VOGONS


First post, by OldCat

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I have acquired Toshiba Portege 3480CT, armed with Pentium 600MHz and S3 Savage/IX graphics card. I have installed Windows XP (wanted XP-mini, but cannot boot from USB, so no go), added iFeel Logitech mouse and drivers and successfully played a couple rounds of Unreal Tournament with force feedback. That was fun!

Now, what next?

I have installed and run Pico-8 - 600MHz is a little below minimum requirements, but it is working. Having to optimize code to run smoothly might be additional challenge. I am working to get FocusWriter working - contrary to what many sources are saying on the internet, the new versions only work with Windows 7 and upwards. I am therefore trying older ones, once I find one that runs on XP, I will share it here. Distractionless writing is something I'm fairly keen on. Any other suggestions when it comes to software?

And then there are games - I intend to test some of other ones with haptic support (Half-Life, Serious Sam: First Encounter, Quake) as well as Deus Ex and Aliens vs Predator. I'd love to try UT 2004, but it is probably too much for this machine. I hope that No One Lives Forever might run okay(ish), but this remains to be seen. Any other titles that could run well on this machine?

Reply 1 of 18, by henryVK

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Sooo many Quake 2/3 and Unreal engine games. Does the S3/IX have that high resolution texture thing that S3 did at the time?

I wonder how the Savage card would perform with one of my favorites from 2001: Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis!

Reply 2 of 18, by F2bnp

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That's a half decent laptop. The CPU is quite fast at 600MHz, it should allow you to play most 1999 and 2000 games adequately, but the Savage 4 chip is at best as fast as a Voodoo2 or a TNT/TNT2-M64. I took a look at the Savage/IX specs in fear that it is a gimped Savage4, but it seems to be rather close to the desktop counterpart thanks to the 128bit bus.

I'd say realistically you're looking at games released in 1998 and most from 1999, although expect later titles such as Quake 3 to not run very well, as not only is this a slow card, but its OpenGL drivers are probably not great either. You could run later games such as NOLF, but it will be slow and you'll have to lower the details.

Reply 3 of 18, by OldCat

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henryVK wrote:

Sooo many Quake 2/3 and Unreal engine games.

That's a good call - Anachronox and Heretic II come to mind. Always wanted to finish these two. Also, Clive Barker's Undying was based on Unreal engine, might take that one for a spin too.

I'll try to have a look at Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, but I don't have the original and am not sure where from you pirate games almost two decades old.

F2bnp wrote:

I'd say realistically you're looking at games released in 1998 and most from 1999

Excellent, I can revisit Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, should run okay. Thief II, The Longest Journey and Alpha Centauri - as well. Final Fantasy VII and VIII - quite possibly too. I'd also like to try ONI.

American McGee's Alice could perhaps run, but I'm worried about graphics card (should be at least 16MB). Blood II will probably be a bit too much. Planescape Torment could be a go, but resolution of 1024x768 might be a problem.

Any other fun titles anyone could think of?

Reply 4 of 18, by OldCat

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Played Unreal Tournament (classic) a bit. 1024x768, even with medium details, is a bit too much for this computer. UT-engine games unfortunately are a no go. Pity.

Reply 7 of 18, by OldCat

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MrMateczko wrote:

Try these emulators: http://problemkaputt.de/

Wow. I don't think I would have found this page myself, but I will certainly try the emulators. If they work, I'll gladly fire a few bucks in that guy's direction. Seems he might need them...

Thanks, MrMateczko!

Reply 8 of 18, by OldCat

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Just a bit of info for posterity: both SNES (NO$SNS) and GBA emulators (NO$GBA) worked very well in software rendering mode. Occasional hiccup here and there, to be expected on this kind of machine, but nothing deal-breaking, FFVI (SNES) and FFT (GBA) prefectly playable.

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In other news, FocusWriter in version 1.4.6 can be run under XP and works without any problems - this is my favourite distractionless writing app. The first Quake is playable in good frame rates: WinQUAKE works perfectly fine in full screen, though it stutters in windowed mode for some reason.

So there you go - less powerful than I would expect this machine to be, but still perfectly usable in 2018, either as a typewriter, lightweight programming and old games station.

Reply 9 of 18, by dickkickem

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The S3 Savage IX is actually a pretty decent card, I've been trying to look for a [working] laptop equipped with one for about a year.

