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 keenmaster486 » 2019-5-18 @ 04:34

A small update:

I am liking the Thinkpad 600E.

I had some fun this evening playing with VLC and sending video and audio to the 600E from my modern computer. I can get it to decode MPEG-1 HD video in real time - with only the occasional stutter.

I'm listening to an online radio station (actually one I've done some work for, you can check it out here: http://kdki.org and go to the stream here: http://s11.myradiostream.org:12398 - put it in an m3u file) using VLC. I have noticed that VLC is a little bulkier of a program than Windows Media Player or Media Player Classic, in that it pretty much wants to be in focus in order to never stutter or give up playing for a while. I set the option for "increase process priority" though, we'll see if that makes a difference. Basically if I load a webpage in RetroZilla, VLC will stutter a little until the webpage is finished loading.

But mostly it's just a lot of fun to play around with. I put a bunch of music files on the drive, for listening fun later. Media Player Classic does a good job with ogg files.

The battery rebuild has been fully successful so far. I ran it down to 10%, after it had sat on the table for about 30-40 hours not charging. It had only lost 4% of its charge sitting there. I ran it on full screen brightness and power settings, and doing a bunch of file copies over the WiFi, and although I wasn't really keeping track, it lasted quite a while. At least an hour and a half I'd say, and that's with constant battery-draining activity.

The radio stream working is kind of cool, actually, given that I was the guy who set up that stream to begin with. It's kind of ridiculous just what that audio goes through just to get all the way to VLC on my Pentium II laptop, haha!

Edit: darn it, Windows Media Player 9 works better.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Ultrax » 2019-5-18 @ 05:52

Fresh installation of 95 on my 95 Machine.

Formatted, so as to have the cleanest possible installation :-)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-5-18 @ 10:25

Well my Dell 2007FPb 20" 4:3 LCD does, in fact, correctly handle vintage composite signals. The Free C64 works perfectly (still need to test the drives), the Apple II+ is a little funky but I think that may be the Apple II+. The good news is that this is now my new Test Bench monitor because with a few adapters it handles almost anything (it even has a speaker bar).

I have a backup 2007FPb, too, I got two with that haul late last year. Didn't get it tested until now, dang time flies.

BTW I'm torn as to what to do with the Apple. I'm probably going to tinker a bit and see if I can clear up the video signal and get the keyboard working (it may work and it's the motherboard, basically boots to a logo and stops). It is my oldest computer though, slightly older than the Kaypro. On the other hand, it's a money sink as I don't have disk drives for it.

I'm trying to rebuild my catalog of systems and parts but it's slow going, I let it lapse over the winter and I had a huge influx of stuff. Set up a bunch of new excel files to copy stuff over into. Need to dig through all my new sound and video cards, oy vey.

Will probably be another week or two until I'm ready to pull the trigger on the Desktop Case thread to go with the Tower Case thread. Been collecting representative case pictures from old computer magazines. Not going to post everything but a few from each year and maybe a post just for early AIO computers like the ubiquitous pre-PC desktops that look like terminals.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-5-18 @ 12:42

Not having much luck with older systems lately. My 286 keeps freezing. Spent 4 hrs trying to sort it out. I'm at that stage where I might just strip what I can from it and toss the rest. I'll keep an eye out for a generic 286 mobo.The 386dx25s hdd or controller is playing up but that is not so bad it's generic so should be easy to sort out.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-5-18 @ 20:30

retrozilla_twitter_login.jpg

Yes, that's right, Twitter - except it's RetroZilla, and it's Windows 98, on an IBM Thinkpad 600E! Bwahahaha!

Posting from said machine now.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Turbo -> » 2019-5-18 @ 23:53

Trying to find any drivers whatsoever for ISA sound card Audio Plus 6400 AV309.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-5-19 @ 04:26

I've successfully used CS4232 drivers from Turtle Beach, although I don't really care about the 3d function of the CS4289 companion chip. Also, IMO the FM reproduction of the companion chip is absolutely nasty.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-5-19 @ 05:24

gdjacobs wrote:I've successfully used CS4232 drivers from Turtle Beach, although I don't really care about the 3d function of the CS4289 companion chip. Also, IMO the FM reproduction of the companion chip is absolutely nasty.

You want nasty? I'll show you nasty. One of the noisiest sound cards I've ever worked with. Almost complete junk, but it does make sound.

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

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-5-19 @ 05:42

Is the ALS4000 fundamentally that bad or does it vary considerably with the card design?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby canthearu » 2019-5-19 @ 11:43

gdjacobs wrote:Is the ALS4000 fundamentally that bad or does it vary considerably with the card design?


I bet it is bad card design, or maybe fake ALS4000.

I have an ESS Solo-1 card I bought off ebay a couple years back from a cheap chinese manufacturer. It sounded about as good as the amount I paid for it. It's cheap and nasty onboard amplifier added more noise than anything else. By contrast, a genuine Solo-1 built back in the day that I got out of a roadside pickup computer actually provides reasonable output quality, with much less amplification, but also a heap better SNR output.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-5-19 @ 16:47

canthearu wrote:
gdjacobs wrote:Is the ALS4000 fundamentally that bad or does it vary considerably with the card design?


