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First post, by keenmaster486

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https://youtu.be/izxXGuVL21o?t=452

I was watching this video about the making of Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation. I was enjoying it until this guy started trash talking PCs of the time.

Let's keep in mind 1994 was the year of DOOM. The Pentium had come out the previous year. 3D games had already been out for PCs for a long time. Not complex polygon-based games yet (but the Voodoo was just around the corner), and certainly nobody was using Windows 3.1 as their game platform (DOS was king). And the typical RAM size for that year was way, way more than 640K. Certainly even more than the 2 MB of RAM the PlayStation had.

It really annoys me when people trash talk retro PCs.

"They had 2 millibytes of RAM! They couldn't do anything! I bet their CPUs ran at, like, 3 kHz, dude!"

"I used to have a PC in the 90's and I think the screen resolution was, like, 100x100 or something"

"1985? What was that, like, Windows 1.0? How did people even use their computers if the only OS they had was Windows 1.0?"

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 2 of 18, by wiretap

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Well, the first mistake is watching/reading Ars Technica. They misrepresent everything, don't fact check, and if you point it out in their comments section you get shouted down by 16 year olds claiming to be intellects. The site has an overall radical agenda by misrepresenting information and presenting it as truth/fact.

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Reply 3 of 18, by yawetaG

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wiretap wrote on 2020-03-06, 17:13:

Well, the first mistake is watching/reading Ars Technica. They misrepresent everything, don't fact check, and if you point it out in their comments section you get shouted down by 16 year olds claiming to be intellects. The site has an overall radical agenda by misrepresenting information and presenting it as truth/fact.

And you are trying to show this to us by making an example of it in your own post? 😜

Edit: I guess the irony of misrepresenting the contents/reactions on ArsTechnica the way you did is lost on you...

Last edited by yawetaG on 2020-03-08, 16:36. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 4 of 18, by wiretap

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No, just pointing out the obvious. I believe people should be able to watch/listen/comment/publish whatever they want. (within the legal realm obviously)

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Reply 5 of 18, by antrad

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You have articles from example Verge that announce how Halo 1, original Xbox launch title, finally came to PC, even though the game already came out to PC in 2004. Then Turok 1/2 re-released few years ago they praised how the developers ported those game from N64 even though the games were ALWAYS available on PC and that is the version they updated and re-released. Mainstream media is completely uninformed about PC as agaming platform. If it is not Nintendo, Sony or Xbox they don't care.

Reply 6 of 18, by DosFreak

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Nothing you can do about it. Laziness is easy. Just don't let the stupid spread here.

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Reply 7 of 18, by leileilol

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GLide is invented from OpenGL!!! 3dfx unique hi quality 22-bit rendering!!! VooDoo2 SLI fatser than Geforces take a look at forsaken numbers for proof!!! SLI mean 24MB VRAM two cards and the highest res ever 1024 by 700!!

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x

Reply 8 of 18, by Shagittarius

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Mainstream media doesn't know anything about anything. This is evident as every time they talk about something you know about they are completely wrong. Imagine the same for the things you dont know about.

Reply 9 of 18, by ragefury32

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2020-03-06, 14:51:
https://youtu.be/izxXGuVL21o?t=452 […]
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https://youtu.be/izxXGuVL21o?t=452

I was watching this video about the making of Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation. I was enjoying it until this guy started trash talking PCs of the time.

Let's keep in mind 1994 was the year of DOOM. The Pentium had come out the previous year. 3D games had already been out for PCs for a long time. Not complex polygon-based games yet (but the Voodoo was just around the corner), and certainly nobody was using Windows 3.1 as their game platform (DOS was king). And the typical RAM size for that year was way, way more than 640K. Certainly even more than the 2 MB of RAM the PlayStation had.

It really annoys me when people trash talk retro PCs.

"They had 2 millibytes of RAM! They couldn't do anything! I bet their CPUs ran at, like, 3 kHz, dude!"

