First post, by x0zm_
Current Progress (18/10/19):
Updated project aims in the OP to reflect changing goals.
I can't catch a break and the PSU died. Here's updated build pics.
Current Setup "Value" (Retail price as gathered from old magazines, converted to AUD using historical values with inflation accounted for):
~95-97: $11,310.88 AUD (Magazine sources vary by hardware age).
With inflation accounted for:
2019: $20,177.04 AUD
Not Included: Storage Drives, CPU Cooler, PSU, Case, Mouse, Keyboard, Modern components.
Hey guys! Build time! 😁
Anticipating a successful build with my Ipex project, which ultimately failed due to a bad motherboard, I've decided to go ahead and build something else similar, but completely different.
Having sold off a lot of my hardware recently for downsizing for an upcoming move, having a DOS & 95 machine is quite important to me.
This build will be comprised of hardware from 3 major sources, in addition to hardware I already owned :-
- Hardware from the defunct family business
- Hardware purchased on my trip to Shenzhen & Hong Kong
- Hardware purchased for the Ipex build
The Project Brief
Hardware wise, I'm keeping it as early to mid-ish 90's accurate as possible. I am not restraining myself to any particular hardware or period, but rather what I like. This provides me a bit more freedom than the Ipex project, but still keeps it within the DOS/95 scope. There are two major exceptions to this - storage and power supply.
Like the Ipex build, it'll have all sorts of fun peripherals. All of which play an important part in the project overall! An SC-55, an MT-32, a dot matrix printer, an ESP8266 cased inside a dead US Robotics Sportster 14.4k for a Hayes compatible WiFi modem, a real modem for Dial Up simulation (see this post), and whatever else I find amusing.
Unlike the Ipex build, it will have a lot more storage, a lot more software and a lot more exciting uses.
One solid rule I'm setting for myself is that after it's built and running, any modifications or hardware changes I want to do will have to be planned on this machine. That probably means fun time in awfully slow CAD packages... 🤣
So what's the whole "Internet" deal?
These are long-term plans after I move and after the build is complete, though testing has already been done and shown it to be feasible enough.
My personal blog, with a twist.
I've wanted to run a blog for awhile to document stupid projects I do. The website will (mostly) be developed on this system. I've written a lot of the CMS & back-end already, but it's the front-end that really needs work. It's nothing special feature wise, but the plan is to have three separate front ends.
- A plain-text, terminal and console compatible format. Fully developed on-machine.
- A ~'97 style HTML/CSS/(basically)zero JS front-end. Fully developed on-machine using era appropriate software and standards. I've used Wayback Machine as a reference point for some of my favourite old sites as a refresher on what did and did not exist, and how things were and were not laid out.
Modern front-end. Developed on main PC.Scrapped. Everyone on a browser will get the HTML 2.0 version. 😎
It auto-detects and serves appropriately based on user agent and how it's requested, and will fallback to HTML 2.0 if unknown.
The backend is a custom written PHP 7.1 flat-file CMS. The front-end is similar to what's shown above. Graphics are done in Photoshop 4.0, most layout and code was written in UltraEdit with some Notepad++ on my main PC thrown in here and there just for modern PHP syntax highlighting.
All content will be written & published from this PC. Photos will be taken with some of my early digital cameras, probably my Mavica FD71.
Next up is...
No. I'm not streaming from the PC. Just streaming what I do on the PC. Nothing too special. Playing games. Working on stuff. Streaming will obviously be handled by another PC. But hey, a bit of fun. Will likely use some of my older video cameras or webcam as a webcam, and microphones as a microphone. Maybe a fun DOS-themed layout. Who knows. Beats streaming DOS games from an emulator though.
The Hardware (Last Updated 18/10/19)
With that out of the way, let's talk about the hardware. I've got pretty much all of it on hand. There's just a few minor decisions left to make. Hardware source indicated in brackets.
ISA Image Capture Card: Canopus V-Port Pro
HDD Caddy 3: Promise SuperSwap 1000 (Alt. Promise FastSwap 66)
HDD Caddy 4: Promise SuperSwap 1000 (Alt. Nil, already have a second FastSwap 66)
NIC: 3Com Etherlink III 3C590-C
Case: AOpen H700A. [Bought new, swapped out for additional hardware requirements]
CPU: Intel Pentium 233MHz MMX [On-hand]
CPU Cooler: Full Copper Cooler w/ 60mm Fan [Bought New]
Motherboard: The LEGENDARY ASUS P/I-XP55T2P4 Rev 3.0 [Purchased on eBay - swapped out from the P55T2P4, see build update on post #41]
RAM: 64MB of TBD (4x16MB) [Selected some sticks from on-hand]
HDD1: 1.2GB Seagate HDD - main OS drive. [1997 - On-hand]
HDD2: Seagate Barracuda ST380023A 80GB 7200 RPM Drive. [2003 - On-hand]
HDD3: (Found - 30th March 2020) Seagate Barracuda ST380011A 80GB 7200 RPM Drive. 
HDD4: Western Digital Caviar WD400 40GB 7200 RPM Drive. [2005 - On-hand]
HDD5: (Found - 16th March 2020) Seagate U Series 9 ST380012ACE 80GB 7200 RPM Drive. 
HDD6: Hitachi Deskstar 7K80 80GB 7200RPM Drive. [2006 - Purchased]
HDD Caddy 1: Promise SuperSwap 1000. [2002 - NOS Purchased]
HDD Caddy 2: Promise SuperSwap 1000. [2002 - NOS Purchased]
FDD1: Panasonic JU-256A888P [Family Business - picked because the colour was still great on it!]
FDD2: Gotek USB FDD Emulator [Ordered online]
ODD: AOpen CD-940E/AKU Pro [Found.]
ODD 2: Beige DVD Drive. [Have on-hand.]
Graphics Card: Canopus Power Window T64V (S3 Trio64V+) + Canopus MPEG Decoder Daughterboard (S3 Scenic/MX2 Powered) [Purchased for the Ipex originally]
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster 16 IDE (CT2290) [Purchased for the Ipex originally. To be cap modded.]
NIC: Intel Pro/100S (IBM Netfinity Rebadge) [Purchased Online]
IDE Controller: Promise Ultra100 TX2 [Purchased Online]
Mouse: Microsoft Intellimouse Optical 1.1A [On-hand]
Keyboard: Acer 6311. [On-hand - may swap.]
Monitor: Sony CPD-17SF2 17" CRT. [Purchased for Ipex]
Printer: Panasonic KX-P2123 Dot Matrix Printer [On-hand, found.]
Modem #1: ESP8266 acting as Hayes compatible modem over WiFi, inside a USR Sportster 14.4k case. [Put together using a few cheap parts, around $6. Modem was purchased dead on eBay.]
Modem #2 (New 24/9/19): USR Courier V.Everything 56k X2[Freebie, just had to pay shipping costs from another state.]
Sound Module: Roland MT-32 [Purchased for Ipex... and because I wanted to give the one I was borrowing from a friend back]
Sound Module: Roland SC-55 [Had on-hand]
Sound Module: Yamaha TG300 [Purchased locally]
Speakers: Yamaha YST-MS201[Purchased Locally - Since the amp is no longer required and the amp & speaker setup have been relegated to my old consoles, this pair of Yamaha powered beige PC speakers with a sub will do just fine!]