VOGONS


Reply 480 of 528, by Brute389

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ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-09, 04:22:
Brute389 wrote on 2021-04-09, 02:38:
Sorry for the late reply, I do have compatiblity issues with a couple of games I tried. Duke3dAE will play music back fine; howe […]
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ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-05, 13:48:

Did you run into any compatibility issues with DOS and certain games?
Does essaudio.com tell you which mode you are using while in DOS?
Does the Fn key combos for controlling audio volume or screen brightness function within DOS?

Sorry for the late reply, I do have compatiblity issues with a couple of games I tried. Duke3dAE will play music back fine; however, it gives me an interrupt error when trying to sample fx. For doom, it fails to run, and gives me a large text full of errors. In Prince of Persia, I had no issues with the music or sound fx.
Also, I included a picture of what my essaudio reports back to me.
Lastly, my volume keys are tied to special dedicated keys at the top of the keyboard, and I have not been able to get them to work in DOS. Shame really as the sound is very quiet even with volume options in game settings.

The engineers at Gateway actually wired the PC-PCI up on the Solo 9550? Hmmm...either essaudio.com is seeing something else or PC-PCI is not working correctly.
You are kind of at the same place as my n600c - FM works (only) for some of my apps like TIE Fighter, Prince of Persia works okay, but mine reports the mode as TDMA (Transparent DMA mode) instead of PC-PCI.

Honestly, I don't think the pc-pci connection is there either. I kind of fooled around and grabbed the ess files from around here and maybe those files are incorrectly putting out that information.

Reply 481 of 528, by Brute389

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-04-05, 07:32:
Warlord wrote on 2021-04-05, 05:14:

I put those drivers in that 2805-s402 thread I made. Re: Toshiba 2805 Yamaha XG Configuration.

Ok, cool. I've downloaded that now and will take a look when I get a chance.

On the plus side, I have the DOS sound test working on everything including the Native 16-bit sound which I hadn't been able to get to work before on the VAIO laptops.

Hate to bother you, but I also tried warlord's driver pack on my C1, and it does not give any sound in windows 98 except for a constant knocking noise from the speakers. Do you have any ideas how to remedy that? I don't know but things might also be complicated by the fact that I have a transmeta processor.

Reply 482 of 528, by cyclone3d

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Brute389 wrote on 2021-04-09, 05:49:
cyclone3d wrote on 2021-04-05, 07:32:
Warlord wrote on 2021-04-05, 05:14:

I put those drivers in that 2805-s402 thread I made. Re: Toshiba 2805 Yamaha XG Configuration.

Ok, cool. I've downloaded that now and will take a look when I get a chance.

On the plus side, I have the DOS sound test working on everything including the Native 16-bit sound which I hadn't been able to get to work before on the VAIO laptops.

Hate to bother you, but I also tried warlord's driver pack on my C1, and it does not give any sound in windows 98 except for a constant knocking noise from the speakers. Do you have any ideas how to remedy that? I don't know but things might also be complicated by the fact that I have a transmeta processor.

Have you tried the 2006 driver set I put on vogonsdrivers.com ? That one should work with all VAIO laptops that have the YMF744.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 483 of 528, by ragefury32

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Warlord wrote on 2021-04-09, 05:15:
ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-09, 04:06:

Second of all, there's only 1 entry for Chips and Technology (65554) and one for Neomagic, which is a Neomagic 256AV. That's a gen2 Neomagic GPU. There are 3 families from the PCI based NM2097/NM2160c (Gen 1), the AGP NM2200/2300 series (Gen 2), and the 2380 (Gen 3 with a very rudimentary 3D accelerator that they were late to the market in and caused Neomagic's exit from the marketplace). Not all of them behave the same, and not all of them have the same DOS compatibility problems. Hell, I have the Mario Shareware in the 240 and I don't think the slow scroll is an issue in that game. Prehistorik 2 the game itself (not the warez greetz banner, which I skip over anyways) runs just fine, and Commander Keen, well, I don't play that much of it to let it bother me. It's just not my genre.

Ok you are entitled to your opinions. I get that not all chips are the same. Perhaps the very 1st one the 128 not the worst and they progressively got worst becasue the direction of the company was not 2d acceleration it was GUI acceleration under windows. Gona himself said "I have tested NeoMagic MagicMedia256AV with DOS games and it has a poor compatibility, actually NeoMagic MagicMedia256AV one of the worst." It doesn't matter how much windows 2d GUI acceleration something has on paper or in a vacuum chamber if it sucks at DOS gaming since this thread is about the perfect retro laptop to play games on. You mention they died becasue of intel giving integrated video away for free, but Id like to add Intels 740 and later the integrated Video was actually good? compared to magic graph so its more than just giving it away for free.

