VOGONS


Bought these (retro) hardware today

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Reply 41740 of 45929, by gex85

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-01, 00:34:

They are separate machines thankfully, the Win9x machine I limited to PCI only and I dont use it for DOS stuff, the XG50 is a daughter card which attaches via the Midi port of the SoundBlaster 16, not sure if the MX300 midi port would work with the XG50 .. I haven't tried it yet as I dont know if all midi port are the same or if the MX300 uses a different setup, was not going to take the risk till I found out.

Should be perfectly fine to combine the DB50XG with the MX300. Here's what the manual states:

... Monster Sound has an industry-standard Wave Blaster compatible 26-pin header. If you have a wavetable that complies to this standard, you may use it with the Monster Sound MX300 card. The primary MIDI output device should be the Monster Sound II MPU-401.

My retro computers

Reply 41741 of 45929, by TrashPanda

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gex85 wrote on 2022-01-01, 09:54:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-01, 00:34:

They are separate machines thankfully, the Win9x machine I limited to PCI only and I dont use it for DOS stuff, the XG50 is a daughter card which attaches via the Midi port of the SoundBlaster 16, not sure if the MX300 midi port would work with the XG50 .. I haven't tried it yet as I dont know if all midi port are the same or if the MX300 uses a different setup, was not going to take the risk till I found out.

Should be perfectly fine to combine the DB50XG with the MX300. Here's what the manual states:

... Monster Sound has an industry-standard Wave Blaster compatible 26-pin header. If you have a wavetable that complies to this standard, you may use it with the Monster Sound MX300 card. The primary MIDI output device should be the Monster Sound II MPU-401.

Thats good to know !

The DB50 is too nice to have it sitting doing nothing and the tiny 2mb MX300 wavetable likely wont compare either.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 41742 of 45929, by Kahenraz

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I have a small collection of MIDI synthesizers where I've tried to include most of the major revisions from Roland and some from Yamaha. For the SC-55 I have a SC-55ST and SC-55MK2. I had thought that the 55ST covered the original "55" model but I was mistaken. The SC-55ST is actually an SC-55MK2.

I also have an SC-7 which I believe is supposed to sound like an SC-55 and it does sound very different from my ST and MK2. But I can't know for sure and I want a true SC-55 to round things out anyways.

So today I've completed the collection by ordering a SC-55.

My collection of MIDI synthesizers includes:

Roland MT-32 (old)
Roland CM-32L
Roland SC-7
Roland SC-55
Roland SC-55ST
Roland SC-55MK2
Roland SC-88VL
Roland SC-88ST Pro
Yamaha MU10
Yamaha MU50

I don't have an MT-32 (new) because I felt that the CM-32L filled this gap adequately.

I know that there are already lots of recordings out there by other people, but I plan to make some of my own once I have the new synthesizer and the proper recording equipment.

Reply 41743 of 45929, by TrashPanda

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-01-01, 11:44:
I have a small collection of MIDI synthesizers where I've tried to include most of the major revisions from Roland and some from […]
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I have a small collection of MIDI synthesizers where I've tried to include most of the major revisions from Roland and some from Yamaha. For the SC-55 I have a SC-55ST and SC-55MK2. I had thought that the 55ST covered the original "55" model but I was mistaken. The SC-55ST is actually an SC-55MK2.

I also have an SC-7 which I believe is supposed to sound like an SC-55 and it does sound very different from my ST and MK2. But I can't know for sure and I want a true SC-55 to round things out anyways.

So today I've completed the collection by ordering a SC-55.

My collection of MIDI synthesizers includes:

Roland MT-32 (old)
Roland CM-32L
Roland SC-7
Roland SC-55
Roland SC-55ST
Roland SC-55MK2
Roland SC-88VL
Roland SC-88ST Pro
Yamaha MU10
Yamaha MU50

I don't have an MT-32 (new) because I felt that the CM-32L filled this gap adequately.

I know that there are already lots of recordings out there by other people, but I plan to make some of my own once I have the new synthesizer and the proper recording equipment.

I'm guessing that they all sound different or have different playback capabilities ?

Never really been into midi that deep so I have no idea why there are so many Roland SC models.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 41744 of 45929, by Kahenraz

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The major difference comes from the following revisions (excluding firmware versions):

MT-32
SC-55
SC-55MK2
SC-88

The MT-32 is pre-General Midi so games which support it will only sound correct on this model. All of the later Sound Canvas models (SC prefix) are General Midi compatible but have a unique sound. A common goal of those who collect vintage synthesizers is to try and pair the model that most closely matches original composer's intent. And because of the wildly different variations of sound generated by different synthesizers, some things can sound either off or just plain wrong.

