• Retrocomputing Megathread
    1,000 replies, posted
Oh my gosh, the pictures in the OP are so cool. I'd buy things like this, but my money consuming high performance computer takes up all of my dosh and is just a little higher on my list of priorities. :c
Found an old Packard Bell Multimedia C115 in our donation area for my schools Digital Divide program. Put it in my office. Turned it on. IT FUCKING STARTED. Windows 95 and ran perfectly. I was beyond amazed. Will post pics on monday when back in office.
Installed Borland Turbo C, C++, PASCAL, and Assembler this morning and then installed [url=http://mklasson.com/hexit.php]hexit[/url] for hex editing. Found out that it detects the internal EGA card on my Compaq Portable 386 however does not realize it's attached to a monochrome gas plasma display so I can't see half the shit in the editor or its setup screens! :v:
Managed to finally bypass and nuke the old sys password on my MicroVAX 2000. Took a bit of tutoring through an IRC channel. Currently working on it through the Rainbow in terminal mode. [IMG]http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a166/ballsandy/Computer%20related/100_2442.jpg[/IMG] VMS is weird. I have managed to figure out so far how to list files, dump to hex, verify file and run files but I don't yet know how to change directories. I can't also shutdown because it seems the system is royally fucked. running VERIFY on shutdown.com on its own yields somewhere around 800 errors and the REPAIR command is missing. It's also not any better that I can't see shit on the screen because it's dim and riddled with cataracts. I wish I could find the color monitor.
Dunno what you define as retro, but I have a computer from 95-97 with a Pentium 200Mhz processor 48 MB RAM, Monster 3D II 12MB GPU and a Sound Card branded "MWave". It currently has Windows 95 installed but no components have proper drivers so I run it at 800x600 and the sound doesn't work. I'm going to reinstall it and use it for retro gaming (DOS games etc) but I wonder if should I use Windows 95 or install my copy of Windows 98 for it. What works best for gaming?
[QUOTE=Folstream;33861715]Dunno what you define as retro, but I have a computer from 95-97 with a Pentium 200Mhz processor 48 MB RAM, Monster 3D II 12MB GPU and a Sound Card branded "MWave". It currently has Windows 95 installed but no components have proper drivers so I run it at 800x600 and the sound doesn't work. I'm going to reinstall it and use it for retro gaming (DOS games etc) but I wonder if should I use Windows 95 or install my copy of Windows 98 for it. What works best for gaming?[/QUOTE] Both use a DOS base, but 98 should have better compatibility with modern applications.
Okay I've been messing around with this all day, since the old computer wouldn't boot from CDs (and I have no floppys) I moved over the hard drive to a newer computer (P4, 1GB ram, Geforce 5950 Ultra) and installed Windows 98 from there. However If I plug it in any of the two computers I just get "Invalid system disk. Replace the disk and then press any key." I tried installing it on another hdd and tried the hdds with Windows 95 aswell but all I get is that damn error message when it's trying to boot of my hard drive. The boot order in BIOS is correct so It should boot of the HDDs, the HDDs were set as Master during install. How do I fix this?
Most older computers would not boot from a CD because that feature had yet to be implimented in the BIOS. To install Windows 98 or anything that was on a CD you need to have the boot floppy that came with it which loaded the CD-ROM driver, THEN it started the installation process. For starters, is the computer detecting the disk at POST? It's been a habit of mine to put CD drives on the primary IDE bus and the hard drives on the secondary with the bootable disk being Secondary Master.
My BIOS and POST and all that clearly states it detects my hard drives and CD player, it goes 100% fine until when it tries to load the OS (Windows 95 or 98) from the hard drive. thats when I get the error message I mentioned above. No matter what hard drive I use or what computer I put it in (out of the ones I've tested). [editline]24th December 2011[/editline] In the actual OS installation process it goes as far as to when it wants to reboot (when it has copied files and I've told it to use regional settings and all that), after it reboots I get the error on when it tries to boot off the hard disk.