I bet it is bad card design, or maybe fake ALS4000.

I have an ESS Solo-1 card I bought off ebay a couple years back from a cheap chinese manufacturer. It sounded about as good as the amount I paid for it. It's cheap and nasty onboard amplifier added more noise than anything else. By contrast, a genuine Solo-1 built back in the day that I got out of a roadside pickup computer actually provides reasonable output quality, with much less amplification, but also a heap better SNR output.

Probably true. Considering the damn thing hisses and has white noise the moment it gets power. Total crap. I keep it as a worse case scenario specimen. LOL
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-19 @ 20:34

Turbo -> wrote:Trying to find any drivers whatsoever for ISA sound card Audio Plus 6400 AV309.


I have the exact same card, it's a Crystal CS4232, use Crystal's latest drivers and it will work perfectly fine.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Kamerat » 2019-5-19 @ 20:57

gdjacobs wrote:Is the ALS4000 fundamentally that bad or does it vary considerably with the card design?

Somehow the FM part of the card makes a lot of noise, disabling it makes it more silent.

The ALS4000 is one of the few PCI chips that emulates Sound Blaster 16.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Jed118 » 2019-5-19 @ 21:16

Last week I took my Armada to the cottage and reconfigured Arkanoid to work with a mouse (delete the CFG file, basically) and with my Logitech mouse, I completely killed my previous high score. The game is MUCH more playable with a good mouse!

Image

The artifacting is due to a failed matrix line in the LCD, nothing I can do about it.

Then, for the hell of it, I did the same thing on my 386:

Image

This computer also has a tremendously good mouse (Microsoft BUS mouse, connected to the ATI VGA wonder card) - playing it on a Mono (in EGA mode, somehow) has a drawback - the permanent bricks are indistinguishable from the 2, 5, or 10 hit "gray" bricks on this screen.

Also, when I played on the Armada, I had a metric shit ton of "P" pills, leading me to have 10+ lives. When I played on the 386 (I played a few times), I didn't get a single "P" pill. Maybe they do fall, but the mono monitor can't see them? I'll investigate that later when I dual-screen the 386 (found a mono card in another 386 I am building, score!) Either way, it was getting late so I killed myself on level 30 with three lives left. Shame really. I would have kept playing but the computer itself is very noisy and the PC speaker cannot be muted or adjusted, and the rest of my family wanted to sleep.

Either way, this game basically requires a good mouse. Keyboard controls are iffy, and a mediocre mouse is even worse.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-19 @ 22:31

Got these printed..
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-5-19 @ 23:59

appiah4 wrote:
Turbo -> wrote:Trying to find any drivers whatsoever for ISA sound card Audio Plus 6400 AV309.


I have the exact same card, it's a Crystal CS4232, use Crystal's latest drivers and it will work perfectly fine.

I encountered some minor issues with the newer driver package. I think I had trouble using settings other than default, although I can't recall definitively. I chose to go with a set that came from a Turtle Beach Tropez (based on the documentation) which didn't have any issues. S23 drivers will be fine as well, and probably some newer versions, but YMMV.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby assasincz » 2019-5-20 @ 07:41

I retrobighted this 92' K208 Monterey keyboard over the course of the weekend, lubricated the sliders with dry PTFE and added a badge to top-left corner. I find it is surprisingly silent - sure, its a rubber-dome with sliders, but the sliders have kind of dampeners to silent the up-stroke which is nice, will be using it as my daily driver at work in our open office...

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

Postby Jed118 » 2019-5-20 @ 15:56

I also got a small keyboard:

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

Postby oeuvre » 2019-5-20 @ 16:27

kawaii, which one is that?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Thermalwrong » 2019-5-20 @ 21:09

keenmaster486 wrote:A small update:

I am liking the Thinkpad 600E.

The battery rebuild has been fully successful so far. I ran it down to 10%, after it had sat on the table for about 30-40 hours not charging. It had only lost 4% of its charge sitting there. I ran it on full screen brightness and power settings, and doing a bunch of file copies over the WiFi, and although I wasn't really keeping track, it lasted quite a while. At least an hour and a half I'd say, and that's with constant battery-draining activity.


That's brilliant :) did you take any pictures, or is there a page that had some details on it?

The last couple of days I've been testing and throwing out some dead electronics because my flat is full of unwanted junk right now - the office clearout, relatives house being cleared out, broken parts from laptops I've been piecing back together and I've ended up with a lot of things I don't want.

I got some *more* laptop size LS120 superdisk drives (LKM-FH33-5), which might be LS240 drives? I've been watching a person on ebay clearing out their entire Toughbook repair stock - I was going to buy the lot but didn't really want to (and couldn't get there), then they listed up the lot as individual parts :)
In total, 2 completely dead drives, one that can't read superdisks, which is a shame because that one was supposed to be new. But the other two new drives worked. I really really need to put together a slim SuperDisk drive to IDE adapter, I would like to make use of these drives, but right now, the only way I can use them is by dismantling a compaq LS120 drive and fitting that into the compaq multibay to USB2 adapter, which I nearly threw away O_O

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