VOGONS


Reply 22300 of 22837, by BitWrangler

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Possibly an indication of a place that just extruded them and chopped them, rather than properly tensioning them and aging them in an oven. Extrusion die is usually specced a tad oversize, it's pushed/pulled out onto a rack, should cool in air, then get stretched until dimension conforms, reduced to portable lengths, packed in a rack, aged in an oven for 4-8 hours depending on alloy, then be cut to finished size and have additional finishing operations, like cut for the clip slot, and maybe also crosscut through the fins. Anyhoooooo, if no stretched and aged, it coulda curled up with ageing in real time, rather than oven accelerated.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 22301 of 22837, by creepingnet

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Started getting video footage of Leisure Suit Larry off the Tandy 1000A and discovered that it runs surprisingly well from clean boot at stock 4.77 MHz.

Going to download and move some vids from my other retrocomputing channel to my main variety channel for throwback thursdays for september and december as well.

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
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Reply 22302 of 22837, by Brawndo

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-07-28, 03:13:

Possibly an indication of a place that just extruded them and chopped them, rather than properly tensioning them and aging them in an oven. Extrusion die is usually specced a tad oversize, it's pushed/pulled out onto a rack, should cool in air, then get stretched until dimension conforms, reduced to portable lengths, packed in a rack, aged in an oven for 4-8 hours depending on alloy, then be cut to finished size and have additional finishing operations, like cut for the clip slot, and maybe also crosscut through the fins. Anyhoooooo, if no stretched and aged, it coulda curled up with ageing in real time, rather than oven accelerated.

The base was pretty rough regardless of the shape, so it needed it anyway. To be fair they are some of the cheaper heatsinks you can buy, so I'm not expecting a flat mirror finish. Checking the flatness of heatsinks should be standard practice anyway if you care about optimal cooling performance.

Reply 22303 of 22837, by MarkP

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Currently going though my ye olde spinning rust and checking see it they are ok. One Maxtor down but the rest are functioning fine. Floppy drives where having issues reading the various Dos boot/install disks. Curiously enough the PC Dos 5.02 boot/installation disk never had an issue with any of the FDDs.

Reply 22304 of 22837, by BitWrangler

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Was that based on DR-DOS by 5.02? I used to have some DR-DOS disks that I used for aligning drives with, because they would read when they were just out of adjustment enough to stop reading everything else. So if it read nothing, I'd eyeball it until it read the DR-DOS disk, or start from where it was still reading it, go all the way one way, until it gave corrupted dirs, then all the way the other way, until same thing started happening, then center it between the two, and everything would read fine again... once or twice I had to do some real fine tuning.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 22305 of 22837, by Thermalwrong

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I've gotta make a write up on this at some point. I keep getting stuck into one project after another and I'm slowly working through them - the most frustrating lately has been a Toshiba Portege 3010CT laptop that I dropped off a tall shelf. The laptop was fine but the CCFL in the LCD was smashed. CCFLs are expensive so I opted to put an LED backlight in instead but it turned out to be a big can of worms.

To start with, this is a super thin laptop so it barely fit and the LED backlight needs 12v where the laptop gives 5. So I reverse engineered a small 5v > 12v boost converter and put it onto the protoboard I was gonna use for mounting:

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This actually lead to KiCAD to figure out how it fit together to re-make it. That mess of wire works.

Then I found that the dimming method Toshiba use for these old laptops uses some pins for a binary counter i.e. 00, 01 etc. The new LED backlight uses an analogue voltage for brightness, so 5v = dimmest and 2v = brightest. Apparently that's the more common / later standard.
This lead me on to using an Arduino / Attiny2313 I had laying around to do the reading and have it make a PWM signal - I haven't done anything with arduino in a few years so there was a lot to pick back up 😀

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It's a really cheap backlight board which apparently isn't the best - it flickers at low brightness so when the hard drive was busy, it would flicker. Solved that with an RC filter on the PWM signal so now it doesn't really flicker. The brightness controls actually work, ranging from "this is a bit dim" to "agh my eyes"

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There's still a couple of tweaks to make, which will involve pulling it apart again and reflashing the attiny in circuit again, but overall this has been a nice project. It's really rejuvenated the look of this laptop compared to its original CCFL.

