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 Baoran » 2018-2-05 @ 15:28

liqmat wrote:Not weird. I can't speak for that person, but there are some of us who value the preservation over the money. I know when I visit the Living Computer Museum in downtown Seattle I am grateful someone was crazy enough to think about preserving all those massive mainframes from the 60s and 70s AND keep them running for the museum so visitors can see them in operation. Someone down the timeline will appreciate there was a group of us that kept this stuff going as well. Nothing replaces seeing these artifacts first hand and, if possible, still operational and in motion.


But would you choose someone who you have not had any contact with and just bought a graphics card from you online instead of asking somewhere if someone needs the stuff? Also not responding to me if I send him a message asking about the stuff he sent me seems strange if that is the reason why he sent them.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-2-05 @ 15:41

I find that suspicious. If I got something that I never purchased, and there's no return address, I'd take it over to the police dept. to evaluate and see what's in the package, because you don't even know if its an explosive that someone put in, guns, etc. Bad stuff happens, man. Please be careful out there since there are bad guys out there in the world.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2018-2-05 @ 15:57

Baoran wrote:
liqmat wrote:Not weird. I can't speak for that person, but there are some of us who value the preservation over the money. I know when I visit the Living Computer Museum in downtown Seattle I am grateful someone was crazy enough to think about preserving all those massive mainframes from the 60s and 70s AND keep them running for the museum so visitors can see them in operation. Someone down the timeline will appreciate there was a group of us that kept this stuff going as well. Nothing replaces seeing these artifacts first hand and, if possible, still operational and in motion.


But would you choose someone who you have not had any contact with and just bought a graphics card from you online instead of asking somewhere if someone needs the stuff? Also not responding to me if I send him a message asking about the stuff he sent me seems strange if that is the reason why he sent them.


Yeah. That is bizarre behavior. When I pay for shipping with giveaway hardware I make my intentions clear ahead of time.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Baoran » 2018-2-05 @ 16:14

bjwil1991 wrote:I find that suspicious. If I got something that I never purchased, and there's no return address, I'd take it over to the police dept. to evaluate and see what's in the package, because you don't even know if its an explosive that someone put in, guns, etc. Bad stuff happens, man. Please be careful out there since there are bad guys out there in the world.


That is one of the risks buying something online. You have to give them your name and address.
I have no idea what I would use GeForce MX4000 for anyway. It only has heatsink and no fan even though there is fan connector on the board.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby derSammler » 2018-2-05 @ 16:22

Decided to remove the factory-equipped heatsink from one of my Pentium Pros. While it came off easily with some force, the "Intel Pentium Pro" imprint decided to rather stick on the heatsink than on the gold plate. So now I have a very shiny PPro 200. :D
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Munx » 2018-2-05 @ 16:25

derSammler wrote:Decided to remove the factory-equipped heatsink from one of my Pentium Pros. While it came off easily with some force, the "Intel Pentium Pro" imprint decided to rather stick on the heatsink than on the gold plate. So now I have a very shiny PPro 200. :D

With the paint removed, it now has 0.0023% better thermal conductivity! :lol:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-2-05 @ 16:29

Baoran wrote:
That is one of the risks buying something online. You have to give them your name and address.
I have no idea what I would use GeForce MX4000 for anyway. It only has heatsink and no fan even though there is fan connector on the board.


On top of that as well, if there was a package at my door with no return address, my address, and tracking number, I find that suspicious. I only purchase stuff online from vendors and sellers that I trust based on feedback and reviews, especially on forums. I cannot get anything from different countries, including Canada for security and safety reasons. Also, my suggestion for the GeForce4 MX4000 would be to purchase a heatsink with a fan for that card. I have a GeForce4 MX4000 card that had a heatsink (had, until the plastic pieces broke off), and I purchased a heatsink with a fan on it for active cooling.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby shamino » 2018-2-05 @ 16:58

Baoran wrote:Not sure where to post this, but I guess it could be considered retro activity. Recently I started to get old pc hardware in mail that I had not bought and there was no senders address or anything. I tried to track who was sending it and eventually realised someone who I had bought a graphics card last year was sending them because he had posted online exactly same hardware I was receiving. It basically seems that he is sending me stuff that he wasn't able to sell on online auction sites. He doesn't respond to any of my attempts to contact him. Today I received Gainward Geforce MX4000 in an envelope without much of packaging to protect it. I just think this is just weird, because he is clearly paying for the postage to send me stuff...


