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First post, by Bondi

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I'm looking for a way to communicate with japanese vintage computers community.
Do we have members from Japan here on vogons?
The thing is that I need DOS drivers for Ratoc REX-5571/9871 sound card. I've exhausted all the possibilities: it's not online (those that are available are for W95), the card producer doesn't have them.
But the drivers exist, someone has it. This was sold a couple of years ago on Yahoo Japan.

ratoc 9871.jpg
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ratoc 9871.jpg
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So would be very helpful if someone could point to a popular japanese vintage forum. Or maybe pass on the requiest if you think there is a language barrier there.

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 1 of 17, by yawetaG

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Tried shoving the Ratoc website through the Wayback machine?

Also, those drivers may not exist for PC-AT machines, as NEC PC98 was the more common standard for early DOS and Windows machines in Japan (those use the same basic components such as CPUs etc, but the architecture itself is very different).

Reply 2 of 17, by Bondi

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yawetaG wrote on 2021-04-20, 19:41:

Tried shoving the Ratoc website through the Wayback machine?

Yes, sure. These drivers were never available online as Ratoc sold them separately.

Also, those drivers may not exist for PC-AT machines, as NEC PC98 was the more common standard for early DOS and Windows machines in Japan (those use the same basic components such as CPUs etc, but the architecture itself is very different).

They exist for sure for IBM compatibles.

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 3 of 17, by Rawit

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I see this is based on the ESS1688. Is it possible to use the Eiger Labs/Fujitsu 16-bit Stereo Sound drivers instead? I believe ESS provided DMA-less drivers for PCMCIA cards and laptops like the OmniBook 600C.

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Reply 4 of 17, by Bondi

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Rawit wrote on 2021-04-20, 20:35:

I see this is based on the ESS1688. Is it possible to use the Eiger Labs/Fujitsu 16-bit Stereo Sound drivers instead? I believe ESS provided DMA-less drivers for PCMCIA cards and laptops like the OmniBook 600C.

I tried this too. As well as drivers for REX-5572 and 5570.

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 6 of 17, by Ozzuneoj

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I have no idea what this page says or if it is legit, but I figured it would be worth posting in case you hadn't seen it. It may just contain the windows 95 drivers you mentioned.

http://www.ratocsystems.com/services/driver/sound/5571.html

I just followed the link for the 5570 drivers in this thread and changed the URL to 5571.
PCMCIA Sound Cards

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 7 of 17, by Bondi

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Ozzuneoj wrote on 2021-04-21, 14:43:
I have no idea what this page says or if it is legit, but I figured it would be worth posting in case you hadn't seen it. It ma […]
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I have no idea what this page says or if it is legit, but I figured it would be worth posting in case you hadn't seen it. It may just contain the windows 95 drivers you mentioned.

http://www.ratocsystems.com/services/driver/sound/5571.html

I just followed the link for the 5570 drivers in this thread and changed the URL to 5571.
PCMCIA Sound Cards

Thanks, but yes, these are Win95 drivres.

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 9 of 17, by lolo799

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I found 2 personal pages mentioning the card (years ago), one stating the person had bought the 5571 and not the W version on purpose, and another with a table of pcmcia cards tested.
Both have contact emails, did you try them already?
http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~fkz/negoto/rex5571.html
http://www.soflab.net/users/mrmt/pc-card/mm.html

PCMCIA Sound, Storage & Graphics

Reply 11 of 17, by Bondi

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lolo799 wrote on 2021-04-25, 12:38:
I found 2 personal pages mentioning the card (years ago), one stating the person had bought the 5571 and not the W version on pu […]
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I found 2 personal pages mentioning the card (years ago), one stating the person had bought the 5571 and not the W version on purpose, and another with a table of pcmcia cards tested.
Both have contact emails, did you try them already?
http://www.pluto.dti.ne.jp/~fkz/negoto/rex5571.html
http://www.soflab.net/users/mrmt/pc-card/mm.html

Tried both emails. One is not working anymore, and no respond from the other one.
I'm really surprised that nobody knows japanese vintage forums. If you asked about russian ones, I'd remember at least three forums off the top of my head.

Last edited by Bondi on 2021-05-15, 15:13. Edited 1 time in total.

