VOGONS


First post, by HeavyD8086

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Hi all,

Thought I'd make a better post than last time with more pictures. Here's what I was up to this weekend:

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It's an old Packard Bell PackMate III. I've had it for a year or so, but ti's been sitting in a corner for a little while and needed some TLC.

Here's the video card, an old Trident 512KB job:

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An Audician32 for sound:

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And an Ether16 ISA netowrking card which has made this project a lot easier:

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Here's some shots of the internals:

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Last edited by HeavyD8086 on 2019-02-24, 17:06. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 18, by HeavyD8086

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Continuing, more internal shots:

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I've had the CF card working in this machine before, but I couldn't get it working this time. Even tried Ontrack, but no dice. I slapped a 40MB IDE guy in there, and we're off to the races.

By far, my favourite media for these PCs is a Gotek with Flashfloppy installed:

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Last edited by HeavyD8086 on 2019-02-25, 14:38. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 18, by HeavyD8086

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And here she is! Unfortunately, I can't get the 5.25" working, but I haven't tried really hard.

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From a lurker, this site has been a great help! Thanks, guys!

Last edited by HeavyD8086 on 2019-02-25, 14:39. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 7 of 18, by Jo22

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rasz_pl wrote:

was there any software able to utilize all 4MB of ram on 286? other than maybe Win3.1?

OS/2 1.3 ? I don't know for sure, but some 16-Bit Protected Mode games (Wing Commander ?) or disk cache software might have used it.
From what i remember, lots of programs that used EMS also were happy with atleast 512 to 1024KiB of extra RAM.
If you add that with 640kiB of Base Memory and some memory for UMBs, having a bit more than 2MiB on a 286 made sense.
That being said, I had 4MiB of RAM on my 286, too (in the 90s). Windows 3.1 and other programs never complained about too little memory. 😀

"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 9 of 18, by matze79

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Hm even 16Megs can be used.

Compiling Things, open big word documents, jpegs and such stuff on Windows 3.1 make it useful.
Maybe a TCP/IP Stack (Winsock / winpkt.com and ftp client..)

https://www.retrokits.de - blog, retro projects, hdd clicker, diy soundcards etc
https://www.retroianer.de - german retro computer board

Reply 10 of 18, by canthearu

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I had some problems with the Yamaha sound card on my 286. It worked fine in DOS, but the windows 3.1 drives always crashed the system on startup.

I think I'm going to swap it with a Sound Blaster 2.0, whose windows drivers work fine on 286 computers.

Reply 11 of 18, by rmay635703

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rasz_pl wrote:

was there any software able to utilize all 4MB of ram on 286? other than maybe Win3.1?

Various cad and drawing packages

Lotus could as well

Then there was ibms weird cash register POS stuff that could use the full 1gb virtual memory space

Reply 12 of 18, by Jo22

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DESQView and PC-MOS could have had also benefited from extra memory.
I heard that for PC-MOS (or was it PC-MOS/386 ?), there was an extra CPU module which added another MMU to 286 machines.
Such an upgraded 286 could have used 4MB very well for multi-tasking purposes.

rmay635703 wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:

was there any software able to utilize all 4MB of ram on 286? other than maybe Win3.1?

Various cad and drawing packages
[..]

Right, now that you mention it, AutoSketch v3 for DOS also added EMS support.. 😁
This allowed for larger drawings. I'll have to check if it works on a 286 with EMM286.

Edit:

canthearu wrote:

I had some problems with the Yamaha sound card on my 286.
It worked fine in DOS, but the windows 3.1 drives always crashed the system on startup.
I think I'm going to swap it with a Sound Blaster 2.0, whose windows drivers work fine on 286 computers.

Wait, you can also try the default driver for Sound Blaster 1.5 that comes with Windows 3.1.
It's not very powerful, but does okay for "most" games ("most", because some included 16-Bit Wave files by accident).

Edit: Typos fixed.

"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 18, by Intel486dx33

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GigAHerZ wrote:

4GB of RAM!? 😜

RAM was expensive back in 1993.
1mb. Of ram use to costs $100

I don’t know the manufacture date of that 286 but I am sure ram was expensive back then.

Reply 14 of 18, by GigAHerZ

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Intel486dx33 wrote:
RAM was expensive back in 1993. 1mb. Of ram use to costs $100 […]
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GigAHerZ wrote:

4GB of RAM!? 😜

RAM was expensive back in 1993.
1mb. Of ram use to costs $100

I don’t know the manufacture date of that 286 but I am sure ram was expensive back then.

Okay? What are you saying?

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 15 of 18, by HeavyD8086

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canthearu wrote:

I had some problems with the Yamaha sound card on my 286. It worked fine in DOS, but the windows 3.1 drives always crashed the system on startup.

I think I'm going to swap it with a Sound Blaster 2.0, whose windows drivers work fine on 286 computers.

I get an error when I exit setupsa.exe in DOS, but otherwise it works for me there. I don't remember ever getting it to work in Windows either.

Reply 16 of 18, by rmay635703

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GigAHerZ wrote:
Intel486dx33 wrote:
RAM was expensive back in 1993. 1mb. Of ram use to costs $100 […]
Show full quote
GigAHerZ wrote:

4GB of RAM!? 😜

RAM was expensive back in 1993.
1mb. Of ram use to costs $100

I don’t know the manufacture date of that 286 but I am sure ram was expensive back then.

Okay? What are you saying?

$400,000 is a very affordable and common price for a 286

Reply 17 of 18, by GigAHerZ

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rmay635703 wrote:

$400,000 is a very affordable and common price for a 286

The thread had 4GB in heading (now fixed), you can still see it in posts' headings...

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 18 of 18, by keenmaster486

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I never put less than 8 GB of RAM in my 286's, even back in the day I would drop $1,000,000,000 on RAM just like that.

4 MB? Pfffft.

World's foremost 486 enjoyer.