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Retro confessions. What are yours?

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Reply 480 of 507, by PD2JK

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I'm still afraid of putting my head in front of an AOpen 56x speed cd-rom drive spinning at full speed.

Last edited by PD2JK on 2021-02-19, 11:48. Edited 1 time in total.

Tulip Vision Line DC: 386 SX + 387 SX 25 MHz
Highscreen AT: Pentium MMX 200 MHz
AOpen HX45: Athlon (classic) 700 MHz
Highscreen ATX: Athlon (classic) 1 GHz

Reply 481 of 507, by creepingnet

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I love researching things down to minute details, a lot. So that's kind of why I'm such an obsessee on a platform or genre or brand or model of machine for a long period of time. Right now I'm being highly intrigued by the less popular i486 based laptops so I'm wrapping up all the lose ends on the NEC Versa and then plan to start on the NanTan FMAxxxxx model laptops next (all those weird old off-brand laptop computers made in Taiwan in the early 1990's). I've hit dead ends with GEM Computer Product's desktops. THat's half the fun for me is figuring out everything about these weird old manufacturers and stories behind the brands on the more generic or less as popular machines. I do the same stuff with cars and guitars as well. On some other guitar forums, I'm well known as the whammy bar Jag-Stang guy with a really comprehensive setup guide.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet

Reply 482 of 507, by schmatzler

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Bruninho wrote on 2021-01-26, 23:57:

I also despise the XP theme, I always turn it back to classic when I have to use one.

The "Toys'R'Us" theme has aged horribly, that's true.

Many years ago I discovered an unofficial dark theme for Windows XP, called "Paint it Black" and I usually install this after patching the uxtheme.dll.
I also like the Zune theme, it looks really good with that orange glowy start button.

I just realized that "Paint it Black" is nowhere to be found on the web anymore, so here it is.

Filename
Paint It Black.zip
File size
137.23 KiB
Downloads
7 downloads
File license
Public domain

Reply 483 of 507, by Zup

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I must confess that I miss the forest killing manuals that came with games and, most important, computers.

Look at the manual that came with an Amstrad PC1512 (but I remember that it came with more than one manual)...
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That manuals contains lots of reference material, my ZX Spectrum +3 manual even details connectors and pinouts.

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 484 of 507, by NovaCN

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On an intellectual level, I love the Ultima series, and I could ramble for hours about its evolution and legacy and the massive impact it's had on RPGs as a genre, both Western and Japanese. But I was only seven years old when the finale Ultima IX came out, never even heard of the series until more than 15 years after that, and the UX in the early ones especially has aged so poorly that to this day I've never been able to actually play through any of the Utima games to the end.

[Insert late-aughts-style overly-elaborate animated signature banner here]

Reply 486 of 507, by RandomStranger

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NovaCN wrote on 2021-02-21, 17:29:

On an intellectual level, I love the Ultima series, and I could ramble for hours about its evolution and legacy and the massive impact it's had on RPGs as a genre, both Western and Japanese. But I was only seven years old when the finale Ultima IX came out, never even heard of the series until more than 15 years after that, and the UX in the early ones especially has aged so poorly that to this day I've never been able to actually play through any of the Utima games to the end.

That reminds me:
Daggerfall has the best character creation in The Elder Scrolls franchise and one of the best in any RPG I've ever played. It also has a lot of other things I miss from more modern AAA RPGs. But it controls like ass, I could never configure it well enough to be at least somewhat enjoyable and despite I tried several times, never finished the tutorial dungeon.

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Reply 489 of 507, by NovaCN

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-02-22, 07:08:

That reminds me:
Daggerfall has the best character creation in The Elder Scrolls franchise and one of the best in any RPG I've ever played. It also has a lot of other things I miss from more modern AAA RPGs. But it controls like ass, I could never configure it well enough to be at least somewhat enjoyable and despite I tried several times, never finished the tutorial dungeon.

There are so many old games I track down, install, and boot up only to immediately think, "I wish I could play this with more modern UI/controls." There's a lot of cool stuff you don't see so much in new games, but we've also learned some very important design lessons over the years. Thus the appeal of "retro throwback" games, I suppose.

