VOGONS


First post, by Namrok

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Sometimes the chase is better than the catch.

I recently found myself scouring archive.org, google, and some weird sketchy chinese ftp search engine for Riva 128 drivers. Specifically the manufacturer drivers for the STB Velocity 128 and the Diamond Viper V330. The shortest path to these drivers is complicated by the fact that STB no longer exists, and while Diamond has a "legacy drivers" page, it appears to be empty/broken. And in both cases, finding the appropriate page at the appropriate time on archive.org just links to a defunct FTP server which is not archived.

All this was started because the latest NVidia reference drivers for the PCI Riva 128 really don't work all that great on a Win95 socket 7 system with only 32 MB of ram. It refuses to allocate, or allow you to allocate, enough system ram to the pci texture heap for GL games to run smoothly. An issue older drivers do not have, although they may introduce other issues of immaturity. Also, every extra panel of the driver options refuses to open in Win95. An issue older versions of NV3 tweak do not have.

So off I go, trawling through more or less 18 months of news on the archived version of rivazone.com, reading the headlines about all the driver releases through 1998 and a bit of 1999. Almost every link was to an FTP server. At one point, actually here on Vogons, someone linked to a seemingly random ftp hosting many old video card drivers. I can only access it intermittently. But I was able to acquire the 0182 drivers for the STB Velocity 128, the 0128 and 0130 drivers for the Diamond Viper V330, and the 368 drivers for the Diamond Viper V550/770.

I found a random CD on archive.org labeled "STB Velocity 128 3D Multimedia Accelerator driver 2.0 (1998)" which purported to have drivers versioned 0196, with dates that appeared newer than the last official release hosted by STB? Those drivers seem to work pretty OK. I also found some drivers with really wonkey versions like 7194 and 9183. I have no clue where to even begin with those. I suspect that first digit represents some sort of OEM marker? Who knows.

At one point microsoft's ftp server hosted WHQL approved Nvidia reference drivers, version 0312 under the cryptic filename "A49338.exe". I eventually found a mirror for microsoft's ftp that still had that file. I haven't tried these drivers yet. But there was a specific Win95 package, so I'm optimistic when I do, they may work better than the last set of generic win9x drivers.

NV3 Tweak was another artifact I had a really difficult time finding. Since it was integrated into Nvidia's later drivers, I guess most people have found no need to keep it. I found version 2.10 on archive.org. But I had to go through archived versions of rivazone.com to find the last release version 2.52. Weirdly enough, it doesn't recognize any of the OpenGL settings in those last STB drivers I mentioned. Oh well.

IDGamma was another piece of software I had a nightmare of a time hunting down. It's basically required to make Quake or Quake 2 look right on anything that's not a Voodoo card. Truthfully I don't remember how I found it the first time. Many sites such as Blues News purport to have mirrors of it, but they are all down. The archived links of the official hosting on rivazone.com or g256.com were uncrawled. I remember having a nightmare of a time actually finding a place that hosted this locally, as opposed to just linking to a place that was dead.

Weirdly enough, retracing my steps and googling idgamma.zip took me right to a page with a local copy. So I guess that was easier this time. I still took the initiative and uploaded a copy to archive.org as well. These sites seem to wink out of existence randomly and arbitrarily.

What sort of wild goose chases have you found yourself going down? There used to be a saying "The internet never forgets", but with so much consolidation, and so many hobbyist or personal fan pages slowly winking out, a lot of the grass roots software that used to be widely distributed is winking out with it. Here's to hoping nothing ever happens to archive.org.

Reply 1 of 19, by konc

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Nice write-up!
Well my holy grail(s) is registered versions of really old, obscure and forgotten shareware. Software never had being popular makes the search more difficult.
But we don't do these here so I'll refrain from mentioning any names.

Reply 2 of 19, by jheronimus

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Oh, I think lurking through archive.org and groups.google.com comes close to 50% of my time spent on this hobby 😀 Here are just a few things I'm still looking for:

1) Windows 9x or NT4.0 drivers for Evans & Sutherland Freedom videocard (early professional OpenGL accelerator);
2) MR BIOS images for Opti 596/597 and/or 546/547 chipsets
3) WFB patches for Turtle Beach Tropez+ card and GM patches for GUS cards other than PPL
4) Drivers/software for the Iwill SIDE Cache Jr VLB controller
5) the BIOS image for the optional EPROM in the QDI 6580 VLB IDE controller

Reply 4 of 19, by Joseph_Joestar

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Magazine pack-in CDs seem to be a good source of late '90s era drivers.

If you know roughly which year the driver was released, you can often find it on one of the cover discs from that time. Many of those discs have been imaged and stored on archive.org.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64
PC#2: Celeron 466 / Abit ZM6 / Voodoo3 / AWE64 Gold / YMF744 / SC-155
PC#3: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / GeForce4 / SBLive / ALS100
PC#4: Athlon64 3700+ / DFI LanParty / 9600GT / X-Fi Titanium

Reply 5 of 19, by jheronimus

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-10-29, 16:10:

Does games count? There is one called Star Havoc which was later as freeware and it's impossible to find it.

Did you see this one? Looks like this is a shareware version though

Reply 7 of 19, by thepirategamerboy12

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I've been looking for the full registered version of a DOS PC Othello game called Morphello.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJJGnEFb4iE

I really like the aesthetics of it, and I have been searching for the full version for years with absolutely no luck whatsoever. Quite unfortunate, I'd really like to play the extra board styles someday.

Reply 8 of 19, by jheronimus

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-10-29, 17:09:
jheronimus wrote on 2021-10-29, 16:49:

Did you see this one? Looks like this is a shareware version though

Thanks! Even the shareware version is hard to find!

You're welcome.

It was on Archive.org in some shareware disk — couldn't link it here due to Vogons rules, hence the Dropbox link.

I was hoping to find a filename for the full version on squiresoft.web.com through Wayback Machine, but the site copy is half broken and didn't seem to be archived after 2001 or so. I'd imagine if it went freeware in the mid-00s, there could have been a gaming magazine that bundled a copy on their disk

Reply 9 of 19, by davidrg

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I'm searching for a patch called "nfsgw.exe" that existed in August 1997 for an obscure add-on to what is increasingly an obscure operating system. I have so far been unable to locate it. Possibly it no longer exists anywhere. Possibly the only way to ever get it in the first place was to use a telephone and ask for it and no one ever put a copy on the internet.

Long version:
I've setup a NetWare server for my vintage computers. Its great - the 32bit DOS client uses only 4KB of conventional memory or, if you've got EMM386 loaded, it automatically moves itself to upper memory and so uses nothing at all below the 640K line. I basically get network drives on DOS for free.

Recently I found a copy of a product called "NFS Gateway" which basically lets NetWare proxy an NFS server. Instead of having to copy stuff onto my virtualised NetWare server (via FTP or an older windows box because Windows 10 can't talk to NetWare) I can just put it on my NAS or Linux server. I give the NetWare server a list of NFS exports on the NAS and it makes those available as NetWare volumes. DOS computers get access to all the stuff on the NAS while thinking it lives on the NetWare server and I don't have to copy stuff anywhere. Great!

Problem is the ancient version of NFS Gateway I have (v1.2 for NetWare 3.x) has a pretty serious bug. The 32bit NetWare client on DOS, Windows 3.x and Windows 9x only gets partial directory listings. In a directory you'll see a random selection of 10 or so files and directories, the rest will be missing. You can open missing files by name ok but if you try to navigate into a missing directory by name you get garbage back then the client dies. Even worse, on Windows NT, it crashes the server instead. The older 16bit DOS client works fine but it uses more conventional memory (13kb) and doesn't really work on Windows 9x.

