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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. elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

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    There's a hack/mod for the various Goteck/Flashfloppy controllers that do this. A little piezo speaker you can attach that buzzes when there's read/write activity to simulate the clunk-and-grind of ye olde floppies.

    I'm sure such a thing could be added to RaSCSI/BlueSCSI.

    [edit] A quick Google shows plenty of folks asking for this in both projects. I reckon it'll happen at some point.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2022
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  2. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    That card has done the rounds. :D

    I think shane41 got it for me in one of his big overseas freight forwarding orders years ago.
     
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  3. FIREWIRE1394

    FIREWIRE1394 Member

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    Found a home for a homeless motherboard today.
    It's an Asus A7S8X-MX with an Athlon XP 2400+, and 512MB of corsair value select.

    Asus.jpg
    Worst job I've ever done on cables because it's been a homeless board for years now and if it doesn't work anymore I can easily take it out and put another homeless board in there.

    If it DOES still work, it'll get a battery, a video card, proper cable management, it's front USB ports plugged in and maybe even a copy of Windows XP.
     
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  4. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    The instrument level control on my SC-D70 (which controls MIDI volume) was all borked, with the volume jumping everywhere. A good squirt and some enthusiastic twiddling, and it's like new again. Thank you, yellow spray from Jaycar!

    upload_2022-4-8_0-0-24.png
     
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  5. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I love that yellow spray!
     
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  6. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Not the same. Real mech HDDs or bust!

    I say this with a huge "touch wood" , but I haven't had much trouble with older HDDs statistically from my "collection". I think it's just too much a part of the machine's appeal to emulate or skip entirely.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    adz

    adz Member

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    I see you are a man of culture :thumbup:
     
  8. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    I used to be likewise inflicted with those nostalgic handcuffs but when the old spinner in my socket 7 machine started clicking I switched to a small SSD and it's awesome - So quick! Totally silent! Defrags are even more cathartic now that the machine doesn't sound like it's grinding rocks :lol:

    I used CF adapters as a D: for years and they were good, but I had random corruption of files that I haven't had since switching to SSD. So I don't 100% trust 'em.
     
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  9. elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

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    Flash media without controllers (most CF, early/small/cheap MicroSD) really don't play well with old file systems. FAT, exFAT, ext2/3/4 - some of these might seem "modern", but their old design is terrible.

    F2FS specifically is the file system I recommend for Linux users:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F2FS

    The important features are log and CoW based. What this means in plain English is that sectors are never overwritten. New data is always copied, edited in memory, and then written back to a new part of the disk. This means 2 things:

    1) Excellent wear levelling even on disks with no clever controllers
    2) No chance of file system corruption. On hard power down, the change might be lost, but the file system cannot corrupt and never requires a checkdisk/fsck.

    BtrFS is also quite good for the same reasons above, however is slightly more CPU hungry. Better for RPi3/4 style systems than older RPi1/2 systems, and in x86 land better on at least a dual-core 64bit CPU rather than a single core 32bit.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Btrfs
    https://github.com/maharmstone/btrfs

    Sadly there's no such option for retro computers and OSes like MS-DOS/FreeDOS/Win9X (BtrFS runs fine on WinXP and up, and even supports experimental boot disk support), meaning that if you care about the consistency of the data on your old hardware, you'll absolutely need something with a disk controller that doesn't suck. New/large MicroSD cards are starting to do this, and of course even the cheapest and shittiest SATA SSDs handle this now.

    Alternatively if this is just a crappy small disk you use to boot an OS, and you store all your retro data on a handy NAS designed for retro things that supports larger disks and good file systems (let's hypothetically call such a thing "RetroNAS" for laughs), then by all means use CF/SD and just rebuild if it corrupts on you, with all the stuff you care about safely on the NAS (hopefully with redundancy and further backups too).
     
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  10. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    I'm a convert to DeOxIt, probably not much of a difference but it's certainly more expensive so it must be betterer :lol::lol:
     
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  11. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    A weird culture no doubt :p

    I have to admit the grinding rocks during defrag gives me the Michael Scott cringe.gif face , wondering it will survive the torture. Worth it still.
     
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  12. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Tis excellent. Have the oil too, which restores the lubrication in pots after cleaning but also use it on other contacts
     
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  13. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    My ignorance is almost total in this area but what you're describing there backs up my experience - the file system wasn't ever corrupted just the occasional file, particularly the config files for DOOM 1 and 2 for some reason! And a device that fu%ked with my DOOM config files was always on borrowed time :lol:
     
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  14. elvis

    elvis OCAU's most famous and arrogant know-it-all

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    This is what we refer to as "bitrot".

    And I think this is where FreeDOS needs to really push. They need to seriously start looking at kernel level implementations of better file systems that are transparent to applications.

    The whole "spinning rust for lyfe" mantra is fine right now, but there will be a day when all the drives die, and we need a plan B.

    Much like I as the world's most vocal CRT lover know deep down that I need a plan for when my last CRT dies too.
     
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  15. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Go to a metal shop and get one folded up in 1.5mm sheet metal, then paint it beige.
     
  16. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    True, although VMEM is the true killer. CF or dumb uSD are not so bad for straight DOS use as the degree of filesystem volatility is much less.
     
  17. BuuBox

    BuuBox Member

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    Did some maintenance to my Socket 7 PC today (from page 1 of this thread!).

    IMG20220409120134.jpg

    It's a Pentium 200 MMX on a Asus SP97-V motherboard, 64MB of EDO, 3.2GB Quantum HDD, a Matrox Millennium 2 for 2D and a Diamond Multimedia Voodoo 1 for 3D running Dos 6.22 / Windows 3.11.

    First job was to switch out the old AT power supply for a new ATX unit. I went with a BeQuiet! System Power 9 400W as it does DC to DC for the 3.3v and 5v rails and has just enough 4 pin molex connectors. The motherboard already has an ATX power connector, so it was as easy as swapping it over. I'm using the reset switch for the soft power button for now.

    IMG20220409112333844.jpg

    Second job was to install the Compaq Business Wavetable sound card I got recently (thanks Pierre32 badmofo for linking it in the bargains thread!). It's a ESS1869 card with onboard ES692 wavetable. Sounds great to my ears, and a big upgrade from the previous Vibra16 card. Works well with Unisound also.

    IMG20220331131544.jpg

    Third job was to install some heatsinks on the Voodoo 1 card. The TMU in particular gets very hot. Just basic 25x25x10mm heatsinks off eBay, but better than nothing. Tested it with Tomb Raider 1 with the 3DFX patch.

    IMG20220409112534.jpg

    IMG20220409112850.jpg

    A couple of other maintenance items like changing the CR2032 CMOS battery and giving it a bit of a dust and it's ready to go for (hopefully) a few more years. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2022
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  18. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polybius_(urban_legend)
    How have I never heard of this? Todays rabbit hole to google.



     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2022
  19. sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    You need a CRT, my friend!
     
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  20. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    lololol
     
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