[Insert late-aughts-style overly-elaborate animated signature banner here]

Reply 492 of 507, by gerry

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kolderman wrote on 2021-02-23, 01:00:

I use old PSUs.

ha! so do I, in fact I've not know one to fail - in fairness the older ones are in PC's rarely powered on though

I don't recap things either - most of the time it isn't necessary as the item works fine, but i do recognise the importance of it for long term consistent use of aging electronics (and when caps are obviously bulging etc)

generally, in my experience, PC components last a very long time and are very reliable. Only modern hard disks appear to be less reliable by my experience

I do admire those with the know how, patience and skill to rebuild PSUs and circuit boards and have carried out minor (simple) repairs on other electronics myself occasionally. So much better than throwing them out, and often the fault turns out to be a 'weakest link' type fault, and once repaired the item is good for quite a few years more

Reply 493 of 507, by Ultrax

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Sorry to bump a page 4 thread 1 month later, but, I figured I'd toss mine out there and get it off my chest. 😜

Everything you are about to read will be very surprising coming from someone who possesses a very strong interest in CRT monitors. Ready? I can't stand the Sony Trinitron GDM-FW900 or the hype surrounding it. Period. Is it a nice monitor? Sure. But, I can't stand it when people claim it is the so-called "holy grail of CRTs", because, no, indeed it is not.

From a standpoint of electronics engineering and repair, they are very problematic. I'm not entirely sure if it has to do with simply pushing the limits of CRT technology itself, or if perhaps these monitors were designed with a focus on performance in lieu of reliability. In any case, they're trouble. They are known for experiencing failures of multiple critical components - in particular, the HOT (Horizontal Output Transistor) and the flyback transformer.

A lot of people will tout the fact that it can run at resolutions as high as 1440p. The truth is, not even 1080p will show up very clearly on that tube. The dot pitch is simply not there. If you have an FW900, and you think 1080p (or perhaps even 1440p) looks fine on it, that's great. I'm glad you enjoy your monitor. But from what I have seen, it's just not that great, at least when it comes to modern usage. In a similar vein, many will claim that it is "better than every LCD monitor on the market" and that "LCDs can't come close". Both of these statements are, ultimately, incorrect. While LCDs couldn't top CRTs for a long while, you would, in today's modern world, be much better off with a brand new high-end LCD or OLED monitor than with an FW900. Unless you want to plop that 200+ lb beast on your primary desk, and have enough desk depth to accommodate its monstrous depth, it is not practical. Again - if you have done any of this, and you are happy, that is great. I am happy that you are happy. I am, simply and personally, not the world's biggest fan of this monitor and some of the now-false claims made in regards to it.

Going back to problems, they are notoriously difficult to fine-tune (requiring WinDAS software and a special USB I2C adapter connected to a header within the monitor), and have a serious issue with the anti-glare coating. That coating will scratch to all but smithereens if you so much as look at it funny and therefore hurt its very delicate feelings. To be fair, this does not exclusively affect the FW900. Almost all late-model Sony monitors have this issue - my CPD-G200R has the same wretched coating.

And that is why, when I see an FW900 in use, I don't get jealous. I'm just thankful I didn't drop hundreds of dollars on an unreliable monitor from 20 years ago. 😀

Apart from that, I haven't got any other retro confessions. I still use floppies, and old PSUs, if that counts.

Ultrax
__
Presario 425|DX2-50|8MB|SB V16S|D622/WFW3.11 😎
Deskpro XE 450|DX2-50|32 MB|NT4.0/95
SR2038X|Athlon 64 X2 3800|2G|GT710 WINXP
Dimension 4400|P4 NW 2 GHz|256M|R128U AGP|WINXP
HPMini311|N270|2G|9400M|WINXP
Libretto50CT|P75|16MB|YMF711|WIN95 😎

Reply 494 of 507, by xcomcmdr

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A lot of CRTs weren't that good.

