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 derSammler » 2019-11-09 @ 18:52

Yes, it is. The original CPU also had a heatsink twice as high as the CPU itself. :D
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby ShovelKnight » 2019-11-09 @ 19:48

Found a longer floppy drive cable and drilled new holes in the casing of my Gotek floppy emulator to install it properly into CM Elite 360 case. Mission accomplished.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby derSammler » 2019-11-09 @ 20:54

derSammler wrote:Did some upgrades to my Compaq Deskpro 6400. Gone is the Pentium II 400 MHz, it's now a Pentium III 500 MHz (wanted to use a 650 MHz one, actually, but the board can only do 2.0V core voltage). Took longer than expected, since I had to find a heatsink, a working fan, and modify the fan connector to fit onto the header for the case fan. The Deskpro 6400 was designed for a passively cooled CPU and has no header for a CPU fan, and I did not want to use an ugly Molex adapter...

Also added a REALmagic Hollywood Plus DVD decoder card.

Oh, did I mention that this thing is now a Multimedia monster? :D :D :D
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby TheAbandonwareGuy » 2019-11-09 @ 21:08

derSammler wrote:
derSammler wrote:Did some upgrades to my Compaq Deskpro 6400. Gone is the Pentium II 400 MHz, it's now a Pentium III 500 MHz (wanted to use a 650 MHz one, actually, but the board can only do 2.0V core voltage). Took longer than expected, since I had to find a heatsink, a working fan, and modify the fan connector to fit onto the header for the case fan. The Deskpro 6400 was designed for a passively cooled CPU and has no header for a CPU fan, and I did not want to use an ugly Molex adapter...

Also added a REALmagic Hollywood Plus DVD decoder card.

Oh, did I mention that this thing is now a Multimedia monster? :D :D :D


Needs more VOODOO.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuFY6Z ... 2tV8b00x_A
1996|P200MMX|64MB EDO|Virge DX 4MB|SB16 OPL3
1999|P3 933|384MB SDR|GF2 Ultra 64MB|CT4620
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby derSammler » 2019-11-09 @ 21:16

One Voodoo2 is enough. ;)

ps: anyone able to correctly guess all cards?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PTherapist » 2019-11-09 @ 21:29

Been playing around some more with my 486, testing out a load of DOS games and seeing what it can run. I never really ran games on this back in the day as it was the slowest of my 486 PCs (originally had a 486SX 25MHz CPU), so it's interesting to see how well the current configuration of AMD Am486 DX-40 (at 33MHz) + Tseng Labs ET4000 1MB ISA Graphics, can handle DOS gaming. It is proving itself very capable, though the CPU is soon to be replaced by an Intel 486 DX2 66MHz CPU.

I've been using Windows 95 mostly for the purposes of launching games via a GUI, as all my folders were using long file names for the game titles. However I've been playing around with DOSLFN & Volkov Commander and it is certainly an alternative & faster option.

Also in Windows 95 on this 486 I've been experimenting with "mySLOW" for launching earlier DOS games and slowing them down to be playable. It has ok results, but I'll probably stick to playing any such games on my 8088, 286 & 386 systems.

The only flaws I find with this PC for gaming purposes are: the lack of VLB & the lack of L2 Cache. The frustrating thing is, it's a Dell OptiPlex LPX form factor with a riser and the motherboard has the slots for both a VLB riser & L2 Cache - but that would probably take both an absolute miracle & absolute fortune to find those parts nowadays!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby oeuvre » 2019-11-10 @ 14:46

derSammler wrote:
derSammler wrote:Did some upgrades to my Compaq Deskpro 6400. Gone is the Pentium II 400 MHz, it's now a Pentium III 500 MHz (wanted to use a 650 MHz one, actually, but the board can only do 2.0V core voltage). Took longer than expected, since I had to find a heatsink, a working fan, and modify the fan connector to fit onto the header for the case fan. The Deskpro 6400 was designed for a passively cooled CPU and has no header for a CPU fan, and I did not want to use an ugly Molex adapter...

Also added a REALmagic Hollywood Plus DVD decoder card.

Oh, did I mention that this thing is now a Multimedia monster? :D :D :D


The ultimate MULTIMEDIA machine!
HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, AMD FirePro V7900 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
HP Z440 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1650 v3, 64GB, NVIDIA GTX1070 8GB, SSD + HD, 10
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2019-11-10 @ 22:49

After the children went to bed I had time to get a recent find up and running. My Deko Fast Action Keyboard needed power. Fortunately these days USB can easily supply that, so soldering VCC (red) to pins 1 and 4 and GND (black) to pins 2 and 5 of a DIN-5 connector did the trick.