AvP 2000, Quake II, Hexen II, Blood, and pretty much anything made in 1998 or before can run on it.

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My vintage rigs:
Fujitsu Lifebook E330 - Working w/ Win95
Fujitsu Lifebook C352 - Nonworking 🙁
HP Pavilion A520N - Working w/ WinXP
AST Ascentia M 5260X - Working w/ WinME
IBM ThinkPad 770 - Working w/ Win2K

Reply 10 of 18, by SW-SSG

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I don't really game much, but... Roller Coaster Tycoon (the original) ran quite well on a Katmai P-III 600MHz system I set up a while ago, though the framerate would still drop noticeably with larger parks + thunderstorms @ 1024x768px. A concern might just be WinXP; I could never get the original version of RCT1 to not have saved game loading issues on WinXP, but it is possible the expansions fixed this. There are no such issues on Win98(SE).

Reply 11 of 18, by OldCat

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dickkickem wrote:

AvP 2000, Quake II, Hexen II, Blood, and pretty much anything made in 1998 or before can run on it.

Yes, the above run fine. Half-Life and Unreal Tournament - not so well, sadly.

SW-SSG wrote:

Roller Coaster Tycoon (the original) ran quite well on a Katmai P-III 600MHz system I set up a while ago, though the framerate would still drop noticeably with larger parks + thunderstorms @ 1024x768px

Thanks, I might give it a try.

Reply 12 of 18, by henryVK

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A game I played quite a bit at the time (1999) was Silver. Its nearest relative is maybe Final Fantasy 7. Controls can be fiddly, but the pre-rendered backgrounds, music and sound effects are pretty cool and highly atmospheric.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/silver/

Reply 14 of 18, by Jasin Natael

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I have a Gateway with a Celeron 700 and the Savage IX 8MB card. It has native 800*600 panel.

It does ok for what it is, I would say 1998-1999 is it's cut off range. It will run Unreal/UT at that resolution but it's pretty choppy at anything other than low details.

I've played Q2 and some MotoCross/Midtown Madness on it though and had some fun.

it's way better at gaming than the Compaq I have with the Savage TwisterK video chip. It's abysmal even though it has a Athlon 4 @ 1.2.

Reply 15 of 18, by OldCat

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Jasin Natael wrote:
I have a Gateway with a Celeron 700 and the Savage IX 8MB card. It has native 800*600 panel. […]
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I have a Gateway with a Celeron 700 and the Savage IX 8MB card. It has native 800*600 panel.

It does ok for what it is, I would say 1998-1999 is it's cut off range. It will run Unreal/UT at that resolution but it's pretty choppy at anything other than low details.

I've played Q2 and some MotoCross/Midtown Madness on it though and had some fun.

it's way better at gaming than the Compaq I have with the Savage TwisterK video chip. It's abysmal even though it has a Athlon 4 @ 1.2.

Thanks Jasin, it does confirm the behaviour of my Toshiba. U and UT are barely playable, older titles work okay. I am thinking to give Moto Racer a spin, but at the same time I kinda lost heart for this laptop. It sits in uncomfortable space between modern-day netbooks and "real" retro systems.

Reply 16 of 18, by OldCat

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Update: I've decided to sell it. Have enough retro gear as it is. Won't post links, as it is against the rules, but scour a certain popular auction site for keywords and you should be good.

Reply 17 of 18, by PhantomONC

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I have a laptop which is somewhat similar, it's a ThinkPad T22, with a CPU which is a fair bit faster (900MHz) and the 1440x1050 display panel but I can actually run UT just fine in 1024x768, in MeTaL or Direct3D modes. Team Fortress Classic runs fine in 1024x768, as does Quake III Arena.

Reply 18 of 18, by dj_pirtu

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PhantomONC wrote on 2018-09-11, 21:12:

I have a laptop which is somewhat similar, it's a ThinkPad T22, with a CPU which is a fair bit faster (900MHz) and the 1440x1050 display panel but I can actually run UT just fine in 1024x768, in MeTaL or Direct3D modes. Team Fortress Classic runs fine in 1024x768, as does Quake III Arena.

Please tell me what drivers are you using? I'm struggling with my T22 and T23 and can't get nothing to work. S3Metal and OpenGL don't work at all and Direct3D shows only garbled textures.