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The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:28 am
by Ziggy587
The PC Build Thread is great, but I thought it would be good if we had a dedicated thread for talking about older computers, and the PC Build Thread can be for modern/current stuff (which is 99% of the talk in that thread anyway). If it's outdated, post it here!




noiseredux wrote:
Ziggy587 wrote:Earlier in the year I was thinking about starting a new thread for old PC talk, keeping this one for current PC stuff.


that's actually a really good idea. I remember you building an old rig for Doom/etc a while back, but it's not easy to dig up some of those old posts as this thread has really grown. A dedicated Retro PC Build thread might be cool.


Yeah, I know I brought up retro PCs earlier in the year. I lost a little steam with the project I had in mind, but I got a little of it back recently.

I have a PII Compaq Deskpro, which was my first computer that was my very own, and I've been using it for retro PC gaming for a while now. I have many other computers of that era, and I was thinking about setting them all up in my basement and networking them together. Just real nerd stuff.

One thing that's been bugging me is a 486 that I got rid of. I have a bunch of PII, PIII and P4 computers, which are great for Win98 and XP, but I have nothing appropriate for a MS-DOS / Win3 set up. I ditched the 486 because I figured any old Win3 or DOS games I could run on my Win98 machines, but I kinda regret it now. Looking at 486 hardware on eBay, it looks just like SNES games, the prices are way higher than what I'd be willing to spend. So recently, I've been thinking about maybe building a Pentium (1) machine for a DOS/Win3 setup since it should be cheaper. I recently picked up a NOS OEM DOS 5 (full version) and DOS 6.22 upgrade, so I'm all set!

noise wrote:I actually just use a USB 3.5" drive. I have a couple of them, and they work great on Win10.


Really? I've never used one, but I've read terrible things about them. If I really wanted to, I can just use one of my old PCs to make images of floppies so that I can use them in DOSbox on my modern PC. But I'm actually just looking to back them up since, well, they're floppies that are 20+ years old.

noise wrote:I've looked into [the KryoFlux] (and CatWeasel) in the past, and would genuinely love to have something like this - problem is that they can be somewhat difficult to find and rather pricey. It looks like once shipping is factored in, the Kryo is in the $200 neighborhood. It gets hard to justify that price when I know I can find some old cheap hardware to effectively do the same job.


Yeah, the price tag is why I wont get one. They're great for someone like LGR that has hundreds of games, some of which are likely never dumped by anyone. I'm glad that it exists for the sake of preservation, but for people like us that just need simple backups of common games, the price tag is a little too high.

noise wrote:
ziggy wrote:So what kind of computer is it? :D


I'm not sure - I've got at least two Win 98 era machines in the basement. I'll have to dig em out and open up and see what I've got to work with soon. If I recall one is a P2 and another is a Celeron.


Definitely post the specs when you find out! I wanna talk about old PCs! :lol:

noise wrote:I will also have to find a 5.25" floppy drive! :lol:


The going eBay prices for those have been pissing me off too. I guess they're lumped in with 486 stuff, and it's in demand right now. Luckily, I have one that works great, but I've been wanting to pickup at least one more for one of my other computers. Mostly just in case one drive dies, I'll still have another.

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:33 am
by noiseredux
I'm excited. I'll dig through my basement this week and decide which my starting point PC will be. From there, I'll use this thread to chronicle upgrades and additions to it. Like I mentioned, a 5.25" floppy drive is top priority - as I'd really like to use this rig as a means to back up floppies for DOSbox etc on my other PC's.

Some other things to consider will be a proper 98-era GPU, a sound card, and a Gravis pad for the nostalgia. 8)

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:46 am
by Ziggy587
noiseredux wrote:I'll use this thread to chronicle upgrades and additions to it.


Awesome! Now I'm excited! :lol:

noiseredux wrote:Some other things to consider will be a proper 98-era GPU, a sound card, and a Gravis pad for the nostalgia. 8)


For video cards, this page should help: http://www.nvidia.com/object/81.98_9x_supported.html

Here's another good resource, this lists the last known versions to work on Win98 for a ton of software: http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/105936- ... dows-98se/

A sound card is something I need to look into as well. My Compaq Deskpro has yucky on board sound with no joystick port. I was able to score some sort of Sound Blaster PCI card from a side of the road PC pickup, but I haven't been able to look into it yet.

