VOGONS


Show off your tiny PCs

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First post, by xjas

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Thin clients / cubes / netbooks / minis / etc. You know you love 'em. 😀

Here's mine:

EDIT: Sigh... Photob*cket image removed. Still zapping these as I find them in 2018.

From left to right: Acer Aspire One, Mac SE/30 (dead - Hackintosh project), G4 Cube, Shuttle XPC, Advantech PCA-6751 (P266MMX) on 6-slot ISA backplane w/AWE64 (I have a case project for this that I'm still building - I'll make a thread eventually), Apple TV model 1 (the x86 one - ~1GHz P3 with GeForce chip), VIA C3 thin client running Damn Small Linux (on the display.)

Not pictured: Thinkpad 365ED (Cx5x86/100), Tandy TRS-80 Model 100.

I swear I'm going to get out of the big tower & desktop PCs and just play with these things instead. Way more fun, way less PITA.

Last edited by xjas on 2018-03-15, 08:59. Edited 1 time in total.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6:30 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 1 of 62, by dr.zeissler

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That's my approach too. Currently I am checking out my G4-Mini. Lot's of good games for PPC with R9200/32MB.
Currently checking out, if USB-2-Mt32 works with ScummVM ob my G4-Mini with Tiger 10.4.11 (But I will downgrade to 10.3.7 witch is the original OS for the G4-Mini)
I will check the early Intel Mini for Win9x/Crossover/WineGaming too.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 2 of 62, by matze79

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Games on OSX ?
apple sucks much this days, they give a fuck on gamers..
Example, Spore is just bundled windows version with wine.
Or current opengl version on latest osx is outdated..
its not better then situation on linux.

i also got some nice mini PC's.

A NCR System:

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486SX 33Mhz
20Mb RAM
128Mb DiskOnChip Module
CirrusLogic GD5428 1Mb onboard VLB Graphics
Blazing Fast for 33Mhz.

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 3 of 62, by dr.zeissler

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The G4 Mini with OS 10.3/10.4 is awesome! Lot's of native Games for it!

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 4 of 62, by xjas

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dr.zeissler wrote:

That's my approach too. Currently I am checking out my G4-Mini. Lot's of good games for PPC with R9200/32MB.
Currently checking out, if USB-2-Mt32 works with ScummVM ob my G4-Mini with Tiger 10.4.11 (But I will downgrade to 10.3.7 witch is the original OS for the G4-Mini)
I will check the early Intel Mini for Win9x/Crossover/WineGaming too.

What are you playing on the Mini? I had some great games on my G5 tower before it died - Unreal Tournament 2004, Halo 1, Simcity 4, Wipeout 2097, Cave Story, and some other freeware/indie stuff. The G4 Cube is 450MHz and has a Rage 128 Ultra. I'm thinking of putting Tiger on it as I'm not particularly enamoured of OS9.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6:30 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 5 of 62, by dr.zeissler

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StarWars JediOutcast, Jediacademy, quake1-3, tomb1-3 (classic), doomsday-engine, heretic2, hexen2, etc.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 6 of 62, by maximus

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I have a couple:

Utwk8BEI.jpg

Pictured from left to right are an Acer Aspire AO532h, Gateway G6-350, and a mid-tower Antec Performance II SX630II case for scale.

I got the G6-350 for free a few years ago. It has a Pentium II 450, 256MB of PC-133 RAM, a 10GB HDD, integrated Riva 128 ZX for video, and integrated ES1371/ES1373 for audio. Lack of AGP slot limits its potential, but the Riva is good for 2D games and a handful of 3D games. I tried upgrading to a PCI Quadro NVS 100, but the CPU wasn't able to keep up.

I got the Acer Aspire in 2009 and used it for the first half of my college career. It was only $300 new, so I wasn't expecting it to last very long. I'm amazed to see it still working in 2016. In fact, I'm writing this post on it!

The AO532h directly preceded the OP's D270, so the specs are similar but less impressive. Mine has an Atom N450 at 1.66 GHz, 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB HDD, and an integrated Intel GMA 3150 GPU. It runs Xubuntu 16.04 64-bit and does well enough with basic internet and productivity tasks (though the internet is only usable with an ad blocker these days). The Atom N450 is a single core but hyperthreaded, which helps somewhat.

