VOGONS


First post, by computerguy08

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This thread will be focusing on the resurrection of the already well known Total Hardware 1999 database and bringing it back in the 21st century.

It will be a collaborative effort between me, Deksor and a few others.

The website will likely be hosted on win3x.org. Why, you may ask?
Because it will make it much easier for us to add one of the most important features: user contributions.
This means that you will be able to help expand the database with better photos, BIOS images, user manuals and even new motherboards!

So, how did you organize all the information from the original TH99?

The website actually uses a database generated from the Micro House Technical Library (kudos to Deksor for the database), an encyclopedia CD offered with some magazines in the 90's. TH99 actually copied this information from MTL and converted it to html format. They were bought by Support Source in the late 90's and MTL was incorporated in their software. At the moment, there are five MTL versions known to exist (more info here):

  • the 1995 demo (offered with a magazine, very little content)
  • v1.4 from July 1997 (4671 motherboards)
  • v1.51 from January 1998 (5518 motherboards)
  • Q4 1998 (6444 motherboards)
  • Q1 1999 (5332 motherboards)
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If there are newer versions and / or you know more about this software, please let us know.

Some key features: (at least for now)

  • an advanced search engine that can look up items on various categories (chipset type, number of slots, etc.)
  • user contributions for existing or new parts
  • a smartphone friendly user interface
  • compatibility for old systems, Internet Explorer 5.0 being the bare minimum requirement.

Other features may be considered in the future.

Page prototypes:
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If anyone is interested in joining our project, let us know.

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Original post:

What if we combined the versatility of stason with the cleanness of TH99 ?
Something that would look like this, with a modern interface suitable for smartphones as well.

I made this prototype today (had some fun coding in HTML and CSS).
A search bar would be included as well.

Last edited by computerguy08 on 2020-06-08, 10:47. Edited 5 times in total.

Reply 4 of 99, by computerguy08

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keropi wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:28:

full TH99 archive unpacked is something like ~520MB right?

Yeah, 526MB to be precise. (521MB without the photos above)

Last edited by computerguy08 on 2020-05-21, 13:31. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 5 of 99, by LewisRaz

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computerguy08 wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:24:
What if we combined the versatility of stason with the cleanness of TH99 ? Something that would look like this, with a modern in […]
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What if we combined the versatility of stason with the cleanness of TH99 ?
Something that would look like this, with a modern interface suitable for smartphones as well.

Capture.PNG

I made this prototype today (had some fun coding in HTML and CSS).

All I would ask for is a search bar!

None of the other hosts seem to have one.

Your mockup would work well.

Reply 6 of 99, by computerguy08

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LewisRaz wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:31:
All I would ask for is a search bar! […]
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computerguy08 wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:24:
What if we combined the versatility of stason with the cleanness of TH99 ? Something that would look like this, with a modern in […]
Show full quote

What if we combined the versatility of stason with the cleanness of TH99 ?
Something that would look like this, with a modern interface suitable for smartphones as well.

Capture.PNG

I made this prototype today (had some fun coding in HTML and CSS).

All I would ask for is a search bar!

None of the other hosts seem to have one.

Your mockup would work well.

That is the whole point actually.

Reply 7 of 99, by Miphee

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computerguy08 wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:24:

What if we combined the versatility of stason with the cleanness of TH99 ?

It will still be buried under other sites and the only way to change that is to beat them in the clicking game.
A few guys from here would know about it but others would still use the one that actually showed up first in Google: Stason.
You would get tired of it eventually.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-06-04, 04:23. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 8 of 99, by quicknick

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computerguy08 wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:24:

What if we combined the versatility of stason with the cleanness of TH99 ?

Looking great, and I think the TH99 very much needs an overhaul. Things that are a must, IMO: being able to filter boards by chipset, number and type of slots. Including additional information such as the BIOS ID string, actual photos of the board and ideas/comments/corrections from users would be nice too - something along the lines of cpu-world or vgamuseum.

