What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2018-11-13 @ 22:26

Started testing yesterday's big haul. First system, the 486, makes clear this is going to take some work...

The machine completely refused to do anything at first attempt - no POST, nothing on POST card, just fans & no action. Bugger. However it wasn't as bad as it looked. I removed all the cards from the motherboard and the motherboard from the case, then tried a minimal boot which still failed - but I noticed the 72p SIMMs had big "32MB EDO" labels on them. That usually isn't appreciated by 486 chipsets, so removed them and replaced with an 8MB FP SIMM I had. That did the trick, it immediately posted into an AWARD BIOS complaining about a dead battery. Not soldered, so no problem. It looks like the person I got these systems from just crammed as many components into the systems as possible before donation, without checking if they actually worked (or were even remotely compatible). The rest of the systems were also suspiciously fully decked out in terms of RAM. That could turn out to be fun ;)

Oh, and if you ever wondered where the print on some bare 486 CPUs ended up, I think I have the answer:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-13 @ 22:42

Who uses that stuff for thermal compound and leave it on there for years? I change my thermal compound at least every 2-3 years (I have a big tube of Arctic 5 Silver Compound that does wonders). Glad you got that 486 to work, man.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2018-11-13 @ 22:47

What thermal compound? That's just simple glue by the look of it - glue that adhered better to the lettering than the lettering did to the ceramic CPU.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby LHN91 » 2018-11-14 @ 01:44

Been fighting with an HP DC7100 Compact Minitower the last few days.

It was being used as a very basic Windows 7 machine by my wife's aunt until about 2 weeks ago, and it was working fine in that configuration.

Base Specs:
Intel 915 chipset
Pentium 4 540
Geforce 6800

By rights, it should be possible to run either 98SE/ME or 2000/XP on this machine. I brought the machine down to 512 MB of RAM for this purpose

Apparently I'm just not having any luck.

I suspect that part of the issue is that I haven't figured out how to disable the onboard video.

In Windows ME, the chipset drivers install fine. The GPU will only install if I force it to do so, at which point it does mostly work. I attempted to use an SB Live! SB0220 with the drivers on VOGONSDRIVERS, but couldn't get that working, and some other things would only install if I manually forced a driver install.

In Windows 2000, the chipset drivers also install fine. The GPU, again, only installs if forced - and even then, while showing as instaled, Windows 2000 seems to treat it as if it's not there, despite it being the card used to display the desktop.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby leileilol » 2018-11-14 @ 03:45

Alpha channel bilinear study fun. Check out those taps! (the numbers are a 6-bit color range. this is a rgba4444, rgb is all white, the top portion is being modulated away)
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pvrfade.gif
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
SGL != Glide
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-11-14 @ 05:41

Merovign wrote:
the_ultra_code wrote:Edit: I forgot to ask. What would you call these type of motherboard standoffs that "clip" into a PC case? I have to replace at least one of them if I intend to "keep" the system.


It probably doesn't help but those look *exactly* like the standoffs in Power Computing mac clone towers from the mid 90s.

I could use one myself, one was broken in one of my machines.

If I find one I'll post the info here (and I'll keep a look out in case one of you finds one).


Awesome! Thanks!

On to what I have done today/yesterday. I received in the mail a PNY Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT with an aftermarket Arctic Cooling blower-style cooler on it.
Image

While the card works correctly, and works as it should under XP (haven't tested it yet under Win98, but I expect the same positive result), it runs hot, with it idling at around 50C on the XP desktop, at hits at its worst nearly 70C when playing some Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Challenge (the most demanding game I have installed under XP; it's a good game, even though it's clear it's a child's game; please don't judge :) ). Mind you, this is with me taking apart the card and cooler completely to clean it and apply new layers of Arctic MX-4 and thermal pads where needed. Installing MSI Afterburner (which for some reason I can't seem to access the RivaTuner Statistics Server; need further research into how to access it in XP) and putting it place a super-aggressive fan curve doesn't help at all.

Edit: Forgot to ask - does any one have any good aftermarket cooler recommendations for this card?

I also went ahead and desoldered the problematic PS/2 connector off my Asus P3B-F motherboard (as detailed here). For the first time at desoldering something, I don't think I did too bad.
Image

Finally, I received from Great Britain a replacement Cirrus Logic 2D PCI GPU for the one I had unintentionally somehow damaged earlier, and, well, things did not go as I hoped. For one, the seller sent me the card, wrapped in a layer of cardboard, without anything protecting the card, so the pins were all bent. >:( It didn't help that the card was dusty, either. After bending the pins back as best I could, taking the VBIOS chip out to dust it, almost breaking the pins off in the process of removing it, and having to take it out again, because I put it back in reversed ( :P ), and cleaning the add-in RAM chips, this is what it looks like:
Image

Sadly, that effort went to waste, as the card already had one foot in the grave, with artifacting right out of the gate, as shown here.

At this point, I'm thinking about getting either an S3 card, since my luck with Cirrus Logic cards from ebay has been piss-poor, or getting an early Nvidia or ATI 3D card to pair with the Voodoo1, since I'm getting tired of dealing with faulty 2D PCI GPUs.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby brostenen » 2018-11-14 @ 09:40

After a recap some time ago, I thought it would be fun to see how a Lumafix64 will behave in my Commodore64. And it is actually working as intended now. I did not see the big difference before recap, but now... Oh boy.

Then I played some pakman, supercycle, 1942 and great giana sisters. The picture looks 100% brand new, and all details are sharp in the picture. I have set the colour intensity on the lumafix, so it is slightly warmer than the stock C64-c model, and the result is a picture that are somewhat the same as the original breadbin. I can highly say good for a C64 recap and a lumafix64.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby badmojo » 2018-11-14 @ 10:15

brostenen wrote:After a recap some time ago, I thought it would be fun to see how a Lumafix64 will behave in my Commodore64. And it is actually working as intended now. I did not see the big difference before recap, but now... Oh boy.


Yes I thought the Lumafix was a winner but I found that its effectiveness was variable depending on the VICII - i.e. worked on some better than others. I also found myself re-tuning it constantly and decided that a) it was hard to get it perfect for all games and that b) the length of time my C64 and / or CRT display had been running for also impacted the tuning. In the end I took it out but it definitely had potential.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby brostenen » 2018-11-14 @ 18:09

badmojo wrote:
brostenen wrote:After a recap some time ago, I thought it would be fun to see how a Lumafix64 will behave in my Commodore64. And it is actually working as intended now. I did not see the big difference before recap, but now... Oh boy.


Yes I thought the Lumafix was a winner but I found that its effectiveness was variable depending on the VICII - i.e. worked on some better than others. I also found myself re-tuning it constantly and decided that a) it was hard to get it perfect for all games and that b) the length of time my C64 and / or CRT display had been running for also impacted the tuning. In the end I took it out but it definitely had potential.


Those pots. They are variable resistors right?
So finetuning to ones liking and measuring the resistance, and then swap for some standard resistors with that value. Should actually result in a good solution for that specific machine?
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick I tell.... (never tried though)

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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-14 @ 18:21

dionb wrote:What thermal compound? That's just simple glue by the look of it - glue that adhered better to the lettering than the lettering did to the ceramic CPU.
Oy. At least you know what processor is installed via the BIOS. What are your plans for that machine?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2018-11-14 @ 21:22

bjwil1991 wrote:
dionb wrote:What thermal compound? That's just simple glue by the look of it - glue that adhered better to the lettering than the lettering did to the ceramic CPU.
Oy. At least you know what processor is installed via the BIOS. What are your plans for that machine?

Not sure, I'm in the unusual situation of having more 486 stuff than I know what to do with right now. This board is beautiful, but probably the least interesting one I have, as is the CL-GD5426 1MB (with expansion sockets) VLB card in it. I might see if I can swap them for something else - or just sell outright. The case is the best early 1990s one I have, so that's not going anywhere ;)

But before I decide anything hasty, I'm working my way through the rest of that pile. The Pentium 1 system had a dead CR-2032 (and downright refused to boot without working battery), but after replacing that it was 100% working, dual-booting into Linux and Win95. CPU was a lacklustre P90, which made the 50ns SIMMs even more out of place. I also briefly tested the PC-Chips M789. It seems OK, although I need to stress it a bit more before I'm satisfied it's working. The PSU in that case though... I fired it up with a HDD for ballast, and straight on cue it loudly popped two caps. No surprise that's getting a one-way ticket to the bin.

Next up the Slot 1 systems - but might not get round to that for a few days, as it's my youngest son's birthday tomorrow.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-11-14 @ 23:32

Played Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation using my newly built (Windows 95 / DOS hybrid) Pentium II 300 with Riva 128 and SB16 cards. The game runs pretty well, but I noticed that the Riva 128 struggles with fast moving scenes in maximum graphics settings. Interestingly this (patched) game only runs on this system, non of my newer systems can run it (even a GF3 Ti500 with a PIII 500 seems too new for the game).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Shagittarius » 2018-11-15 @ 02:16

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (Steam) runs fine on my Windows 10 RTX 2080ti machine. With the exception that full screen has a title bar.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby oeuvre » 2018-11-15 @ 02:41

Set up triple boot on my Optiplex 745... Windows XP, 7-64, and... 2000!

Thanks to blackwingcat, I was able to run the last version of Firefox ESR for XP on 2000, as well as HexChat. Even found patched AMD drivers for my FirePro V3900. Watching YouTube on Windows 2000 in late 2018 is surreal.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Murugan » 2018-11-15 @ 07:25

Removed the dead MFM drive from my Olivetti M290 and booted it with a DOS floppy. Tried Leisure Suit Larry 1 and everything works as intented except it doesn't have a HD now.

Cleaned the 2 drives of my 5160 with a floppy cleaner disk but still they don't read all the time.
I will need to look into this since I never worked on this hardware. Might be bad floppy's and/or bad drives?

Cleaned the case of my Commodore PC30-III since I had to open it anyway to install the 287XL.
Just ran some benchmarks to see if it was working since it was bought as not tested.
While it was open, I saw that the HD led was not working. The previous owner connected the header to the SCSI controllercard but the wires were in the wrong sockets of the header.

Received my VLB IO card so this weekend I start my DX2-66 build.

Enough for now :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Vegge » 2018-11-15 @ 11:45

Got this EGA CRT up and running.
IMG_1421s.jpg

Bought it function unknown. Found it to be non working with signs of someone trying to get it working, screws missing and so on.
Need to find a place to set it up with a fitting machine :)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby oeuvre » 2018-11-15 @ 19:02

Image

Here are some screenshots of Windows 2000 on a Q6600.

Image

Programs + specs

Image

Firefox 52.9 ESR, which works with blackwingcat's kernel extensions (and crashes often).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2018-11-15 @ 19:23

oeuvre wrote:Image

Here are some screenshots of Windows 2000 on a Q6600.

Image

Programs + specs

Image

Firefox 52.9 ESR, which works with blackwingcat's kernel extensions (and crashes often).

Nope, nope, nope. He-Man will not do. Skeletor please!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bakemono » 2018-11-15 @ 20:32

I use MyPal 27.9.4 in win2k (with ext kernel) and don't have crashes. One problem is that downloads fail anywhere other than mypal's own directory. I suspect there is a fix for this as Palemoon Portable had the same problem and could be fixed by editing one of the config files. dom.messageChannel.enabled had to be added for craptchas to work, and 1-2 checkboxs under content-video had to be altered for youtube.

I'm surprised that FF 52 can still display the menu bar, I thought they had already done away with it to fit in with the current (reprehensible, IMO) fashion.

Is RAM beyond 3GB usable?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby vmr_ » 2018-11-15 @ 20:33

SS7 playground - playing with Rise MP6 333 / 240MHz
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=63652&p=713932#p713932

Quake 2 tests are puzzling - any ideas?
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