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 FAMICOMASTER » 2019-10-20 @ 03:43

Do you really need all 20?

If so, I really can't help you there. I though you were talking about 5 or 6.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-10-20 @ 04:47

FAMICOMASTER wrote:Do you really need all 20?

If so, I really can't help you there. I though you were talking about 5 or 6.


Just trying to find a use for these *stacks* of low-mileage 500gb and 750gb WD Blues. 6 of them would not be enough to back up my current file server, which is part of my goal.

I had planned on new parts, but there are used 12- and 24-port SATA/SAS cards on the used market. I'd have to save up, so it won't be really soon.

Retro:

A couple of people on eBay are selling a bunch of C64 and C64c case/chassis. I was looking for AT desktop cases, and then realized I can't do anything with one right now anyway. :( I hate reflexive searching.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby pan069 » 2019-10-20 @ 05:35

Today I installed that Creative 4x speed drive into my 386. Works perfectly fine.

More pics of the drive itself: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=17341&p=795149#p795149

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

Postby xjas » 2019-10-20 @ 09:55

Continuing my quest to play all the original Wipeout games in high-resolution with perspective-corrected textures, here's Wipeout 3 a.k.a. the one that never got a 3D accelerated PC release running on ePSXe at 1600x1200:

wipeout1.jpg

I still didn't have any luck emulating this on my P3/500 using the original Glide renderer, so I went ballistic: grabbed the newest ePSXe version with a way more modern OGL2 plugin, threw it on my 3-way-SLI rig, and cranked all the graphics options to max. Highest quality sprite upscaling, subpixel geometry correction, all framebuffer effects emulated, etc. I used a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2 which completely apes the Dual Shock layout and it plays perfect, pegged to 60FPS all day long.

You might think this is "wrong", but I love this look. I wouldn't quite call it 'modern' but it sure makes the game fresh. It's like taking off a pair of dirty, smeared safety goggles and suddenly being able to SEE.

wipeout2.jpg
wipeout7.jpg

The only problem with this is it's making a pretty damn compelling case for selling my PS1, which I haven't even turned on in, like, a year. I'm not sure I want to go back to 240p on hardware now that I've seen this. :P

Time to try a bunch more games & be amazed. I wonder how well the PSP is emulated these days...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Shagittarius » 2019-10-20 @ 17:09

PPSSPP is a near perfect emulation of the PSP which has all the features you would want.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2019-10-20 @ 17:38

After my disastrous mess-up of an i486DX-33 on a dead FIC 486-GIO-VT2 this afternoon I managed to get something right today - I had a "VESA Bus 495SX" board (DataExpert, Auva or a number of other brands/models depending on source) that POSTed, but hung as soon as it tried to boot into FDD or HDD. Yesterday my 28p EEPROMs finally arrived, so went looking for a different BIOS. Only dead links to the original AMIBIOS for it - but I did find a generic MR-BIOS for OPTi 495SX. Tried that and it worked. Perfectly. And I now start to understand why people can get so passionate about MR-BIOS. Not only do you get all the options you might want, it's all laid out and explained as if programmed by someone who actually cared about the end user.

So the board now works - and I have a new rabbit hole to go down: it doesn't only have a 486 LIF socket, but also a 486DLC socket ;)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby auron » 2019-10-20 @ 18:02

xjas wrote:You might think this is "wrong", but I love this look. I wouldn't quite call it 'modern' but it sure makes the game fresh. It's like taking off a pair of dirty, smeared safety goggles and suddenly being able to SEE.

from looking at your screenshots i would never prefer running this emulator over the real thing on a good RGB CRT. this particular game's 512x240 output always looked incredibly crisp to me.

the thing about those internal upscaling methods is they always seem to ruin fonts and 2d elements, and high-res geometrical edges combined with low-res smudged textures never semeed that appealing to me. this is truly a matter of taste in the end though, 5th gen console stuff seems to have a bad reputation to begin with.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby GigAHerZ » 2019-10-20 @ 19:26

Got some rubber belts. Was able to fix a Creative's 48x CD-ROM. A compaq's 40x CD-ROM unfortunatelly has smaller belt than the smallest i ordered... so need to order some more belts and it has to wait for its time.

But now i have a perfect CD-ROM for my 486DX4-100. Nice!

