I'm amazed that people are amazed that old computers from 25 and 50 years ago still work today. Well of course they still work. The "crude" & "big" technology of the day has a lot going for it. A lot of substance to it. And that "a lot of substance" will take a long long time to break down and disintegrate and degenerate/corrode to the point of failure.
Consider the modern QLC SSD, it uses 10, maybe 20, electrons to account for each bit of data. Once they leak away, poof! Your ohh-so-precious porn is up in smoke. Compare that against the vintage hard disk with bits stored in magnetic domains hundreds of millions or billions of electrons in size. That's permanency my friend, that's permanency.
Ohh do please disregard the typical marketing drone's insistence that a clunky old hard drive is ready to fail at any moment. Bullshit! Anything can fail at any time, so, yeh.. having said that, I'll repeat what I've said before, "I got hard disks from the 1980's" that are in top shape and retaining their data just fine."
So why are we amazed? Well we're bombarded with repetitive advertising which says "old" is bad.
I just finished "restoring" my first PC, an 80486 from the early 1990's. And all I really had to do was clean up some battery corrosion and hit the contacts and connectors with an eraser. In fact I spent more time conducting cable management and blowing the dust out and photographing it than any real repairs. Everything worked, and seems to be in-spec. Over the next week I'm gonna be testing it in detail and playing games on it. Putting it through its paces full bore.
As a side note I'm open to ideas about what sort of diagnostics and tests and other things I can do to the system to prepare it for another 25 years of service. Recently cleaned the drive heads, played some games, farted around with Norton Diagnostics and that sort thing.
I did create an off-board battery "system" with Alkaline cells and rechargeable Li-ION coin cells. Actually I moved that stuff off-board where any future leaks won't affect anything. The rig already came equipped with both primary and secondary batteries. Simply soldered in a connector where the Varta Bomb used to be. And most of the time spent "doing battery stuff" was characterizing and verifying things were charging and discharging at the correct rates, or not charging at all when it comes to the Alkaline cells. You know, staring at it and thinking how great I was for doing it all and stuff.
So suggestions are welcome and requested!
Edited by Keatah, Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:49 PM.