The CM and ST models are special in that they have no front panel LCD or array of buttons. If I'm going to pull out a synthesizer for general use I prefer one of these simply because there is less of a light show in my face and it's easier to hook up.

The SC-55MK2 is in my opinion the black sheep of the lot and can be skipped. I think Roland compositions of the time sound best on the SC-55 and the SC-88 has a mode that emulates the MK2 anyways. The SC-88 itself also has a unique set of sounds that may sound better in some instances but comes down to personal taste.

I do prefer the sound of the Yamaha for certain games such as Duke Nukem 3D. It has a very distinctive electric guitar that I think has a bit more punch than any of the Roland models. It also supports XG which is used by some games such as Final Fantasy 7 to great effect.

So in my opinion, a short list of synthesizers worth owning is the MT-32, SC-55, and Yamaha MU50.

The MT-32 has a wonderful sound but, because it is not General Midi compatible, can be skipped entirely if you don't play any of the games which utilize it. This leaves just two synthesizers, the SC-55 and the MU-50, both of which I would recommend. But if you had to choose only one then it should be the SC-55.

Reply 41745 of 45929, by TrashPanda

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-01-01, 12:00:
The major difference comes from the following revisions (excluding firmware versions): […]
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The major difference comes from the following revisions (excluding firmware versions):

MT-32
SC-55
SC-55MK2
SC-88

The MT-32 is pre-General Midi so games which support it will only sound correct on this model. All of the later Sound Canvas models (SC prefix) are General Midi compatible but have a unique sound. A common goal of those who collect vintage synthesizers is to try and pair the model that most closely matches original composer's intent. And because of the wildly different variations of sound generated by different synthesizers, some things can sound either off or just plain wrong.

The CM and ST models are special in that they have no front panel LCD or array of buttons. If I'm going to pull out a synthesizer for general use I prefer one of these simply because there is less of a light show in my face and it's easier to hook up.

The SC-55MK2 is in my opinion the black sheep of the lot and can be skipped. I think Roland compositions of the time sound best on the SC-55 and the SC-88 has a mode that emulates the MK2 anyways. The SC-88 itself also has a unique set of sounds that may sound better in some instances but comes down to personal taste.

I do prefer the sound of the Yamaha for certain games such as Duke Nukem 3D. It has a very distinctive electric guitar that I think has a bit more punch than any of the Roland models. It also supports XG which is used by some games such as Final Fantasy 7 to great effect.

So in my opinion, a short list of synthesizers worth owning is the MT-32, SC-55, and Yamaha MU50.

The MT-32 has a wonderful sound but, because it is not General Midi compatible, can be skipped entirely if you don't play any of the games which utilize it. This leaves just two synthesizers, the SC-55 and the MU-50, both of which I would recommend. But if you had to choose only one then it should be the SC-55.

Could you say have a DOS PC setup with all three and switch between them as required ? Im guessing the two Roland ones are essentially external boxes .. not idea about the Yammy.

I think Clint from LGR has a Midi stack, I might watch a few of his videos about it.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 41746 of 45929, by Kahenraz

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It's possible but this becomes very complicated. With a single synthesizer you can simply feed the output into the line-in of your sound card and have it mix there and arrive together at your speakers. But if you want several modules then you have to manage how to split the MIDI signal to each device and use an external mixer. Even with just two modules it will quickly become a rats nest of wires.

Most MIDI devices have a way to pass through the MIDI signal but this causes a delay which is why you'll want a splitter for that signal in addition to the external mixer for the analog audio.

LGR is being very honest about the size and inconvenience of his "MIDI mountain". I have not found a good way to organize or hook up a collection of devices that would allow me to easily switched between. This kind of thing is very difficult and expensive to setup and takes up a lot of space.

External MIDI modules are amazing but they are not pleasant to setup. The easiest and most convenient solution is to skip the module entirely and use an internal synthesizer that mounts onto your sound card. There are internal synthesizer modules for both the SC-55 and the MU-50 which cover the best of General Midi. Add an MT-32 as your only external module and that covers all of the oldest titles with the least amount of fuss. All of the other external units have special use cases and would only need to be hauled out as necessary.

This is why I prefer motherboards with at least two or three ISA slots. This allows for a Sound Blaster and enough extra expansion for two or three internal synthesizers.