"I used to have a PC in the 90's and I think the screen resolution was, like, 100x100 or something"

"1985? What was that, like, Windows 1.0? How did people even use their computers if the only OS they had was Windows 1.0?"

CONTEXT. IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET THE CONTEXT OF THE VIDEO. I get really annoyed when people takes things out of context and represent it as misinformation. I watched the entire video and only saw 2 points that were considered disparaging towards PCs of the time - one was about how much of a pain it is to get games working on them, and the other is how they can't use them for developing the game.

When Crash Bandicoot went into development in 1994 PCs were running a mix of DOS 6 + Win 3.1, and yes, people do play games on Windows 3.1 - Solitaire, Minesweeper, Ski, Monopoly, Risk - hell, even Sim Tower was originally released on Win16. Sure, they are casual games, but still games, and Microsoft made millions selling their Entertainment packs to Win 3.0/3.1 customers. Saying that people only game on DOS was just as obnoxious as people claiming that Wiis are not game consoles because they run cartoony casual games.

Andy Gavin was factually correct talking about how DOS gaming on period PCs were not gamer friendly - you had to use boot disks (or set up complex multi-config menus) to make some of them work. Hell, I remember spending hours back in 1994 juggling with my configs just to make Falcon 3.0 work on my DX2/66, and then reworking it so Wing Commander Privateer would work, then rewriting the entire config set so it'll be a boot menu, all this because I want to play games on my DOS machine once in awhile. I can also tell you that it didn't get any better with age - all the fun I had recently trying to get US Navy Fighters to work (gave up on the idea since I need to turn off video BIOS shadowing due to its derpy memory manager, and that's not possible on laptops so I ran it in DOSBox), OR Rowan flight sims to render SVGA graphics on my laptops (only the Thinkpad T21 will work, or yeah, DOSBox). If it's easy there will be no need to retain DOS gaming compatibility charts for VGA cards, write entire tomes on how to load drivers to save a few measly kilobytes of conventional memory (even if my machine has a ton of physical RAM already), or have DOSBox sidestep the issue for us. The worst thing about DOS gaming was really fighting with DOS and its non-existent housekeeping (requiring utils and 3rd party solutions), and then deal with all the hardware inadequacies. I want to play games, not wonder if my game will glitch out because DOS needs to be reconfigured (oh no, I need to load DOS UMB, then HIGH, exclude memory region c000-cfff in EMM386, change stacks to 9, 256 and then make sure the Soundblaster TSR is loaded before MSCDEX or else it won't fit in high memory, and I need another mouse driver because this one uses up 16k instead of 14k, I'll need 572k of conventional RAM to start the game, and it's different for another game that requires turning off XMS memory), the VESA 2.0 video mode implementation was incomplete, or how my audio sounds funny because it's not Yamaha OPL2/3/whatever. I am, as my wife would describe it "an annoyingly pedantic computer nerd" but even I don't like to deal with it back then - don't get me wrong, it's a skill knowing how to tweak DOS, but it's like being good with a slide rule or an abacus...an obsolete skill that some people do for fun. I might have a few old laptops that I can use to run old games, but then I am also more than happy just dropping a few bucks on Steam and clicking on a self-contained DOSBox binary and not deal with all the insanities of the "bad old days".

Now, regarding that comment he made about spending 75k each on SGI dev machines for the 5 Naughty Dog employees rather than DOS machines because they have effectively 640k of RAM...that's unfair, but given the context of developing this title that is targeted to run on MIPS32, that's also understandable. Win 3.1 back then has a 16MB per-process limit, and there are no native OpenGL support (that was pushed out only after Windows NT 3.5 was released in September 1994). So it's either fighting GDI or WinG on Win16 to get tools built, (assuming that other tools you need are even available at the platform - even Truespace and Video toaster ran on Amiga), or if your tools are running on DOS, then you'll have to spend extra time and effort messing with DOS extenders (x86 real mode/memory segmentation was a technical debt from the early 80s that really needed to g0 away). If I had to meet deadlines on the game AND fight with the DOS/Win16 APIs for something not running on that platform anyways, I am getting my corporate card out and calling SGI for a few Indigo2s.