[QUOTE=MIPS;33869251]Most older computers would not boot from a CD because that feature had yet to be implimented in the BIOS. To install Windows 98 or anything that was on a CD you need to have the boot floppy that came with it which loaded the CD-ROM driver, THEN it started the installation process. For starters, is the computer detecting the disk at POST? It's been a habit of mine to put CD drives on the primary IDE bus and the hard drives on the secondary with the bootable disk being Secondary Master.[/QUOTE] How old would that have to be? I had a Pentium II that had a BIOS that was dated to 1997 and it recognized boot CD's perfectly fine (DVD's even, with a DVD drive obviously).
Actually my BIOS has the ability to boot from CD, but it wouldn't work on the old CD reader that was inside it. I exchanged it for a newer CD/DVD Reader/Writer and voila it could boot from the Windows 98 CD! From there I used FDISK and deleted any and all partitions on C: and made a new partition, then I formatted it to FAT32 and then went on with the OS install as usual. I now sit with a fully working computer! Now for the next challenge, finding and installing drivers for all this ancient hardware..
Okay so I got drivers for most stuff and most hardware seems to function. My biggest issue is that the Sound Card won't work and I can't find any working drivers for it. I'm not 100% sure but I think the sound card was part of the computer by default (Packard Bell prebuilt) and thus is should have sound drivers for Windows 95 that it came packaged with. I cannot find them though. The computer has no on board audio so this card is my only way of getting audio. It's some kind of card with multiple ports, it has audio in and out and a mic port, a Gameport and a telephone wire port. It's connected to one of those old ISA 16 bit ports. Does anyone have a clue on how to get it working? Here's pictures of the card, both sides (with modem part detached). [url]http://i.imgur.com/MQmda.jpg[/url] [url]http://i.imgur.com/b4v4w.jpg[/url]
[QUOTE=Demache;33871258]How old would that have to be? I had a Pentium II that had a BIOS that was dated to 1997 and it recognized boot CD's perfectly fine (DVD's even, with a DVD drive obviously).[/QUOTE] It really depended on the chipset and BIOS manufacturer. Most PCs pre-1995-1996 were unable to boot from the CD. [QUOTE=Folstream;33883273]Okay so I got drivers for most stuff and most hardware seems to function. My biggest issue is that the Sound Card won't work and I can't find any working drivers for it. I'm not 100% sure but I think the sound card was part of the computer by default (Packard Bell prebuilt) and thus is should have sound drivers for Windows 95 that it came packaged with. I cannot find them though. The computer has no on board audio so this card is my only way of getting audio. It's some kind of card with multiple ports, it has audio in and out and a mic port, a Gameport and a telephone wire port. It's connected to one of those old ISA 16 bit ports. Does anyone have a clue on how to get it working? Here's pictures of the card, both sides (with modem part detached). [url]http://i.imgur.com/MQmda.jpg[/url] [url]http://i.imgur.com/b4v4w.jpg[/url][/QUOTE] That's a OEM specific card, it will be difficult or impossible to get the original drivers for it. The primary sound chip is a Crystal CS4216-KL. The IBM MWAVE chip is for telephony, and was notoriously buggy, both hardware and software wise. You may just be able to get a generic driver for the Crystal CS4216-KL sound chip, but those were awful. Sound quality was usually very poor, and had limitations, like further reduction of sound quality while multiple channels were playing or recording was done at the same time as sound output. MIDI was also equally terrible on ESS/Crystal sound chips due to them not having a MPU-401, and having to emulate the functionality, which was always REALLY bad. I would see if you could find an AWE64 or SB16 (AWE64 preferred, they sound much better)
The easiest he'll find will be a 16 or a Vibra. Either way you will be better off than the Mwave. Also, FUCK! I'm at my parents swapping systems (an SGI goes into storage and a NeXT Cube is taken out to be spruced up before going to a computer show next month) and in the meantime I tried gathering up all of my Apple IIe parts. I could of sworn I had a Mouse card and the IIe Memory Expansion Card (because a full meg of ram is better than only 128k) but it appears I don't. With macfags still sucking up everything on Apple on ebay right now it will be impossible either of these cards now as opposed to a few months ago (When I left The Hackery we had shrinkwrapped boxes of the memory expansion. They had been on ebay for months and nobody wanted them. Now they are long gone). I also discovered when I moved I lost or threw out my Apple II monochrome monitor so now I have to get another one of those too (at least I know where to get those) Well, my Enhanced 65C02 IIe just got a little less complete. :(