The easiest way to get setup is to buy an Orpheus with the licensed Roland SC-55 add-on module. This allows you to have Sound Blaster compatibility and a Roland synthesizer all in a single ISA slot. It also supports MPU-401 intelligent mode which would allow you to plug in an MT-32 later if you ever decide to get one. This is the exact setup I have in an mATX system. It's more convenient than getting a synthesizer setup and it's all self contained and easy to store on a shelf when not in use.

Reply 41747 of 45929, by TrashPanda

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-01-01, 13:56:
It's possible but this becomes very complicated. With a single synthesizer you can simply feed the output into the line-in of yo […]
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It's possible but this becomes very complicated. With a single synthesizer you can simply feed the output into the line-in of your sound card and have it mix there and arrive together at your speakers. But if you want several modules then you have to manage how to split the MIDI signal to each device and use an external mixer. Even with just two modules it will quickly become a rats nest of wires.

Most MIDI devices have a way to pass through the MIDI signal but this causes a delay which is why you'll want a splitter for that signal in addition to the external mixer for the analog audio.

LGR is being very honest about the size and inconvenience of his "MIDI mountain". I have not found a good way to organize or hook up a collection of devices that would allow me to easily switched between. This kind of thing is very difficult and expensive to setup and takes up a lot of space.

External MIDI modules are amazing but they are not pleasant to setup. The easiest and most convenient solution is to skip the module entirely and use an internal synthesizer that mounts onto your sound card. There are internal synthesizer modules for both the SC-55 and the MU-50 which cover the best of General Midi. Add an MT-32 as your only external module and that covers all of the oldest titles with the least amount of fuss. All of the other external units have special use cases and would only need to be hauled out as necessary.

This is why I prefer motherboards with at least two or three ISA slots. This allows for a Sound Blaster and enough extra expansion for two or three internal synthesizers.

The easiest way to get setup is to buy an Orpheus with the licensed Roland SC-55 add-on module. This allows you to have Sound Blaster compatibility and a Roland synthesizer all in a single ISA slot. It also supports MPU-401 intelligent mode which would allow you to plug in an MT-32 later if you ever decide to get one. This is the exact setup I have in an mATX system. It's more convenient than getting a synthesizer setup and it's all self contained and easy to store on a shelf when not in use.

Ive actually signed up to get the Orpheus I with PCMIDI and the Dreamblaster X2GS IIRC it has dual outputs on its Midi port, ill look into a MT-32 .. pretty sure they cost a pretty penny.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 41748 of 45929, by Kahenraz

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That's the same set of cards and accessories that I ordered and I'm very happy with it. Having a second dedicated PCMIDI is very convenient for future expandability and, given the long lead time, it's an easy sell if you're already in queue. This second card will let you hook up a second synthesizer, frees up the joystick connector on the Orpheus, etc.

Both of these cards also support MPU-401 intelligent mode which is required by most games which use the MT-32 so you're already good to go with either of these.

My best advice for anyone considering collecting synthesizers is: don't. It's a rabbit hole that quickly turns into a small mountain. Get an Orpheus with a Dreamblaster X2GS and be done. If you like any of the games which support the MT-32 then get just that synthesizer. And if you want to get some more great sounds then pick up a Yamaha MU-50 as well.

Orpheus. Dreamblaster. MT-32. MU-50. Done.

Reply 41749 of 45929, by Dimitris1980

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My opinion:

A. For LA synthesis you need two devices. A Roland MT32 first generation because some games run 100% correctly only with this device and a Roland CM32L or CM64 or Lapc-i because of the extra sound effects that you have on some games. So, you cover all games with LA synthesis support.

B. For general midi i believe that a great combination is a Roland Sound Canvas SC55 Mark I because as i have been told it's the device that the composers used mostly to compose music and a Yamaha with XG support (MU50, MU80 etc), the Settlers 2 is amazing with Yamaha!

Last edited by Stiletto on 2022-01-03, 05:00. Edited 1 time in total.

- Macintosh LC475, Powerbook 540c, Macintosh Performa 6116CD, Power Macintosh G3 Minitower (x2), Imac G3, Powermac G4 MDD, Powermac G5, Imac Mid 2007
- Cyrix 120
- Amiga 500, Amiga 1200
- Atari 1040 STF
- Roland MT32, CM64, CM500, SC55, SC88, Yamaha MU50

Reply 41750 of 45929, by ViTi95

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Ulticom (DGM&S) ISA V35, 530

Pretty interesting card, I wonder if it's usable as an accelerator card.