Reply 9 of 99, by computerguy08

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Miphee wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:38:

It will still be buried under other sites and the only way to change that is to beat them in the clicking game.
A few guys from here would know about it but others would still use the one that actually showed up first in Google: Stason.
You would get tired of it eventually.

I would see it as an alternative rather than a competitor. A tool that is there ready for everyone on VOGONS looking for a specific part.

quicknick wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:40:

Looking great, and I think the TH99 very much needs an overhaul. Things that are a must, IMO: being able to filter boards by chipset, number and type of slots. Including additional information such as the BIOS ID string, actual photos of the board and ideas/comments/corrections from users would be nice too - something along the lines of cpu-world or vgamuseum.

That comments part would be really nice indeed, but it would require a bit of work. I would focus on getting the essential parts running at first (a search bar and a usable UI).

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-06-04, 04:24. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 10 of 99, by Miphee

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computerguy08 wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:50:

I would see it as an alternative rather than a competitor. A tool that is there ready for everyone on VOGONS looking for a specific part.

In that case please make it mobile friendly.
Maybe allow users to contribute somehow. I have a few boards I haven't found on Stason and I'd be happy to help expand the database.
There should be a section for the ROM files next to the boards/cards where users can find the original and compatible ROM files.
There should be a photo section where you can actually see high-resolution photos of the hardware.
Original manuals would also be nice.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-06-04, 04:24. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 11 of 99, by computerguy08

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Miphee wrote on 2020-05-21, 14:02:
In that case please make it mobile friendly. Maybe allow users to contribute somehow. I have a few boards I haven't found on St […]
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computerguy08 wrote on 2020-05-21, 13:50:

I would see it as an alternative to Stason rather than a competitor. A tool that is there ready for everyone on VOGONS looking for a specific part.

In that case please make it mobile friendly.
Maybe allow users to contribute somehow. I have a few boards I haven't found on Stason and I'd be happy to help expand the database.
There should be a section for the ROM files next to the boards/cards where users can find the original and compatible ROM files.
There should be a photo section where you can actually see high-resolution photos of the hardware.
Original manuals would also be nice.

I would certainly like the contribution of other users, I'm not a super genius, can't recreate it all by myself.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-06-04, 04:02. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 99, by evasive

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I for one have some original content not yet listed in TH99. Most of it is on elhvb.com already but not all. Life came in between for a few years (you know divorce, new wife, another kid, leaving my job to go freelancing stuff kind of things). I'd be more than happy to contribute to a project like that.

Edit: another typo. I'm starting to have a grudge against my laptop keyboard...

Edit 2:
fleelancing: when you are so fed up with your boss you literally run from the office to leave your job.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-06-04, 04:25. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 15 of 99, by keropi

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excellent idea to modernize it!
also an offline version is a good idea as well

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 16 of 99, by computerguy08

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This is another version of the index page.

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The first one was glitching on my phone so I had to discard it.
I will try to upload the project on GitHub, so it is available to download and edit offline. Link coming soon.
Note: the buttons are disproportional because of the images I used (temporary thumbnails from google images). They will fit better with the proper thumbnails.

Last edited by computerguy08 on 2020-05-21, 16:53. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 17 of 99, by austinham

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looking good! I wish I could be of more help. But my coding skills are very outdated and I lack the hardware to take modern photos.
But if you do need someone to dig up info I can help in that regard.

Reply 18 of 99, by imi

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I'd definitely make it more like a wiki rather than a modern "presentation website" like that, I think having as much information on screen as possible is key for a good overview, especially when browsing through a lot of things. "looking good" is secondary imo ^^

Reply 19 of 99, by Deksor

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Well well well ...
I didn't want to post about it until it was finished, but this is exactly the project I'm working on 😁

It may not look as pretty as what you want to do, but mine is functional for the most part (It just needs better admin pages).

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As you can see I'm also storing POST strings (so in the future you'll be able to search your motherboard without even having to open your computer !)
In the meantime I've also added photos and BIOSes from Predator99's topics (such as 80486 BIOS image collection ), minuszerodegrees and elhvb.com.

I've also managed to improve some of the data and generate new data from the existing source (such as the form factor, based on the size documented).