Reply 22306 of 22837, by MarkP

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-07-29, 01:06:

Was that based on DR-DOS by 5.02? I used to have some DR-DOS disks that I used for aligning drives with, because they would read when they were just out of adjustment enough to stop reading everything else. So if it read nothing, I'd eyeball it until it read the DR-DOS disk, or start from where it was still reading it, go all the way one way, until it gave corrupted dirs, then all the way the other way, until same thing started happening, then center it between the two, and everything would read fine again... once or twice I had to do some real fine tuning.

The initial release of MS/PC Dos 5.0 was a bit flakey. Both MS and IBM put out new versions that fixed that named 5a and 5.02 respectively.

MS/PC Dos 5.x/6.x fdisk would not sort out the partition table on a Conner drive I have but DR Dos 6s fdisk got it sorted in no time. So pays to have them handy. On one hdd I had a version of Linux sort out a partition as well. 5 hdds out of 6 all good to go 😉

Last edited by MarkP on 2022-07-29, 19:46. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 22307 of 22837, by 386SX

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Today I'm choosing old components for a new main machine on linux. I installed again the Athlon II X2 2,7Ghz on AM3 Nvidia chipset, 4GB DDR2 800, HD4650 1GB, SSD SATA2 and I went for a alternative old sound card to see how it would run on a modern light linux o.s. and it works great, the Sound Blaster PCI (Ensoniq ES1371) and it's more powerful than the on board and it just work great. It's a sort of mixed components machine, even an IDE DVD drive.. 😉
I was thinking to even use some older still supported video card like the X550 series or something like it maybe less complex for an office machine. Obviously I need at least OpenGL 2.0 as generic apps requirement.

Works great.. too bad for the lack of the SSE4.1 as lately talked about but still working good. I might look for a cheap Phenom II but this one seems to be less power demanding. In idle the system ask for 45 watts more or less with automatic clocks.

Reply 22308 of 22837, by BitWrangler

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I'm cooking up something similar as a "final" upgrade to an AM2+ box (Isn't yours that too with DDR2 ??) Some nforce 6100PM-AM board, and I'm chasing a cheap Athlon II x4 locally. Supposed to be some workarounds to get SSE 4.1 out of the SSE 4.0a that I'll look into. I had mine on a power meter with Phenom X3 and GT610 in it and it was idling at 25W. I don't even think that was the 8450e I've got, just the straight 8450. Build up might appear in modern thread eventually. Only got 2 RAM slots to play with too, but have one piece of "AMD only" 4GB DDR2, which I'll give a shot, so may be running 6GB until I find another one.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 22309 of 22837, by appiah4

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-07-29, 13:38:

I'm cooking up something similar as a "final" upgrade to an AM2+ box (Isn't yours that too with DDR2 ??) Some nforce 6100PM-AM board, and I'm chasing a cheap Athlon II x4 locally. Supposed to be some workarounds to get SSE 4.1 out of the SSE 4.0a that I'll look into. I had mine on a power meter with Phenom X3 and GT610 in it and it was idling at 25W. I don't even think that was the 8450e I've got, just the straight 8450. Build up might appear in modern thread eventually. Only got 2 RAM slots to play with too, but have one piece of "AMD only" 4GB DDR2, which I'll give a shot, so may be running 6GB until I find another one.

