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The quest for the perfect retro laptop: a saga

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Reply 680 of 707, by pixelatedscraps

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I keep reading this thread and now suddenly I am the owner of 10 laptops between the years 1995 and 2010.

It’s a strange kind of pain.

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Reply 681 of 707, by dr_st

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pixelatedscraps wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:08:

I keep reading this thread and now suddenly I am the owner of 10 laptops between the years 1995 and 2010.

We have approximately a 50% time period overlap. 😁 I'm the owner of 10 (I think) laptops between 2002 and 2017... But none of them classify as 'retro' yet. My A21m which was borderline retro broke...

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Reply 682 of 707, by pixelatedscraps

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dr_st wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:12:
pixelatedscraps wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:08:

I keep reading this thread and now suddenly I am the owner of 10 laptops between the years 1995 and 2010.

We have approximately a 50% time period overlap. 😁 I'm the owner of 10 (I think) laptops between 2002 and 2017... But none of them classify as 'retro' yet. My A21m which was borderline retro broke...

Most of mine are between 1995 (Thinkpad 755cd/cx and Compaq LTE 5280) and say, 2001 (Thinkpad 600x, A22M) with just the single Alienware M17X R2 at the most recent end of the scale -but tipping it rather well seeing as it must weigh about the same as three Thinkpads).

I have no idea if it’s just 10 though. I haven’t looked under the bed where I hide all my spare Noctuas and GPU blocks from my wife for instance. Nor am I counting the 6-7 old PowerBooks and MacBooks I have lying around somewhere either. Gah.

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Reply 683 of 707, by creepingnet

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dr_st wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:12:
pixelatedscraps wrote on 2022-01-10, 12:08:

I keep reading this thread and now suddenly I am the owner of 10 laptops between the years 1995 and 2010.

We have approximately a 50% time period overlap. 😁 I'm the owner of 10 (I think) laptops between 2002 and 2017... But none of them classify as 'retro' yet. My A21m which was borderline retro broke...

Mine's evenly split, 4 vintage Versa (40ec, V/50, M/75, P/75), and then 4 modern (ThinkPad T61, Latitude 6520, XPS, and a HP G7 Notebook). - there's a huge gap there between 1995 and 2012, but I find the later stuff runs great in Linux on the T61, and the earlier stuff runs pretty well on just about any of the 4 Versa.

Before a bunch of personal stuff started getting int he way I was toying with getting on E-bay and buying up the cheap, broken laptops nobody would buy, and then fixing them up and reselling fully working and usable, with maybe a few structural or electronic upgrades/repairs. Now I'm more trying to pare down on systems at this point so I can focus on gaming more.

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Reply 684 of 707, by vorob

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Guys, GUYS! Compaq LTE 5100. This laptop display 320x200 properly! Stretching it to 4:3, take a look:

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The usual way to display 320x200 - sqeezed
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The proper way, stretching it to 4:3
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It's Compaq LTE 5100 with Cirrus Logic GD-754x videochip.

https://www.elhvb.com/mobokive/edwin/laptops/ … 0LTE%205000.pdf

The heart of the audio subsystem is the ESS1688 (ESS688 on Windows 3.1/Dos 6 units) AudioDrive ASIC that provides 16-bit stereo WAV audio, audio mixing, and FM music synthesis. The entire audio system connects directly to the ISA bus.

The ESS1688 is OPL3 compatible and compatible with SoundBlaster PRO and Microsoft Windows Sound System. It can record, compress, and play back sound and music at 8 or 16 bits up to 44 Khz.

As I understood, there is no WaveTable Synth, but what about real OPL 3 chip? I wonder if can stretch the image to fullscreen.

UPD, no it can't stretch to fullscreen.

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Last edited by vorob on 2022-01-12, 15:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 685 of 707, by Bondi

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vorob wrote on 2022-01-12, 14:56:
Guys, GUYS! Compaq LTE 5100. This laptop display 320x200 properly! Stretching it to 4:3, take a look: […]
Show full quote

Guys, GUYS! Compaq LTE 5100. This laptop display 320x200 properly! Stretching it to 4:3, take a look:

Скриншот 2022-01-12 17.45.02.png

Скриншот 2022-01-12 17.45.06.png

It's Compaq LTE 5100 with Cirrus Logic GD-754x videochip.

https://www.elhvb.com/mobokive/edwin/laptops/ … 0LTE%205000.pdf

The heart of the audio subsystem is the ESS1688 (ESS688 on Windows 3.1/Dos 6 units) AudioDrive ASIC that provides 16-bit stereo WAV audio, audio mixing, and FM music synthesis. The entire audio system connects directly to the ISA bus.

