VOGONS


Reply 18761 of 19216, by chrismeyer6

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Jed118 wrote on 2021-04-21, 06:09:
I sold a Dell Celeron 433 and prepared an HT 3.0 for sale, and then, something I've been wanting to do for a long time... […]
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I sold a Dell Celeron 433 and prepared an HT 3.0 for sale, and then, something I've been wanting to do for a long time...

Preparing these:

n8QT2R5h.jpg

To be benchmarked here:

bNPrFgmh.jpg

They range from SX-20 (not sure if I'll be able to get the ISA-486SV2 to go that low - undocumented jumper experimentation FTW!) to the OverDrive.

I even have two 486 DX4s, one WB and one WT. I seem to recall most of these CPUs work - the VRM is under the giant 10k RPM server fan, under which is my WB DX4 out of my Siemens. Anything 3.3 3.45 4.0 will be passed through that one. The ones on the lower right are an AMD DX4-120, and a 486-133 (an early 5X86 P75)

I've even got an i487 there, which this board explicitly supports. The only thing I am missing is a DX(or SX)50 MHz - It would be nice to see if my Mach32 would be able to cope with that 😉

Can't wait to get started 😁

ooohh!! This is going to be a super fun project to follow along.

Reply 18762 of 19216, by Jed118

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-04-21, 07:09:

Ah nice, you just seem to be lacking a Cyrix 5x86 😀

I didn't even think about that! Oh well, this ought to be enough. 😁

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 18763 of 19216, by Thermalwrong

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yourepicfailure wrote on 2021-04-12, 21:24:
Nice, always love seeing another classic Toshiba see the light of day. My T4400 has a nice display, though it takes a little to […]
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Thermalwrong wrote on 2021-04-09, 00:03:

~snip~

Nice, always love seeing another classic Toshiba see the light of day.
My T4400 has a nice display, though it takes a little to "warm up." Once it does the colors are nice, sharp and the viewing angle is nice.

BA908BFA-B936-4C9A-8249-1E000DB24BCF.jpeg

The floppy drive also works, but if I stick the wrong floppy in there the belt starts slipping again. I should take care of that next time I go in there.
I only wish I could find a 32mb ram card for it. Because, theoretically, you could stuff a POD in there since it's socketed.
Unlike the newer 486 (and pentium 4900&4950) Toshibas that have soldered processors.

And a T4900, I wish I could find one. I'm only stuck with this 4800 that I don't have the time and money right now to fix up.

Cool, I had no idea those older ones used regular PGA168 processors 😀 The backlights on all of these are pretty tired I think, the T4900CT's backlight matches how yellow it is, in that it's quite dim. I'm considering retrofitting some kind of LED backlight at some unspecified point in the future when it stops working right. This T4900CT was a lucky find, sold as 'working' and I snapped it up once I found it had both a 640x480 TFT LCD and integrated sound. But it didn't work, the standby battery had leaked and damaged traces around the video chip, so it wouldn't display anything. It works after I fixed those up, but it's got additional problems with the hard drive, which I might just replace soon. Right now, it requires a good *whack* from the side on boot for the seek arm to work, and that's starting to cause data loss.
It's not something I was aware of at the time, but this laptop was pretty special when new. Released in late 1994, it was one of the first 'low voltage' pentium 75 CPUs and one of the first Toshibas with an integrated pointing device - which is tolerable but quite RSI inducing with prolonged use. My particular one had an aftermarket EXP 16MB DRAM 3.3v memory upgrade, giving it an amazing 24MB of RAM, as well as a warranty until early 1999, maybe 4 or 5 years?

Don't these old TFT screens that have glass fronts just look kinda special? The T4900CT has the later plastic anti glare coating like a modern LCD, but the T1950CT's glass front looks especially nice.

Today has been quite a great day for 'retro activities'. Over the weekend I took the TDA1517 amp chip off of a very dead sound card, to make an amplifier board, since I've got some old un-amplified speakers that really benefit from having a proper amp. It didn't work, but today I figured out what I'd messed up on the protoboard PCB and now the amp is working excellently with my Sony SRS-7 speakers, which I bought a veeeery long time ago. They sound pretty great except for the comparatively poor handling of bass tones.

I also got hold of a new LCD for my Toshiba Satellite 2180CDT, which I received with a smashed screen. The correct LCDs for this model aren't cheaply available on ebay anymore, so I got a Torisan LCD which I knew was similar. But upon receipt, the pinout was different, not only was it flipped (so it shorted the laptop on initial test), but the LVDS pairs were 1-pin spaced instead of 2-pin spaced. But the LCD works now that I've moved the pins across on the LCD. Great to have this particular laptop finally up and running, while it's a later machine, I think the video and sound work really well for dos games.

