VOGONS


Reply 42 of 59, by pentiumspeed

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Back in the day, I did not own any computers with 386sx except my LTE 386s/20 notebook which is not running windows, I used microsoft word 5.0 for DOS to create notes and writing when i was at college.

My very first computers was as toys playing with hardware and 286 boards. I played games short time on 386DX when I went to college I created a 486DX 50 out of Amd 486dx 40 with VLB.

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Reply 43 of 59, by maxtherabbit

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I'm going to try 95 for giggles, and hope that reducing the vcache to a minimum of 512kB allows the CF card to shoulder more of the burden and keep more system memory free to reduce swapping

If that runs like ass, OS/2 2.1 is on deck

Reply 44 of 59, by appiah4

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maxtherabbit wrote:

I'm going to try 95 for giggles, and hope that reducing the vcache to a minimum of 512kB allows the CF card to shoulder more of the burden and keep more system memory free to reduce swapping

If that runs like ass, OS/2 2.1 is on deck

OK, OS/2 2.1 is on deck then.

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Reply 45 of 59, by maxtherabbit

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Windows 95B is up and running just fine on this beast

I had to reflash my XUB ROM to the "386" version (was using the XT+ version before that employs the 286 instruction set) in order to get the CF card out of "MS-DOS Compatibility Mode". The 386 build of XUB contains the "Windows 95 hack" for this exact reason.

So 8MB 0-wait memory + 386sx16 + 256kB L2 cache + 4GB CF card = barely acceptable Windows 95 machine IMO

95 has built in drivers for my Adaptec SCSI card which is driving my external CDROM, and I was able to load the Advance logic ALS007 drivers for my sound card. Just need to get a driver for this Everex Viewpoint Standard VGA to enable 256 color and I'm good

Reply 46 of 59, by Scali

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maxtherabbit wrote:

So 8MB 0-wait memory + 386sx16 + 256kB L2 cache + 4GB CF card = barely acceptable Windows 95 machine IMO

It might help a lot to use a video card with Windows acceleration.
If you don't have acceleration, the CPU needs to draw everything. A 386SX would benefit hugely from a Windows accelerator, because it can spend all its time on running the OS and applications, not on drawing the screen.

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Reply 47 of 59, by GigAHerZ

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Ugh, you have L2 cache? That speeds this boy up quite a bit.

I remember my sx @ 20MHz without cache, and win95 wasn't really usable...

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 48 of 59, by maxtherabbit

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Scali wrote:
maxtherabbit wrote:

So 8MB 0-wait memory + 386sx16 + 256kB L2 cache + 4GB CF card = barely acceptable Windows 95 machine IMO

It might help a lot to use a video card with Windows acceleration.
If you don't have acceleration, the CPU needs to draw everything. A 386SX would benefit hugely from a Windows accelerator, because it can spend all its time on running the OS and applications, not on drawing the screen.

I'm sure it would, thing is this is the only retro machine I have that is "factory original"

I've added a SCSI, sound and network card, and replaced the failed ST-157 (F in the chat for that boi) with the CF card, but I really don't want to remove original components that still work.

Reply 49 of 59, by Marco

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I managed to install win95 with 3mb of ram on my 386sx25. Usable no. But 8mb should be fine. I was using win95 with 8mb oringally when purchasing my Pentium 100. yes Bit swapping but ok.

I agree with my presuccessor to go for an win accelerated GPU though

Reply 50 of 59, by dionb

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GigAHerZ wrote on 2019-12-14, 20:50:

Ugh, you have L2 cache? That speeds this boy up quite a bit.

I remember my sx @ 20MHz without cache, and win95 wasn't really usable...

L2 cache? The 386SX doesn't have internal cache, so if there's any external cache it's not L2. Not sure how much cache would really differ - the big bottleneck is the 16b bus.

