First post, by dunzdeck
Right, my first “proper” post here. Having replied to a few topics in the past week, I’ve decided to make a proper introduction and show you my current retro project. Long post ahead - apologies in advance!
I was born in 1984. When I was eight, my parents got me and my little brother a NES for Christmas. All the cool kids had SNESes at that point, in fact I am surprised they could still find one new in 1993. It didn’t matter. We had fun with all the non-cool kids at school, borrowing each other’s games and swapping tips.
Then in the autumn of 1995 my parents had a sizable financial windfall. Mother got a nice bracelet and dad got us a Compaq Presario, with an unusual 486sx2/66 😎 He mainly intended to use it for work, but thinking of me and my brother, he paid (a lot) extra to have an ESS sound card installed as well as a CDROM drive. The store didn’t configure them though, so we were reduced to playing floppy disc games with PC speaker sounds until at least 1997 😁 I don’t know how we first figured out how to play using the sound card, but I do remember how mind blowing it was! We played X-Wing Collector’s CD for ages. Couldn’t get enough.
It picked up from there. A friend actually gave us his parent’s 486 - a nicer OEM machine, with a FIC mobo with VLB and PCI. By now, 1998, all the cool kids had Pentium IIs, so it was very easy to find older gear. Another friend sold me his GUS clone (a Primax Altrasound) for 25 guilders, about 12€. We scrounged SIMMs and hard drives from people. Picked up complete PCs off the curb, discarded. Went to Amsterdam’s legendary computer fair. I slowly worked my way up to a Compaq Deskpro 5133, which a friend had gotten from his dad’s office. I got it cheap and would kit it out with a Voodoo, lots of RAM, etcetera. Played everything from TIE fighter to Half-Life on it, which was taxing for a Pentium 133 running at 166mhz!
Anyway, eventually life - and modernity - caught up. We sold our massive NES collection for a pittance. Dad gave us money to build a modern PC for us all to use. We threw out loads of old stuff. Later, I started collecting and playing lots of Sega Saturn stuff. Played Battlefield 1942 online and with friends. That all ended when I went to college.
Almost 20 years have passed since, and I’ve been rediscovering my interest in the PC tinkering days of my youth. The 486 stuff I played with when Pentium was king. The thrill of going from 8 mb of RAM to 16. Playing LHX from floppy disc and discovering the “high detail” setting after months. You know, we all have such memories ✊🏽
So anyway. I looked around and bought this last month, on a classifieds website:
A Dell Inspiron 3000 with 266 mhz Pentium II. Just like the cool kids 😎👌🏼
It came with a massive port replicator, which, crucially, has a joystick port!
This is not my only retro machine. I recently found a Toshiba Satellite 300CDT in my parents storage that I had briefly played around with in college. Can’t remember how I got it, but it works flawlessly. Also bought a Tecra 8000 for cheap during my last bout of nostalgia, last winter. It petered out due to lack of time, and no joystick port to play.
This time I’m gonna get serious:
The above took me a full evening to get to. You see the point is, this Dell HAS. NO. CD. Drive!! 😩🤯
The two Toshibas have one, and I naturally assumed this one would, too. Oops.
No sweat: from lurking on this forum I knew about SHUCD. It’s actually a huge help that the Dell had been equipped with a weird dual boot setup by its previous owner:
Something calls “Weary Puppy Linux”. Never heard of it!
Not to worry. I ISO’d my original copy of TIE CD, put it on CF, put it in a PCMCIA card and unzipped it to the DOS partition on the Dell, which had a little screen to show activity:
That’s HD and PCMCIA activity, pretty neat!
So that’s my journey so far. I finally got a machine on which to replay the flight and space sims from when I was a kid. I also got the two Toshibas that I plan to use to play Warcraft 2, GTA, Albion etcetera.
Can’t wait to get started!!