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What retro computer activity did you get up to today?

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

  1. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Yep it is and updated to the latest version I could find. How me hack it?
     
  2. rugger

    rugger Member

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    I'd try this autopatcher first:

    https://www.softpedia.com/get/Tweak/System-Tweak/BIOS-Patcher.shtml

    You can run this in DOSBOX against your ROM image, then burn it to the flash. I have found 4.23 to be a pretty good version for patching pentium Award Bios.

    I do recommend you have a eeprom programmer for this, in case the patcher messes up your ROM completely.
     
    Pierre32 likes this.
  3. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    adz and Pierre32 like this.
  4. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Brilliant thanks for the help guys :thumbup: Those little SSDs are just too cute so I've grabbed a couple, seems like the easiest option and 16GB is heaps for this machine.
     
    adz likes this.
  5. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Grabbed two as well, for around $16 each posted after the multiple discount and random eBay code how could you say no. :D
     
    adz likes this.
  6. greencamel65

    greencamel65 Member

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    I also grabbed 2 this morning and had a random code as well!, Thanks for the link!
     
    adz likes this.
  7. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    I want in on this fun! But I pondered it for a while, and the spinning rust I own should have me covered for a bit.

    I'm keen on going the DOM route in future though: https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/164432706896
     
    baronbaldric and adz like this.
  8. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Some progress on the socket 7 SSD project mentioned above. The nifty little 16GB drives showed up, tiny! I stuffed one inside the empty shell of a mSATA -> SATA adapter, then mounted it in a 2.5 -> 3.5 adapter. Then of course the SATA -> IDE adapter needed to join the party - a whole lotta messing around really but filled an evening and should be great.

    P1060550.JPG P1060557.JPG P1060561.JPG
     
    bYrd, BuuBox, adz and 5 others like this.
  9. rugger

    rugger Member

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    I ended up trying out the PAS16. Put it into my 486 DX2-66 system.

    Not really all that impressed to be honest. Seems overrated. At least this card worked!

    However, in DOS, it seems the mixer settings are whacked, OPL3 is really quiet vs digital sound, and using the pas utility to correct it doesn't seem to work. I adjust one slider, but then when I re-open it, all the sliders have moved to the same new position.

    In windows, I was able to get the sound balanced properly, but you don't want to do too much dos gaming from within windows when on a 486 at 66mhz.

    Probably need to try a different set of drivers, or mucking around with IRQ settings.

    After all that, I am still struggling to see much in the way of benefits with this card. It doesn't seem to have a specialized synthesizer, using OPL3. It offers 16bit digital sound, but so does everything else. I guess it has SCSI, but it the kind of cut rate SCSI that doesn't offer much beyond what IDE offers. No wavetable header, and from what I hear, poor MPU-401 support.

    I am much more impressed with the yamaha YMF-71x cards. Disable onboard amp and you have excellent sound quality, SB Pro support, OPL3, wavetable header (MPU-401) support. In windows, you still get great 16-bit sound quality.
     
  10. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I had that problem with mine too, there seems to be different versions of the mixer out there. Did you try the 'Studio' drivers? These work best for me with my cards: http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=506&menustate=0

    But yeah I can't argue with you - I have nostalgic attachment but even so the PAS16 can't compete with countless other clones. The YMF71x cards rock.
     
  11. rugger

    rugger Member

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    Yep, going to try different drivers tonight, as I saw your thread on vogons about this exact issue.

    Eventually I'll be putting the SB16 (CT 2290) with waveblaster card back in to the 486 once I am done, as it has the panasonic interface for the CD-ROM. This is probably one of the better SB16's about.

    I was really hoping that the PAS16 had it's own synth on it, for a unique sound. Nevermind. Even the disappointments are fun :)
     
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  12. sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    I've been trying to safely put a heatsink on the back of an AGP X1950 Pro, on the little PCIe<>AGP bridge chip. They're air-facing normally, but they're a point of failure on the boards as they get really hot.

    I removed the existing thermal pad that goes on the PCB around it but finding reliable thermal adhesive is a problem. Got a tube of silicon-like stuff from eBay that's kind of like sikaflex once it dries, so it's a bit flexible, and put some double sided tape around the little chip to help hold the heatsink on.. fingers crossed it isn't such a poor interface material that it's more of an insulator.
     
