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Need Help Building 90s PC


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#26 boxpressed OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:10 PM

Abit boards have a reputation for having the most problems with bad caps. Asus, Intel, AOpen, and maybe others tended to survive the plague because they sourced their caps from Japan and not Taiwan. All of my 98SE builds have to have an ISA slot; otherwise, the build does not feel truly "retro" to me. However, I do have an AMD Phenom II X4 build that I use for Windows XP gaming (Far Cry is getting kind of retro...).

 

I have a box full of ISA and PCI modems, maybe a dozen or more. I don't know what to do with them. They're pretty worthless for retro builds. But I agree with you that they were the most important peripheral back in the day. Kind of sad that they are left out now.



#27 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:16 PM

All this talk of old hardware, yuck. I feel icky. Why not just virtualize everything? You can run any old OS in a VirtualBox and turn it into a shitty 486-DX33 if that's what you desire. 

 

Sometimes I feel like I'm a disembodied brain in a jar when I talk to you guys. I'm just interested in the data, the ones and zeros, and maybe a good general purpose controller. Reading the magazines and manuals is great, but those don't have to be paper. Hardware doesn't have to be a big beige mini-refrigerator. Really, it doesn't.



#28 boxpressed OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:26 PM

You mean we don't have to use old hardware to play old games? What an original suggestion...



#29 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:28 PM

You mean we don't have to use old hardware to play old games? What an original suggestion...

Thank you, I was really missing my daily dose of internet sarcasm on this rainy Monday afternoon. 



#30 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:32 PM

All this talk of old hardware, yuck. I feel icky. Why not just virtualize everything? You can run any old OS in a VirtualBox and turn it into a shitty 486-DX33 if that's what you desire. 
 
Sometimes I feel like I'm a disembodied brain in a jar when I talk to you guys. I'm just interested in the data, the ones and zeros, and maybe a good general purpose controller. Reading the magazines and manuals is great, but those don't have to be paper. Hardware doesn't have to be a big beige mini-refrigerator. Really, it doesn't.

That's two of my threads in 24 hours that you clearly don't seem to like the topic of, haha. Much like the ff7 thread, if you don't like it, you don't have to post here and rain on the parade.

Virtual boxes and Windows compatability isn't always spot on. Fixes are often a pain and often aren't complete. Also, using older gaming peripherals is an impossibility on modern machines. So if you're used to using a Microsoft Sidewinder Joystick when you play xwing alliance , well too bad.

Much like playing snes games on a snes, sometimes the best way to play is on the original hardware. Even if emulated perfectly, it's not the same.

But hey, there are plenty of modern gaming threads about fallout 4 and battlefront that I'm sure you'd just love, and they're right here on this very site! I don't like them, but you don't see me commenting on them saying how much people who enjoy them are weird and are wrong.

Edited by MotoRacer, Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:33 PM.


#31 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:46 PM

Back on topic. Hey, boxpressed, I made a huge score at goodwill on my lunch break! Can't wait to post details and pictures later tonight :D

#32 boxpressed OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:53 PM

Back on topic. Hey, boxpressed, I made a huge score at goodwill on my lunch break! Can't wait to post details and pictures later tonight :D

 

Excellent. Looking forward to seeing what you found. Right now, I'm working on a Socket A build that I put in an ATX tower case that I rescued from a thrift over the summer.



#33 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:11 PM

Btw, the bug has effectively bit. :)

Edited by MotoRacer, Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:11 PM.


#34 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:23 PM

The "attraction" of certain X old hardware to me is two-fold.

 

1- Sentimental value for the stuff I had as a kid.

2- Curiosity and interest in seeing how things progressed over the years. A way to maintain perspective.

 

By far it is #1 that would encourage me to clean and spit polish anything old. And it'd have to my original stuff. Computers were intended and often billed as brain extensions. That was in the 60's and 70's. Today they are designed to extract money from your wallet. Mere conduits linking your bank account with some faceless corporation. And people suck this up with a religious fervor never seen in all of history.