I was worried I might have to sacrifice a DIN-to-PS/2 adapter for the connector, but as luck would have it the local thrift shop had one. Slightly battered and abused, but it did the trick:

IMG_20191110_232330.jpg


15734255411481.jpg


Now to see if I can get some scan codes from all those keys...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-11-11 @ 02:47

Over the weekend, I soft modded my 1.0 and 1.6b OG Xbox systems using Rocky5's soft modding tool and extras DVD and copied the game saves yo my 4GB CF card after I got the card formatted with an Xbox using the USB adapter I built myself that connects to the controller port. I will copy the saves from the other systems to the CF card in case the HDDs and the SSD in all 3 systems go out.
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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 creepingnet » 2019-11-11 @ 04:10

Finally doing some comparative testing between the Cisco Aironet LMC-352 and Lucent Technologies Orinoco based WaveLAN Silver PCMCIA network cards on my NEC Versa 40EC under Windows 95 OSR 2.5. Got them BOTH installed on the NEC Versa.

So far I still prefer the Orinoco functionally, and because I can actually find the DOS drivers for it online without a bunch of cockamamie login baloney. The Orinoco also seems a lot less fiddly and has a far more "modern-esque" user-friendly setup that someone used to modern WPA2/WPA Wifi Networks would feel more comfortable using. It has the signal bars in the system tray like a modern laptop, while there is some manual configuration with creating profiles, and there's a pretty good amount of tweakability in the software (as well as the profiles being editable outside the utility in the registry). I'd say this is the best choice so far. That and again, not having to sign up to download drivers.

The Cisco card does have some advantages though. For starters, I picked the LMC-352 because it's actually just a PCM-352 with the outboard extension block removed and replaced with a pair of very discreet LED lights and 2 screw in antenna terminals. This means it can be operated with the door of the laptops PCMCIA expansion bay closed. This is basically a "hack" but it does work and rather well with modern WiFi access without security, or with WEP encryption "security". Also, Cisco, being probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest corporate network hardware companies in the world, has some extremely detailed software for it - the ADC (Aironet Client Utility). The ADC

Things I've done WiFi Wise with both cards....under windows 95 OSR 2.5....

- Connected to an open Wifi Guest network opened temporarily on my Linksys router from our ISP. It gets a rather good signal, however, after removing IE 4 during an unwanted install while installing a game, I started having problems. The ONLY reason I went with no security is my router only supports WPA/WPA2 and has no support for WEP. I'm more than happy with that for security reasons, plus I turn off the Guest WiFi when I'm not using it.

The Lucent WaveLAN Silver managed to connect to this hotspot until the IE mess up. The Cisco however was uninstalled before putting the WaveLAN in to prevent conflicts (I got the Cisco earlier). I reinstalled it afterward for the conflict test of having BOTH cards in the computer. I noticed when the Orinoco failed to connect it was because it was failing to get an IP Address from the router/access point. However, changing to using the Hotspot function on my Google Pixel 3 as-needed works great, and it's not using my data plan because I'm basically piggybacking the laptop onto my phone.

The Cisco I never got working before the WaveLAN card. The software is a tad more clunky, but quite a bit more detailed. Apparently it was designed to work directly with Cisco's Aironet APs and other Cisco proprietary gear. That said I was able to get it to connect to the Cell Phone but it won't get on the internet from it for whatever reason, probably just some details I'm missing in configuration or something about how the driver or card works it does not like. However, it's cool that I can see everything - throughput speed, how much data xferred, how strong my wireless signal is (frighteningly strong - this is a 486 laptop with a WiFi card with basically no Antenna and it's getting a full five bars in the utility, lol, WITH The door closed).

Outside of WiFi, have been experimenting a lot with games. Diablo, Microsoft Golf, and Postal all run on the NEC (postal runs a bit grumpily though, as expected). I'm holding off on the DOS/WFW setup because I'm thinking of throwing an 8GB PATA SSD with Maxblast DDO into it with 4 2GB Partitions just like my desktop, and that most likely will become it's permanent setup. But before that I might use the original 230MB HDD to test out the cards in DOS/WFW. The battery can also use a rebuild but finding NiMH cells for it is kind of hard, the ones in it are roughly 3/4" wide by 1 3/4" long - can't remember the "millimeter" conversion - have it written down somewhere else ATM. I also plan to try out a Kingston 32MB memory card upgrade - putting it at 36MB of RAM. For some weird reason NEC says that the highest card offered was 16MB and must never have updated because Kingston's document said the card is compatible with the 40EC - would be nice to have this thing running somewhat like my Desktop 486 DX4-100.

