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racketboy
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Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by racketboy Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:43 pm

What classic PC hardware, in hindsight seem like the coolest or most interesting hardware designs?
Stuff that run DOS-based Windows or just plain DOS.

Some that come to mind for are some of the more compact Compaq machines (maybe even some of the "Appliance" designs) or the original Sony Vaio line.

Which ones do you think of? If you have model names/numbers and pictures, that would be awesome :)
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by samsonlonghair Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:20 am

I think this IBM aptiva looks pretty cool. Definitely a product of the 1990s.
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by racketboy Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:09 am

Yes I did like those! Broke away from beige! I loved Thinkpads too so these shrared some of the same aesthetics
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by Ziggy587 Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:45 am

:lol:

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To me, a Windows 98 PC has to be a quintessential beige box. That's what I want to look at, just for nostalgia's sake.

In retrospect though? As in, what looks the coolest these days? I don't think I could be objective about that. I think I'd only ever choose something that I'm nostalgic for. I'm interested to see what other people suggest.

If I wanted something from the 90's though that would look good today, I'd probably go with a Sony Vaio tower.
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by Tanooki Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:49 pm

Same here on the beige box which is why I haven't gone into trying to find a brand or pictures. The first PC I had was a bigbox thing from Maganavox, the Headstart 500C, first 386 PC with a CDROM drive (caddy style), also had VGA/SVGA capable 800x600 card and screen too. Sleek rectangle with nice lines on it.

I'd get you a picture but finding info on that thing is a true pain in the ass let alone a picture of it of any value. It sucks, I really really badly want to source one of the pack-in CDs it had with it, it was this badass CD full of games, dozens from the later 80s/1990 and wow they were excellent between some text based, but many were low/moderate colored arcade conversions and popular PC releases of the time.

After that I built my own up until time/money made it more logical to get a Dell through a corporate discount a dozen years ago.
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by racketboy Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:08 pm

Cool! And yeah, I'm down for well-designed beige boxes. We all know what the typical stuff looked like, but if you know of others that do have a bit more of a timeless aesthetic as opposed to something that was designed haphazardly, please pass on info. If you can't find good pictures, share what you can and I'll see if I can dig anything up.
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by Tanooki Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:48 pm

racketboy wrote:Cool! And yeah, I'm down for well-designed beige boxes. We all know what the typical stuff looked like, but if you know of others that do have a bit more of a timeless aesthetic as opposed to something that was designed haphazardly, please pass on info. If you can't find good pictures, share what you can and I'll see if I can dig anything up.


I can't hunt big right now, but this is a decent pic of the 500 not 500 C (as in CD) model and it appears to still be in the box and opened up for documentation to a point.
http://ibmvaluepoint.blogspot.com/2018/ ... t-500.html

It came with on mine 2MB of RAM, 80MB Maxtor HDD, Sound Blaster Pro audio, 1.44" and CD (single speed, but half that by future standards) caddy based drive, 2400baud modem, not recalling much beyond that other than what i said before with the VGA/SVGA card.


By the way this thread mentions the CD and yes it did have a wicked version of the NES game Willow in far more better and colorful shape along with other stuff. Into the Eagles Nest, Skyfox 2, Road Runner, Infiltrator 1 and 2, Pebble Beach Golf, Bad News Brawler, lots of stuff.
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by racketboy Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:25 pm

My 286 is a Magnavox. I really like it's design too. Pretty classic. In hindsight, it still cracks me up to see their brand name on it as I always thought of them as mostly a traditional appliance company. But you can tell they actually thought about industrial design.
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by Tanooki Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:39 pm

Yeah you're right, and recall they are Philips so they really knew their stuff making those forward at the time thinking computers. Think of it they made the CD, so you get their brand you get the first CD on the market. I also was off, it was 4MB of RAM in the thing, and think of that for Christmas 1990, that was basically the fastest off the shelf choice you could get at the time. It came with that 15" CRT, had a epson or something big dot matrix printer that held up for years, a pile of discs with a full encyclopedia, The Manhole, the 30 games disc, another with apps and junk, all sorts of stuff and i recall it being like a $4K out the door deal which is nuts. I was on that thing so much self teaching myself DOS commands, tweaking the autoexec and config files to insane levels to get high amounts of RAM opened up and XMS/EMS too for needy things like Wing Commanders speech package. I remember a point where I got it over the 610K mark stuffing all sorts of stuff into EMS and elsewhere and some of those crazy european demos started flying too.

I really wish I could just find some picture or direct naming reference to that disc, I want it back. DOSBox would be great. See there was this one really awesome colored basic text game. It had you running like this kingdom of sorts allocating people to jobs or the army, resources of other things, and so on. Boring as I make it sound it actually was compelling good, a real time suck.


Got another reference, ok article about a similar one too: https://books.google.com/books?id=zFAEA ... 00&f=false
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Re: Coolest-Looking Classic PCs (Win98 or earlier)?

by fastbilly1 Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:39 pm

Yall cant keep on topic.

Mid 90s Compaq Presarios like a 4540 with the rocketship fins:
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When CDs became standard they really started looking like rockets

Packard Bell Corner:
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Sony Viao PCV-MX2V7:
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NeXT cube:
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Ill say that anything in the 80s is cool. Anything like an Apple ][, IBM PS/2, Kaypro, Commodore, or Amiga. Funny story the Dragon128 is the reason that Atlantas Dragon Alliance of Gamers wargaming convention was renamed DragonCon. But you have to mention the Seiko UC-2000 series:
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Or anything that is a Teletype:
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