 

I also miss the days when it was possible for one person to know all aspects of a machine. This started going away with 16-bit machines and the increasing complexity of their subsystems. It was complete by the time the first PC arrived on the scene.



#35 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:35 PM

Btw, the bug has effectively bit. :)

I hope you make something cool!



#36 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:27 PM

So here's the computer.

 

CPU: Intel Pentium 3-S Tualatin - 1133 Mhz - 512Kb L2 Cache - 133Mhz BUS 
Motherboard: Asus TUSL-C
Chipset: Intel 815 
RAM: 512 MB PC 133
Video: 3DFX Voodoo 3 3000 - 16Mb VRAM + S3 Virge for 2D 
Sound: Creative Audigy
HDD: 40 GB ATA 100
CD-ROM: ASUS 52X

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Edited by MotoRacer, Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:28 PM.


#37 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:33 PM

And here's what I got today at Goodwill. 
 
20" monitor, 4:3 in fantastic shape. Not a single scratch on the screen, which is really hard to find there. There was an NEC one I really wanted, but the screen was scratched to hell and back. They had a bunch of CRT TVs for only a single dollar... it was hard to leave them behind, but I just don't have the space for it. Monitor was half price, came with power and VGA cord. Cost $2.50
 
I then found a Microsoft Sidewinder Joystick in really amazing shape, joystick is tight and buttons and hat work perfectly! Cost $5.99
 
I found a great cd holder/shelf with rubber feet which will be perfect to store my PC and PlayStation games! Cost $1.99
 
I tried finding PS/2 keyboard/mouse, but they didn't have either, just USB ones. The joystick though had me nearly jumping up and down in the store. Really happy the PC has the game port. :D Hopefully finding drivers won't be too hard.

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Edited by MotoRacer, Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:34 PM.


#38 boxpressed OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:00 PM

Nice finds! I like the 4:3 aspect ratio so much for monitors that I replaced my 22" Samsung with my old 20" Dell IPS. I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding a driver for that stick. The next time you're in Goodwill, be sure to check out the board game/puzzle aisle. For some reason, thrifts often put big box PC games there. I've found quite a few, including some new shrinkwrapped ones from the 90s.



#39 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:05 PM

So here's the computer..

 

Nice how the black and grey trim adds to the look. What case is that?



#40 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:07 PM

 

Nice how the black and grey trim adds to the look. What case is that?

 

 

Not a clue! Haha. I'll see if it's marked when it comes in, and I'll let you know if I find out :).



#41 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:17 PM

Nice finds! I like the 4:3 aspect ratio so much for monitors that I replaced my 22" Samsung with my old 20" Dell IPS. I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding a driver for that stick. The next time you're in Goodwill, be sure to check out the board game/puzzle aisle. For some reason, thrifts often put big box PC games there. I've found quite a few, including some new shrinkwrapped ones from the 90s.

 

Yeah, really happy with it :). I do have a question, though. I'm finding conflicting answers on the net, and I'm hoping you can help.

 

Do USB keyboard and mice work on Windows 98SE, or just PS/2 ones? I found a really good, old stock PS/2 keyboard, but it comes with a USB mouse. Will optical ones work, or just ball?

 

I've seen some people say they get errors that their usb keyboards and mice aren't recognizable. Others say they're asked to put in the Windows OS disc, and it downloads something to make them functional.

 

Any help would be great! Thanks again!



#42 boxpressed OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:36 PM

98SE should have support for USB keyboards and mice. I generally use PS/2 devices on my later builds, but USB was pretty mature by the time 98SE rolled around. USB was introduced in Windows 95 OSR 2. I use an old Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse combo (the same one I used back in the day). The receiver has two wires with PS/2 connectors to plug into the computer, but the mouse connector is actually a USB connector attached to a USB to PS/2 adapter.

You should be able to check online to see if there are 98SE drivers for your USB mouse. I'm not even sure if you need them because 98SE should have built-in support.

