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Retro confessions. What are yours?

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Reply 221 of 671, by Standard Def Steve

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I never liked proprietary audio APIs like EAX. Didn't think they sounded *that* much better than regular old software audio. I only bought sound cards back then because onboard audio was so noisy.

HDA is a godsend. There's no need to worry about game compatibility. No drivers to install. It just works. Plus, around the time MS killed hardware "accelerated" audio, motherboard vendors started paying more attention to their onboard audio implementations and really cleaning up the output.

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Reply 222 of 671, by dr_st

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Standard Def Steve wrote on 2020-12-13, 20:50:

I never liked proprietary audio APIs like EAX. Didn't think they sounded *that* much better than regular old software audio. I only bought sound cards back then because onboard audio was so noisy.

HDA is a godsend. There's no need to worry about game compatibility. No drivers to install. It just works. Plus, around the time MS killed hardware "accelerated" audio, motherboard vendors started paying more attention to their onboard audio implementations and really cleaning up the output.

I agree, and this matches my experience in many ways. The P4P800-E onboard audio on my P4 was noisy and suffered from hissing/crackling due to bus interference. The Audigy 2 ZS sounded so much better in that system. 5 years later, the onboard audio of the P5Q PRO sounded on par with the X-Fi XtremeGamer and even offered more feature-rich drivers for Vista (unless you installed the unofficial ones from DanielK or something).

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Reply 223 of 671, by Shreddoc

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~10 years ago, I put directly into landfill :

2 x 17" Phillips CRT monitors
2 x 14-15" random CRT monitors
2 x Pentium II systems
A perfect 486 system

Didn't know/appreciate what I had, was in a hard situation personally, and had no way of doing anything else at the time. But still......

*****IDIOT*****

Will never forget.

For bonus points : I had to pay a hefty fee to do that disposal. "Smartest species on the planet", they said. Haha.

Last edited by Shreddoc on 2020-12-13, 23:37. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 224 of 671, by ShovelKnight

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Peter Swinkels wrote on 2020-12-13, 12:16:

And people complaining about modern software should be forced to do their work on a Windows 9x machine. (BWAHAHA.)

I do some of my actual paid work on a Windows 98 machine (but mostly in DOS mode) 😉

Reply 225 of 671, by Bruninho

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ShovelKnight wrote on 2020-12-13, 23:34:
Peter Swinkels wrote on 2020-12-13, 12:16:

And people complaining about modern software should be forced to do their work on a Windows 9x machine. (BWAHAHA.)

I do some of my actual paid work on a Windows 98 machine (but mostly in DOS mode) 😉

I could do mine there too.

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JOBS, Steve.
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Reply 227 of 671, by appiah4

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xcomcmdr wrote on 2020-12-14, 09:25:

I can't stand Conker's Bad Fur Day. The camera is awful, the N64 controller (as usual) makes it unplayable, and the game is not that funny.

The XBOX remake is substantially better.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 228 of 671, by BetaC

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xcomcmdr wrote on 2020-12-14, 09:25:

I can't stand Conker's Bad Fur Day. The camera is awful, the N64 controller (as usual) makes it unplayable, and the game is not that funny.

If you have access to an xbox one or later console, the rare replay version feels a lot nicer to play. Of course, it doesn't fix the other problems you have with it.

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Reply 229 of 671, by adalbert

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I don't play games having PC-speaker sounds only (like Commander Keen 1). Lack of proper sound and music ruins the experience for me.

Repair videos: https://youtu.be/T6mXM1tA7pA

Reply 230 of 671, by darry

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Shreddoc wrote on 2020-12-13, 23:27:
~10 years ago, I put directly into landfill : […]
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~10 years ago, I put directly into landfill :

2 x 17" Phillips CRT monitors
2 x 14-15" random CRT monitors
2 x Pentium II systems
A perfect 486 system

Didn't know/appreciate what I had, was in a hard situation personally, and had no way of doing anything else at the time. But still......

*****IDIOT*****

Will never forget.

For bonus points : I had to pay a hefty fee to do that disposal. "Smartest species on the planet", they said. Haha.