The netbook really shines as a media player, though. The 10.1" 1024x600 screen has great colors, and it's just the right size for DVD-quality video. The 160GB hard drive has plenty of room for my collection of H.264 DVD rips, plus my collection of FLAC CD rips. The battery still holds a full charge, too, so it's perfect for taking on trips.

Best of all, the Acer can run Quake III! It pulls 49 FPS on demo four at max settings and 1024x600. Not too shabby for a netbook.

PCGames9505

Reply 7 of 62, by gerwin

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xjas wrote:

Thin clients / cubes / netbooks / minis / etc. You know you love 'em. 😀

Right! But only if they are x86's.

I recently acquired this mini-PC: Foxconn Nettop nT-A3500 based on the AMD E-350. It has 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. OS is Windows XP.

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It runs Flatout 2 in HD without lag on my TV! Pretty neat for such a small thing.

Second, I have an Asus eee-PC 1000HE Netbook with Atom N280 1.66GHz, 2GB RAM and 32GB SSD. It served me well and it is still running fine, but I wish it also had an AMD E-350 inside, instead of that Atom CPU.

And last; In 2011 I build a PC in a lian-li PC-Q07 Mini-ITX case using an unbranded Mini-ITX board. It has a Core2 Duo T5600 (Mobile) 1.83GHz Processor and 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD. This thing was difficult to assemble, especially since it was the intention to use spare parts to build it. It still runs fine, but I had to remove the Radeon videocard because it did not cooperate with the mainboard somehow. Disappointing, since it took me effort to mechanically fit that card.

--> ISA Soundcard Overview // Doom MBF 2.04 // SetMul

Reply 8 of 62, by PhilsComputerLab

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I have a 11" HP notebook with AMD E-450 CPU. Although I maxed it out with SSD and 8 GB of RAM, I was never quite happy with the performance. Browsing the modern Internet is a tedious experience.

Got a similar machine with 14" and E-300 CPU, that one I downgraded to XP and it's my "XP machine" if I ever need to test something special. Runs very well with XP on it.

YouTube, Facebook, Website

Reply 9 of 62, by luckybob

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Does my micro atx garage setup count? I normally would not consider is a "tiny pc", but it does have dual quad xeons.

^.^

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

Reply 10 of 62, by Standard Def Steve

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I'm pretty sure I've posted pics of both of my tiny PCs in the "dumpster finds" thread, but here they are again.

Sony 10.1" netbook. Atom N470 - 1.83GHz. 2GB DDR2. 250GB HDD.
Th7ZeRn.jpg

VOFhmFn.jpg

uGKKtkD.jpg

And a Dell Optiplex 780 USFF.
C2D E7500, upgraded with one of my spare E8600s.
4GB DDR3-1333, upgraded to 8GB
320GB HDD, upgraded to 256GB SSD
IMG_2250_zpscba9sjxj.jpg

P6 chip. Triple the speed of the Pentium.
Tualatin: PIII-S @ 1628 MHz | QDI Advance 12T | 2GB DDR-310 | 6800GT | X-Fi | 500GB HDD | 3DMark01: 14,059
Dothan: PM @ 2720 MHz | MSI Speedster FA4 | 2GB DDR2-544 | GTX-280 | X-Fi | 500GB SSD | 3DMark01: 42,148

Reply 11 of 62, by Anonymous Freak

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matze79 wrote:

Games on OSX ?
apple sucks much this days, they give a fuck on gamers..
Example, Spore is just bundled windows version with wine.

That's not Apple's fault, that's lazy game developers' fault.

Reply 12 of 62, by Jo22

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matze79 wrote:

Or current opengl version on latest osx is outdated..
its not better then situation on linux.

There's a reason for that. In macOS, OpenGL is the central graphics foundation (just like GDI used to be in Windows):
Everything is running through OpenGL, not just games. Making bigger changes could render the whole OS to be unstable.
Hopefully this situation is getting better when that Metal API is finished.

OS X Graphics API's: OpenGL vs Metal vs Vulkan

http://www.insidemacgames.com/forum/index.php … showtopic=47801

Why OpenGL Updates Take Forever and Why Vulkan Might be Coming After All
http://www.insidemacgames.com/forum/index.php … showtopic=47806

"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 13 of 62, by Jade Falcon

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luckybob wrote:

Does my micro atx garage setup count? I normally would not consider is a "tiny pc", but it does have dual quad xeons.

^.^

Dual Xeon and mAtx? That I'd like to see.