#43 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:30 AM

I know 98SE has no trouble with USB gamepads, so keyboards and mice are prolly no problem.



#44 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:30 AM

Thanks you guys. That really opens up my options.

#45 TPA5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:25 AM

This thread makes me want to give another go at building my own retro-rig. Glad that most of the posts have been in support of you trying this, instead of the usual (and tired) "Why not emulate" reply. That case looks really slick, and good find with the joystick! Don't forget to post pictures of the complete setup when you're done.



#46 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:13 AM

This thread makes me want to give another go at building my own retro-rig. Glad that most of the posts have been in support of you trying this, instead of the usual (and tired) "Why not emulate" reply. That case looks really slick, and good find with the joystick! Don't forget to post pictures of the complete setup when you're done.

Thanks man! Yeah too much negativety in this world.

If you want to, try it! I just found a really powerful (for the time) pentium 4 for sale on Craigslist for 20 bucks. Trying to get the seller to reply. You can find parts far cheaper than I did on the PC shown above. It's just for that motherboard and setup it was worth the price of admission.

Yeah, I was really attracted to this case, like others have here as well. It's still very modern looking unlike a lot of cases from that time period. Newer cases are kinda ugly with their plexiglass sides , massive grills, and exaturated alien looking aesthetics. I prefer a case like this instead that looks modern but clean and simple.

Really hope you have good luck finding parts! Craigslist, goodwill and eBay are great starting points.

Edited by MotoRacer, Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:18 AM.


#47 SSG OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:32 AM

I agree on the 98se! I love that OS. I used to game on a old gatway that was made for Windows 2000, but I ended up putting 98se on it. I recomend the game Incoming! It is a cool shooter game for Windows 95!

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incoming



#48 MotoRacer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:08 PM

Was incoming on the Dreamcast? I think I remember that!

Btw, found a nice black Asus keyboard today that looked unused for 2 bucks. Not a scratch. Found a like new Microsoft Sidewinder pad controller in eBay for 3.99!

And I just realized how much software is to be had from a certain favorite developer I like. More news on that soon ;)

#49 boxpressed OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:51 PM

As you wait for your system to arrive from Ukraine, MotoRacer, the most valuable thing you can get your hands on in the meantime is a copy of Norton Ghost 2003. (Ghost 2002 should also be okay, but I don't have experience with it.) And an IDE DVD-RW drive and spindle of DVD-R.

 

The first thing you should do is install Ghost and then create a backup image of your system to a DVD-R (it should fit on one DVD-R unless the seller has loaded a bunch of other software). Now, you'll always have a "fresh" copy of your system to reinstall if stuff goes wrong.

 

And stuff will go wrong: borked installs of software, deleted drivers, etc. 98SE is a great OS but the most innocuous things will mess it up.

 

I love using Norton Ghost with my retro builds. It takes about 20 minutes to create a 2GB image and about the same to restore.

 

Doing this would be especially important if the seller did not provide you with an original copy of 98SE and the motherboard drivers.



#50 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:24 PM

 

 I believe that the YMF-724 has really nice wavetable MIDI (comparable to Roland) that you can access for DOS games by running them in a Windows DOS box.

That's overselling it a little bit.  It does have GM, but it's not as nice as an MT32 or DB50XG.  Better than Adlib, but you still want a real synth.  IIRC, the GM is accessible in pure DOS but I think I had to install the driver in Windows.  It's been a while. 
 

 

All this talk of old hardware, yuck. I feel icky. Why not just virtualize everything? You can run any old OS in a VirtualBox and turn it into a shitty 486-DX33 if that's what you desire.

Have you ever seen Jazz Jackrabbit running on real hardware?  The smooth scrolling is unmatched by anything, even today.  Have you ever seen Unreal on real 3dfx hardware?  It's beautiful in a way that wrappers are not.  Have you ever heard wavetable sound on a real synth?  Try hooking that up to your VM. 

You can take your Sunday drive in any vehicle you want.  But the classic car you rebuilt in your garage is always going to be special.






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