I feel for you . I junked an Adlib Gold many years ago . I cower in shame at the mere memory .

Someone, please forgive me !

Reply 232 of 671, by Joseph_Joestar

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xcomcmdr wrote on 2020-12-15, 08:48:

PC speakers noises can go to hell.

Completely agree. I have two cases with a proper, old school full size PC speaker. Not that miniature clip on "beeper" that is sold nowadays. Still sounds absolutely terrible to my ears. Maybe it's because my first computer came with a SB16 back in the day, but I could never stand those PC speaker noises.

And from what little I've heard of CMS on YouTube, it's not really to my liking either. Basically, anything older than OPL2 just sounds bad to me.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 233 of 671, by Peter Swinkels

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evasive wrote on 2020-12-13, 17:41:

I let go of my entire collection of retro hardware 8 years back. To this day I have regrets.

Part of me wishes I hadn't thrown out my old computer years ago. On the other hand it was broken and not particularly nostalgic at the time. Same goes for other old stuff. However what is done is done no point wallowing in regret. Enough about me. Let's say you got your collection back somehow or got decent substitutes (similar hardware). What do you imagine yourself doing with it?

Personally I would have shown my stuff to younger people who haven't had to personally use it back when it was just the current thing. It's hilarious seeing a twelve year old's amazed reaction when you tell him your computer monitor only displayed two colors at a time. Heheh.

EDIT:
I don't mind decent pc-speaker sounds or CGA/EGA graphics. However I am ever so thankful we got these optical mice. I still have nightmares of pain in my wrist from wrestling with a stupid boxy device with a trackball that collects all filth on your desk in its innards. Also fans must have improved in durability, I have owned three computers that made me think of a lawnmower or hair-dryer when their fans started to wear out.

EDIT 2:
And being zapped by crts isn't something I miss either.

Last edited by Peter Swinkels on 2021-02-13, 16:26. Edited 5 times in total.

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Reply 234 of 671, by appiah4

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xcomcmdr wrote on 2020-12-15, 08:48:

I don't play games without sound, music, and at least 32 colors.
EGA/CGA and PC speakers noises can go to hell.

For me, games that are pre-VGA and pre-Adlib get played on my accelerated A500 with WHDLoad.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 235 of 671, by ragefury32

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You never forget your first love. Or where it came from.

Pictured below is an IBM Thinkpad 240, which is one of the first truely useful machines that I had - took it to a few of my first engagements as an IT consultant back in the days. Back then it ran exclusively with Windows 2000 SP4 with 320MB of RAM and a 12GB HDD. Nowadays it’s Win98 with 320MB of RAM and a 128GB V30A2 SDXC card, and I made a custom Gotek floppy drive that worked exceptionally well with it. I never discovered how good it actually was in DOS /Windows gaming until recently.

Pictured here is the 3rd iteration of this machine in my life, which I recently purchased on eBay. (I had one via Buyee Japan and sent to me via DHL Express, and another one that is supposed to be surface mailed and still heading across..I think). Why do I love this machine? It’s a retro confession.

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So the original iteration came to me in 2003 via a little old lady who sold me the machine via Craigslist NYC - a journalist named Ana Carrigan who did journalism about the Narco wars in Colombia back in the 80s, and that little machine (with the included floppy drive) traveled with her to Medellin, Bogota, Cartagena and the highlands documenting all the events that happened there during the conflict. According to her it’s a good little machine - she traded up to a Thinkpad 240X (which is a slightly faster machine but sacrificed RAM capacity for the speed boost of an early Pentium III).

And indeed, a good little machine it was. Not that fast (Dixon-128) but enough to get work done - enough for me to survive the brutal 15 hour workday that I had in the era. The 240 had an extended battery good for 4 hours with careful nursing, an ESS Solo-1, a 2.5 lb carry weight, comfortable keyboard, all functionalities were mapped to Fn-key combos that worked regardless of OS, and it was certainly a better machine (more durable, more portable, better ergonomics and easier on my hands) than the Sony Vaio SR27K that came after it (when I upgraded the 240 was given to a student that I was mentoring at the time). Looking back at all the subnotebooks that I have ever used (Lenovo X1 Carbon Gen 6, Apple MBA11, Acer AS1410, Thinkpad X31, X24, SR27k, 240X) the 240 was “the one” that I truly adored. It was certainly good to have something from the past you derive pleasure from, rather than harbor gripes against.