As i understood, there is no WaveTable Synth, but it has real OPL 3? I wonder if can stretch the image to fullscreen.

Is it ESS1688 or ESS688? If 1688 then the FM chip is built-in ESFM. ES688 does not have a built-in FM part, so it can be some OPL3 compatible clone, or a genuine Yamaha chip.

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Reply 687 of 707, by MAZter

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vorob wrote on 2022-01-12, 15:24:

I don’t understand FN + T will stretch to full screen or not?

No, Cirrus Logic does not support stretch in this model. And this chip way too slow, as I remember, have less than 1Mb video memory.

Samsung Sens 800 laptop have same video chip and 640x480 TFT screen, much much better.

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Reply 688 of 707, by vorob

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I don’t understand, in Toshiba Sattelite Pro 430CDT I’ve got ESS688 and when I select it as audio device sound effects are awful. But if I select sb 16 pro they sounds good. Why?

Reply 689 of 707, by vorob

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Guys, on my 430CDT I’m playing blood and notice stutter, hiccups when game reads smith from hdd. Like I initiate new sound and game reads it from hdd and game stutter for a moment. Expected behaviour or i need to setup smth?

Reply 691 of 707, by vorob

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leileilol wrote on 2022-01-14, 21:01:

Build engine games either love FAT16 or require SMARTDRV loaded otherwise. Build doesn't precache much.

I added this line. Can’t say I seen any improvements.

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Reply 692 of 707, by vorob

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Correction. It’s this:

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What’s the point of it? I should see immediate improvement or I have to play with lags and smartdrv will keep this data caches and I won’t see lags again?

Reply 693 of 707, by cyclone3d

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You could always replace the slow spinning drive with an SSD.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
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Reply 694 of 707, by dr_st

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vorob wrote on 2022-01-14, 21:54:

What’s the point of it? I should see immediate improvement or I have to play with lags and smartdrv will keep this data caches and I won’t see lags again?

SmartDrive does help mostly on successive accesses to the same place. I seem to recall I had a very simple check on my retro system - just opening Norton Commander. Without SmartDrive - every time you do it, it takes the same time. With SmartDrive - the second and subsequent time is noticeably faster. Caching is not a miracle, it may help in some flows more than in others. Also, if you have more RAM, the game may load more of the data into memory upon initialization, and need the hard drive less.

Since I always had enough upper memory to load SmartDrive, it was a no brainer. So all my DOS systems always ran with SmartDrive enabled; thus I don't have a good feeling about how much it actually helped me.

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Reply 695 of 707, by vorob

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cyclone3d wrote on 2022-01-15, 04:37:

You could always replace the slow spinning drive with an SSD.

I agree. But I’m trying preserving original state at least for now.

Anyway that’s strange cause duke is from 1996, laptop is from 1997 and hdd 2001.

Reply 696 of 707, by vorob

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Maybe I'm used to good performance and these jerks on old hardware are expected and normal? I took an example: for the first time I shoot from a rocket launcher, a stutter is visible.

https://youtu.be/ETNEU827yfY

Better see it in 0,5 speed cause it uploaded in speed up mode , for some strange reason. And yes it’s another laptop, much faster then 430, but same thing happens here.

Reply 698 of 707, by vorob

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2022-01-16, 09:48:

LCD frame skipping?

Definitely not, why do you think so? These stutters, they are not random they happen only on new occasions. Like you fire a new gun, and only first shot will course stutter, all other will be smooth.

Reply 699 of 707, by dr_st

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If it's audio-related, I imagine you won't be seeing those stutters if you disable sound.

Also, if it only happens when you fire the first rocket, this indeed points to disk access being the likely cause.

How much RAM does the system have? I think Build games can utilize up to 32MB. If there is more RAM, I imagine it would preload more sounds and won't have to read from the disk.

This is pure DOS mode, so I imagine the hard drive is not using DMA. If DMA is supported at all on this chipset, then perhaps a DOS hard drive with DMA support can help? Something like UIDE (I think it's the successor of the older XHDD).

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