Reply 51 of 59, by darry

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2019-12-08, 22:53:

so as long as I got OS/2 2.1 I can get win3.1 app compatibility and it should run ok? sounds like we may have a winner

Windows under OS/2 (WinOS2) will not work with VXD drivers for things like sound support for Windows applications .

Reply 52 of 59, by Jo22

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2019-12-08, 22:53:

so as long as I got OS/2 2.1 I can get win3.1 app compatibility and it should run ok? sounds like we may have a winner

Normal programs should run fine, I think.
I ran 2.11 on a Compaq Contura and noticed no issues.

16-Bit drivers with the *. DRV extension should also work.
VXDs, as used by some fax programs, may cause trouble.

That's because OS/2 uses the ring scheme more sophistically than 16-Bit Windows.

Anyway, the matter is quite extensive. 😅
Simply put, WIN-OS/2 is a special build of Windows 3.1 (IBM has Win 3.x source code).
It was adapted to run in the OS2VDM.
It is a DPMI client, for example, rather than a DPMI host.

OS/2 Warp also can run Win32s 1.25a or Odin to support Win32 programs.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 53 of 59, by rmay635703

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2019-12-07, 14:56:

which would run less shitty? win95 original or OS/2? I kind of hate windows 95 tbh so not sure how fun that would be

XENIX is looking like the beast option right now

If we’re going down that rabbit hole throw on an old copy of AIX, compile some goodies and run CADAM 3

Reply 54 of 59, by maxtherabbit

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dionb wrote on 2020-07-21, 21:49:
GigAHerZ wrote on 2019-12-14, 20:50:

Ugh, you have L2 cache? That speeds this boy up quite a bit.

I remember my sx @ 20MHz without cache, and win95 wasn't really usable...

L2 cache? The 386SX doesn't have internal cache, so if there's any external cache it's not L2. Not sure how much cache would really differ - the big bottleneck is the 16b bus.

there is no cache on that machine, I was smoking crack when I posted that apparently

Reply 55 of 59, by creepingnet

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If you're going 32-bit I'd probably use OS/2 2.x because it can also run DOS applications. Not sure about software support. I have 2 copies of OS/2 2.x (2.0 and 2.1 with Multimedia Support and Win OS/2) and I have run them on a few 386s including a 386SX with some pretty nice performance.

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Reply 56 of 59, by Disruptor

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A busmaster SCSI controller is almost a must if you really try to run Windows 95 on a 386SX.
I'm running a 20 MHz 386SX and it was a huge difference switching from IDE to the Adaptec 1542B.

Reply 57 of 59, by mrau

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Disruptor wrote on 2020-07-23, 16:22:

A busmaster SCSI controller is almost a must if you really try to run Windows 95 on a 386SX.
I'm running a 20 MHz 386SX and it was a huge difference switching from IDE to the Adaptec 1542B.

is this a difference that can be measured/documented?

what about network/video - is there some meaningful speedup possible?

i remember win95a was slow for me on a 100mhz cyrix with 8 megs with a relatively fast s3 pci card
i did not have network iirc but serial/parallel comms was a huge load too

Reply 58 of 59, by Disruptor

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you feel it
the CPU will do other tasks while the SCSI busmaster is transferring data from hdd to memory or vice versa
the CPU cannot do other tasks on an IDE system, because PIO (programmed I/O) means that the CPU is used to transfer data

Yes, there are better network cards than NE2000 compatible.

Reply 59 of 59, by radiounix

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I know this thread is petering out, but just thought I'd mention that people definitely ran Linux on slower 386SX CPUs with just 4MB of RAM in the early to mid 90s. A very early version of Debian or Slackware should work well in 8MB, even with X. I believe very old version Debian mirrors are still live, but maybe you could track down a multi-CD version containing the whole repository. i understand that was fairly common in the dial-up era.

I'll admit this is veering into Stallman territory, but probably less so than running a vintage Unix like SCO. Much more documentation available, more intended for one person to administrate.