Okay I don't mind opinions as long as its informed, but yours are just completely off your rocks.
First of all, this thread was not about the perfect DOS gaming laptop. It was about the perfect retro laptop for Keenmaster486, and as he himself put it, it doesn't exist. Somehow it turned into this focus on playing games, or rather, this ridiculously narrow focus where the machine can be both DirectX6 (with palettized 3D textures) AND DOS audio. And somehow it took away the focus on things like build quality, availability of parts, a good DOS environment where the drivers don't require a crapload of conventional memory, ability to work with modern tech like USB-PD, or easy access to an SD slot, access to service manuals, and stuff like that. All of that are much more important than "OH MY GOD I CAN PLAY WOLFENSTEIN 3D AT 400 FPS ZOMG 133t" as opposed to "oh cool, I can play TIE fighter off my laptop on the commuter train home".

Second of all, the i740 wasn't integrated. The i815G and 830MG started off Intel's integrated graphics using the carcass of the i740, which failed so badly in the marketplace it bought down Real3D. Was it actually good? Sure, if you have nothing else to compare it to at the same vintage. Or if you actually had a laptop back in 2000/2001, you would look for a Radeon Mobility M6, a Geforce 2Go (which was only found in big desktop replacements) or a SavageMX/IX. Compared to those alternatives? The i815Gs and 830MGs were just merely "meh" by the time it actually hit the market, and guess what, laptops that has the i815G integrated chipset had AC97 audio. So it's not even relevant/applicable for DOS.

Somehow you have this idea that it's a fair comparison between a 2D only chip (the Neomagic 128) designed in 1995 and included in machines released in 1996, and the i740, which started out as a joint venture between Intel, Chip and technology, and Real3D, which began design work in '96, Intel bought C&T out in '97, was released in early '98 to collective indifference, and then recycled in 2000 to be found in i815 and 830 chipset based Tualatin laptops, which by that time Neomagic already left the laptop GPU market after releasing the 128XD in 1997, the 256AV/ZX in '98 and the 256XL+ in '99. The same "free crappy chipset graphics" also killed off the business cases for Trident and S3. S3 got bought by Via and turned into their chipset graphics shop. Trident turned into a set top/LCD controller maker and died in 2011. Frankly, both GPU makers made better GPUs than Intel at that time and didn't deserve to die (The Savage 3/4 were solid/decent performers, the Savage 2000 was a good DX7 chip as long as you ignore the hype around its broken T&L unit, and the Trident Blade3D were good solid performers without the terrible image artifacts of the 3DImage series), but yet, both of them are no longer active. That had nothing to do with how good or bad the GPUs were. People didn't buy laptops at that time based on how good or bad they were at DOS - I certainly stopped giving a shit about DOS once WinNT4/2k came about. Hell, when I bought my Dell Latitude CPiD 266XT used back in 2002, I didn't even know that it ran DOS well (Crystal CS4237B audio), and my ex-girlfriend's CPiA 366XT (Neomagic AC97) would be terrible at it - We ran Windows 2000 and Linux on them. Those were the OS that we ran back then. Going back and using them as retro machines was something that was shoehorned later - that's why those Sony Vaio PCG-SRs were missing so many drivers in Windows 98. It was never shipped and supported for '98 even when new. It was either WinME or 2K.

Do you actually know what Gona's DOS compatibility charts test for and how relevant it is for most games out there? Most of the stuff on his list tests for non-standard VGA modes (like Mode X) and scrolling hacks, which are used in a bunch of early VGA games. Pinball fantasies? Sure. Flight Unlimited? Okay. But checking whether the Hybrid greetz banner on prehistorik 2 (which is a demo) runs correctly or not and using it to shit on an otherwise fine GPU based on that chart? Guess what? Even on GPUs that seemingly work fine on those tests, they still manage to run into display issues. Like this Trident Cyber 9288 on 2 of the games not on the list.