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  13. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    those 1950's were cool cards, any pics of your one Sammy? Towards the latter end of the AGP slot, these were up there with some of the best performance. they are realy a very nice card, AND on a 256bit bus.
     
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  14. sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    It was an innovative card, but it didn't have a lot of native support. Ultimately SB Pro/WSS won that war.
     
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  16. rugger

    rugger Member

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    Will have to take some photos, but I got that P75 motherboard and removed the RTC chip.

    I was dopey and damaged a trace using my desoldering iron so I had to run a bodge wire to fix that. Someone remind me to remove chips from motherboards using the hot air rework station rather than the desoldering iron!

    Then I mutilated the clock chip rather brutally using my Dremel and eventually severed the built in battery from the RTC, and installed an external battery to it to get it working again. It stubbornly refused to disconnect itself from it's 0.5V flat internal battery!

    So, ugly ugly work from me this time, but thankfully got it all working again.

    Next is to update the BIOS to fix it being stuck in the year 2094 (the newer BIOSes talk about Y2K compatibility fixes, I guess that is why), and then a full wash, as it is a filthy filthy board.
     
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  17. sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    [​IMG]

    Fitted the X1950 Pro back in and the little heatsink fits nicely next to the Audigy 2 ZS.

    Swapped the stock Shuttle rear 92mm fan out for a new Noctua NF-A9.

    Still waiting on the HD3850 AGP to arrive from Russia, which will complete the little box and it'll get to go into service :thumbup:
     
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  18. rugger

    rugger Member

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    Some photos of maybe not my proudest work:

    Completed motherboard/CPU with modded RTC:

    IMG_1354.JPG

    Motherboard by itself:
    IMG_1359.JPG

    Topside doesn't look too bad, but look at what I did to the bottom:
    IMG_1360.JPG
    Had to add a modwire to fix a trace I tore to pieces using my de-soldering iron.

    Then I got angry with the RTC because the internal battery stubbornly refused to disconnect from the RTC chip (this is to prevent the old battery discharging the new battery), so I hurt it with the cutting wheel on my Dremel until it submitted:
    IMG_1358.JPG

    Thankfully, both the RTC and motherboard still worked. I have now washed the motherboard in soapy water and am drying it now ... was very dirty, should be shiny once it dries.

    As a bonus, it came with the really nice Pentium 75 CPU:
    IMG_1355.JPG IMG_1356.JPG

    At least one CPU saved from the gold scrappers!

    I also updated the BIOS to the latest version (why the award sticker was missing from the bios chip, I had to identify what chip it was so I could flash it on my TL866 chip). It fixed the year 2000 issue I was seeing, as well as added a whole heap of features (like CD booting, HDD auto-detect) making it more like a 1998 motherboard than a 1996 motherboard.
     
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  19. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I've installed an SSD in my socket 7 machine and so far it's fantastic - turns out I love the silence, not missing the grinding of the old spinner at all. I decided to clone my existing disk so that I didn't have to re-install Windows 98 and all the other crap I've set up over the years but of course I ended up re-installing Windows 98 and all of the other crap - twice. But I've quite enjoyed the process and have taken detailed notes this time, and set myself up with a 'kit' of all the things I need to copy over and install, so going forward re-installs will be a breeze.

    The only disappointment is that I couldn't get DMA mode working - I don't think I ever have with this PC actually. It's an Intel 430TX based board and can do UDMA I'm promised - the POST screen recognises the disk as UDMA mode 6. But the option just won't stay set - I've tried various chipset drivers and BIOS settings, and a few different IDE cables including an 80 wire one.

    Not a big deal though, I don't think it would make much difference on a machine this speed and I don't actually use Windows much anyway, this is mostly a DOS PC.
     
  20. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Absolutely beaut card Sammy.. thx for the pics.. I don't have one these days,but loved the one I had back in the day.

    I have 2 of those 3850's,though none are in use in any of my boxes ,as I am trying to save them a bit.. lolol..

    The fans on these cards are bloody loud too.. a silencer would be a good add on.
     

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