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Reply 41751 of 45929, by Kahenraz

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Dimitris1980 wrote on 2022-01-01, 15:20:

My opinion:

A. For LA synthesis you need two devices. A Roland MT32 first generation because some games run 100% correctly only with this device and a Roland CM32L or CM64 or Lapc-i because of the extra sound effects that you have on some games. So, you cover all games with LA synthesis support.

B. For general midi i believe that a great combination is a Roland Sound Canvas SC55 Mark I because as i have been told it's the device that the composers used mostly to compose music and a Yamaha with XG support (MU50, MU80 etc), the Settlers 2 is amazing with Yamaha!

For perfect synthesis you need a LOT of devices not just the LA ones. Despite owning both a CM-32L and a LAPC-I I have never actually bothered to play any of the games which use these unique sound effects and I think the devices can be ignored entirely unless you are some die-hard for the few games where it's actually used.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2022-01-03, 05:00. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 41752 of 45929, by TrashPanda

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ViTi95 wrote on 2022-01-01, 15:42:

Ulticom (DGM&S) ISA V35, 530

Pretty interesting card, I wonder if it's usable as an accelerator card.

Took quite a bit of googling to figure out that this little card is for SS7 telephone signal processing, I can find identical cards based around you card but using different ICs in the U8 socket, yours is Infineon based the other I found was siemens based. (Found three of these based on siemens ICs)

https://www.ebay.at/itm/201642884708?mkevt=1& … d=&toolid=10050

I know Ebay links are generally not allowed but this link is to the other card which lists it as a Comverse Network 56-306-0303 SS7 Link V-35 ISA Ulticom, now "SS7 Link" if you Wikipedia that you get
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signalling_System_No._7 this, which pretty much tells you that these cards are for telephone systems. (You can see by the eBay images the two cards are almost identical)

The big DSP chip was what gave it away to me that it was some kind of single processing card.

This was kinda fun hunting down what the card is and does, its quite an interesting card but not terribly useful, would be a great shelf piece.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 41753 of 45929, by Dimitris1980

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-01-01, 16:05:
Dimitris1980 wrote on 2022-01-01, 15:20:

My opinion:

A. For LA synthesis you need two devices. A Roland MT32 first generation because some games run 100% correctly only with this device and a Roland CM32L or CM64 or Lapc-i because of the extra sound effects that you have on some games. So, you cover all games with LA synthesis support.

B. For general midi i believe that a great combination is a Roland Sound Canvas SC55 Mark I because as i have been told it's the device that the composers used mostly to compose music and a Yamaha with XG support (MU50, MU80 etc), the Settlers 2 is amazing with Yamaha!

For perfect synthesis you need a LOT of devices not just the LA ones. Despite owning both a CM-32L and a LAPC-I I have never actually bothered to play any of the games which use these unique sound effects and I think the devices can be ignored entirely unless you are some die-hard for the few games where it's actually used.

For start you pick up an LA synthesis and a general midi device. Whatever you have, gaming experience is lot better than a simple sound blaster or adlib for music. Personally i like having various options. I played and finished Heart of China with Roland MT32 (old one) because it runs 100% correctly with it. I play Lure of the Temptress with Roland CM64 because there are lots of sound effects that don't exist with the Roland MT32. I play Gabriel Knight with Roland Sound Canvas because i find it better than the Roland MT32. I play Sam and Max and Day of the Tentacle with the Yamaha MU50 because i love the sound of drums.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2022-01-03, 05:00. Edited 1 time in total.

- Macintosh LC475, Powerbook 540c, Macintosh Performa 6116CD, Power Macintosh G3 Minitower (x2), Imac G3, Powermac G4 MDD, Powermac G5, Imac Mid 2007
- Cyrix 120
- Amiga 500, Amiga 1200
- Atari 1040 STF
- Roland MT32, CM64, CM500, SC55, SC88, Yamaha MU50

Reply 41754 of 45929, by TrashPanda

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Dimitris1980 wrote on 2022-01-01, 16:26:
Kahenraz wrote on 2022-01-01, 16:05:
Dimitris1980 wrote on 2022-01-01, 15:20:

My opinion:

A. For LA synthesis you need two devices. A Roland MT32 first generation because some games run 100% correctly only with this device and a Roland CM32L or CM64 or Lapc-i because of the extra sound effects that you have on some games. So, you cover all games with LA synthesis support.

B. For general midi i believe that a great combination is a Roland Sound Canvas SC55 Mark I because as i have been told it's the device that the composers used mostly to compose music and a Yamaha with XG support (MU50, MU80 etc), the Settlers 2 is amazing with Yamaha!