Lastly, while doing some of these things, I was watching Necroware's (scorp's) latest videos on youtube, some very impressive repairs in the last 2 videos.

Reply 18765 of 19216, by furan

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Discovered another game that has Creative 3D Blaster (Creative Graphics Library) code - Star Fighter 3000. At least, the demo does - with a few bugs.
Re: Fun with CGL (Creative Graphics Library) on 3D Blaster
kCn0uiR.jpg

Reply 18766 of 19216, by gerry

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furan wrote on 2021-04-22, 05:28:

Discovered another game that has Creative 3D Blaster (Creative Graphics Library) code - Star Fighter 3000. At least, the demo does - with a few bugs.

graphics like that give me an 8 bit / 16 bit nostalgia wave too i must say!

Reply 18767 of 19216, by gerry

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not really retro but I sat down and rescued a recent cheap purchase - a socket 775 motherboard that was powering on / off, beeping then failing to beep and failing to run even Linux on occasions when it did run

took it all apart, motherboard out, a bit of a clean and reseating last known working components and found an old but in good shape PSU to replace whiny tortured one (which was probably the problem!)

managed to install linux onto a HDD, rebooted and all really great. Switched off and restarted later, one beep nothing on screen. did it all again to no avail, really sometimes you should just throw it away instead of wasting hours on something!

still, got me interested in getting a (working!) dual core system of the period

Reply 18768 of 19216, by gerry

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gerry wrote on 2021-04-22, 18:22:

managed to install linux onto a HDD, rebooted and all really great. Switched off and restarted later, one beep nothing on screen. did it all again to no avail, really sometimes you should just throw it away instead of wasting hours on something!

I went back to it later, we always go back to a problem! Anyway it worked eventually, seems ok but probably a 'fragile' system. If of any interest the Linux choice was peppermint OS partly because Linux Mint refused to run from USB and partly because of small install size (i'm using old 40gb hdd), seems good on a modest spec (e1200 duo celeron) might risk upgrade to e8200 i have, might just leave alone now it seems to have semi-stabilised! Just shows that sometimes just 'one final' attempt does pay off, it was definitely reaching the pivot point between 'another look' and 'out it goes' 😀

Reply 18769 of 19216, by RandomStranger

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gerry wrote on 2021-04-23, 07:26:
gerry wrote on 2021-04-22, 18:22:

managed to install linux onto a HDD, rebooted and all really great. Switched off and restarted later, one beep nothing on screen. did it all again to no avail, really sometimes you should just throw it away instead of wasting hours on something!

I went back to it later, we always go back to a problem! Anyway it worked eventually, seems ok but probably a 'fragile' system. If of any interest the Linux choice was peppermint OS partly because Linux Mint refused to run from USB and partly because of small install size (i'm using old 40gb hdd), seems good on a modest spec (e1200 duo celeron) might risk upgrade to e8200 i have, might just leave alone now it seems to have semi-stabilised! Just shows that sometimes just 'one final' attempt does pay off, it was definitely reaching the pivot point between 'another look' and 'out it goes' 😀

I'd still be worried about the stability of the system. After making sure that the problem isn't with the old 40GB hard drive, I'd put it to a couple of days of torture. Make it run all day, timed reboots some stress tests, video encoding, longer periods (a night) unpowered than do it all over again. Maybe for a week.

But s775 is generally dirt cheap and abundant, often given away for free. It may be another 20 or more years until it's worth the effort saving them. Unless it's something really high-end or special part (e.g. industrial board with W98 compatibility and ISA slot), I probably wouldn't bother.

sreq.png

Reply 18770 of 19216, by gerry

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RandomStranger wrote on 2021-04-23, 07:56:
gerry wrote on 2021-04-23, 07:26:
gerry wrote on 2021-04-22, 18:22:

managed to install linux onto a HDD, rebooted and all really great. Switched off and restarted later, one beep nothing on screen. did it all again to no avail, really sometimes you should just throw it away instead of wasting hours on something!

I went back to it later, we always go back to a problem! Anyway it worked eventually, seems ok but probably a 'fragile' system. If of any interest the Linux choice was peppermint OS partly because Linux Mint refused to run from USB and partly because of small install size (i'm using old 40gb hdd), seems good on a modest spec (e1200 duo celeron) might risk upgrade to e8200 i have, might just leave alone now it seems to have semi-stabilised! Just shows that sometimes just 'one final' attempt does pay off, it was definitely reaching the pivot point between 'another look' and 'out it goes' 😀

I'd still be worried about the stability of the system. After making sure that the problem isn't with the old 40GB hard drive, I'd put it to a couple of days of torture. Make it run all day, timed reboots some stress tests, video encoding, longer periods (a night) unpowered than do it all over again. Maybe for a week.