My best guess is that he has a bunch of electronics to get rid of and considers electronics disposal to be a hassle, so he's decided mailing it to you is easier. It's kind of presumptious for him to start doing that without asking though.

If that is what he's doing, then it would seem more logical for him to repost the items with really low prices, like $0.01 and free shipping. If it's basically free then somebody would buy it, and it won't cost him any more to mail to a real customer than it costs him to mail it to you. He'd even get some feedback out of it.

Personally I wouldn't be worried about it, but if you do decide you don't want the stuff, I guess you could reject the mail. Not sure what the post office does with rejected mail that has no return address. I guess it would go to the "dead letter" office or whatever they call it, and then gets auctioned off when nobody claims it.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby alvaro84 » 2018-2-05 @ 17:01

Not exactly getting up but after coming home from work I did my first re-capping operation - on my old Acer AL2423W monitor. I needed 7 * 330uF/16V and I found solid replacements on two unknown G31 boards. The operation seemed successful so I have a spare D-SUB/DVI display. Yay!

Next time I'll do a motherboard. There's a Soltek 694T around here which I picked right because it works but could use new VRM caps. And there's an Abit KA7 which is much more precious. It does already have a few new caps (someone did an ugly work with them, they don't fit but stick out on long stilts) but there are a bunch of Quasimodos next to the CPU slot.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Baoran » 2018-2-05 @ 17:16

shamino wrote:My best guess is that he has a bunch of electronics to get rid of and considers electronics disposal to be a hassle, so he's decided mailing it to you is easier. It's kind of presumptious for him to start doing that without asking though.

If that is what he's doing, then it would seem more logical for him to repost the items with really low prices, like $0.01 and free shipping. If it's basically free then somebody would buy it, and it won't cost him any more to mail to a real customer than it costs him to mail it to you. He'd even get some feedback out of it.

Personally I wouldn't be worried about it, but if you do decide you don't want the stuff, I guess you could reject the mail. Not sure what the post office does with rejected mail that has no return address. I guess it would go to the "dead letter" office or whatever they call it, and then gets auctioned off when nobody claims it.


I have not had chance to reject anything so far because he has just put the stuff in an big envelope with just my name and address written and some stamps. No name of the sender or return address. Those envelopes have just been dropped to my mail box, so I have not needed to pick up anything from the post office.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-2-05 @ 17:29

Interesting. The issue is, some people have the same handwriting, which can be hard to trace of who sent the package to your mailbox. When I order stuff online, including forums, the person always puts a return address on there.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Jed118 » 2018-2-05 @ 18:41

Shipping of computer e-waste... You sure you didn't get a washing machine in one of those shipments?

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

Postby Skyscraper » 2018-2-05 @ 19:44

I have been messing with a 286 computer from the "huge lot".



Some items and systems from the lot comes with notes. This system had a note saying that it was untested, that the battery had leaked and that the corrosion was partly removed.

The system had no video card and no floppy drives. (many 5.25" floppy drives, video cards and sound cards are missing from the systems, probably because those are easy to sell and ship.)




The battery was still present and so was alot of corrsosion. I forgot to take a picture of the whole motherboard while it was outside the case but it's marked "B1412", it's equipped with a 12 MHz Intel 286, a 10 MHz 287 and 1MB DIP memory.

B1412 286 motherboard corrosion.jpg




Here is a picture showing most of the motherboard now back in the case with battery and corrosion removed and with a Trident ISA video card added.

B1412 286 motherboard.jpg




The performance isn't bad at all for a 12 MHz 286.