[QUOTE=bohb;33885480]It really depended on the chipset and BIOS manufacturer. Most PCs pre-1995-1996 were unable to boot from the CD. That's a OEM specific card, it will be difficult or impossible to get the original drivers for it. The primary sound chip is a Crystal CS4216-KL. The IBM MWAVE chip is for telephony, and was notoriously buggy, both hardware and software wise. You may just be able to get a generic driver for the Crystal CS4216-KL sound chip, but those were awful. Sound quality was usually very poor, and had limitations, like further reduction of sound quality while multiple channels were playing or recording was done at the same time as sound output. MIDI was also equally terrible on ESS/Crystal sound chips due to them not having a MPU-401, and having to emulate the functionality, which was always REALLY bad. I would see if you could find an AWE64 or SB16 (AWE64 preferred, they sound much better)[/QUOTE] Heh I'm rather greedy so if possible I would not want to purchase any extra hardware. Thanks for all the info though, now I understand what kind of card I have! Say, I have 2 PCI slots on the computer, one is used by a 3dfx card but the other one is free. Would I be able to put my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 in it? I checked some system requirements and they were higher than the PC specs, I don't know if that matters. I don't know if Windows 98 drivers for it exist. If not I might just get a Sound Blaster 16 since they go for only a few dollars on eBay.
[QUOTE=Folstream;33895875]Heh I'm rather greedy so if possible I would not want to purchase any extra hardware. Thanks for all the info though, now I understand what kind of card I have! Say, I have 2 PCI slots on the computer, one is used by a 3dfx card but the other one is free. Would I be able to put my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 in it? I checked some system requirements and they were higher than the PC specs, I don't know if that matters. I don't know if Windows 98 drivers for it exist. If not I might just get a Sound Blaster 16 since they go for only a few dollars on eBay.[/QUOTE] I don't know if any Audigy 2 card has W98 drivers or not, I'm guessing they do since my Audigy Gamer had W98 drivers. Though, creative may have dropped support for W98 in later driver updates. Anyway, Creative has always been shit in the driver department, and always makes it difficult to find drivers for their older products. I think the reason they put CPU/RAM requirements is for all of the extra crap that comes with the drivers like the audio console, etc. You can do just a driver installation and shed all of the bloatware.
Okay, I plugged in the card and it was (compared to the old crap card) detected by Windows at startup. I asked around and was told to use the drivers named "SBA2_EAX4DRV_031031.exe" and let the files extract and then manually adding the drivers. So I did and the drivers seemed to have installed successfully and the device showed up in device manager, but I got no sound. So I reinstalled Windows 98 (Just the OS, it seems to keep all my installed programs registered so I didn't have to reinstall drivers or programs at all) and after that the sound just worked! Here's the driver files I used: [url]http://www.mediafire.com/?5dx7i066u59i44t[/url] Edit: Is there any way at all to use the (Diamond Monster 3D) 3dfx Voodoo2 card for both desktop and 3D applications? I can only run 1024x768 desktop with 256 colors on the integrated graphics chip (S3 Trio64V+). It's painful running lower resolutions with higher color depth.
Do you have the volume control panel in the system tray? If you open the sound control panel, can you play sound notifications (play button is not grayed out)? If you can say yes to both then the card is fully installed. Check to make sure your speakers/headphones are properly plugged in. The Voodoo2 is strictly a GLide accelerator. You can't use it's memory to run higher desktop resolutions or color depths. All you can do is find a new video card. I would suggest the ATI MAch 64 if you can find them. 4mb of VRAM will give you 32-bit color at 1024x768.