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:16 pm
by flylikeabird
Good thread idea. Retro PC/big box has been my main focus lately and I wanted to build a an old school DOS rig myself. Need some native hardware to play all these big box games I've been picking up. Kind of a noob to building computers myself so may have to "borrow" some ideas from you guys. :o

While not really a "build" at all (or Windows/DOS related for that matter) I did find an old imac g3 for 30$ a couple months ago that has been scratching my early 90s-early 2000s PC gaming itch for the time being. Pretty awesome playing Duke Nukem 3D/Prince of Persia/Warcraft 2/Civ 2 etc on the same hardware I first got to play those games on as a kid in my school's comp lab/class rooms. Total nostalgia trip for me.

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:19 pm
by noiseredux
flylikeabird wrote:Good thread idea. Retro PC/big box has been my main focus lately and I wanted to build a an old school DOS rig myself. Need some native hardware to play all these big box games I've been picking up.


awesome! I was thinking of starting a thread to show off various big box and old school PC game oddities that I've picked up.

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:30 pm
by Ziggy587
I, too, have been collecting big box games recently. I was thinking about starting a big box collection for a while, and watching LGR on YouTube made me decide to finally start. I've already acquired almost all of my favorites and stuff I had as a kid, and pretty much all of the OSes I want, and Fast hooked me up with about a dozen of random titles, so my collection is already where I want it to be. I just need a few more things for nostalgic sake, and then everything else after that will be "oh that looks cool."

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:59 pm
by flylikeabird
Ziggy587 wrote:I, too, have been collecting big box games recently. I was thinking about starting a big box collection for a while, and watching LGR on YouTube made me decide to finally start. I've already acquired almost all of my favorites and stuff I had as a kid, and pretty much all of the OSes I want, and Fast hooked me up with about a dozen of random titles, so my collection is already where I want it to be. I just need a few more things for nostalgic sake, and then everything else after that will be "oh that looks cool."


Yep same for me. Big fan of LGR, made me remember how much fun I had playing computer games as a kid. Nothing like some Civ 2 on a rainy day home from school.


I've gotten most of the stuff I have nostalgia for as well, but there are a few that just seem impossible to find/or absurdly expensive. Doom big box (non shareware) comes to mind as a way too expensive one. Hoping to luck out and find one in the wild lol. :roll:

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:24 pm
by noiseredux
Ziggy587 wrote:For video cards, this page should help: http://www.nvidia.com/object/81.98_9x_supported.html


I love that Nvidia actually still has this info and drivers easily found.

Here's another good resource, this lists the last known versions to work on Win98 for a ton of software: http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/105936- ... dows-98se/


Nice!

This is my new favorite thread. :lol:

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:42 pm
by Ziggy587
flylikeabird wrote:Doom big box (non shareware) comes to mind as a way too expensive one. Hoping to luck out and find one in the wild lol. :roll:


Oh, I've given up on getting a non-shareware Doom big box. I was thinking about getting The Ultimate Doom, but the box art just isn't the same. What I'm planning on doing is making my own box art in Photoshop, printing it out, and gluing it on an old cereal box. Quaker Life is the perfect size. I can make it look decent.

noiseredux wrote:I love that Nvidia actually still has this info and drivers easily found.


Yes, and that list is gonna come in handy for me when I finally get around to setting up my computer lab. One of the PCs, my first ever custom built PC, I'm gonna dual boot 98 and XP on. I want the best video card that I can for XP, while still being compatible with 98.

noiseredux wrote:Nice!


That list is indispensable for Win98. There's a lot of utilities that you pretty much need, like WinZip and Acrobat Reader. It's a little outdated though, I noticed that 7-Zip is listed as on-going (meaning it the latest version still supports 98) but it's untrue. It'd be nice to know what the latest version of 7-Zip is that I can put on 98, but I'll use WinZip (that's what we all used back then anyway).

Re: The Retro PC Thread

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:57 pm
by noiseredux
oh man, I think I want totally ordered this book:

Image

...published in 1999 and clocking in at 330 pages.

Topics covered: Processors, memory, motherboards, graphics cards, sound systems, disks, and other physical devices. Graphics chipsets, including the 3dfx Voodoo series, ATI's Rage products, the Matrox G400 series, the Nvidia TNT2 and GeForce 256, and S3's Savage4 and Savage 2000. Programmer's instruction sets (including OpenGL, DirectX, DirectSound, and Direct3D). Building and optimizing a computer, starting from scratch.