Now, if it's a good set of Win16 tools and a good game engine running in DOS (like Domark/Simis's Flight Sim Toolkit, which I had extensive experience on), that's a different thing altogether, or if you have a Net-Yaroze (which was released in 1997 with very different APIs and toolsets and I had some familiarity with), that's different. What was being offered on the Wintel side for 1994 was not a great developer environment for a PSX dev.

Last edited by ragefury32 on 2020-03-08, 18:52. Edited 5 times in total.

Reply 10 of 18, by Jo22

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Interessting discussion. 😀

I'm speaking under correction, but on Win 3.x, there was more. Autodesk had the Heidi API, which was released in 1990.
The API was accelerated, I'm not sure how it worked, though. More information -> http://vintage3d.org/history.php

Also, Sega or one of its partners apparently provided MegaDrive development tools for Win16, at least.
One of them is showcased here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak-G2ouUytk

(That's in contrast to Nintendo, who had SNES dev tools [Silhouette, etc.] for Macintosh at some point. 😉

As for the rest.. Well, I can't argue. Some of this was before my time and that
Trash Bandicode (?) series took place in that Playstation era that I missed out for good. 😉

When it comes to Unix, though, Win16 was no fiend.
Many folks tried to make Unix workstations run WIn16 software (Wabi, APIW Standard etc)..

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 11 of 18, by yawetaG

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@ragefury32: I wish I could upvote your post a billion times, for properly representing how things went back then instead of the idealized fantasy too often mentioned on these forums...

Reply 12 of 18, by ragefury32

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-03-08, 16:32:
Interessting discussion. :) […]
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Interessting discussion. 😀

I'm speaking under correction, but on Win 3.x, there was more. Autodesk had the Heidi API, which was released in 1990.
The API was accelerated, I'm not sure how it worked, though. More information -> http://vintage3d.org/history.php

Also, Sega or one of its partners apparently provided MegaDrive development tools for Win16, at least.
One of them is showcased here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak-G2ouUytk

(That's in contrast to Nintendo, who had SNES dev tools [Silhouette, etc.] for Macintosh at some point. 😉

As for the rest.. Well, I can't argue. Some of this was before my time and that
Trash Bandicode (?) series took place in that Playstation era that I missed out for good. 😉

When it comes to Unix, though, Win16 was no fiend.
Many folks tried to make Unix workstations run WIn16 software (Wabi, APIW Standard etc)..

Autodesk Heidi was not really meant for gaming graphics, more like accelerating previews for renderings on autoCAD. I am honestly not even sure what would allow 3D acceleration under it back in '94 - I can see some support for faster 2D line/polygon redraw support on the ATi/S3/Matrox 2D cards of the time, but not wrapping the entire 3D pipeline. That happened later under something like a 3DLabs GLint/Permedia.

Heh. I am not even sure why someone on an IRIX machine will want to run Win16...

Reply 13 of 18, by Jo22

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ragefury32 wrote on 2020-03-08, 18:01:

Heh. I am not even sure why someone on an IRIX machine will want to run Win16...

Exactly. Why using Win16 if there's System 7 with its broad range of ultra fine software. 😉
Seriously, though. Win16 was a very popular GUI/runtime/framework thing for a while that ran on about any hardware configuration (8088 to 586).
Some business stuff certain Unix people might have been interested in is described here:
http://ps-2.kev009.com/rs6k-austin.ibm.com-19 … 6/wwabissf.html
http://vscojot.free.fr/linux_desktops.html

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 14 of 18, by ragefury32

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-03-08, 22:53:
Exactly. Why using Win16 if there's System 7 with its broad range of ultra fine software. ;) Seriously, though. Win16 was a very […]
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ragefury32 wrote on 2020-03-08, 18:01:

Heh. I am not even sure why someone on an IRIX machine will want to run Win16...