But s775 is generally dirt cheap and abundant, often given away for free. It may be another 20 or more years until it's worth the effort saving them. Unless it's something really high-end or special part (e.g. industrial board with W98 compatibility and ISA slot), I probably wouldn't bother.

you're right, it tortured me so now it has its turn! And yes, if it really is unstable it has to go, as you say I'm bound to find another 775 at some point so not worth over investing but i hate to see something that is close to working not working, so tend to stay too long on tinkering with it until it works! I even took pics of sections looking zoomed in to try and see if something obvious was amiss

earlier memtest and disk checking make me confident of those parts, i'll see if it survives a more rigorous session

Reply 18771 of 19216, by froller

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I've just finished soldering extra chips to my spare SIMMs and now I have 2 8Mb 72-pin FPM ones. So I'm gonna install Windows '95 on my 66MHz 486 VLB rig.

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ 100%
Virus check complete. All viruses are working properly.

Reply 18772 of 19216, by Jed118

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Kid saw me do this a bunch of times, and he keeps getting into my good diskettes, so I gave him a stack of colorful broken ones.

Lm8msgG.jpg

General failure reading drive A:...

Youtube channel- The Kombinator
What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 18773 of 19216, by Shagittarius

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Jed118 wrote on 2021-04-23, 18:03:
Kid saw me do this a bunch of times, and he keeps getting into my good diskettes, so I gave him a stack of colorful broken ones. […]
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Kid saw me do this a bunch of times, and he keeps getting into my good diskettes, so I gave him a stack of colorful broken ones.

Lm8msgG.jpg

General failure reading drive A:...

Wait till he discovers the cup holder.

Reply 18774 of 19216, by creepingnet

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PC stuff has been on the downswing - been focusing more on family life and house stuff....

That said, I did redo our Bathroom last weekend. I don't know why apartments have this screwed up idea that you can make a faux marble countertop using Truck Bedliner. All it does is causes any moisture generated through use around the sinks to cause the paint to lift and peel. So instead, I stripped out kicken sink - the bowl entirely - and then sanded the top and put some white marble "skin" over the countertop part - leaving the beige marble in the bowl visisble. I sanded through my bloody hands with 50 grit getting that Herculiner off! Since our Apartment has been useless twits, they can live with us leaving them with a nicely done Countertop when we leave - which probably won't be for another 5 years considering the housing market....

Anyway, not that this is a home improvment thread, but I had some white marble veneer left over....so I got a clever idea. My NEC Versa 40EC has looked pretty nasty for awhile with all that early J.B. Weld repairs visible - so I wrapped it in the White Marble on the screen, and it looks like a 1990's version of those Dell laptops with the patterned tops now - except far classier TBH. The marble goes very good with the slate gray color.

I just put 80GB drives in the V/50 and 40EC now too - so the V/50 is now a FreeDOS rig, and the 40EC is now the most capacious Windows 3.11 For Workgroups rig I've ever built - so much so I'm still finishing up on the V/50's software loads in FreeDOS.....I might be pulling the 4X CD-ROM for the 52X in the Versa Dock, esp since I retrobrited it - or I might just slap that DVD RW in there with a coat of White paint on it.

I still have a 3rd 80GB drive, I might use that for a Windows 98 SE setup for the P/75 next - triple boot with Windows 3.11 For Workgroups and DOS 7.1. Lately I've been running the M/75 HARD but putting the original Trackball back in the P/75 has rendered both quite usable.

Did try an experiement in using a 5000mah LiIon Battery Bank as a battery on the 40EC, not enough oomph to push it. So there scratches that idea. Wish I could find some good articles on how to rig in a LiIon pack with a voltage/heat controller into the original packs. These things could probably get 3-4 hours on one pack with that setup. That said, the NiMH pack has been a little weird lately, but it seems a quick short of the terminals brought it back. So seems giving the pack a self-zap seems to help keep the older NiMH replacement pack alive. Still want to buy one for the 40EC and V50 - but I'm done for awhile - just bought a $200 LIne6 Guitar processor so that might be eating up my time more soon.

~The Creeping Network~
My Website - https://sites.google.com/site/thecreepingnetwork/home
My Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/creepingnet

Reply 18775 of 19216, by appiah4

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I soldered two plipbox PCBs. I completely messed up the SMT stuff on one of them, and while trying to remove the component I lifted a pad, so one of my plipboxes will only be programmable from a PC/USB, but I actually managed to solder the other one (Although one SOP IC and 5 SMT caps took me a whole hour to get right) - which is not bad for a first try.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 18776 of 19216, by PTherapist

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Today I was bored, so for some fun and equal parts torture - installed PC-Task on my Amiga 1200 and booted into MS-DOS 6.22.