Curious as to what you will use this box for? I really find it hard to justify building anything post Socket A; I have a Socket 754 system and that I only keep as it is the fastest AGP platform I have, otherwise it's pretty useless..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 22310 of 22837, by BitWrangler

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It's more gonna be a low end modern donkey than retro gamer, hence why I'll detail it in modern when it's getting seen to. It might get some media handling duties and emulators. What I'd call "emergent retro" targetted at late noughties will be a s939 x2 with crossfire 4870s, and a s775 sparring partner with SLI 9600s. I've got a 754 for AGP final fling also, but so far best it's getting is Radeon 9600, waiting for something better to turn up for peanuts.

edit: You know what, though, maybe I'll be using the 4870s for peak 1st gen AM2, got an X2-6400 and board. Better era and CPU grunt match. Think I might have pair of 7000 series nVidia for the 939 that are more 2006.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 22311 of 22837, by appiah4

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-07-29, 14:04:

It's more gonna be a low end modern donkey than retro gamer, hence why I'll detail it in modern when it's getting seen to. It might get some media handling duties and emulators. What I'd call "emergent retro" targetted at late noughties will be a s939 x2 with crossfire 4870s, and a s775 sparring partner with SLI 9600s. I've got a 754 for AGP final fling also, but so far best it's getting is Radeon 9600, waiting for something better to turn up for peanuts.

edit: You know what, though, maybe I'll be using the 4870s for peak 1st gen AM2, got an X2-6400 and board. Better era and CPU grunt match. Think I might have pair of 7000 series nVidia for the 939 that are more 2006.

Yeah I was going to say 4800 series is more an AM2 thing and you should probably go with a 5850/6850/7770 with that AM3 build..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 22312 of 22837, by BitWrangler

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Might get the HD7750, will know when the music stops 🤣 Though it does seem like I'm gonna have a bunch of 68x0 unemployed... I'd keep the 5850s as there were more top of line where the 68x0 was overshadowed by 69x0... and are just more of the same terascale.. dang I shoulda got $100+ a pop for them peak GPU drought last year.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 22313 of 22837, by 386SX

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-07-29, 13:38:

I'm cooking up something similar as a "final" upgrade to an AM2+ box (Isn't yours that too with DDR2 ??) Some nforce 6100PM-AM board, and I'm chasing a cheap Athlon II x4 locally. Supposed to be some workarounds to get SSE 4.1 out of the SSE 4.0a that I'll look into. I had mine on a power meter with Phenom X3 and GT610 in it and it was idling at 25W. I don't even think that was the 8450e I've got, just the straight 8450. Build up might appear in modern thread eventually. Only got 2 RAM slots to play with too, but have one piece of "AMD only" 4GB DDR2, which I'll give a shot, so may be running 6GB until I find another one.

Interesting, my mainboard has a MCP61 chipset which iGPU I can't use anymore in linux cause proprietary drivers are too old. Dual DDR2 dimm for 4GB 800Mhz at best, SATA II, IDE, AM3+ support and 2010 latest bios. About the SSE4.1 as discussed lately I found that they were a very long list of newer instructions compared to the four ones of the SSE4a AMD one. I can't imagine how they can workaround the SSE4.1 but very interesting if there were some way to at least keep the newer compatibility requirement if needed.

Also 25 watts with a Phenom X3 and a GT610 looks impressive even in idle. I imagine it was an ultra high end PSU to have such efficiency. 😉

Reply 22314 of 22837, by BitWrangler

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Yes I was very surprised, checked it with a moving coil ammeter clamp too and it was flickering around 1/4 amp on that, though scale wasn't the best for it. So coulda been 5 watts higher. That was sitting on desktop with no disk access though, dunno what power state it was actually in. Was on windows 7 I think with all the eyecandy turned off. As soon as it hit the disk it jumped 10W. Just leave it noodling background stuff like file copying or something and it was 40. The 610 runs really low when not doing much. I can't remember PSU at the moment, might have been an older ATX 2 enermax. Might have been a "this one feels heavy enough not to be total crap" OEM. I think though that from mid noughties HP, Dell, IBM were putting actual effort into having even their low end biz PCs be efficient, like they maybe had 90% designs before all that white bronze silver gold platinum etc deal. I think actually it used to unnerve me by turning the fan off completely until it got a little loaded.