Reply 14 of 62, by spiroyster

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Jo22 wrote:
There's a reason for that. In macOS, OpenGL is the central graphics foundation (just like GDI used to be in Windows): Everything […]
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matze79 wrote:

Or current opengl version on latest osx is outdated..
its not better then situation on linux.

There's a reason for that. In macOS, OpenGL is the central graphics foundation (just like GDI used to be in Windows):
Everything is running through OpenGL, not just games. Making bigger changes could render the whole OS to be unstable.
Hopefully this situation is getting better when that Metal API is finished.

OS X Graphics API's: OpenGL vs Metal vs Vulkan

http://www.insidemacgames.com/forum/index.php … showtopic=47801

Why OpenGL Updates Take Forever and Why Vulkan Might be Coming After All
http://www.insidemacgames.com/forum/index.php … showtopic=47806

I don't understand this. OpenGL is nothing more than a standard and is implemented by vendor drivers. This is suggesting that OSX has its own OpenGL driver independent of the vendors driver (its not software rendered is it ? 😵). If OpenGL functionality works in OSX its because the driver of your gfx is doing its thang.... unless it's an OSX software renderer 😵. Upgrades should be no problem at all since you just request the version you require when creating a GL context? Any delay will be vendors writing drivers for the newer OS's as they come out, rather than it being a fundamental part of OSX holding back progress. Unless my understanding here is wrong?

No games on OSX is because game developers in the realm of the apple only have iOS in their vocab. 🤣

Reply 15 of 62, by dr.zeissler

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As far as I can tell my g4-mini is an excellent gaming platform.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fud5ugp3mdc

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 16 of 62, by Jo22

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spiroyster wrote:

I don't understand this. OpenGL is nothing more than a standard and is implemented by vendor drivers. This is suggesting that OSX has its own OpenGL driver independent of the vendors driver (its not software rendered is it ? 😵). If OpenGL functionality works in OSX its because the driver of your gfx is doing its thang.... unless it's an OSX software renderer 😵. Upgrades should be no problem at all since you just request the version you require when creating a GL context? Any delay will be vendors writing drivers for the newer OS's as they come out, rather than it being a fundamental part of OSX holding back progress. Unless my understanding here is wrong?

It really is a bit strange, I admit. In OS X, the OpenGL "drivers" seem to be part of the OS (so no vendors drivers; they ship with it and are made/adapted by Apple).
So OpenGL gets updated about the same time when a new OS release is out (so OS X can take advantage of new features if needed).

This also means that the Mac's OpenGL implementation (its stack, so to say) is more tied to OS X and "unnecessary" features aren't implemented in the first place (they would require additional testing).
There are also third-party graphics drivers for the Mac Pro (from nVIDIA I think), but that's more of an oddity.

Normally, a new release of macOS also comes with drivers for the current hardware generation (and sometimes throws out older drivers for "unsupported" Mac models).
Of course it's also possible to install your own drivers (kernel extensions or KEXTs). Well, if you can get some.. 😉

"Upgrades should be no problem [..]" Perhaps not, I don't know. On Windows, OpenGL is something external and not a vital part of the OS (older versions even had an OpenGL to Direct3D wrapper).
On OS X, however, OpenGL is apparently used for the whole GUI handling (through higher level APIs). Errors during context creation/switching could crash the GUI or affect other APIs.

I don't know for sure how it works today, but on PowerPC platform graphics could also be displayed by the help of the "open firmware".
This even worked with old VGA cards that where otherwise incompatible with the Macintosh platform (I heard so).
So there must be some kind of software renderer, too..

Here's an article I found about the Mac's OpenGL interface.
If I do understand correctly, other APIs were built on top of that (Cocoa, etc.).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_OpenGL

"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 17 of 62, by spiroyster

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Jo22 wrote:
It really is a bit strange, I admit. In OS X, the OpenGL "drivers" seem to be part of the OS (so no vendors drivers; they ship […]
Show full quote
spiroyster wrote:

I don't understand this. OpenGL is nothing more than a standard and is implemented by vendor drivers. This is suggesting that OSX has its own OpenGL driver independent of the vendors driver (its not software rendered is it ? 😵). If OpenGL functionality works in OSX its because the driver of your gfx is doing its thang.... unless it's an OSX software renderer 😵. Upgrades should be no problem at all since you just request the version you require when creating a GL context? Any delay will be vendors writing drivers for the newer OS's as they come out, rather than it being a fundamental part of OSX holding back progress. Unless my understanding here is wrong?