Like I said the sound started working completely after I did my reinstall of Windows 98 so that isn't a problem anymore. Sadly I don't have any more PCI slots than the ones I already use (1 for the Sound Blaster, 1 for the 3dfx card) so I cannot install more PCI cards. Unless some 4mb Video Card is available for ISA ports and has working drivers for Windows 98. You guys have been very helpful, thanks a lot! EDIT: I think I found a picture of my motherboard with some descriptions! [url]http://i.imgur.com/Q2MYq.jpg[/url] My motherboard looks just like that except there's no Video in ports. What got my attention is that where it says "Video RAM" and point towards some chips, only two of those are filled in my motherboard, should I be able to add more memory chips? That is if I can find some of course. Here's a picture from my own motherboard, before I cleaned it. [url]http://i.imgur.com/6EdZo.jpg[/url]
You should be able to put two more VRAM chips in those two sockets which in most cases will double the total VRAM. Back then this was cheaper to do than buying a new video card. Tough part these days is getting the chips. I resorted t popping the surface mounted chips off scrap boards and cards and putting them into sockets. Sometimes it worked immediately, other times you had to try a few pairs to get ones that worked right You could find them a lot of the time soldered to OEM motherboards.
[b]RACK!![/b] [IMG]http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a166/ballsandy/Computer%20related/100_2476.jpg[/IMG]
New lap crusher [img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5831868/Photo%2006-01-2012%2016%2044%2001.jpg[/img] 7.16 MHz 8OC86 CPU 512KB RAM dual 720K floppy drives monochrome screen MS DOS 6.21 on a floppy disk [editline]7th January 2012[/editline] And the battery lasts fucking ages [editline]7th January 2012[/editline] It's a toshiba T1100+
The battery works? you totally need to load up Micorsoft Works 1.0 on a floppy and use it at school.
Not exactly related but [URL="http://www.westerndesigncenter.com/wdc/"]6502's[/URL] and [URL="http://www.westerndesigncenter.com/wdc/mensch_computer.cfm"]6502-based computers[/URL] are still produced
[QUOTE=Val67;34091945]Not exactly related but [URL="http://www.westerndesigncenter.com/wdc/"]6502's[/URL] and [URL="http://www.westerndesigncenter.com/wdc/mensch_computer.cfm"]6502-based computers[/URL] are still produced[/QUOTE] [URL="http://hackaday.com/2011/11/30/building-a-computer-around-a-6502-processor/"]Or if you have the guts you could fab your own from scratch[/URL]
[QUOTE=MIPS;34089002]The battery works? you totally need to load up Micorsoft Works 1.0 on a floppy and use it at school.[/QUOTE] The drives it has are 720K Can i replace the bottom drive with a 1.44M drive?
No. There's a lot however you can still do with 720k though. For windows XP and up you can also still format 1.44mb floppies as 720kb. Instead of format A: /f:720 however (which was depreciated when XP was released) you instead have to use Format A: /T:80 /N:9 (which formats to 80 tracks, 9 sectors). I had a [url=http://oldcomputers.net/zenith-eazy-pc.html]Zenith Eazy PC[/url] at work that was the same. I had one floppy in A: hold everything related to DOS and drivers and another disk in B: that held my applications and files.
[QUOTE='[EG] Pepper;34088175']New lap crusher [img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5831868/Photo%2006-01-2012%2016%2044%2001.jpg[/img] [/QUOTE] Imagine if they started making laptops (Or should I say "portables"?) like this to day. They could fit some really great hardware in such a big case where cooling isn't an issue.
[QUOTE=Warship;34133352]Imagine if they started making laptops (Or should I say "portables"?) like this to day. They could fit some really great hardware in such a big case where cooling isn't an issue.[/QUOTE] It would just be a very portable stationary computer with a small built-in UPS.
[QUOTE=Van-man;34134709]It would just be a very portable stationary computer with a small built-in UPS.[/QUOTE] The term is [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_computer]"Luggable"[/url]. [img]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chassis-plans-mp3x17-fnt-obl-open-1280.jpg[/img]
Sorry, you need to Log In to post a reply to this thread.