I still have a CT2940, that has some legs shorted on OPL chip. Waiting for copper braid, hopefully i can get it clean, when it arrives...
"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby xjas » 2019-10-20 @ 21:05

auron wrote:from looking at your screenshots i would never prefer running this emulator over the real thing on a good RGB CRT. this particular game's 512x240 output always looked incredibly crisp to me.

the thing about those internal upscaling methods is they always seem to ruin fonts and 2d elements, and high-res geometrical edges combined with low-res smudged textures never semeed that appealing to me. this is truly a matter of taste in the end though, 5th gen console stuff seems to have a bad reputation to begin with.


You can turn off the 2D sprite smoothing and use a "chunky" upscaling. I had it on here just because I wanted to max out all the settings I could. Not sure if I prefer it with or without.

My main thing is getting rid of the affine texture warping. I can tolerate it on a CRT at 240p, but not in high res. There's still a little low-precision ropeyness in the geometry itself, but at least the textures aren't made of jello. :P
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-10-20 @ 22:00

Did an HDD swap on my Toshiba Satellite Pro 410CDT from the 1.5GB HDD, which boots, but clicks (possibly on the edge of death, no bad sectors according to the surface scan with Scandisk) to 4GB CF card (dual CF to IDE). The CD drive won't work (laser is shot) and I might see if I can do surgery on it to get it to work (remove one from another CD drive and insert it into the laser assembly and do a smoke test). Fun fact: the ODD has the same connection the HDD has: 44 pins.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby FAMICOMASTER » 2019-10-20 @ 22:48

bjwil1991 wrote:Did an HDD swap on my Toshiba Satellite Pro 410CDT from the 1.5GB HDD, which boots, but clicks (possibly on the edge of death, no bad sectors according to the surface scan with Scandisk) to 4GB CF card (dual CF to IDE). The CD drive won't work (laser is shot) and I might see if I can do surgery on it to get it to work (remove one from another CD drive and insert it into the laser assembly and do a smoke test). Fun fact: the ODD has the same connection the HDD has: 44 pins.

Yep, Toshiba had a multibay system in place on these machines.

It's not worth changing the laser diode - The drive is most likely 4x anyways, and if you have another working drive to install, you can just swap the faceplates. The actual drive itself is nothing special, it's a typical ATAPI CD-ROM drive in a Toshiba caddy. You can pull it out and install another drive no problem.

Back up that 1.5GB drive while you still can, then!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Thermalwrong » 2019-10-20 @ 23:55

I just experienced my first Tantalum capacitor failure :(

AbitAN4-TantalumFail (1).jpeg

My (relatively precious) Abit AN4 board that I'd repaired suddenly shut off as I was setting up the BIOS for the first time, with a waft of smoke coming from around the PSU area.
Initially I thought it was the power supply, since I'm using cheap & old TFX power supplies for most of my testing, but after the second PSU shut down, I realised it was this. The smell still hasn't dissipated even 2 hours on.

AbitAN4-TantalumFail (2).jpeg

Thankfully the board is all back to normal with a replacement 16v 100uf capacitor :)
Apparently that means I now have a working CMOS battery, after upgrading to a coin cell, but I've yet to check whether the voltages are good.
Then one of my faulty floppy drives appears to have ruined the boot disk I was trying to use.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Horun » 2019-10-21 @ 00:35

Fixed a Samsung SFD-560D 5.25" floppy drive and archived another batch of Intel legacy bios and manuals.
First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. lol
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-10-21 @ 01:11

FAMICOMASTER wrote:
bjwil1991 wrote:Did an HDD swap on my Toshiba Satellite Pro 410CDT from the 1.5GB HDD, which boots, but clicks (possibly on the edge of death, no bad sectors according to the surface scan with Scandisk) to 4GB CF card (dual CF to IDE). The CD drive won't work (laser is shot) and I might see if I can do surgery on it to get it to work (remove one from another CD drive and insert it into the laser assembly and do a smoke test). Fun fact: the ODD has the same connection the HDD has: 44 pins.

Yep, Toshiba had a multibay system in place on these machines.

It's not worth changing the laser diode - The drive is most likely 4x anyways, and if you have another working drive to install, you can just swap the faceplates. The actual drive itself is nothing special, it's a typical ATAPI CD-ROM drive in a Toshiba caddy. You can pull it out and install another drive no problem.

Back up that 1.5GB drive while you still can, then!

