starbond6 wrote on 2022-05-02, 15:18:
I have an old Dell XPS P100 machine that ideally is for use with Windows 95, and thus has no USB ports. Usually when I set up a new PC (like win 98+) I put all the games/isos/drivers on a usb drive and copy them to the computer.
With this machine, is my only option just burning CDs with the data on them and copying them to the HD?
background info on the pc in question: http://www.computer-specifications.com/specif … 100C-Specs.html
No. There is tons of options available. Using a network seems to be the most popular way on this forum to transfer files to retro rigs, and rightfully so.
Obviously you'd need to have at least 2 PCs running at the same time and at least some networking knowledge which shouldn't be too hard.
Then there's also sneakernet and its various iterations 😋
It's usually slower and you'd probably need more specific parts up front, but the advantages are that you can use it similarly to how you use your USB drives, except using different types of media. Advantage would be that methodically speaking it's something you're probably already used to doing.
CF cards are one for example that could be used in such a way, but there's also things like using ZIP drives if you fancy something like that.
CDRW is another option, though I prefer transferring my harddrive over this method as personally I find burning CDRs somewhat tedious.
Personally I like the method of using storage media as I don't typically network my rigs (except when it's for online gaming sessions for which we require vastly more recent rigs) as I can copy all of my standard stuff once, then use this storage media over and over again. At some point I noticed I was eventually using the same programs and tools anyway, so standardizing this was just easier for me.
And there's the good ol' standard floppy disk which for my personal tastes is ehh...a real retro experience but not the most optimal way to transfer data these days 🤣
Personally I tend to slave a drive to another rig and just copy all required files then and there, in a single go (unless I forgot something...which I usually do xD).
I'd say use whatever method you find the most fun to use and best fits your personal requirements 🙂
In short, my favorite ways for these older rigs are USB ZIP, USB stick or slave a HDD + copy data over.
I'll use floppy disks if I need to put something really simple quick onto a rig that doesn't have USB, but virtually all my rigs have USB (not using my 486 anymore since I couldn't be bothered to fix the weird mouse issues it has).