I welcomed LCDs with open arms the instant I saw them. No more danger droping one on your foot. No more pesky refresh rate issues. No more degaussing.

LCD is just better.

Now I do enjoy old CRTs. But because the ones I pick are excellent, and would have cost a little fortune at the time.
They are indeed not replaceable for old pixel art. But even that gets overblown. It's nice, but it's not a requirement for your old hardware. LCDs are fine too.

Reply 495 of 507, by RandomStranger

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LCDs are indeed much more convenient. Back in the 2000s I had a 19" Belinea CRT. It almost broke my desk in half. And I mean literally. It bent so bad I needed to add a support beam.

I know the advantages of a good CRT, I'm trying to convince myself about getting a SyncMaster 997MB I found on a local site and seems to have decent specs, but even if it turns out to be mediocre, it's still just 10$+1 hour driving. But it's another 20kg beast with half a meter depth. Weighing the pain and pleasure it could cause I really don't know if I want it or not.

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Reply 496 of 507, by Joseph_Joestar

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-03-24, 21:03:

I know the advantages of a good CRT, I'm trying to convince myself about getting a SyncMaster 997MB I found on a local site and seems to have decent specs

I have a 795MB that is currently in good condition, but it needed servicing last year. Cracked solder joints caused it to not display the color red. Anything that's supposed to be red was dark gray instead. It was a pain to get it fixed, since almost no one knows how to repair these things nowadays.

Now that it works again, it's very nice for those old 2D games like Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3. It can do 120 Hz at 640x480 and 800x600 which makes the image super crisp.

Build #1: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 / YMF744
Build #2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
Build #3: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 497 of 507, by stege

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I once lied to my friends (who all had sound blasters and cd-rom units in their 386s and 486s, too expensive for my parents to afford at the time) that I have Dune 3. For months I had to come up with excuses for not being able to show them the game or make them a copy of it. It all ended up in disaster... 😀

The reason I'm in this nostalgia boat is because at the time I was surrounded by rich kids with 386 and 486 computers I couldn't afford. The kind of computers that come with SONY CRT monitors and modems and NIC cards and Matrox video cards and Sidewinder joysticks and multimedia kits with awe64 Gold in them and original computer games in their carton colorful boxes. The weird thing is, during the Pentium 3 era and afterwards I could afford any computer I wanted, so I feel no nostalgia for anything past Pentium days.

Frustration is a powerful drive I suppose...

Miss the monkey island days, the space quest days, even the longest journey days.

Reply 498 of 507, by BetaC

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Ultrax wrote on 2021-03-24, 16:34:

Apart from that, I haven't got any other retro confessions. I still use floppies, and old PSUs, if that counts.

The Youtube-based Cathode Cult on is very disappointed in you thinking practically.

But really, the tradeoffs in weight and size are not worth it for most. Hell, the only reason I have the beast of a G220fb is because it was literally $5 and local.

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Reply 499 of 507, by TelamonLivesOn

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Rubber-dome keyboards aren't that bad, and can actually be better for games than the clicky keyboards. Also, I hate PS/2, it always has issues with my hardware and seems to be from the era where peripherals were made cheaper. Serial and AT 4 life baby!!!!!! I also don't care for ATX form factor motherboards; they look bland and are quite uninteresting as compared to AT. Next, I hate ATX PC cases (from late 90s/early 2000s), they are extremely ugly to me and make me want to vomit because of their weird curves and shapes. I also don't care for the OPL-family FM synths, because of how underutilized they are and how wet and "smooth" they sound. I much prefer the harsh sound of the OPN/OPM series chips. Also, besides DOS compatibility, Windows NT 4.0 is way better than Windows 9X/ME. Every time I have tried to install Windows 9X, I have encountered countless driver issues and missing files that I cannot seem to fix, unlike NT 4.0 where I have had little to no issues in this regard. Finally, despite higher resolutions being available in DOS games, I almost never exceed 640x480, as its quality doesn't improve much when the resolution is raised (at least on a 15" crt monitor).

P.S. Half Life 1's weapon sounds hurt my ears.