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Retro confessions. What are yours?

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Reply 20 of 671, by aleksej

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Any kind of heatsinks on IC components is a duct tape design for me. However it's ok for heavily heated power supply elements. I can sacrifice as much whole performance as it needed for normal operation of naked ICs even in chassis with no ventilation at all.

Reply 21 of 671, by lafoxxx

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aleksej wrote on 2020-11-07, 13:28:

Any kind of heatsinks on IC components is a duct tape design for me. However it's ok for heavily heated power supply elements. I can sacrifice as much whole performance as it needed for normal operation of naked ICs even in chassis with no ventilation at all.

Wonder if there ever was a design which is not "duct tape" even by smallest degree.

And not necessarily a Design stage can be "duct tape" -- take replacement component choice (on later production stages) for example -- just look at how many capacitors are actually present on some motherboards, then compare it to a product photo from the box.

Reply 22 of 671, by 386SX

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Nice thread. 😀

Welll.. even if I'm into x86 computers since early 90's I think I've probably finished just few games, most MS-DOS finished games were the shareware versions and the few full ones I remember were Another World, Test Drive III, Half Life, Half Life II, Far Cry and maybe few others, and since then 'Thief II The Metal Age' only recently on a netbook config. I don't even know where I found the patience to finish it but I suppose cause it was really a great game as I'd expect from any games but it wasn't easy and far from playable on that system. 😁
Obviously I played and started many other PC games in the 90's and 2000's but I hardly found the right epic "feeling" that give you the patience to continue as a personal quest more than just loosing time. Similar thing with the game console games.

Or I can say I always regretted having bought a Voodoo3 2000 AGP card for a K6-2 system once released when many cheaper cards or alternative ones could have been more then enough for the resolution I was using (mostly 640x480 or 800x600) and never really considered 3dfx to have that epic solutions beside the first Voodoo card that should be considered in the moment it was released but all the greatness around the brand or the cards felt always overrated.

Last edited by 386SX on 2020-11-07, 20:28. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 24 of 671, by lafoxxx

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I destroyed and tossed previous TUSL2-C (not current -- the other one) after failed recap attempt which resulted in damaged (scratched) conductive tracks. Only jumpers, BIOS battery, green NB heatsink and replacement capacitors I bought are left to remind me of this unforgivable act of vandalism, and that I suck at soldering.

I also tossed some old PC-related stuff like 10 years ago -- thought I'll never use it again. There were the following sought-after products:
ASUS GeForce 256 DDR (with manual and driver disk)
Creative SB16 AWE32
OEM (Compaq) Windows 95 installation disk "for distribution only with new PC" with Certificate of Authencity and product key
A nice, stylish early 2000s case with some EPOX motherboard board (with some 478 socket CPU).

Reply 25 of 671, by Robin4

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Trying to start with my retro hardware (repairs), but i cant. Because the hardware has locked me down.

Life is hard, if you cant find the hardware, that you want to try to find.

~ At least it can do black and white~

Reply 26 of 671, by jheronimus

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I hate PC speaker music/sound effects. Because of that I never cared to build an XT or a 286 class machine or play most CGA/EGA games — even though I have parts for that. Got my hands on a Tandy 1000SX recently (don't know how it originally got into my country), and with that I finally started to discover 80s PC gaming for the first time. Tandy music is a far cry from C64/NES, but it has its moments (I like Zak MkKraken theme, for instance).

Also, I don't like arcade-style games (platformers) which is why I pretty much stick to PCs in retro gaming. I never had consoles as a child, so I simply don't have the habits necessary for games like Super Mario and other reflex-based games.

I have a shit load of weird quirks when picking hardware for my builds. Took me a while to become less anal about "period correctness" — I finally realised that matching parts by their release dates has nothing to do with actual history.

I really dislike "big brand" computers. I simply don't like matching, say, an HP chassis with an Acer screen, an IBM keyboard and a Compaq mouse. Everything has to be 3rd party — say, an Enlight case with a CTX monitor, a Cherry keyboard and a Microsoft mouse.

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Reply 27 of 671, by jheronimus

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-11-06, 17:11:

I don't particularly care about stuff older than Socket 7. Main reason: no PS2 ports. This means no optical mouse, and that's a dealbreaker for me. Hated mechanical ball mice back then, still hate them now.

Also, I don't see myself ever building a 386 or 486 rig since newer CPUs can be slowed down to those speeds using SetMul and Throttle. Perhaps things would be different if I had one back in the day, but I started with a Pentium 133, and have no nostalgia for anything made before that.