A knowledgebase article from August 1996 describes the problem and what causes it saying its not a problem in newer versions of NFS Gateway (v2.1 for NetWare 4.x). In October 1997 the knowledgebase article was updated to say the solution is "nfsgw.exe available from Novell Technical support".

I can find no reference to this patch anywhere on the internet. Archive.org didn't crawl the Novell website once between mid-1997 and 1999 and Novell tended to delete "obsolete" stuff pretty regularly so there is nothing there. No mentions of it on google groups (and only one post about the problem itself). I only even know about the patch because I'm fortunate enough to have two snapshots on CD of the Novell Support Knowledgebase - one from December 1996 and another from March 2000. Sadly the patch isn't amongst the selection of updates on the March 2000 CD - probably too old by then.

So I need to find a copy of the Novell Support Connection CD from the end of 1997 or early 1998 which has a chance of containing the patch. Or I need to buy a copy of Novell NFS Services v2.1 from somewhere.

In the meantime I've added a 20GB virtual hard disk to the NetWare server and FTPd a copy of everything onto it. Surely a copy of NFS Services v2.1 will turn up on ebay eventually....

Reply 10 of 19, by BitWrangler

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When I've seen Netware 2.xx stuff... it's been on 360k 5.25 floppies... just saying. I think it was a "big whoop" back in the day that 3.xx came on high density.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 11 of 19, by Stretch

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The last update for Andover Advanced Technologies VideoCraft (Picture/Video Morphing software).

The official website andatech.com on archive.org doesn't have the patch available for download.

Win10 - AMD Ryzen 9 3900 - 16 GB - GeForce RTX 2060S - Sound BlasterX AE5-Plus
Win98SE - ASRock 775i65G R3.0 - Celeron 2.2 GHz - 2 GB - GeForce FX5700 - Audigy 2 ZS
Win98SE - Via Apollo Pro Mobo - Pentium II 233 - 256 MB - Voodoo 3 1000 - Yamaha YMF724

Reply 12 of 19, by Digidreamer

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One game i've been hunting for was about a prince who lost his arm, fighting his brother, it was replaced by a arm with a built in crossbow as he looks for revenge, only no idea what it was called, synopsis doesn't show on Google, circa 1990's, demo stats landing on a beach, ends at a gate on a path up the cliff. 1st person perspective, may have been 3dfx, not sure.

I Like Charity Shops, they're like steam and GOG but cheaper.

Windows 7 - HP730 Air cooled, 8Gb, GTX 660 eGPU
Windows 98se - Wyse V10LE 1.2Ghz, 1 Gb, 16Gb SSD
Windows 98se - Compaq Evo 550d SSF, P4 2Ghz, 1Gb, 60Gb(Partitioned)
Dos 6.2 - HP7510 512Mb, 4Gb

Reply 13 of 19, by chuky

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davidrg wrote on 2021-10-29, 23:31:

I'm searching for a patch called "nfsgw.exe" that existed in August 1997 for an obscure add-on to what is increasingly an obscure operating system. I have so far been unable to locate it. Possibly it no longer exists anywhere. Possibly the only way to ever get it in the first place was to use a telephone and ask for it and no one ever put a copy on the internet.

Archive.org has archived Novell's ftp in 1997, and there's another archive on another ftp. Maybe there's something there. On both FTP there's a nfsgw23f.exe version 2.3f for Netware 4 sp9 but it's from 2003, maybe it's close enough. I just wanted to try my luck with something, but I have no idea what I'm looking at.
https://web.archive.org/web/19970617011248/ht … om/pub/updates/
https://ftp.zx.net.nz/pub/archive/novell/ftp. … om/pub/updates/
https://web.archive.org/web/20031206165328/ht … es/nfsgw23f.exe
https://ftp.zx.net.nz/pub/archive/novell/ftp. … es/nfsgw23f.exe

Reply 14 of 19, by davidrg

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chuky wrote on 2021-11-05, 23:39:
Archive.org has archived Novell's ftp in 1997, and there's another archive on another ftp. Maybe there's something there. On bot […]
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davidrg wrote on 2021-10-29, 23:31:

I'm searching for a patch called "nfsgw.exe" that existed in August 1997 for an obscure add-on to what is increasingly an obscure operating system. I have so far been unable to locate it. Possibly it no longer exists anywhere. Possibly the only way to ever get it in the first place was to use a telephone and ask for it and no one ever put a copy on the internet.