B1412 286 motherboard MIPS.jpg







The BIOS setup for this motherboard really really sucks. It would not let me activate the 287 FPU. I could not change the amount of expanded memory (the motherboard supports relocation of the upper 384k). The relocated 384k memory was detected, a mismatch was found at POST but I could not rectify this in the BIOS setup. Changing other settings as HDD type, floppy drives, display and such worked. The only way around this other than ignoring it was to disable the extra memory and that took some trial and error as I could not find a manual for the board.

The start disk I have been using lately has DOS 8 on it and won't work with a 16bit 286, most of my floppys are in storage. After failing to find a working start disk and thinking I would have to resort to writing one with my not very trustworthy disk eating USB floppy drive I remembered that I actually got hundreds of new (to me) used unsorted random disks in a box. The first disk I happen to pick up said "Start Boot Disk 6.22 + F.Setup", I should buy more lottery tickets...

The start disk worked fine but what was this "F.Seup"? It turned out to be "Friendly-Setup Utility for the AT", a nice generic BIOS setup utility that let me set the options I couldn't change with the built in BIOS setup... Now I could reactivate the last 384k memory, I could use the 287 and everything was rainbows and unicorns.


Friendly-Setup Utility for the AT.JPG
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Wireless » 2018-2-05 @ 21:07

Baoran wrote:Not sure where to post this, but I guess it could be considered retro activity. Recently I started to get old pc hardware in mail that I had not bought and there was no senders address or anything. I tried to track who was sending it and eventually realised someone who I had bought a graphics card last year was sending them because he had posted online exactly same hardware I was receiving. It basically seems that he is sending me stuff that he wasn't able to sell on online auction sites. He doesn't respond to any of my attempts to contact him. Today I received Gainward Geforce MX4000 in an envelope without much of packaging to protect it. I just think this is just weird, because he is clearly paying for the postage to send me stuff...


I wouldn't complain, he can send me any old hardware he likes, saves paying silly money for it on eBay, and if I did get anything suspect I can always give it to the Police, why knock a source of free components?

I would always wear latex gloves to open the stuff, and do it outside with the neighbours downwind using a remotely operated robotic arm and CCTV...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby MrEWhite » 2018-2-05 @ 21:51

Nice luck Skyscraper.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Skyscraper » 2018-2-05 @ 22:15

MrEWhite wrote:Nice luck Skyscraper.


Yea it's nice when things work out without too much headache.

Now I need to setup a solid system for reading and writing important floppys I want to back up, this BIOS setup utility for example.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby sketchus » 2018-2-05 @ 23:13

Not quite on a PC, but I spent the day cleaning out an original Xbox that had capacitor leakage EVERWHERE. Works properly now, I'm still impressed Half Life 2 could run on the ol' beast!
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby TheAbandonwareGuy » 2018-2-05 @ 23:48

sketchus wrote:Not quite on a PC, but I spent the day cleaning out an original Xbox that had capacitor leakage EVERWHERE. Works properly now, I'm still impressed Half Life 2 could run on the ol' beast!


Half Life 2 barely ran on Xbox to begin with. It was considered the laggiest game on Xbox.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-2-06 @ 04:22

Hooked up my new KVM PS/2 4 PC switch box to my Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus and my K6-2/300 machines with my IBM Model M keyboard and my Precision Instruments PS/2 and Serial mouse to the KVM box and my Samsung SyncMaster 215BW. Going to hook up 2 more machines to the switch box in the near future (laptops preferrably).

I also used a scrubbing cloth that's reusable and washable (I toss them out afterwards) on my IBM keyboard and the universal mouse to get rid of the sticker residue from the price tags, and they look amazing.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Scali » 2018-2-06 @ 12:02

Got my 486 out of storage and fixed it up. I thought the HDD was dying, but a reformat showed no problems. Could have been demagnetizing, some weird data corruption or even virus.
Anyway, put a fresh copy of DOS 6.22 on there, and she looks good as new.
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