Trident 9388 and DOS games

Gona also said that he only tested a single laptop (out of all the GPUs on his list), and he was curious to see how it performs versus something like the Cyrix MediaGX, which is from the same vintage with the same set of power/silicon requirements - and that one probably performed even worse on Gona's tests. The MediaGX is also found in a bunch of Compaq laptops.
Sure, Keen uses Adaptive tile refresh and both Jazz Jackrabbit and Quake uses various instances of mode X, but how many people need compatibility with those games? Some of he other ones (like Prehistorik or Jurassic park) came from developers who were using Amiga hardware tricks to run it on PC hardware - which might or might not work. That "compatibility" list have no bearing on bog standard VGA/SVGA games like Wolf 3D (works fine despite what you said), Simcity 2000, TIE Fighter, Wing Commander Privateer, 4D Stunt Driving, X-Com or any the other mid-90s, 486-to-Pentium games that ran just fine on the MagicGraph 128XD. There are legit reasons to avoid having a Neomagic 256 series chip, like the fact that some of the laptop vendors will use its AC97 codec and drop the inclusion of an actual sound chip (Dell did that all the way from the CPiA until the CPxJ), but not all the vendors went into that direction. IBM didn't (Crystal Soundfusion) and neither did Panasonic or Sony with their Neomagic based designs (YMF744s on both).

So once again, what's this nonsense about Neomagic being terrible? It's an okay-to-mediocre chip, but then if you want something that was made in the 2 year period starting from early '97 to late '98 (Pentium MMX to early PIII Mobile) in a laptop, the majority will have a Neomagic - the other choice for machines at that time will likely be an ATi with its own set of issues - few machines of that vintage will be S3 (Aurora or Virge MX, which wasn't bad for DOS) or Trident based (3Dimage series are terrible in Direct3D. The Providias (rare-ish and found on Socket5/7 laptops) and the Blade3Ds are good (but often choked with not having enough VRAM or video bandwidth)). Unless you are just digging at rare edge cases, Neomagics are just fine for most 2D games, even in DOS.

Last edited by ragefury32 on 2021-04-09, 19:09. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 484 of 528, by keenmaster486

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Neomagic is okay for most things because it's just a generic 2D VGA chip.

If you want to play 3D games or those few DOS games that have compatibility issues with it, you should look for something else.

It's not very complicated. For most people it doesn't matter that much.

For me, I do some playing of games, but mostly productivity work. But of the games I do play, Commander Keen is the big one, and that happens to be the one the Neomagic chips choke on the most. So if I want to use a laptop for games, that knocks Neomagic down several pegs.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 485 of 528, by ragefury32

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2021-04-09, 18:23:
Neomagic is okay for most things because it's just a generic 2D VGA chip. […]
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Neomagic is okay for most things because it's just a generic 2D VGA chip.

If you want to play 3D games or those few DOS games that have compatibility issues with it, you should look for something else.

It's not very complicated. For most people it doesn't matter that much.

For me, I do some playing of games, but mostly productivity work. But of the games I do play, Commander Keen is the big one, and that happens to be the one the Neomagic chips choke on the most. So if I want to use a laptop for games, that knocks Neomagic down several pegs.

I do expect a dude named "Keenmaster486" to play his share of Keen, so yeah, that's to be expected. The Thinkpad 240 is a good little laptop if you don't play keen on it, but for me, it does well in MSFS5/Airpower/TIE Fighter/Wing Commander Privateer so I use it to get my weekend Von Richtofen on. I would actually be interested to find out how the Silicon Motion 721/LynxEM on the later 240X handles Gona's gauntlet - it's a rare 2D only GPU that's not on his list - last time I tried to buy one via Yahoo Auctions Japan I got outbid at the last second.
BTW, you mentioned that you had a Thinkpad 570E or an early X20 series as well, right? How does it sound in DOS?

Reply 486 of 528, by keenmaster486

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ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-09, 18:41:

BTW, you mentioned that you had a Thinkpad 570E or an early X20 series as well, right? How does it sound in DOS?

The one I have is a 560X, and it has a Crystal CS4237, which sounds fine for most things in DOS. I think if you try to do some complex OPL3 music it will choke.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 487 of 528, by Warlord

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ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-09, 18:41:

First of all, this thread was not about the perfect DOS gaming laptop. Somehow it turned into this focus on playing games

Ok bro The title of the thread may read perfect retro laptop, but several of the "contingencies" on page one by the author are as follows
1. Perfect or near-perfect DOS video/sound compatibility
2. DOS compatibility sufficient for late DOS era games that require lots of speed

Perhaps I am paraphrasing here, but this isn't something that I invented to support some lame argument a neomagic does not have even near-perfect compatibility. So even If I agree with keen that there is no "perfect" solution, near perfect definitely exists and neomagic isn't it.

I've already responded to to the bulk of the rest of your post.