Archive.org has archived Novell's ftp in 1997, and there's another archive on another ftp. Maybe there's something there. On both FTP there's a nfsgw23f.exe version 2.3f for Netware 4 sp9 but it's from 2003, maybe it's close enough. I just wanted to try my luck with something, but I have no idea what I'm looking at.
https://web.archive.org/web/19970617011248/ht … om/pub/updates/
https://ftp.zx.net.nz/pub/archive/novell/ftp. … om/pub/updates/
https://web.archive.org/web/20031206165328/ht … es/nfsgw23f.exe
https://ftp.zx.net.nz/pub/archive/novell/ftp. … es/nfsgw23f.exe

ftp.zx.net.nz is my FTP site - I've been gathering up all the NetWare stuff I could track down lately as a surprising amount has just disappeared from the internet since the last time I played with it. The ftp.novell.com-combined directory isn't really a mirror of ftp.novell.com but rather a combination of all the stuff that was on there (or one of its novell-run mirrors like ftp.novell.de) that the internet archive grabbed at some point. Novell had an annoying habit of deleting "obsolete" stuff so I just grabbed everything from everywhere and smashed it together.

And sadly nfsgw23f.exe is much too new - I'm running NFS Gateway v1.2 for NetWare 3.1x which is I think the second release of the product. In v2.x they apparently heavily reworked it to be more integrated with NDS as part of the port to NetWare 4.1x. I'd like to track down a copy of NFS Services 2.x as I much prefer NetWare 4 but I've not seen it turn up on ebay yet - I guess it probably wasn't a super common product 20 years ago.

Reply 15 of 19, by cyclone3d

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davidrg wrote on 2021-11-06, 04:24:
chuky wrote on 2021-11-05, 23:39:
Archive.org has archived Novell's ftp in 1997, and there's another archive on another ftp. Maybe there's something there. On bot […]
Show full quote
davidrg wrote on 2021-10-29, 23:31:

I'm searching for a patch called "nfsgw.exe" that existed in August 1997 for an obscure add-on to what is increasingly an obscure operating system. I have so far been unable to locate it. Possibly it no longer exists anywhere. Possibly the only way to ever get it in the first place was to use a telephone and ask for it and no one ever put a copy on the internet.

Archive.org has archived Novell's ftp in 1997, and there's another archive on another ftp. Maybe there's something there. On both FTP there's a nfsgw23f.exe version 2.3f for Netware 4 sp9 but it's from 2003, maybe it's close enough. I just wanted to try my luck with something, but I have no idea what I'm looking at.
https://web.archive.org/web/19970617011248/ht … om/pub/updates/
https://ftp.zx.net.nz/pub/archive/novell/ftp. … om/pub/updates/
https://web.archive.org/web/20031206165328/ht … es/nfsgw23f.exe
https://ftp.zx.net.nz/pub/archive/novell/ftp. … es/nfsgw23f.exe

ftp.zx.net.nz is my FTP site - I've been gathering up all the NetWare stuff I could track down lately as a surprising amount has just disappeared from the internet since the last time I played with it. The ftp.novell.com-combined directory isn't really a mirror of ftp.novell.com but rather a combination of all the stuff that was on there (or one of its novell-run mirrors like ftp.novell.de) that the internet archive grabbed at some point. Novell had an annoying habit of deleting "obsolete" stuff so I just grabbed everything from everywhere and smashed it together.