Exactly. Why using Win16 if there's System 7 with its broad range of ultra fine software. 😉
Seriously, though. Win16 was a very popular GUI/runtime/framework thing for a while that ran on about any hardware configuration (8088 to 586).
Some business stuff certain Unix people might have been interested in is described here:
http://ps-2.kev009.com/rs6k-austin.ibm.com-19 … 6/wwabissf.html
http://vscojot.free.fr/linux_desktops.html

Eh, the apps on that site are mostly win32, and I am pretty sure most if not all of them are on x86 hardware. The idea of having a MIPS R4000 or an SuperSPARC emulate i386 back in '94 is...experimental.

WABI is probably some Win16 based voodoo based on the work IBM did with Microsoft for OS/2, it's probably IBM only...and expensive-as-hell to license as an AIX feature. Oh well, if someone did blow 75k on an SGI Indigo2, spending another 2k on a separate PC desktop to work on Excel for the suits doesn't seem all that far off.

Reply 15 of 18, by Jo22

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yawetaG wrote on 2020-03-08, 16:41:

[..] for properly representing how things went back then instead of the idealized fantasy too often mentioned on these forums...

Well, there's the problem. There's no universal "truth" really. Anything is relative and everyone has his point of view.
Also, science constantly changes and facts get corrected sometimes (bye, bye Pluto, old friend).
That's one of the issues with "XY invented this in the year Z". We don't have all facts at hand. Our knowledge is merely a snapshot.
Sometimes it needs a few years/decades/centuries until we get a more complete picture.
Just to name a famous example: Mr. Edison is/was claimed to be the inventor of the light bulb (as we know it), yet the ancient egypt had something similar already.
Or another example, the computer. The ENIAC (or Colossus ?) is/was considered the first general purpose computer, even though there was the Z3 before.
And maybe that's still not the whole story. Maybe some other person/group made one before we don't know about yet.

ragefury32 wrote on 2020-03-09, 01:16:
Jo22 wrote on 2020-03-08, 22:53:
Exactly. Why using Win16 if there's System 7 with its broad range of ultra fine software. ;) Seriously, though. Win16 was a very […]
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ragefury32 wrote on 2020-03-08, 18:01:

Heh. I am not even sure why someone on an IRIX machine will want to run Win16...

Exactly. Why using Win16 if there's System 7 with its broad range of ultra fine software. 😉
Seriously, though. Win16 was a very popular GUI/runtime/framework thing for a while that ran on about any hardware configuration (8088 to 586).
Some business stuff certain Unix people might have been interested in is described here:
http://ps-2.kev009.com/rs6k-austin.ibm.com-19 … 6/wwabissf.html
http://vscojot.free.fr/linux_desktops.html

Eh, the apps on that site are mostly win32, and I am pretty sure most if not all of them are on x86 hardware. The idea of having a MIPS R4000 or an SuperSPARC emulate i386 back in '94 is...experimental.

WABI is probably some Win16 based voodoo based on the work IBM did with Microsoft for OS/2, it's probably IBM only...and expensive-as-hell to license as an AIX feature. Oh well, if someone did blow 75k on an SGI Indigo2, spending another 2k on a separate PC desktop to work on Excel for the suits doesn't seem all that far off.

Well, the 90s were a very experimental age of computing I suppose.
RISC, Cyber Punk, Virtual Reality, Tamagotchi. I wished I could remember more of it.

A little bit like the late 1970s to mid 1980s, I believe, when there was this obsession
with robots and home automatisation going on (in some places on earth).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxQXBebHrc4

Anyway, there's an interesting article in Byte Magazine 1994, issue #1:
"SunSelect's Wabi vs. Insignia Solutions' SoftWindows"

I originally discovered it in my local library's archive, several years ago.

It can be viewed at internet archive:
https://archive.org/details/eu_BYTE-1994-01_O … e/n185/mode/2up

That being said, I don't mean to judge. Many of these things were before my time..