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 13 of 17, by SuperDeadite

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I have lots of Japanese machines, but none of them are DOS PCs. For English forums, there is NFG games, and Tokugawa Corporate forums. Both are quite slow, but we exist.
However Japanese DOS users are hard to find. All the good stuff is on Sharp/FM/MSX/NEC. I see no point to messing with real PC compatibles.

If the drivers were freeware, the vector archive is your best bet, but again most stuff you find will be for PC98...

Actually, have you tried searching for pc98 drivers? If the drivers are pure win95 (software based) they should work for all versions of win95. For example pure win95 games will run on an FM Towns within the special Towns only version of Win95. This is why DOS PCs couldn't keep up with PC98. PC98 with win95, can run normal win95 software.

Finally, this guy has the biggest module collection I know if. Doesn't look like he has this one, but maybe he knows someone who might?
https://piano.tyonmage.com/

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2

Reply 15 of 17, by yawetaG

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Bondi wrote on 2021-05-14, 08:22:

Tried both emails. One is not working anymore, and no respond from the other one.
I'm really surprised that nobody knows japanese vintage forums. If you asked about russian ones, I'd remember at least three forums off the top of my head.

Well, AFAIK real forums like this one are pretty rare there. Usually it's blog pages with lots of discussion in the comments, image-board-like software hung to a website, or 2chan (notoriously anti-foreigner, in my experience you can read stuff for a few days and then your IP gets banned if it's outside Japan, better get out the VPN).

Your best bets would be:
- to search for the subject you want, find some active blog by a person or club/association who at least masters a bit of English (note: there are a lot of fake blogs in Japan that just repost barely camouflaged ads for products), and send them an email. Be courteous and nice, and do not demand them to help you too explicitly.
- to find some kind soul who is in Japan and reads/posts in international forums, and who can help you out. I suspect a good video game forum might be a decent starting point for that.
- Wayback Machine the shit out of it. This might work out, but also might not, because quite a few downloads were hidden away on proprietary systems belonging to Japanese internet providers (who seemed to like the AOL-model of business) that required you to be a customer or have a log-in.

Reply 16 of 17, by Bondi

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b

yawetaG wrote on 2021-05-16, 07:19:
Well, AFAIK real forums like this one are pretty rare there. Usually it's blog pages with lots of discussion in the comments, im […]
Show full quote
Bondi wrote on 2021-05-14, 08:22:

Tried both emails. One is not working anymore, and no respond from the other one.
I'm really surprised that nobody knows japanese vintage forums. If you asked about russian ones, I'd remember at least three forums off the top of my head.

Well, AFAIK real forums like this one are pretty rare there. Usually it's blog pages with lots of discussion in the comments, image-board-like software hung to a website, or 2chan (notoriously anti-foreigner, in my experience you can read stuff for a few days and then your IP gets banned if it's outside Japan, better get out the VPN).

Your best bets would be:
- to search for the subject you want, find some active blog by a person or club/association who at least masters a bit of English (note: there are a lot of fake blogs in Japan that just repost barely camouflaged ads for products), and send them an email. Be courteous and nice, and do not demand them to help you too explicitly.
- to find some kind soul who is in Japan and reads/posts in international forums, and who can help you out. I suspect a good video game forum might be a decent starting point for that.
- Wayback Machine the shit out of it. This might work out, but also might not, because quite a few downloads were hidden away on proprietary systems belonging to Japanese internet providers (who seemed to like the AOL-model of business) that required you to be a customer or have a log-in.

Sorry I somehow missed your post. Thanks a lot for a detailed respond.
Wayback Machine can be crossed out, I've been torturing it day and night. Now looking for kind souls 😀

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 17 of 17, by megatron-uk

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Unfortunately, beyond a (comparative) few people like @SuperDeadite and myself who have feet in both the IBM/PC and PC-98/X68k/DosV camps, there really isn't a lot of crossover in the western/asian PC world - it's always been fairly niche.

Like others have mentioned it's an entire realm of the internet that is pretty impenetrable and it seemed like a lot of Japanese home computer users used hosting sites like Yahoo! Geocities during the heyday of the PC-98, Dos V, etc, meaning that a lot of content is simply gone, unfortunately.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net