And sadly nfsgw23f.exe is much too new - I'm running NFS Gateway v1.2 for NetWare 3.1x which is I think the second release of the product. In v2.x they apparently heavily reworked it to be more integrated with NDS as part of the port to NetWare 4.1x. I'd like to track down a copy of NFS Services 2.x as I much prefer NetWare 4 but I've not seen it turn up on ebay yet - I guess it probably wasn't a super common product 20 years ago.

Have you gathered all the stuff form here?
ftp://retronn.de/mirrors/metropoli/NET/NOVELL/
http://ns.hornictvi.cz/stuff/NOVELL/

I see NFS Services 2.1 mentioned here:
https://kb.iu.edu/d/badu

Might be worth giving them a call. Maybe they still have it.

Maybe here:
https://www.parttarget.com/7045-01-419-0954_7 … F8-5A0589B08073

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 16 of 19, by davidrg

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Metropoli (files.mpoli.fi) was certainly a valuable source - quite a bit there that wasn't preserved anywhere else. I grabbed a copy a while back but so far I've only copied select files over to my little Novell archive. I'll hold off on copying the whole thing over to the FTP server while the original is still online though. The other site looks familiar - I think I've seen it but I don't think I have a copy of it. Looking at whats there I think I've got most if not all of that stuff. Certainly I have all the clients that are there.

Tracking down this Novell stuff has really pushed my internet archaeology skills to the limit though - there is still a fair bit of stuff I just can't find beyond that NFS Gateway patch. Like clients for NT 3.1 (besides the January 93 pre-release) or OS/2 1.0 and 1.1.

SDKs too have been difficult. I've at least found the old 16bit TCP/IP one though so building DOS applications for the Novell TCP/IP stack is possible. I think there is a late 90s CD on archive.org but IIRC it doesn't have any of the Client SDKs on it - just server stuff.

Reply 17 of 19, by weedeewee

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davidrg wrote on 2021-11-06, 08:27:

Tracking down this Novell stuff has really pushed my internet archaeology skills to the limit though - there is still a fair bit of stuff I just can't find beyond that NFS Gateway patch. Like clients for NT 3.1 (besides the January 93 pre-release) or OS/2 1.0 and 1.1.

those OS2 versions can be found on winworld.

Reply 18 of 19, by davidrg

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Not the OS/2 versions that are the problem but rather finding a compatible NetWare client for them. IIRC support for installable filesystems didn't appear until OS/2 v1.2 so earlier versions of OS/2 have a special NetWare client (NetWare Requester v1.0 for OS/2 1.0, NetWare Requester v1.1 for OS/2 1.1). Michal Necasek from os2museum.com hasn't managed to track them down so far though he did find what appears to be a pre-release for OS/2 1.0: https://www.os2museum.com/wp/1988-networking- … os-2-requester/. Likely they were only ever distributed on physical disks either with or as an add-on to some late 80s versions of NetWare 2.x while versions of the client for OS/2 1.2 and up were posted to compuserve and Novells FTP server.

Reply 19 of 19, by Dracolich

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I remember spending a long time (few years actually) on-and-off searching for the Windows version of the Dilbert Afterdark screensaver by Delrina. I came across the Mac version easily enough, and that was nice for my System 7.6 VM in SheepShaver, but the Windows version was extremely elusive. I think I finally found it on one of those personal ftp's. Lol As the OP says, the chase is part of the fun. In my various searches for games and some office software I hit Winworld, Vetusware, Archive.org, old-games.ru, and the-eye.eu pretty hard.
One thing I haven't found yet is .ima floppy images of the 1993 version of Stronghold by SSI. A .zip of the preinstalled game is easy enough to find, but not images of the original floppies. For me part of the fun is installing the games with their original installer programs 😀
Another thing that seems to have disappeared is the Second Nature Slideshow screensaver collections. That's my favorite wallpaper program for Windows 3.x. I still have my disks for the sets I bought back in the day. But nowadays, besides the sampler set, I rarely find any on the archive sites. I always wanted the Applejack Wolf Family set but haven't found it.