Reply 236 of 671, by Shreddoc

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I confess there are tons of really popular games ranging from cult-following to outright huge-commercial-success, which I never cared about, and in some cases never bothered to even look at.

To name a few things that never really grabbed me :

  • Entire classes of FPS like most of Quake, Halo, Battlefield, Fear, Unreal, Halflife, Counter Strike, Far Cry, etc etc - meh, same old, over and over. There's only so much of my life I want to spend symbolically running around with an arsenal and shooting things in the face in an increasingly-realistic looking way, you know???
  • The Blizzard universe - WoW, Starcraft, etc. Only played (and liked) Diablo II, the rest I just don't care about.
  • All online multiplayer - ALL.
  • Certain "cool" OG games like UFO:XCOM, Syndicate, Elite - meh, just personal experience, I was busy playing other things at the time, and now permanently don't care about certain missed classics.

Have I failed to alienate any particular class yet??? 😀

Reply 237 of 671, by bestemor

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I once bought a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz pci card on ebay, because I wanted a cheap quality card with midi connector for my Roland daughter card, and never noticed the attached Yamaha DB-XG card in the listing picture (or text), until I opened the arriving package and wondered what the heck THAT thing was doing there... 😅

Reply 239 of 671, by Namrok

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Shreddoc wrote on 2020-12-19, 20:54:
I confess there are tons of really popular games ranging from cult-following to outright huge-commercial-success, which I never […]
Show full quote

I confess there are tons of really popular games ranging from cult-following to outright huge-commercial-success, which I never cared about, and in some cases never bothered to even look at.

To name a few things that never really grabbed me :

  • Entire classes of FPS like most of Quake, Halo, Battlefield, Fear, Unreal, Halflife, Counter Strike, Far Cry, etc etc - meh, same old, over and over. There's only so much of my life I want to spend symbolically running around with an arsenal and shooting things in the face in an increasingly-realistic looking way, you know???
  • The Blizzard universe - WoW, Starcraft, etc. Only played (and liked) Diablo II, the rest I just don't care about.
  • All online multiplayer - ALL.
  • Certain "cool" OG games like UFO:XCOM, Syndicate, Elite - meh, just personal experience, I was busy playing other things at the time, and now permanently don't care about certain missed classics.

Have I failed to alienate any particular class yet??? 😀

I hear you on some of that. I was an FPS fiend from the original Doom up through several games based on the Quake 3 engine. And then I got super into Doom 3, despite it being a somewhat disappointing game in retrospect. At a certain point, it felt like I'd shot everything, everywhere, with every weapon conceivable by man.

Painkiller dispelled some of that for a brief period.

But more realistic FPS, often based in WW2, just flooded the market and made it stale as all get out. The level design became more linear. The gameplay became more about ushering you from set piece to set piece on an amusement park ride. I was already getting bored of FPS, and that just murdered my interest in it.

That said, I can still enjoy the hell out of the original Doom, Quake or Half-Life. Even Halo minus the library levels and it's giant identical corridors.

Also it's funny you mention Syndicate, because I just finished it for the first time, and I gotta admit... underwhelmed. Maybe I played it "wrong", in that I mostly reloaded a save game if my team wiped instead of iron manning it. But I was maybe halfway through the game before I had a maxed out roster of agents, everything researched, and more income than I knew what to do with. And many of the levels were often quite trivial. And if they weren't trivial, they were frustrating dealing with oblivious, suicidal NPCs you needed to survive. Encounters were brief and often over extremely quickly with you either killing everyone instantly, or being murdered instantly yourself. You also increasingly relied on just leaving your agents on autopilot and letting them merc everything in one big group, as opposed to doing anything tactical.

I guess for 1993 it wasn't that bad. Had a fun motif. But I think it's cyberpunk trappings did a lot of heavy lifting with it's appeal. Speaking of which, feels like history is repeating itself a tad in that regard.

Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS