What retro activity did you get up to today?

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

  1. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Awesome mate, that sounds really good and handy :) +++ :thumbup:
     
  2. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Wow, I had no idea FreeDOS had implemented a package manager. That's great.
     
  3. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    FreeDOS needs way more press. It really gets looked down on as an "inferior DOS" by a lot of people, but that's missing the big picture.

    Operating systems are much more than the bare bones. You don't open Windows and stare at file explorer with no tools and applications. You don't install DOS with "format c:\ /s" and have nothing but COMMAND.COM.

    FreeDOS has implemented not only cool things like FAT32 read/write for big drives (2TB max drive/volume size) and NTFS read access. It's done "quality of life" things like TAB complete (type a portion of a command, hit TAB and the rest completes), and things like a history (up/down arrows on the command line scroll through old commands -perfect when you make a typo in a long command and need to fix one character).

    But on top of that the Installer CD has a comprehensive suite of open source tools (wget, rsync, dhcp, tonnes of games, multiple editors, modern compression tools like 7zip, and MUCH better zip/unzip tools than shitty pkzip) that can all be installed and uninstalled from a simple menu.

    Best of all, you can run these tools in almost any DOS. You can run the MS-DOS base with FreeDOS utils if you want. You can mix and match either the MS or FreeDOS high memory managers, extended memory managers, CD mounting utilties, etc. They'll all happily co-exist.

    Anyone who's a DOS lover needs to check out what's on offer.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  4. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    In the realm of odd devices that allow you to connect retro console controllers to retro PCs by piggybacking the keyboard input (like the Dynapoint Gamestar covered by LGR), there is a new contender. This guy has developed a new one that will do SNES or Megadrive pads over PS/2, and is polling the community for their interest in a production run. I've got a soft spot for weird input solutions, so I've joined the list.

    https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=73775
     
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  5. breech

    breech Member

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    Nice, i'll be down for one of those. I used to have a Logic3 programmable megapad (?) that plugged into AT keyboard passthrough, which was a great solution for the time. The encoding was also hotkey based and all face buttons had autofire. So good.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
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  6. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    I've got this late 90s/00 adapter that lets you plug in PS, SNES, Atari, Megadrive and PC joysticks ... into an Apple ADB port ... I shit you not. Also acts as a keyboard controller essentially.
     
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  7. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    IT does indeed look like shit AFTER the rust removal.
    The second I applied the acid, it started eating though the coating on the case before the rust.
    But I needed to soak to remove the rust:
    DSCF0173.JPG

    The bottom was actually fun. As soon as I put my finger down, the rust buster ate through the coating.
    I was considering writing my name or doing a Firewire logo in rust buster, or painting the bottom, but want to get on with the build:
    DSCF0031.JPG

    Will rebuild it tonight and see if it works! :lol:

    Also picked up the next lot!
     
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  8. mkusanagi

    mkusanagi Member

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    Most of those old pressed steel cases are zinc coated to protect them from rusting, so if you use an acid or any other solution to remove the rust you should re-prime or seal it in order to stop it from rusting up again (and probably worse now that it's exposed bare metal). Think disc brakes on your car if you havn't driven them for a few days starting to form a layer of rust.
     
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  9. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    To be honest, I'm not too fussed about this case, If it re rusts, it re rusts :lol:
    I might put some WD40 on it if I give it away.
    I have much nicer cases for these components if it works.

    My Month long resto is almost at the moment of truth:
    DSCF0007.JPG

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    Haven't bothered wiring TOP IO, or LEDs.. Just power, reset and Speaker.
    Like I said before Not staying in this case:
    DSCF0009.JPG

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    The front looked shit, and still looks shit, but I couldn't soak the rust off easily, it just didn't wanna budge:
    DSCF0073.JPG

    The rust stained into the perspex, couldn't get it all off (my chemicals started eating the window as well as the rust:
    DSCF0074.JPG

    This corner had the lot. Dust, Bugs, Water damage, Unknown Stains, Baked on Grime, Rust and a damp smell:
    DSCF0135.JPG

    Time to power on this beast!!!

    EDIT: IT'S ALIVE!!!
    DSCF0223.JPG

    well for 30 seconds at least. Then an alarming sound (hissing like screaming) and grinding, and blue lights flickering had me turn it off.

    Hissing screaming was the caps on the DPS daughter board (now removed) grinding was the Northbridge fan (now unplugged) and blue lights flickering were also the daughter board.

    Now I have to decide if I want to piss around with software, or move onto the next retro resto!
    (I picked up a bunch the other day!)

    Thanks to Peromaniac for this resto!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  10. Peromaniac

    Peromaniac Member

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    Pleasure is all mine, I had more enjoyment reading about the resto than I will have ever done with it.
     
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  11. okclock123

    okclock123 Member

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    I rustbusted a part of a case 2 months ago. The metal is exposed but not rerusted yet. This can vary depending on what kind of humidity you have I guess. Haven’t found any success stories of colour matching the classic case zinc plated grey as of yet.
     
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  12. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    OK, I started this. I consider this alpha quality, lots to do still.

    Tentatively called "ISOify", it lets you pull a CDROM ISO image over the network and mount it on a DOS machine (tested in MS-DOS 6.22 and FreeDOS 1.2 inside VirtualBox) as a virtual drive. This all works without a physical CDROM attached to your system.

    Bits and pieces are zipped up here:
    https://stickfreaks.com/ocau/dosisoify/dos_isoify.zip

    To test it with the current working packet drivers, you will need to make a VirtualBox DOS VM with at least 600MB of free space to test this (as it's going to download a ~500MB ISO). Additionally I couldn't get mine to work with the network in NAT mode. DNS resolution only worked with the network in bridge mode (so the VM got DHCP and DNS straight from my house router).

    Inside that zip is a file called "dosisoify_floppy.img". That's a 1.44MB 3.5" floppy disk image that will work with a DOS install under VirtualBox.

    Mount it up in VirtualBox, then inside DOS head to A: and run "SETUP.BAT", and it'll copy everything you need to C:\ISOIFY

    From there, using VirtualBox's "PC-Net Fast III (Am79C973)" in bridge mode, and a DHCP server on your network, make sure your'e in C:\ISOIFY and run "INITNET.BAT" to initialise your network adaptor and get an IP address.

    Run "DEMO.BAT" to download an open source ISO over the Internet, and then mount it to a virtual D: drive. Note that it was quite slow for me. Experimenting with other cards and drivers proved better, but I need to work out how to make a better script to detect these things.

    HTTPS sort of works, however I think the build of WGET included doesn't have support for TLS1.3. I've made a file called "random.cfg" with some garbage in it to act as a random seed for WGET if you do HTTPS, but I recommend sticking with HTTP links if you can to save headaches.

    A better (much faster) test is to put an ISO on your own NAS and expose it via HTTP, edit DEMO.BAT and point to your local web server instead. I have a mini guide here on how to do that, although most home NAS devices should support HTTP:
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/smb-gateway-for-retro-file-sharing.1281969/#post-18520679

    On top of all that is a Linux script I've written to build the floppy image. It assumes you've got a few tools installed (mkfs.vfat, unix2dos, uuidgen, wget, unzip and sudo access to mount and umount the floppy image).

    The script is called "dosisoify_linux_prep.sh" , and includes all the links inside it to where I pull tools from to put on the floppy image. I had to go with the DOS version of WGET, for example, as CURL clocks in at 2.4MB - larger than a single floppy!

    As it stands the floppy image currently is 876KB used, with 548KB of free space. I'd like to use that for more packet drivers for real cards into the future.

    If people are willing to test this on real hardware, please let me know the makes and models of the network cards you're using. There's a tonne of support out there from folks like Crynwr for heaps of different cards, old and new. ISA or PCI (even PCIe) should work just fine for most models I can remember from back in the day. If you give me the makes and models, I can add the relevant packet drivers.

    The floppy image itself should work on any VM, on a Gotek or FlashFloppy device, or even raw-written to a real 3.5" floppy disk. I haven't tested this one specifically, but I've done this in the past no problems. Dig inside the "dosisoify_linux_prep.sh" script if you want to see how it all works.

    I'd be very grateful if a few folks tested this out. I'm going to refrain from writing a complete separate howto thread for now, and will only go that far if it's useful and working on real hardware for enough people.
     
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  13. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    I'll give it a go on real hardware over the weekend if I get a chance. Looks interesting!
     
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  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Cheers. Let me know what network card you've got before then and I'll make sure the right driver is added.
     
  15. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    I should keep sorting the shed, but going through the stuff I rescued on Monday looks like more fun:
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    Its an Antec something with I THINK a socket 939 in there, and a stupidly placed power connector.

    Mustn't spend all day on this...

    EDIT:
    I spent all day on this!

    The Case is an Antec SLK2650-BQE. No one ever answered BIOS back in the day:
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/antec-slk2650-bqe.335307/
    My case still has the included 350W Smart power PSU

    Let's see what's inside, it's not too ba....
    DSCF0227.JPG

    It's an abit motherboard. No point cleaning or testing, they all left the factory FUCKED!
    Shame too, as it being a 939 AND AGP, it with a 4200+ would have been a board FINALLY worthy of my AGP 3850.

    the rest of the hardware is along these lines:

    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ and stock cooler
    2GB kit of Kingston valueram KVR400X64C3AK2/1G
    Diamond Data CD-RW. model: DD161040-058U MFG: Nov 2001
    Asus DVD-RW. Model: DRW-1814BL MFG: Jul 2007
    Netgear WG311 V2 54Mbps wifi PCI card (no antenna)
    and a Sparkle Geforce 6800GT 256MB SP-AG40GPT256MB DDRIII

    Not a slouch of a system by any means, but I'm quite in love with the case despite missing hard drive bays. front filter and the front fan only being 80mm.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
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  16. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    Friday night's alright for cleaning (Cheating a bit, did the CPU cooler yesterday) This whole system is like dust filled hair.
    It's made it easy to pick a spot and then ball the bulk of the filth up.
    3.JPG

    If anything is less likely to work than an Abit motherboard, it's a sparkle video card... but it looks nice:
    1.JPG
    2.JPG

    I THINK Mitsubishi Electric were trying to tell me something with the bottom of the Diamond Data CD-RW, But I don't know what:
    4.JPG

    :lol: Was tempted to open it, but didn't want to make 2020 worse by the world imploding which is surely what would happen.
     
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  17. Sir Didymus

    Sir Didymus Member

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    In defence of ABIT, their slot 1 boards are classics. Celeron 300A @ 450Mhz on a BH6. Perfection.
     
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  18. Phido

    Phido Member

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    Yeh, but not many of those are operational now. I have my BH6, in all its exploded caps glory.
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    If the damage is only caps, replacing them is pretty trivial. I've rescued plenty of mobos and video cards over the years with cap swaps.

    Compared to doing the same on a CRT chassis, it's a fraction the amount of soldering (and physical danger).
     
  20. GrandmasBoi

    GrandmasBoi Member

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    At least remove the busted ones and clean the residue it will only slowly eat the pcb away if you not recapping
     

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