What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by adz, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    I've been restoring a PowerBook 2400c recently, this was an Apple subnotebook mainly sold for the Japanese market, and US to a lesser degree, designed (perhaps manufactured?) by IBM. It has nothing to do with the PowerBook Duo line, and is similar in footprint to a 12" PowerBook (but fatter).

    The "restoring" came about from finding a Yu-Plan green transparent keyboard online, and I had a spare 30GB mSATA drive I wanted to use in it. It's an incredibly fragile machine to work on, and during the many disassemblies the G3 card kept giving up it's L2 cache, for reasons I can't really work out. I had a 128GB mSATA drive (in a 2.5" IDE converter case) which completely disabled the G3 cache, so suspect some sort of odd incompatibility. Now back together for the 15th time, it seems OK.

    Machine is specced to :

    - Newertech G3 240Mhz
    - 112MB RAM (max is meant to be 96MB, but this is some hacked module I bought years ago)
    - Intel branded 30GB mSATA drive in 2.5" IDE enclosure (not really for speed, but the G3 gets crazy hot and I thought this might cool down the internals)
    - Battery good

    I received this 2400c some years ago from a collector who bought two but plugged them into a PowerBook Duo power adapter, which blew out all the SMT fuses on the motherboard resulting in a "green light of death" (GLOD). He said: fix both, keep one. There are 5-6 SMT fuses on the motherboard, and any slight voltage fluctation blows most of them out.

    JB IMG_4945.JPG
     
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  2. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Member

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    I'm digging that keyboard.
     
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  3. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    NICE. Late 80's if I'm not mistaken, right before the kidney ones. That mouse is probably as old as I am.

    I just like doing it for fun. As soon as I start doing it with deadlines and customers, it's no longer fun. I like being able to take my time and do things properly. Doing things properly is not a key to a money maker, you need near enough is good enough. ;)

    Another problem is if I find something I like I end up keeping it. A few weeks ago I cleaned up an original Antec sonata (2004) that was in horrible shape I found on the side of the road.. It was complete with keys and books and everything, but came up so beautiful I did my Athlon XP build in it.

    And that powerbook looks great. Don't have too much old apple stuff around here to clean/fix.

    Edit: and it's not just old stuff I clean, I cleaned a Thermaltake Core X9 I got off here the other day and it's about 4cm too long for me to use where I wanted it.. so that 5 hours went to nothing lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
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  4. OP
    OP
    adz

    adz Member

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    1987 to be precise, it's pretty much what I turn to when I need a serial mouse these days, I have a few of the kidney ones, but I prefer this. I'm actually quite a fan of Microsoft Mice :thumbup:
     
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  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Yeah I hear you. I was just kidding, as folks keep telling me to sell the arcade machines I make. No way would I love it as much once it becomes a job.
     
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  6. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  7. cdtoaster

    cdtoaster Member

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    so there wasn't much interest in the stuff i was selling and the winning bidder didn't respond, i was giving them a few days before sending it to the backup bidder when the cat im looking after peed on the box. yaaaay. i salvaged a few things but threw most of it away.
    since i never replaced the P3 mobo i'm building a P4 that supports Win98SE/ME and ME. Win95/98 have native DOS so you can press F8 or whatever and boot into full DOS mode (not the restart into ms-dos mode). does ME also support this feature?
    i'm thinking of going to ME instead of 98SE since i have an intel chipset motherboard and never had any issues with it on my Dad's PC at the time. is there a difference in 16bit application support between 98SE and ME? ultimately i broke the P3 installing the tulatin because the coppermine CPU was a bottleneck in several games so the P4 will fix that.

    the 9800XT i just procured causes "Display memory R/W error" BIOS beep codes. my 6800 GT AGP and GeForce2 GTS are running fine in it, i decided to give the 9800 Pro a final go (it wouldn't POST in several S370/S462 boards) and it seems to be running fine so far so that's a small win. the 6800 GT spanks the 9800 Pro but i think i'll use that anyway since it gives me the fuzzies.
     
  8. grommet80

    grommet80 Member

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    Stick with 98SE if you want DOS. They semi-removed it from ME.

    I didn't mind ME it was better than 98FE.
     
  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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  10. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    I didn't mind it either, most people hated it passionately. Sure it wasn't without issue but at the time there was an issue I had with dial up connectivity in 98SE flatout not working that wasn't evident in ME. alternatively 98 (standard/non SE) worked but then gave me bluescreens at shutdown. There was a fix for bluescreens at shutdown but this was only for SE.

    I setup a dual boot of 98SE and XP last year. I hadn't used either in a very long time and the process of getting all drivers installed for both OS' is something I don't miss.
     
  11. cdtoaster

    cdtoaster Member

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    I started building the PC pretty much as soon as i made the post and went with ME OEM final (build 4.90.3000), it started off smoothly but I started encountering errors fairly quickly. it was actually funny because i don't have a CD burner in any of my main PCs, i had to hook up an IDE burner via my external HDD dock (i love that thing).

    I'm using a 250gb SATA HDD, after the setup spent a good hour+ formatting it and went through the resets i started getting errors about some components using 32Bit drivers and others not which isn't allowed. in BIOS i found a setting which allowed me to disable the secondary IDE channels so I'm running the 2 sata ports as primary IDE and the primary IDE as secondary, that fixed the first issue.

    once i was in windows it immediately detected the USB stick which was great, i wanted to have all the most up to date drivers so i installed the USB 2.0 drivers from the motherboard website. i don't know if it's coincidence but now i generally have to reset the PC for USB sticks to be detected and they show up as both removable media and HDDs.

    continuing with the trend i couldn't get the chipset drivers from the board website to install. i spent way too long on this, they wouldn't even extract so i ran the installer on my main PC and found the drivers in the temp files folder. eventually i remembered that you can often get standalone chipset drivers from the chipset manufacturer but i couldn't find those either. luckily someone on vogons uploaded them which really saved my butt, they're marked as being quite rare.

    vogons saved me again with the sound drivers, someone uploaded the full SBLive CD which correctly detected and installed the drivers. the sound was choppy at times so i ran the 3mb driver update i had from creative which fixed that. at this point i also disabled hyperthreading, parallel port and serial port in the bios to try to cut down on things that could cause issues.

    The chipset drivers, one of the motherboard utilities and directx 9.0c (November 2008) won't install because of missing DLL files or missing application calls which i assume is also a DLL related error. i tried downloading the DLL files (this worked when i had the 98SE P3) but the issue appears to be more systemic. the first one it asked for was PSAPI.DLL then NTDLL.DLL which shouldn't be applicable for windows 9x? Another problem is that the PC will not shutdown or reset, it just goes to a black screen then sits there. Plus the CPU fan is is noisy as hell.

    if anyone has suggestions for the shutdown/reset not working or missing DLL files that would be awesome.

    you can get cheap SSDs for about $30 and I'm visiting a city soon so i might grab a 120gb and do a clean install with the lessons learnt.

    the ebay seller is being cool about the 9800XT and said they'd give a refund, i'll see if i can get it to work today and if not i'll request the refund.
     
  12. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    Could try reflow it with some heat but longevity would be questionable. If the seller is happy to refund it without you sending it back then may as well try it to get a few benchmarks out of it for kicks.
     
  13. cdtoaster

    cdtoaster Member

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    i took off the fan and backplate, cleaned off all the dust that was packed on the board and replaced the thermal compound that that completely dry and cracked. afterward the card started working and i was able to run 3dmark 01 SE. i left the pc idle for a few hours and when i came back the card was unbearably loud and windows had frozen. it hadn't done this with the 9800 Pro but i did install some extra windows patches so i'm not sure if it's still faulty or not.
     
  14. WuZMoT

    WuZMoT Member

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    Sounds real flakey. 9800XT was king of the hill and it's now about 15-16 years old. I think it's time for her to rest.

    I remember warehousing system parts in 2004 and there was an Asus 9800XT in a stupidly large retail box that was bundled with a bunch of software in a disc wallet.
    Thanks internet:
    http://vccollection.ru/?page_id=5774

    scroll down to see the display flap opened to get an idea of the box size relative to the card !!!
     
  15. cdtoaster

    cdtoaster Member

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    damn that's huge, there was actually a collector's edition of these cards, i recall the controversy on the forums when they came out. i had 100% forgotten about them until one popped up on ebay, i think they wanted $1800 for it.

    there it is http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/radeon/asus-ati-2.html

    the voodoo cards seem much more rugged, i forgot how hot and loud this era of cards were until they moved to decent dual slot rear venting coolers
     
  16. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    Yesterday’s activity was cleaning some old cases and parts and digging out the optical drive pile to find matching drives.

    Nothing special, I finished the day starting to clean up a stacker 830 (I’m pretty sure it’s old enough to be retro)

    During the night a box collapsed and sent case parts and selected optical drives into the motherboards I had ready to go.

    So I guess today I’m picking it all up and retesting the boards..
    Ugh.
     
  17. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    Overhauled my Amiga 2000 over the past few days, it's a fairly stock HD model with XT bridge board

    - Updated crappy Gotek floppy drive emulator's Cortex firmware with flash floppy + ordered mini OLED display for it
    - Switched stock 50MB SCSI HD with 1050MB SCSI HD, added long cable for Apple 8X CD-ROM
    - Fresh install of WorkBench 2.1 on replacement SCSI HD
    - Graphics were glitching, lines and corruption - found a spare Fat Agnus chip which fixed it up
    - Sorted out Gotek running concurrently with Chinon floppy drive - played around with jumpers for both, DF0 is Gotek and DF1 normal floppy

    Great to see it running smoothly again!
     
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  18. OP
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    adz

    adz Member

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    I concur, well done getting the old girl going again :thumbup:
     
  19. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    Thanks mate. The ~ $4 OLED display on the Gotek drive should make all the difference when installed - my A2000 doesn't have enough capabilities to run WHDLoad, so it'll be good to know what I'm actually trying to load :p
     
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  20. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Finally finished up on a Hickok 532 mutual conductance tube tester, but there are still some blemishes which I don't think I'am going to iron out as this is a 50 + year old test equipment we talking about.

    Tested some tubes in the process and all is good.
     

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