Also messed around with the 486 DX4-100 quite a bit, plugged a Fender Mustang Pro Rock Band 3 controller into the MIDI (basically those Fender licenced guitars that actually play like real guitars are just MiDi controllers with a console-interface that plugs into them to work with the game). Used Cakewalk Pro 5 and messed around abit in Creative Vienna so I might be doing some Soundfont Authoring for my own music before too long using the DX4-100 both as a recorder, and as an instrument. Will be awesome once I start moving to PATA SSD's in that computer as well.

Next up, since my "retro budget" is non-existent this month, start installing some more software on the NEC Ready 9522 P100 computer. Have some other games ot run on it (Midtown Madness, Monster Truck Madness - I like Bigfoot - a LOT!).
My DOS Boxen
85' Tandy 1000(a)- 8088/4.77, 640K, 8gb XT-IDE, TGA, 3-voice
89' GEM 286 - 286/12 w/287, 6MB, 1GB SCSI, 2XCD-ROM, ET-4000 1MB, SB Pro2
Creeping Net 486 - 486DX4100 WB, 128MB, 512K L2, 15GB+40GB, S3 809 2MB VLB SVGA, SBAWE64
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby ragefury32 » 2019-11-11 @ 04:49

Spent the weekend trying to troubleshoot an issue with my HP t5720 thin client (the one that I was seriously thinking about getting rid of) - the machine will no longer power up with the nVidia Geforce 6200TC card that I have on the PCI slot (Jaton Video-338PCI-DX), and I am not sure why. Transferred it to my other thin client (some Advantec piece of crap with a SiS550 SoC) - wouldn't even boot, but considering how limiting its BIOS options were...not surprised. Also having issues getting the AOpen YMF744 sound card going - no audio output, not from a speaker (JBL Pulse 2 with the audio input) nor from a pair of headphones...hopefully not some PCI electrical fault zapping both cards (The thin client works without any devices in the PCI slot, though, and I only have 2 old-school PCI cards to test with). Subsequently realized that something might be wrong with the audio input on the JBL Pulse 2.

*ugh*. Pain in the butt weekend.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Primergy » 2019-11-11 @ 05:31

Cheers to you all here - this is also my introductory post.
Once the project(s) below take off, I'll go into more detail and have specific questions

Friday at work I started thinking about playing old DOS and Win9x games.
Spent the slow Friday afternoon researching a bit and got some sticker shocks. It has been ~15yrs since I have been playing games for those platforms.
It has also been at least a decade since I stopped collecting some parts - that will come in handy later.

Grazed local Craigslist, OfferupNow and similar. Found a guy who wanted $20 to clear out a room full of dusty old hardware.
Stopped by Friday evening and stuffed the old Volvo wagon with as much as I could fit, leaving behind only a few CRT monitors.
Back to work, sifted through the lot and tossed 80% in the e-waste container.

Saturday morning, evaluated the rest.
A few OEM P4 boxes, cables and power adapters galore, a few beige ATX boxes. More sifting, tossing ensued. Dusted off the keepers.
Sadly nothing pre Pentium3 era but nonetheless a few highlights. Nice Intel Slot1 and S370 mobo. TOTL Soyo socket 478 board - of course with plenty of dead caps - off into the project pile.
Very nice XXL AOpen beige tower. Pile of memory, some average AGP cards.

Saturday afternoon started with getting a few boxes from the top shelf in the office going through what I had stored years ago.
7 3DFX cards among them a 5500 (AGP), most of Number Nine's product lineup, and a few other more common cards.
Already sweating over the AWE64 Gold prices on Ebay, I was pleased to find one in the boxes. Also found a SB 1.0/1.5, a regular AWE64 and my beloved Terratec DMX 6fire 24/96 (have to check driver support).
Spent some time deciding what chipset to go with and found some conflicting info on whether the Intel 915 has driver support for Win98SE. I'll probably go with a 915GME and a mATX board with 479 socket, using a Pentium M (centrino).
Even if it does not work out, it's a funky piece to have.