Reply 488 of 528, by ragefury32

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Warlord wrote on 2021-04-09, 19:49:
Ok bro The title of the thread may read perfect retro laptop, but several of the "contingencies" on page one by the author are a […]
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ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-09, 18:41:

First of all, this thread was not about the perfect DOS gaming laptop. Somehow it turned into this focus on playing games

Ok bro The title of the thread may read perfect retro laptop, but several of the "contingencies" on page one by the author are as follows
1. Perfect or near-perfect DOS video/sound compatibility
2. DOS compatibility sufficient for late DOS era games that require lots of speed

Perhaps I am paraphrasing here, but this isn't something that I invented to support some lame argument a neomagic does not have even near-perfect compatibility. So even If I agree with keen that there is no "perfect" solution, near perfect definitely exists and neomagic isn't it.

I've already responded to to the bulk of the rest of your post.

No “bro”, your arguments are inane, and utterly ignorant. And your idea of “near perfect” is dependent on a pedantic standard and has no bearings on actual games that people play.

Reply 489 of 528, by Brute389

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cyclone3d wrote on 2021-04-09, 07:35:
Brute389 wrote on 2021-04-09, 05:49:
cyclone3d wrote on 2021-04-05, 07:32:

Ok, cool. I've downloaded that now and will take a look when I get a chance.

On the plus side, I have the DOS sound test working on everything including the Native 16-bit sound which I hadn't been able to get to work before on the VAIO laptops.

Hate to bother you, but I also tried warlord's driver pack on my C1, and it does not give any sound in windows 98 except for a constant knocking noise from the speakers. Do you have any ideas how to remedy that? I don't know but things might also be complicated by the fact that I have a transmeta processor.

Have you tried the 2006 driver set I put on vogonsdrivers.com ? That one should work with all VAIO laptops that have the YMF744.

So I installed the 2006 driver set, and it does successfully install and initialize the ds mixer as well as windows sound mixer in the toolbar, which the other driver did not. Additionally, it also does not produce a constant knocking sound from the speakers. However, I still cannot get sound in windows 98. I wonder if having a ymf754 would complicate things?

Reply 490 of 528, by cyclone3d

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Yeah, the 754 is the issue. I am working on getting a 2019 VXD set working.

The WDM drivers should work.. It is just the VXD that I am having issues with.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 491 of 528, by vorob

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Guys, regarding my idea of the old fat laptop, what do you think about Toshiba Tecra 520CDT? Found one 85 USD in perfect condition. Several questions:
https://support.dynabook.com/support/staticCo … omTOCLink=false
DOS applications sound, only sb16 or general midi is possible?
Videocard, good soft stretching or bad oversharpened as I had on Savage (Re: Toshiba 2805-s402 Ultimate retro gaming laptop)?

Reply 492 of 528, by keenmaster486

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vorob wrote on 2021-04-14, 22:38:
Guys, regarding my idea of the old fat laptop, what do you think about Toshiba Tecra 520CDT? Found one 85 USD in perfect conditi […]
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Guys, regarding my idea of the old fat laptop, what do you think about Toshiba Tecra 520CDT? Found one 85 USD in perfect condition. Several questions:
https://support.dynabook.com/support/staticCo … omTOCLink=false
DOS applications sound, only sb16 or general midi is possible?
Videocard, good soft stretching or bad oversharpened as I had on Savage (Re: Toshiba 2805-s402 Ultimate retro gaming laptop)?

Those specs are perfect for DOS and Windows 95. I had a similar Toshiba laptop for a while. The OPL3-SA3 works great as an SB Pro II clone. The video expansion is sharpened.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 493 of 528, by vorob

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The video expansion is sharpened

I guess this means bad stretching like on Savage?

btw, I remember here on vogons a long thread where different scaling was compared from different videocards. I can't find it despite different attempts to search here. A lot of pictures of the same scene from different laptops. Easy to understand which card did a good soft scaling and which one sharpened the image like hell.

Found! Huge Laptops/TFT Monitors scaling comparison thread

Reply 494 of 528, by keenmaster486

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Impact Computers had two large capacity Thinkpad 240 batteries "in stock". I ordered them. I half expect them to refund me weeks later with an email stating they never had them in stock to begin with, but you never know. Something fishy was that they had them marked down to $9.99. Either they are clearing out inventory or their ridiculous website is broken.

When I logged into my account at checkout it added a random item with a quantity of 2,147,483,647 (largest signed integer value), which would have cost me $158 million if I had proceeded... LOL. I deleted it and checked out at $30. We will see what happens.