I'm going to assume that you don't like proprietary computers as well (they tend to have PS/2 connectors since the days of 286-386) and it's about standard AT-based computers for you. There are newly made PS/2 mice adapters in a form of an ISA card. Mine is made by Rio444 (here's a thread) and it's awesome. You can use an optical mouse with an XT if you want.

That's just my two cents, though. If games > hardware for you, then there are many more reasons to dislike AT motherboards. ATX is much more comfortable to work on (although bulkier) and allows for modern PSUs and cases without any issues. And yeah, I agree that the need for a 386 or 486 build is more emotional than practical 😀

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Reply 28 of 671, by jheronimus

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leileilol wrote on 2020-11-07, 01:15:

I'm still miffed how "DOS Games" are defined by mostly Apogee/Epic crap with a heavy FPS bias. It's a very ASP-revised history. Keen this, Duke that, "wow the gears war guy made rabbit sonic"...and of course "DOOM 95!!!! oooh dat nostalgia *Microsoft Synthesizer rendition of D_E1M1 plays*". and when it's not the texas/maryland shareware, it's Alley Cat. 😐

Just curious. What does ASP mean here?

I would imagine that out of all genres that really shine on DOS first person shooters and arcades are also the most accessible to people who are playing them for the first time. Another option would be adventure games, but many of them were famous for moon logic and unnecessary difficulty added so that the player felt like he got more hours out of his purchase and the developer could make extra money from pay phone lines with "hints" and selling printed walkthroughs.

DOS was obviously famous for strategy, role playing and simulation games, but a lot of those can't really be enjoyed without reading a manual and some FAQs/hint guides.

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Reply 30 of 671, by schmatzler

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I believe the Geforce 4 Ti series isn't the best for Windows 98, despite everyone and their dog recommending those. I don't care about Nvidia for my retro builds <XP, it's not worth it.

Even a top of the line 4800 runs much hotter than a Radeon 9600XT and performs worse. ATI is the best for 98 retrogaming 🥰

Also, Abit made the best boards and VIA chipsets for the P3 are great.
Now fight me on that. 😄

Reply 31 of 671, by luckybob

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I loathe people like Artex. (sorry dude) I'm sure he's a wonderful individual, but people like him (people with money) have taken all the fun out of retro computing. Because it's now an "investment" and it's "worth a lot".

Gone are the days of getting something from ePay or Craigslist for the cost of a 6-pack.

I don't want prices of voodoo hardware to be $100 for a single V2. I want things cheap so everyone can have a good time and enjoy themselves. I'm also sure this happens with EVERY hobby, but for fucks sake, it doesn't mean i have to like it.

Also, fuck people that take old keyboards and chop them up for any reason besides restoration.

* drops mic *

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

Reply 32 of 671, by VileR

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luckybob wrote on 2020-11-08, 01:14:

Also, fuck people that take old keyboards and chop them up for any reason besides restoration.

Yes, but that should go under "self-evident truths", not confessions.

As for prices for vintage hardware, shipping costs are *far* more prohibitive for me than whatever people are asking in general. Finding things locally isn't easy and international shipping costs are a ridiculous farce compared to 10-15 years ago.

Now, here's a confession: I suck at electronics and probably couldn't diagnose/repair my way out of a wet paper bag.

[ WEB ] - [ BLOG ] - [ TUBE ] - [ CODE ]

Reply 33 of 671, by badmojo

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I built a PC specifically to play Ultima 7, but I've never come close to finishing Ultima 7. I also like PC speaker and have been known to set the FX in DOOM to PC speaker because that's how I played it for the first year I had it. I've also built some epic awesome super great vintage PCs that just sit in storage because I can't think of a reason to use them but also can't bring myself to get rid of them.

Oh and I like people like Artex, because he seems like a wonderful individual and that's the most important thing IMO.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 34 of 671, by Joseph_Joestar

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jheronimus wrote on 2020-11-08, 00:11:

I'm going to assume that you don't like proprietary computers as well (they tend to have PS/2 connectors since the days of 286-386) and it's about standard AT-based computers for you.

By proprietary do you mean things like IBM PS/2? I don't mind those, unless they also have proprietary parts which cannot be easily replaced (e.g. special PSUs not compatible with AT/ATX). But if they fall into the 386/486 category, I just don't see the appeal personally, due to the slowdown utilities mentioned above and lack of emotional connection to stuff made before I got into PC gaming.

There are newly made PS/2 mice adapters in a form of an ISA card. Mine is made by Rio444 (here's a thread) and it's awesome. You can use an optical mouse with an XT if you want.

Nice! I wasn't aware something like that existed.

If games > hardware for you, then there are many more reasons to dislike AT motherboards.

Yup, for the most part I use retro rigs to play the games that I liked as a kid. In terms of hardware, my goal was mainly to get the stuff that I wish I had back then (e.g. Voodoo, AWE32, Aureal Vortex2).

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 35 of 671, by M20003293

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I did mining one day, but had no use afterward for the Asus B250 Mining board... So I put it in a smallish new whitish desktop case from Ebay and run Linux on it. The machine looks old fashioned, and runs great with AUE, PCem, KVM, DosBOX, Mame and Qemu and it now my ultimate retro emulator..

The confession ? I got rid of all of my C64, 128, Amiga's, P1, P2, P3 and P4 and Macintosh (Classic, FDHD etc) machines since they became instantly obsoleted by this single one. It saves up so much space and time for keeping the old stuff running (and saves a lot of money - there was always a better accelerator card for my Amiga, a coprocessor, maxing out memory etc, and cost a lot of time for recapping and so on..)

(I just hang on to just one machine, a 286 from France - so peculiar and never seen it on Ebay ever - this machine:
http://www.le-grenier-informatique.fr/pages/l … pil-g5-286.html )

Reply 36 of 671, by lafoxxx

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schmatzler wrote on 2020-11-08, 01:01:

Geforce 4 Ti series isn't the best for Windows 98

The defining factor for some people (like me) is presense of DVI outputs. It's very hard to find GeForce 256/2/3 with these -- only D-Sub is available even on hi-end models.

schmatzler wrote on 2020-11-08, 01:01:

Even a top of the line 4800 runs much hotter than a Radeon 9600XT and performs worse. ATI is the best for 98 retrogaming 🥰

Well you also need a matching CPU for a balanced system. Ti4200 I have is similar to GeForce3 according to some benchmarks, but GeForce2/3 Ti cards are very rare and expensive. Ti4800 is very powerful even for some Pentium 4 processors, let alone Pentium 3. Not really into ATI cards -- but probably should have tried them too (I do regularly check if people in my area offer them, but ones I like (ASUS) are usually expensive)

schmatzler wrote on 2020-11-08, 01:01:

Also, Abit made the best boards and VIA chipsets for the P3 are great.
Now fight me on that. 😄

Abit is a solid, quality brand, but can be harder to find. Also I'm an ASUS fanboy -- just check my PC out: 2001-2002 ASUS Tualatin build -- ABIT would seem slightly out of place, to say the least
As for VIA vs Intel -- for me it's "unexpected problems but 1.5 gigs of RAM!!!111 ISA!!!!111" vs "stable system without glitches and enough RAM for 99% tasks".
Haven't used other VIA chipsets beside Apollo Pro 133T -- so I might be wrong. If your experience with VIA for P3 is good -- that's fine.

Last edited by lafoxxx on 2020-11-08, 17:07. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 37 of 671, by kolderman

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ATI is a non starter for retro gaming due to lack of compatibility with earlier directx games. Radeons also die hard, worse than almost any other part except HDDs.

And DVI on gf2/gf3 should not be that hard to get if you look for quadro variants.

Reply 38 of 671, by SSTV2

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I had not made a single penny from selling modern or old PC hardware, everything either was traded for something else, given away or kept for parts.

Completed the first Diablo for over 200 times, at one point I could recite every text or speech from the dungeon by heart. Diablo II is a piece of repetitive/neverendless/monotonic crap compared to the first part, only the last hell levels felt right, completed that game once and had enough of it, never again.

Never finished either of Warcraft games, but played World of Warcraft longer than I shoul've.

I find DOOM II superior to the first part, also both DOOM and DOOM II are way more fun for me than all of the Quake series + Build engine games combined.

All of my sound cards used in retro builds are cheap entry level, mostly based on YMF-7xx, ESS18xx or SB16 Vibra with no wavetables. The most "badass" isa sound card in my possesion is AWE64 Gold, which in my opinion sounds awful, compared to the Roland GS General MIDI emulation.

I did not have a complete retro gaming setup for over 10 years (PC+monitor+KB+mouse etc.), sometimes I just pull one of the old PCs from my closet and hook it up to test/install/upgrade/fix/play something.