The workaround I was thinking of was the intel SDE for devs, in the 7.x.x versions, that emulated SSE 4.1 ... it was really only much use in very CPU light games and games for which you needed to confirm whether SSE 4.1 was an issue. The rest was all individual patches and workarounds for popular games. Might have oversold how useful that is.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 22315 of 22837, by lolo799

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Gave Virtual Waves 2 a try under Win95 with a SB32PNP or an Awe64Gold and no dice, the included Sample Transfer doesn't recognize either of my cards.

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It's the 32bit version of the program but it relies on two 16bit dll dating back from 1994, aweman and awegui.

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For illustration purposes, the Virtual Waves AWE32/64 Transfer and awegui dialog windows

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Has anyone ever managed to make it work, I wonder...

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 22316 of 22837, by creepingnet

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The Tandy 1000A is now 100% on the internet - DOSLynx is installed and working (with the Deluxe Mouse on Joystick Port #2 no less), FTPSRV has been working overtime, most of the RAM issues are sorted. I'll say this, that mTCP upgrade REALLY freed up some KBs, the old version I had was around 468K at boot, now I have 490K with networking. Also did some tweaking (added DOS to UMB - whatever's not used by CGA and the other Tandy/Option ROM Stuff).

Seems I'm gaining some more speed now as well, kind of odd being as it's a 4.77MHz 8088. Only games not working now are Ultima V and Ultima VI (well, intro works on VI). Just a little more Memory tuning and I think we have the Tandy up to speed with the others (minus the hot-rodded hardware upgrades I have planned).

~The Creeping Network~
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet
Creepingnet's World - https://creepingnet.neocities.org/

Reply 22317 of 22837, by BetaC

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After a few weeks of frustration, I suddenly have a working light sixer.

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It's time for me to now play some not-that-great-at-best games on this classic.

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Reply 22318 of 22837, by HangarAte2nds!

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Took a look at my retro games to see what I want to play in the near future and decided I need to build a PIII. Have 4 MBs all slot 1 and upwards of 10 CPUs some Slot 1 and some PGA, from 400MHz to 1400MHz. I have an adapter for the PGA ones. Have plenty of components to finish it out, taking my pick. Plenty of AGP GPUs, drives and RAM. Everything is untested so I will just sort of be winging it and part of the project is to start testing components I have spent a couple of years collecting. I have several CRT monitors that are status unknown. The ones I most want to play are from 2000-2002 so I probably won't try to go balls to the wall with the first build. I will probably end up with more working PIII builds than I need. Thinking about trying to sell one but not sure if I will have much luck finding a buyer. It will be in a very heavy full tower and not something I can ship and there is not much going on in the PC section of my local CL. But I should have some fun in any case.

Reply 22319 of 22837, by PTherapist

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My retro related activity today (well, yesterday really) - repairing/bodging some PC speakers that I've had for about 19 or 20 years, though they're being used on my main modern day system as they still sound damn good!

I have the Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Theater 5.1 DTT2200 speaker set and for years I've been putting up with the failing potentiometer issue, whereby the volume levels will fluctuate at random, high & low. The issue would go away for ages and only reappear from time to time. The recent heatwave we had seemed to have brought the issue back in full force and I'd finally had enough and in frustration ended up damaging the potentiometer.

The thing is soldered down and welded together, so no easy job of a clean & repair and it would only be temporary anyway, plus you can't seem to find exact replacements for these particular potentiometers anymore. So I decided to just bodge it - found the schematic online, chopped off the volume control and shorted the relevant wires together to achieve power on + full volume. It's working well, can just use Windows to control the volume levels for now.

I've bought another set of Cambridge Soundworks speakers, but the lower model 4.0 surround version. The volume control, whilst looking different, seems to use the exact same connector, so I might be able to just use that instead and keep the 4.0 set as spares. But further down the line I intend to purchase a different potentiometer and attempt to build a replacement volume control to fix the temporary bodge job, albeit sacrificing the left/right balance control - which I never used anyway.