For perfect synthesis you need a LOT of devices not just the LA ones. Despite owning both a CM-32L and a LAPC-I I have never actually bothered to play any of the games which use these unique sound effects and I think the devices can be ignored entirely unless you are some die-hard for the few games where it's actually used.

For start you pick up an LA synthesis and a general midi device. Whatever you have, gaming experience is lot better than a simple sound blaster or adlib for music. Personally i like having various options. I played and finished Heart of China with Roland MT32 (old one) because it runs 100% correctly with it. I play Lure of the Temptress with Roland CM64 because there are lots of sound effects that don't exist with the Roland MT32. I play Gabriel Knight with Roland Sound Canvas because i find it better than the Roland MT32. I play Sam and Max and Day of the Tentacle with the Yamaha MU50 because i love the sound of drums.

“When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you”

And all I see is a sea of Roland Midi players with the occasional speck of a Yamaha sail.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2022-01-03, 05:01. Edited 1 time in total.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 41755 of 45929, by .info

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I recently responded to a local sale ad for 6 banker's boxes of PC parts. I saw this listing a few times, there was only one picture and it showed one box overflowing with a mix of beige and black faced optical drives. It was originally $50 then I noticed it reduced to $20. Then I saw the name on the listing, it was someone I knew. The guy that ran the best BBS in my local area back in the 80s-90s., I had met him a few times back then even went to his house once for a user group meeting. That was computing in the pre-internet days. I responded to say Hi and ask more about the items for sale. He claimed to remember me (it was 30 odd years ago the last time we met) . It turns out this was not his own stuff, he was getting rid of it for a friend. He had already sold a large lot of Commodore items for a good sum, an out of state person had come to purchase that. These boxes were what was left. So I figured why not stop by it was in the next town over but I had business relatively close that weekend. So here is what I got.

- 386 Motherboard: AMI 386XT Series 17 with 386DX33, 387, 64K cache. In original box
- 486 motherboards: pair of AMI Super Voyager VLB II, 256K cache. In original box, one with 486DX33, one without CPU
- ISA VGA cards, all tested and working: Diamond Speedstar Pro 1MB (CL5426), ATI Graphics Vantage (Mach8 512K + 1MB 8514/A ), Video7 VRAM II 1MB, Paradise VGA Plus 16 256K (PVGA1A)
- VLB VGA card ATI Mach32 2MB
- Floppy drives: one combo 3.5/5.25, one 5.25, ~10 3.5 drives
- hard drives: 8 IDE drives ~250MB Seagate and WD
- RAM: many 30 pin and 72 pin (mix of PC and Mac), bag of EPROM and RAM chips
- CPUs: 486SX33, 486DX33 (2), 486DX2-66, DX2ODPR66
- Keytronic KT2000 AT keyboard new in box
- mice: several bus and PS/2 mice, microsoft dove bar and others most appear new unused. Several bus mouse cards
- Misc: several new in box low end AGP cards (GF2 MX, SIS, Rage128), a Yamaha ISA sound card, various PCI sound blasters, ISA I/O card, adaptec ISA SCSI card, many optical drives, a set of SBS52 creative/cambridge soundwork speakers, several ISA and PCI NICs and modems, lots of disks and manuals some matching the included hardware, various case parts, cables.

I already completed a build with the 386 mobo using parts from this haul; Video7 ISA VGA, combo floppy, pair of 250mb IDE drives, 8MB 30 pin RAM, KT2000, SCSI CDRW, MS bus mouse/card, speakers. I used an external battery, SB Pro2 and AT case that I already owned. Working great so far, once I overcame some of the expected retro build challenges. I did not take pics of the parts that already went into this build. There is a pic of the same mobo available here:
http://ummr.altervista.org/386MB2.jpg

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Reply 41756 of 45929, by liqmat

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.info wrote on 2022-01-01, 16:51:

The guy that ran the best BBS in my local area back in the 80s-90s., I had met him a few times back then even went to his house once for a user group meeting. That was computing in the pre-internet days.

Probably the part of computing I miss the most from the 1980s/1990s. In-person monthly user groups. You looked forward to them. Nothing compares to in-person social events like that. LAN parties of the late 1990s and early 00s were a close second. This is why I try to attend vintage game/computer expos like PRGE or VCFED events when I can. One thing great about VCFED.org is their in-person events they hold nationwide in the U.S.

Speaking of VCF, their new forum upgrade over Christmas is a huge improvement.

(っ•́。•́)♪♬

Reply 41759 of 45929, by Nexxen

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Got this and I'm super happy.

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PC#1 Pentium 233 MMX - 98SE
PC#2 PIII-1Ghz - 98SE/W2K