Sunday so far has been spent re-packaging the card collection (honestly, the way I stored them away does not reflect the rarity and value some of them possess today). Spent a good amount of time on this forum (fantastic source of info, often the only source of info) and youtube.
So many questions, so many things to consider I never had to think about building my systems way back when. It makes sense though - now I want capable hardware on an ancient OS, back then I normally had a capable OS and not-so-great hardware being in school & college.
Already promised myself to build a "retro" WinXP machine as well instead of 10years in the future. Prices are not bad and god knows how much I will remember building one in a decade.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby creepingnet » 2019-11-12 @ 14:50

Started work prepping the NEC Versa for testing out PCMCIA WiFi in DOS/Win31 using it's original installation. Might have to utilize my 486 desktop at some point to install Opera 3.62 and Win32s on it though (because I need a CD-ROM to copy Opera over).
My DOS Boxen
85' Tandy 1000(a)- 8088/4.77, 640K, 8gb XT-IDE, TGA, 3-voice
89' GEM 286 - 286/12 w/287, 6MB, 1GB SCSI, 2XCD-ROM, ET-4000 1MB, SB Pro2
Creeping Net 486 - 486DX4100 WB, 128MB, 512K L2, 15GB+40GB, S3 809 2MB VLB SVGA, SBAWE64
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby creepingnet » 2019-11-13 @ 05:09

Got WiFi in DOS working like a champ, was surprisingly easy. The unexpected twist though was when I found I had no winsock installed so I decided to play with mTCP for a bit ultimately messing with the last thing I thought I'd do.....telnetting into BBS.

I think I found my "new internet", lol. I feel I may need to break out the Tandy 1000 at some point and really experience this old-school style.
My DOS Boxen
85' Tandy 1000(a)- 8088/4.77, 640K, 8gb XT-IDE, TGA, 3-voice
89' GEM 286 - 286/12 w/287, 6MB, 1GB SCSI, 2XCD-ROM, ET-4000 1MB, SB Pro2
Creeping Net 486 - 486DX4100 WB, 128MB, 512K L2, 15GB+40GB, S3 809 2MB VLB SVGA, SBAWE64
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Tiido » 2019-11-13 @ 13:47

I revived an Ali PCI486 board
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Bad southbridge is the cause, reset outputs are permanently stuck in reset on it. Luckily replacement chips are available for not so terrible cost...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby RetroLizard » 2019-11-13 @ 21:34

Finished setting up a network for two Windows 98 computers, meant purely for gaming. Now to find a replacement mouse that works, and add a USB expansion card to one of the computers.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby xjas » 2019-11-13 @ 22:07

dionb wrote:After the children went to bed I had time to get a recent find up and running. My Deko Fast Action Keyboard needed power. Fortunately these days USB can easily supply that, so soldering VCC (red) to pins 1 and 4 and GND (black) to pins 2 and 5 of a DIN-5 connector did the trick.

I was worried I might have to sacrifice a DIN-to-PS/2 adapter for the connector, but as luck would have it the local thrift shop had one. Slightly battered and abused, but it did the trick:

[...]

Now to see if I can get some scan codes from all those keys...


That thing is HENCH, nice work getting it going. Love the LCD panel. Is it software controllable? I could see some high-end CAD suites or whatever supporting that.

On a rather-less high-end note, today I made my neat little all-metal folding table into a sort of rolling test bench:

20191113_142727.jpg

I see no possible way this could have been done better. :P
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-11-14 @ 12:54

Better than Velcro strips. Honestly, that is better than my desk setup and I'm planning on building something like that for my back room, which will house my computers and some game consoles (I need an HDMI switch box for my ASUS monitor that has HDMI input).
Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Shagittarius » 2019-11-14 @ 14:52

I got this HDMI Switchbox which I love:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QG ... UTF8&psc=1

But you will need to get a separate 4k UHD audio extractor as well if you need SPDIF out like I did:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074H ... UTF8&psc=1

It looks like they are sold out of the model I got, maybe there is one from the same company that is similar, it's been great so far haven't even needed to use the remote it always detects whats on. Just make sure you get your needs, Frequency, Resolution, etc...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby douglar » 2019-11-15 @ 03:24

Gave my XT its first boot of 201x decade to see if the MFM drive still works.

Still runs DougMenu!!

unnamed (1).jpg
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