSS and Covox to boot!