Having an ultra modern Unix machine to emulate one of these fancy 32-Bit x86 processors
and having Windows 3.x running in Enhanced-Mode is pretty much akin to science finction
to someone like me who "grew up" with a 286 PC only. 😄

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 16 of 18, by VileR

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-03-09, 10:18:
yawetaG wrote on 2020-03-08, 16:41:

[..] for properly representing how things went back then instead of the idealized fantasy too often mentioned on these forums...

Well, there's the problem. There's no universal "truth" really. Anything is relative and everyone has his point of view.

But there is a reality, and some points of view are farther from reality than others. Sometimes it's because of lack of information, sometimes because of *dis*information, sometimes because of interpretation/context.

Case in point: I'm not a console guy, and I don't know or care about Crash Bandicoot; but the person being interviewed in the video obviously isn't a moron. He's a technical guy, he was "there" at the time, and he points out that the average PC was not a great development machine for his purposes. Maybe his choice of words isn't the most precise, saying that PCs had "effectively" 640K of RAM. But anyone with the right background can get the gist of what he's saying: the common PC hadn't gone fully 32-bit yet, and although you had more RAM than that, using it all "effectively" was a pain in the nether region which basically relied on a pile of hacks. Ingenious hacks, yes, and an awesome tinker-factor for some of us, but still hacks.

The problem comes when a lazy and clueless video editor interprets that without context, and slaps a pointless infographic on top of it - "640kb RAM: 1994 average". That's exactly how you get 'creeping revisionism': when the transfer of information is flawed, it gets degraded with each successive pass, like recording onto a bad tape. It doesn't take many generations until the resulting 'point of view' is lacking and distorted.

We don't have all facts at hand. Our knowledge is merely a snapshot.
Sometimes it needs a few years/decades/centuries until we get a more complete picture.
[...]

That may apply to historical situations, where primary written sources have outlasted living memory, and you can still locate and study more of them to join up the pieces of the puzzle.
In our brave new digital age, I'd say we have the opposite situation. Primary sources grow scarcer even more quickly than living memory does, since media and formats are ephemeral, there's too much data to undergo proper curation, and too little preserved as hard physical copies. In a few years/decades/centuries, the picture will only be less complete, not more. (And see the famous case of the Domesday Book vs. the BBC Domesday Project.)

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Reply 17 of 18, by keenmaster486

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VileR wrote on 2020-03-09, 14:36:

The problem comes when a lazy and clueless video editor interprets that without context, and slaps a pointless infographic on top of it - "640kb RAM: 1994 average". That's exactly how you get 'creeping revisionism': when the transfer of information is flawed, it gets degraded with each successive pass, like recording onto a bad tape. It doesn't take many generations until the resulting 'point of view' is lacking and distorted.

This is the point of my post. The guy being interviewed knows what he's talking about. He's just glossing over and minimizing the potential of PCs of the time because, well, he's a console guy. But the viewers don't usually know all the facts. So they walk away thinking 90's PCs were all green phosphor screens that update every second and little beepy noises.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 18 of 18, by ragefury32

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2020-03-09, 15:32:
VileR wrote on 2020-03-09, 14:36:

The problem comes when a lazy and clueless video editor interprets that without context, and slaps a pointless infographic on top of it - "640kb RAM: 1994 average". That's exactly how you get 'creeping revisionism': when the transfer of information is flawed, it gets degraded with each successive pass, like recording onto a bad tape. It doesn't take many generations until the resulting 'point of view' is lacking and distorted.

This is the point of my post. The guy being interviewed knows what he's talking about. He's just glossing over and minimizing the potential of PCs of the time because, well, he's a console guy. But the viewers don't usually know all the facts. So they walk away thinking 90's PCs were all green phosphor screens that update every second and little beepy noises.

So that's the gist of your post? "Ignorant people might look at this video and form unlearnt opinions about things that they might not care too much about"?