It really is a bit strange, I admit. In OS X, the OpenGL "drivers" seem to be part of the OS (so no vendors drivers; they ship with it and are made/adapted by Apple).
So OpenGL gets updated about the same time when a new OS release is out (so OS X can take advantage of new features if needed).

This also means that the Mac's OpenGL implementation (its stack, so to say) is more tied to OS X and "unnecessary" features aren't implemented in the first place (they would require additional testing).
There are also third-party graphics drivers for the Mac Pro (from nVIDIA I think), but that's more of an oddity.

Normally, a new release of macOS also comes with drivers for the current hardware generation (and sometimes throws out older drivers for "unsupported" Mac models).
Of course it's also possible to install your own drivers (kernel extensions or KEXTs). Well, if you can get some.. 😉

"Upgrades should be no problem [..]" Perhaps not, I don't know. On Windows, OpenGL is something external and not a vital part of the OS (older versions even had an OpenGL to Direct3D wrapper).
On OS X, however, OpenGL is apparently used for the whole GUI handling (through higher level APIs). Errors during context creation/switching could crash the GUI or affect other APIs.

I don't know for sure how it works today, but on PowerPC platform graphics could also be displayed by the help of the "open firmware".
This even worked with old VGA cards that where otherwise incompatible with the Macintosh platform (I heard so).
So there must be some kind of software renderer, too..

Here's an article I found about the Mac's OpenGL interface.
If I do understand correctly, other APIs were built on top of that (Cocoa, etc.).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_OpenGL

Thanks, yes that clears a few things up... ha! so they have their own miniGL driver! 🤣

I remember when they switched to GL (must have been approx 2004/5 or something like that?) iirc it was before the switch to x86 too. I was joking about the software render parts in my previous post, turns out it might be closer to reality than thought. Not much going on for Core Cocoa stuff other than rendering textures though I guess, wouldn't even cause CPU's to break much sweat. o.0.

So its a bit like MS deprecation/decapitation of OpenGL 1.2+ on windows. by default you get GL 1.2 supplied by MS windows, and have to explicitly (dynamically) search for extended GL capability. Apple just give you a later version by default, but again any extra performance or extendibility you have to check at run-time?

Makes me wonder about metal on OSX. I can understand the gains with PowerVR chips on iOS platforms since imagination provide literally 'direct to metal' drivers, but in order to squeeze anything else out of any desktop gfx more exposure to the underlying hardware is required (outside of compute GPGPU capabilities) and this would have to be drivers supplied by vendors? Is it a rewrite of the drivers supplied to them, their own optimisations applied to the API's which they supply as part of OSX Core... As you can probably tell, I have never done any Metal, and while I have done GL on OSX, now that I think of it, I have no idea which versions I was using at the time. It never crossed my mind 😵

Having said that, early tests of Metal seem to show little to no gains over GL (in some cases, apparently worse), so maybe some overheads incurred by the vendor supplied drivers, just cannot be overcome. I suspect Vulkan will blow it out of the water the more its implementations mature. And if and when they switch OSX Core to it, there may still be a ceiling on optimisations they can use being restricted by the Vulkan Api. Hmmm but if they get supplied the drivers by vendors perhaps they can rewrite accordingly to the architecture differences the hardware brings for Vulkan. No vendors are creating hardware specifically for 'Metal' are they?

How is the world of Metal? Is it still alive? Seemed like it oxidised har har har 🤣

Reply 18 of 62, by matieo

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I love this computer, pleased to have the opportunity to show it off.

Unisys CWD4001
AMD X5 133 @ 160Mhz
64mb of RAM
Sandisk Extreme IV 4gb CF
SoundBlaster AWE64 Value

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Internal pic to show the neat CF adapter setup, a couple of standoffs to sit nicely on the original HDD mount. Floppy disconnected, SoundBlaster and ISA riser board are missing in this pic.

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Gigabyte 440BX, C3 Ezra 866, Voodoo 3, 512mb, 32gb SSD, YMF718+Dreamblaster S2
Toshiba Satellite 320CDT 233mhz, 64mb, 32gb SSD

Reply 19 of 62, by matze79

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It simply sucks, i can't play 10.6 Games on 10.8..
Apple can do it better, for sure, but they give a fuck on customers.

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer