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 Turbo -> » 2019-5-05 @ 13:22

Having some hard time with Phoenix 286 BIOS. Doesn't let me enter HDD parameters, for the hard disc I have (81Mb) and it is not in the Phoenix BIOS 1-49 list. Any suggestions?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-05 @ 13:27

Turbo -> wrote:Having some hard time with Phoenix 286 BIOS. Doesn't let me enter HDD parameters, for the hard disc I have (81Mb) and it is not in the Phoenix BIOS 1-49 list. Any suggestions?


On my 286 with a Phoenix BIOS. I had a 840mb HDD running. I left the BIOS settings for the original 20mb MFM as they were, and installed a drive overlay on the new HDD. Did not make any further testing, just ran it with a standard Dos installation after the drive overlay installation. I was able to use more than 20mb of HDD space for storing games and so on. Ran overall fine. Did not feel era appropriate, so I installed an Adaptec SCSI controller and a 80mb Conner SCSI HDD instead.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-5-05 @ 14:42

Yes, if the HDD is not on the list, but you are able to boot with the HDD in place (although wrongfully detected), it means that you at least can use this HDD in your system. And do not have to tamper with the BIOS, as in patching it with XT-IDE or use other boot cards. The fact that it cannot be correctly allocated with the correct size would mean that you just set it to standard and use overlay software (I recommend EZBios), like brostenen mentioned.

--snip--
Spent the last hour to reorganize and rebuild the Vectra VEi8. Changing cable management, replacing the PSU, and also inverting the airflow. The side venting PSUs they used, the air gets sucked in and vented out inside in direction of the slot 1 CPU. But back then it ran Katmais and lower end CopperMines and they had only passive cooling, ergo did benefit from the exhaust of the PSU traveling by, taking a bit of heat with it. But the higher end PIIIs all use active fans on them, and basically need no airflow besides that. Ergo I flipped the PSU fan around, so it sucks the air out of the case instead. I added a ultra low noise fan on the front, which takes air in and blows it directly towards the expansion card area. This area gets rather hot now, because of all the Yamaha synth and DSP cards.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby BloodyCactus » 2019-5-05 @ 15:59

Put a PnP Gravis Ultrasound in my super socket 7 box alongside my AWE32! So nice to have both in one box working. I loaded it with 2x4mb sticks, even tho I really only needed 1mb.

I had to reset the GUS EEPROM, then disable all the garbage on the card (cd, fm, soundblaster etc) and get it down to 1 irq, 1 dma. its all good.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-5-05 @ 23:26

Upgraded my IBM ThinkPad 380D's operating system from Windows 95B to Windows 98 FE.

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The last image is out of focus (stupid phone camera).
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Systems from C64 to FX-6300.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bakemono » 2019-5-06 @ 08:43

Tried out my new roll of solder. I had heard that there are smaller diameters available which can be more convenient for working on PCBs. My last roll that I got 20 years ago or whenever it was, is around 1.5mm by the look of it. The roll I just bought is .8mm (rosin core). So I worked on my latest MegaSquirt board for a while, and I've found that the results are much less blob-tacular. I'm sure the whole thing would look significantly better if I'd been using this solder from the beginning.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby canthearu » 2019-5-06 @ 10:42

Turbo -> wrote:Having some hard time with Phoenix 286 BIOS. Doesn't let me enter HDD parameters, for the hard disc I have (81Mb) and it is not in the Phoenix BIOS 1-49 list. Any suggestions?


Get an ethernet card, install XT-IDE as a boot rom chip on it.

I try to avoid overlay software, as you can't grab the drive and plug it into a different system to copy data to/from it. XT-IDE uses standard LBA disk layouts, so you don't ever get this problem.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby oeuvre » 2019-5-06 @ 16:08

Tested a 160GB SATA drive and retrieved some files off it.

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it's crazy but it works
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-5-06 @ 16:53

canthearu wrote:
Turbo -> wrote:Having some hard time with Phoenix 286 BIOS. Doesn't let me enter HDD parameters, for the hard disc I have (81Mb) and it is not in the Phoenix BIOS 1-49 list. Any suggestions?


Get an ethernet card, install XT-IDE as a boot rom chip on it.

I try to avoid overlay software, as you can't grab the drive and plug it into a different system to copy data to/from it. XT-IDE uses standard LBA disk layouts, so you don't ever get this problem.



This.. I keep reading this everywhere, but it is simply not true (at least not in all cases / at least not generally)
It is very true that the card with the overlay on it is not readable in other systems of the same era, for example if you would plop the card/HDD into another machine of the same era (with an SD card adapter) on it as well.

But I had never any problems plugging this card/HDD into an SD card reader (or even plug the whole adapter with the card on an IDE USB adapter if you dont have a card slot or card reader) on a modern machine (be it either WinXP or any Linux distro), and read the data out of it or get new data on it. I do this regularly to make full images of the cards/HDDs as backup via dd command under Linux, so that - if anything goes awry - I can easily flash the backup back on the card. Complete with overlay and everything. Said flashed card of course only works in the system it was originally in (with the exceptions mentioned above)

Not only can I make complete card backups, but also copy over big files quickly this way if other ways and means would take too long.
So yes, you cant use other old systems as data resources, but you can very well just take the card/HDD out (overlay or not) and simply put it into let's say a 2010 Laptop with a card slot, and copy over data quickly. I have done this so many times that I really stumped when finding out that so many ppl say that it doesnt work.
I have also - many times - done the same with actual HDDs instead of SD cards as well. They were overlayed, as they were way to big in size and were used as substitution drives in way older systems.

TL;DR
Read out/Write to cards/HDDs with overlay on other old systems (+boot from it on other old systems) --> No.
Read out/Write to cards/HDDs with overlay on newer machines (plugged in as additional storage device either via Card slot or USB (XP and up / Linux) --> Yes.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-5-06 @ 19:46

Helping a guy today organize his small hardware components. Came across this. Any need to archive this or does someone already have the ISO?

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

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-06 @ 20:13

Testing a SID chip in a Commodore64 these past days. As far everything points to the chip being defect....
Everything in the machine works. Test suite reports no problem with the Video chip, ram or anything else.
I only get bad sound. I have here a couple of videos of the issue.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby badmojo » 2019-5-06 @ 20:40

I bought an ARMSID recently and can highly recommend them if you need to replace a SID - not an exact replication but sounds great all the same, in the same way a good OPL3 clone sounds great in its own right.
If it's broke, then fix it!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-06 @ 21:50

badmojo wrote:I bought an ARMSID recently and can highly recommend them if you need to replace a SID - not an exact replication but sounds great all the same, in the same way a good OPL3 clone sounds great in its own right.


One of them SwinSID-Nano? Already got one in the big box of Commodore stuff. :-)
Then there is SwinSID-Nano-Ultimate, and there are the FPGA-SID solutions.
Yet they can only be bought through a "store" on FaceBook, and I refuse to make a FB profile again.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2019-5-07 @ 20:04

CLEANED THINGS!!!

I have several boxes of motherboard and misc cards and I started going through them today with a fine tooth comb. They came from a smokers house, and everything is dingy and dirty with a faint taint of tobacco still after almost a year in storage.

But I found a cleaner that works practical magic here: https://www.amazon.com/Scentiva-Multi-S ... en&sr=1-11

Only reason I have it, my roommates bought the wrong stuff. Because if you aren't using bleach, you are just making the germs smell good is something I live by. It wasn't the effort to return it, so I tried it on some motherboards the other day and got exceptional results. So I was compelled to start cleaning REALLY gnarly boards and I'm quite happy.

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The pci card is an "before" example, as I forgot to take real before pics.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby slivercr » 2019-5-07 @ 20:13

I finally started working on my Celeron 300a build.
Last time I wanted to begin and went on ebay to look for a motherboard I ended up buying a OR840, this time I at least got a 440BX based motherboard...
p6dbe.jpg
2x450a.jpg

Already overclocked! :cool:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2019-5-07 @ 20:24

I love dualies, and supermicro double so.

I must admit, using such a luxury motherboard with Celerons just feels.... dirty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs5RV4GW01U
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby slivercr » 2019-5-07 @ 20:43

luckybob wrote:I love dualies, and supermicro double so.

I must admit, using such a luxury motherboard with Celerons just feels.... dirty.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs5RV4GW01U


Dirty and oh so good! I wanted to pamper them ;)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2019-5-07 @ 21:12

BTW, this is that same pci card.

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paper stickers are always killed by the washing process, so always remove the important ones before washing if you want to keep them.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby badmojo » 2019-5-07 @ 21:20

brostenen wrote:One of them SwinSID-Nano? Already got one in the big box of Commodore stuff. :-)
Then there is SwinSID-Nano-Ultimate, and there are the FPGA-SID solutions.
Yet they can only be bought through a "store" on FaceBook, and I refuse to make a FB profile again.


No the ARMSID is the latest clone on the scene, much better than the SwinSID.

http://kompjut0r.blogspot.com/2018/04/s ... te_12.html
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby oeuvre » 2019-5-07 @ 22:16

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Retrobrighted this Dell. Now it looks brand spankin' new.

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The rear, had to pull that piece of metal out a bit so the power supply switch can be used.

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side a

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side b

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This came out so good. Really happy with it.
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