Software PC emulation on a 68020 CPU is indeed slow as hell, but cool to see what it was capable of. I played a bit of QBASIC Nibbles, which was just about playable with the game speed set to maximum. 🤣

Reply 18778 of 19216, by luckybob

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(TL;DR at the bottom)

I'm currently enrolled in college, specifically for Linux administration. This is my 2nd adventure into higher education, and this time is much more fun when I can make fun of the Zoomers. One of the end-of-semester projects was to demonstrate setting up a server for a certain task. I decided to take my project in a different direction, as I have a literal arsenal of hardware at my disposal. My project was to setup a "pi-hole" or dedicated DNS server. https://pi-hole.net/ I twisted it around a bit and I decided to try to get it to run on a Pentium Pro. I didn't expect it to work, and I had a ITX Atom machine as a backup.

I'm not going to bore all of you with ALL the details of how I got everything to work, but this is the hardware I used:

dtwSXVum.jpg

The motherboard is a 440FX based ALR dual Socket 8 motherboard. This is one of the biggest "ATX" boards made. On the left is 8x 128MB SIMMs (1GB) running at 50ns. The PCI cards in order are; #1 Promise TX4 card. (This card is AMAZING for putting SATA on old machines) Card #2 is an Intel pro100+ (82559) Card #3 was a ATI 9250 PCI. This board is an absolute workhorse of a machine. Takes a full 5 minutes to check the 1024mb of ram.

Software wise, I just checked the oldest supported OS supported on the Pi-hole page, and tried to install that. I saw Ubuntu 16.04 and downloaded the i386 server version. It was important to get the server version as it had a plain text installer and was a lot quicker to install.

There was 1 major bug to diagnose, for those that are reading about this. That is based on the use of dual-CPU. It took me a very long time to figure out, I needed to change the bios setting to version 1.4. I don't have the actual setting memorized, but the options were 1.1 and 1.4. The latter worked fine, the former was not supported. (I think its called MPS version) BTW this is what happens with the bios default of version 1.1:
y5VUYwvm.jpg

I originally tried the install with 1mb black-top Pentium Pro chips. After all, I wanted to give this project the highest chance of working. It took me a couple days of failed attempts, (thanks partially to shitty media) But it looks like at least one of my 1mb chips has a "less than optimal" L2 cache, or just a bios bug. (this is common with the 1mb chips, actually) So I dug my Overdrive chips out of my P65UP8. I was under a timeline after all. These Overdrive chips are absolutely amazing in terms of relative performance. This task was no exception. It still took over an hour to install a base copy of Ubuntu 16.04. Mostly during the decompression and software install parts. It was still a night and day difference between the 200mhz chip and the 333mhz.

Also, as a side note. When using CD/DVD install media, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS do a media check.

While I didn't do the OS install in front of the class thanks to the human malware, I did use my video hardware to show everyone the physical side of it, rather than a boring VM machine screen capture.
i1MSNM0m.jpg

Bottom left screen is the real hardware video, split into a VGA to HDMI scaler and piped into a HDMI capture device. Bottom right screen was for showing my desktop to people and the top right was monitoring the virtual webcam stream from OBS. Speaking of which, OBS is fucking amazing for FREE software. I was able to swap between my real webcam, my 2nd desktop (bottom right), another camera pointed at the hardware from above, and even do some picture in picture. keep in mind, all this hardware is literally the cheapest I could get on Amazon/eBay.

So in a nutshell I was able to show the Zoomers how I can take new software and run it on old hardware. At least for the Pi-Hole project, once the OS is installed, setup is brain-dead easy. I even showed them the Gold p-pro chip and how its literally the same size as the raspberry pi computer. I felt pretty damn good at the end, as I had 10 minutes of questions about the hardware. Also, I was the only one to not just talk over a boring power point, so I feel like I might have some bonus points there.

As for running the software itself, it ran perfectly. I wasn't able to change my DNS server on stream for obvious reasons, but the UI was instant and responsive as if I had installed it on new hardware.

So, if you have an old P2 (ish) machine with plenty of ram, and don't care about your power bill, you too can use it to run a Pi-Hole. I know it will work on a Pentium pro-200, as i re-inserted those chips after install, but I feel the sheer speed boost to 333mhz coupled with basic MMX instructions was REALLY worth it. I also feel the 2nd processor really was beneficial. As for the aforementioned ITX Atom pc. I discovered why it was so very cheap, the onboard NIC was toast. X.X

---
TL;DR: I got pi-hole to run on Ubuntu 16.04 on a dual Pentium Pro (Overdrive still counts!)
Gallery: https://imgur.com/gallery/HrIUdJz
Takeaway: Its SO much easier to do this on a Pi 3/4. But it can be done.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-04-26, 04:11. Edited 2 times in total.

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

Reply 18779 of 19216, by chrismeyer6

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That sounds like an awesome project Luckybob. You probably melted some minds of your fellow students running on hardware that's probably older than them.