Yeah, other CD drives are all shorter contacts (50-pin LIF). I don't think CD drives from Pentium MMX and higher had the same style connection. My ThinkPad 380D's CD drive has a 44-pin contact, however, I cannot get the drive inserted into the laptop. The CD drive has a 44-pin connection, much like the older IDE hard drives and the 1.5GB HDD might not have much data on there (even DOS games), but I'll look into it once I connect my 44-pin to 40-pin IDE adapter and see what is on the drive and do a SMART test. I can put the HDD in another laptop and run a live version of Linux and copy the files from there to a flash drive.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby FAMICOMASTER » 2019-10-21 @ 04:44

bjwil1991 wrote:Yeah, other CD drives are all shorter contacts (50-pin LIF). I don't think CD drives from Pentium MMX and higher had the same style connection. My ThinkPad 380D's CD drive has a 44-pin contact, however, I cannot get the drive inserted into the laptop. The CD drive has a 44-pin connection, much like the older IDE hard drives and the 1.5GB HDD might not have much data on there (even DOS games), but I'll look into it once I connect my 44-pin to 40-pin IDE adapter and see what is on the drive and do a SMART test. I can put the HDD in another laptop and run a live version of Linux and copy the files from there to a flash drive.

Huh, interesting. My 430CDT doesn't have that...

Running Linux live is massively over-complicating things. You could get dedicated adapters to do this since the mid 90s - I have a USB model from 2000 that does this job flawlessly. Get a copy of some disk imaging software and plug it into a machine you actually use.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-10-21 @ 04:55

I'm totally confused as to what bjil1991 is on about.
There's a glitch in the matrix.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby henryVK » 2019-10-21 @ 07:16

I got the military surplus "portable" (is it really portable if it doesn't even have a handle?) running that I scored off eBay the other week. It takes 24V 3A through this weird three-pronged connector. Redditor ekriirke figured out the polarity on his machine and kindly answered my questions, so this is all thanks to him really!

Anyway, I got a regular 24V laptop adapter and replaced the barrel plug with molex pins and presto: the machine boots up.

So -- this being surplus, I had assumed the hard drive would have been removed.. or at least wiped...

-- nope --

I'm pleased to present the German Army's artillery field command interface from the mid-nineties, running on a 33SX with 8 Mb of RAM in what appears to be Win 3.11:

Image

I'm going to do a thread on this system once I have a little bit of time. Suffice to say there is not too much to do in the software without it being connected to the weapons system it was designed to go with. Still, though, I think it's pretty cool!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-10-21 @ 14:35

Caluser2000 wrote:I'm totally confused as to what bjil1991 is on about.
I am unable to get my Toshiba Satellite Pro 410CDT CD drive to read anything. The disc will spin, but the laser won't activate. Throws a general error reading on drive E. Abort, retry, fail, and for Windows, Drive E is not accessible. Retry, cancel.

The spare CD drives I have cannot connect to my system as they use the smaller LIF connection. If only they made adapters that'll convert other laptop CD drives to the Toshiba Satellite Pro and other series that use the bigger LIF.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby jheronimus » 2019-10-21 @ 15:21

Image

This is truly awesome. A '00 version of idsoftware.com as seen through Netscape 4.08 in Windows 3.11 on a Pentium 133 MHz. Basically, I've finally found time to pull off something that I've been wanting to do for freaking four years. I've emulated old web! Here's how it works:

I've installed NodeJS and vintage-proxy on my home FTP server running Ubuntu. I've set Netscape to use my FTP server as HTTP proxy over port 8080 and that was all there is to it! I can enter an URL into my vintage browser and the proxy will serve a page from Wayback Machine. There are some caveats, though:

- dynamic content doesn't work (because Wayback Machine can't handle it, obviously). So don't expect to browse ASP/JSP pages;
- the connection is pretty slow. Wayback Machine isn't terribly responsive, so you get to experience near dial-up speeds;
- the proxy doesn't seem to support non-Latin encodings like CP1251, KOI8-R and others (so yandex.ru doesn't really work). I've tried setting encoding in Netscape, but it did nothing;
- the browser crashes every now and then, but that might be a side-effect of using Windows 3.11. I'm pretty sure Win98SE + a more recent version of Netscape/Opera would work much better.

Note that you can choose the preferred date by changing
Code: Select all
let virtualDate = '2000';
to whatever you want in the server.js file. Seems like WaybackMachine always falls back to newer version of the page if nothing is available for your desired date. So you might choose 1996 but still get some 2000 pages occasionally.

Also, I'm telling my server to run the proxy over SSH and I don't know how to make it stay active after an SSH timeout. Any suggestions?

I'm extremely happy with the result. Having pretty decent online capabilities makes my vintage experience a lot more complete. Has anyone tried anything similar?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby derSammler » 2019-10-21 @ 16:19

Built myself a second AV booster for the NEC PC Engine. Slightly refined the 3d-printed case and used white filament this time. :)
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