My success with them in the past has been 50/50. Sometimes they have an item and ship it to me, sometimes not.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 495 of 528, by ragefury32

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2021-04-27, 16:28:

Impact Computers had two large capacity Thinkpad 240 batteries "in stock". I ordered them. I half expect them to refund me weeks later with an email stating they never had them in stock to begin with, but you never know. Something fishy was that they had them marked down to $9.99. Either they are clearing out inventory or their ridiculous website is broken.

When I logged into my account at checkout it added a random item with a quantity of 2,147,483,647 (largest signed integer value), which would have cost me $158 million if I had proceeded... LOL. I deleted it and checked out at $30. We will see what happens.

My success with them in the past has been 50/50. Sometimes they have an item and ship it to me, sometimes not.

Well, I had some checkered history with them - I was able to get some parts for my T21, but on the 560E they advertised a topcase for the chassis, bumped the price once they saw a little demand, and then cancelled the original order saying that they don't have inventory. The other concern here is that they could be 20 year old NOS batteries sitting on the shelf - those 20 year old batteries can be dead on arrival. I used to ship my X31 and 240 batteries to some guy in Iowa for a rebuild, but I lost touch with him...doubt he's still in the cell rebuilding business.

Good luck, man. You could also consider buying a USB-PD battery like the Ravpower PD Pioneer, a USB-PD to 5.5/2.5v 19/20v barrel adapter, and run it off that. The 240's power consumption is low enough that the 2.5-3v extra shouldn't cause too much issues to the machine's DC power converters (just don't do it too often). I would not do it on something more demanding like a Thinkpad T or A series machine though.

Reply 496 of 528, by keenmaster486

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ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-27, 23:24:

Well, I had some checkered history with them - I was able to get some parts for my T21, but on the 560E they advertised a topcase for the chassis, bumped the price once they saw a little demand, and then cancelled the original order saying that they don't have inventory. The other concern here is that they could be 20 year old NOS batteries sitting on the shelf - those 20 year old batteries can be dead on arrival. I used to ship my X31 and 240 batteries to some guy in Iowa for a rebuild, but I lost touch with him...doubt he's still in the cell rebuilding business.

I'll be darned. They shipped it.

I requested USPS two-day priority and they used FedEx Ground instead. Whatever, as long as it arrives. Yeah, it might be NOS, but I guess we will find out.

ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-27, 23:24:

Good luck, man. You could also consider buying a USB-PD battery like the Ravpower PD Pioneer, a USB-PD to 5.5/2.5v 19/20v barrel adapter, and run it off that. The 240's power consumption is low enough that the 2.5-3v extra shouldn't cause too much issues to the machine's DC power converters (just don't do it too often). I would not do it on something more demanding like a Thinkpad T or A series machine though.

I have thought about that myself, actually. Not sure if it would work or not. I could even rig up a DC/DC converter myself if I wanted to

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 497 of 528, by keenmaster486

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I bought the correct 64 MB EDO RAM stick for my Thinkpad 365X. It counts all the way up to 72 MB now, the unofficial max. Windows 95 likes it a lot.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 498 of 528, by ragefury32

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keenmaster486 wrote on 2021-04-28, 00:29:
I'll be darned. They shipped it. I requested USPS two-day priority and they used FedEx Ground instead. Whatever, as long as it a […]
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I'll be darned. They shipped it.
I requested USPS two-day priority and they used FedEx Ground instead. Whatever, as long as it arrives. Yeah, it might be NOS, but I guess we will find out.

ragefury32 wrote on 2021-04-27, 23:24:

Good luck, man. You could also consider buying a USB-PD battery like the Ravpower PD Pioneer, a USB-PD to 5.5/2.5v 19/20v barrel adapter, and run it off that. The 240's power consumption is low enough that the 2.5-3v extra shouldn't cause too much issues to the machine's DC power converters (just don't do it too often). I would not do it on something more demanding like a Thinkpad T or A series machine though.

I have thought about that myself, actually. Not sure if it would work or not. I could even rig up a DC/DC converter myself if I wanted to

Heh. Let's hope that it's not a toxic paperweight like the 560E cell that I got.
As for the 240 USB-PD conversion, it should work - I have mine running off on-and-off PD for the past 3 months with no ill side effects...so far. Of course, YMMV.

Reply 499 of 528, by creepingnet

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I'm always weary of those strange older looking online sites with supplies of older hardware. Right now I'm tempted to get a battery from Power-supplier.biz for the older Versas, and maybe an extra for the M & P from them. Looks like that's where my working battery came from based on the pictures (gold contacts, slightly off color, silver label). If it works I'll have a darn good battery. The one on my M/75 right now runs for a very long time, even off a partial charge.

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