VOGONS


First post, by mrfusion92

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Hi everyone, first post here. My name is Luca and I'm from italy.

I have found a IBM PC (specs in the signature) at work. And I'm trying to restore it.

What I've done so far:

  • Original hard drive died. Replaced with a 160 gb spare one. CF-IDE adapter is on its way from China.
  • Swapped the floppy drive with a Gotek. It worked fine but i just wanted something more easy to work with.
  • Bought and installed 2 more ram modules matching the one installed. Total 12 MB now.
  • Added a CD-ROM drive.
  • Installed MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11 for Workgroups

Everything works fine but now I want sound and networking.

In Italy sadly there isn't much love for retrocomputing so I can't find really much stuff on sale. Also here we don't have something like craiglist, ebay is the most common.

I found this sound card. Is it good? I don't care much about audio fidelity, I just need something that "works" (I really don't like the pc speaker 🤣).
So the question is with this drivers should I be good to go?

About networking. I found two possible cards: 1 and 2. Are they good? For neither of them I found the drivers. Can any of you help with with that?

Way more down the road I'm planning on buy a 3d video card (or perhaps a voodoo 3d acceleration card with vga passhtrough?). But for now I'm seeking for the basic cards!

Reply 1 of 5, by jakethompson1

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mrfusion92 wrote on 2021-10-31, 19:22:

I found this sound card. Is it good? I don't care much about audio fidelity, I just need something that "works" (I really don't like the pc speaker 🤣).
So the question is with this drivers should I be good to go?

I personally like sound cards that use an ESS chip. I find the drivers much less annoying than Creative's and they are Sound Blaster-compatible. For the ESS cards that use jumpers, you may not even need any DOS utilities and can just SET BLASTER= to the correct settings. There is a UNISOUND program written by a Vogons poster that can replace the DOS drivers for many of these cards (including Creative) with something leaner and easier to set up.

mrfusion92 wrote on 2021-10-31, 19:22:

About networking. I found two possible cards: 1 and 2. Are they good? For neither of them I found the drivers. Can any of you help with with that?

The AT&T/HP card looks like it is 100VG (100Mbit voice-grade). That is a different standard than 100BaseTX that didn't catch on. You better make sure it is backward compatible with 10BaseT.
The other card is an NE2000-compatible, and should work with said driver. But you may have to dig through archives of the NDC website to find a configuration utility to program the correct base address and IRQ into it. I usually use 300h and IRQ 10.
Personally I would prefer a 3Com 3c509 "EtherLink III" for an ISA system if you can find one, for the best performance.

mrfusion92 wrote on 2021-10-31, 19:22:

Way more down the road I'm planning on buy a 3d video card (or perhaps a voodoo 3d acceleration card with vga passhtrough?). But for now I'm seeking for the basic cards!

Maybe you meant that for a different (future) machine, but early Voodoo cards are a bit later than this machine; they need PCI slots and would usually be paired with something like a Pentium MMX, K6 or Pentium II/III.

Reply 2 of 5, by mrfusion92

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Thank you so much for your reply. I will try find a sound card with ess chip and 3com for net.

jakethompson1 wrote on 2021-10-31, 20:33:

Maybe you meant that for a different (future) machine, but early Voodoo cards are a bit later than this machine; they need PCI slots and would usually be paired with something like a Pentium MMX, K6 or Pentium II/III.

well i do plan to buy a pc with Pentium or a K6 that i didn't ever owned. But I thought voodoo was isa too, damn I was completely wrong!

Reply 3 of 5, by Matth79

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The CT4170 card has CQM FM synthesis, and if you want true to original FM synthesis then that is OPL3 - Yamaha YMF262 /YMF289 and Creative CT1747
Creative CQM is the CT1978 chip, or integrated into another chip, and is not particularly faithful to the original OPL3

ESS use ESFM, which is closer to the original OPL3 than CQM is.
Depends if you're fussy about authentic OPL3 FM sounds

Reply 4 of 5, by dionb

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jakethompson1 wrote on 2021-10-31, 20:33:

[...]
The AT&T/HP card looks like it is 100VG (100Mbit voice-grade). That is a different standard than 100BaseTX that didn't catch on. You better make sure it is backward compatible with 10BaseT.

It is. That is what the second port is for - one for 100VG, the other for 10Base-T.

Unfortunately, hardware compatibility is just the first hurdle - you also need working drivers. You have two relatively choices for a DOS/WfW3.11 system, either DOS packet driver networking (with mTCP) or Windows networking using Microsoft Network Client 3.0. I personally prefer packet drivers with FTP, but either way you need drivers and the HP J2573A seems to be a problem there.

The other card is an NE2000-compatible, and should work with said driver. But you may have to dig through archives of the NDC website to find a configuration utility to program the correct base address and IRQ into it. I usually use 300h and IRQ 10.
Personally I would prefer a 3Com 3c509 "EtherLink III" for an ISA system if you can find one, for the best performance.

Tbh, performance is pretty irrelevant with an old system like this. What is relevant, is good, bug-free driver support, and 3Com's drivers certainly give you that. I have also gotten a card with UMC9003 working, it's not rocket science, but it's a bit more challenging, so probably not what you want to try the very first time, and it certainly is quite a bit slower.