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eightbit last won the day on September 14 2010

eightbit had the most liked content!

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About eightbit

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    River Patroller
  • Birthday 06/08/1975

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    All forms of video games, be it console, arcade, computers, handhelds. Vintage (I remember when it was not called "vintage"!) and modern. Audio as well. Vintage receivers, turntables, vinyl. All great stuff!
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  1. Recently I found an Alienware computer on offer up circa the year 2000. A really nice machine with an AMD Athlon 1200 CPU, 256MB of RAM, and some nice addons such as a SBLive! and Live Drive IR. I have been cleaning/repairing/modifying the computer some and have now outfitted it with a Voodoo 5 5500 and some other modern conveniences. It is a stellar machine with a really unique case with a "slow opening" slide panel in front. The only way one can even come to the conclusion that it is an "Alienware" model is the alien case badge and the model on a sticker on the back which is "AW-8844". But, I can find no reference to this model online...or any pre-dell Alienware models. Does anyone know where such information can be found? Even the wiki for Alienware only covers systems after Dell's acquisition of the company.
  2. Sam's Journey is a work of art. I hear you on the whole REU thing and while it is upsetting, not so much for Ultimate II+ users. There are a lot of reasons to own this cart aside from Sam's Journey mind you. SD2IEC is nowhere near what the UII+ can offer. I consider the SD2IEC a beginner device to give you the feel of the C64 software and the Ultimate II+ a device that you buy once you have "graduated" so to speak and want to really open up the computer for more interesting things. Sounds like you need a UII+ in my personal opinion And, you mentioned if there are any NTSC demos. Why yes, yes there are. My old group (Entity) was a North American group and our demos are NTSC only....I can confirm they run like crap on a PAL machine
  3. I found my switch issue. The first set of switches on this board provide the multiplier, and the second set the voltage. I thought it was the other way around! In any case, adjusted again and it boots fine, but the BIOS *still* reports the VCORE at 1.81, even though it is force set through the dipswitches to 1.750. Whatever.... Guess that's why you don't hear about FIC motherboards nowadays...lol! But, I do have to say, the board has been through hell (it was super dirty and musty smelling, and an exploded CR-2032 battery...something I never saw!) and it still works after 20 years. And, no caps are swollen. So I guess I have to give some props to FIC for durability!
  4. It could be. I mean, with the default letting the motherboard detect it is working fine. But the VCORE hovers at 1.81 and 1.79. Hmmm.... The fan and heatsink for the CPU were cleaned thoroughly and the thermal compound (or what used to be compound) was cleaned/chopped off and new compound applied. The fan works perfectly and the BIOS is reporting the CPU sitting idle at around 42C....which from what I read is normal for the Thunderbird processors. They have a max rating of 95C. I guess it is OK as is...unless someone else with one of these has any additional advice. And, if my some miracle someone else has an FIC AD11 motherboard and has the driver disk I will be forever in your debt And funny, history repeats itself: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/ad11-overvolting-athlon-by-default.590445/
  5. Good point. I don;t have another PSU (yet) but I actually have one coming. The power supply needed for these Athlon chips is special in the fact that the CPU draws from the +5v rail instead of using the +12v rail as they do today. Because of that it is very hard to source a new PSU that will be sufficient enough for these CPU's. The +5v rail on this PSU is supplying 30A for example.
  6. The voltage on the Thunderbirds above 700MHz is 1.75V....that information is everywhere including old reviews of those chips. However, when I set these settings manually to 1.75V and the x9 multiplier for the 133MHz bus, the northbridge fan does not spin and the computer does not boot. It will only boot when using the auto settings. Very strange. Either I am wrong about the CPU or the documentation is wrong...or some other unknown problem!
  7. I think it might be 133 bus x9 for 1197? Or is my memory failing me?
  8. It has been a LONG time since I have done this. Long story short, I discovered an old Alienware with an AMD Athlon 1200 CPU (Thunderbird) and I noticed the VCORE in the BIOS is reporting at 1.81V. That can't be right as the spec for this CPU is 1.75V: http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K7/AMD-Athlon 1200 - A1200AMS3C.html The motherboard is an old FIC AD11 board, and amazingly I was able to find the manual and switch settings. Looking at the board, I see the switches are all off and the jumpers for autodetect for the CPU core voltage and frequency are both enabled. So, the board is taking control of this and applying what it thinks are the proper settings. But again, the core voltage is wrong...so the board is not detecting this correctly. I suspect it has always been this way....but I would like to correct it. Looking at the manual here is the voltage core settings: So, jumper in disable and SW3 to OFF looks like the plan here. But then there is a second set of switched for frequency ratio: It might sound stupid, but what do I choose here? Is frequency voltage times the ratio? Bus speed times the ratio? And if bus speed times ratio, is it 133mhz bus or 266mhz bus as the processor is using double data rate? I used to install these all of the time, but my memory is failing me recently Any help with the proper settings is greatly appreciated!
  9. Just a normal grey colored Gotek unit pre-flashed with the FlashFloppy firmware useful for Amiga, Atari ST, Amstrad and so on. I was planning to use it for a project but ended up not needing it. It is flashed with FF Firmware v3.11a, but of course can be easily updated with a USB flash drive to the latest version (which is now 3.12 IIRC) at any time. Take it for $40 shipped. I also have an OLED display that I can add with it for $5 extra. You would have to modify the Gotek plastic shell to add it however. PM.
  10. The GF2 Ultra is a very nice card. I had one of these in a PIII 850 build some time ago (well, it was the Quadro equivalent version) and it was very impressive!
  11. It's certainly an option, but I am not sure about being "far overrated". I wanted a drop in replacement without any modification at all that looks like it was "meant to be there". Functionality and aesthetics are equally important to me. The drop in replacement I linked may be $65, but damn does it look nice when installed. One may argue that you rarely ever see the inside of the computer, but for the times that I do I like it to look great...and for the times that I do not I know in my mind that it looks great in there...haha. Yeah, I am a little crazy but in a good way
  12. In light of everything it is probably the floppy controller sadly. But, before you jump to that conclusion I would check the floppy cable itself as one last ditch effort. Maybe check continuity of the pins. I know most of these are soldered to the board (Thanks Atari) so swapping the cable out is not as easy as it should be. As for PSU replacements, the best I think is the STPSU: https://centuriontech.eu/ It is a modern drop in replacement. Mine is on pre-order and is supposed to ship this week.
  13. The floppy ribbon cable need to be plugged into the Gotek with pin 1 (the red or speckled side of the floppy ribbon cable) pointing to the direction of the floppy power connector to be clear. Saying "upside down" may not be the case. For example, my housing holds the gotek board itself upside down, making the cable connection in my STe right side up
  14. The M0 jumper is not needed. Not only that, it causes problems with floppy drive detection in my experience (floppy's a: and b: mirrored). Do you have Flash Floppy installed on this? If so, do you see "F-F" on the LED screen (if that is the screen you are using)? Also, you mentioned having the AUTOBOOT.HFE file in the root of the USB. Also make sure you have the HXCSDFE.CFG in there too.
  15. Bump. Moved the switchboxes to the top and lowered the price significantly. I just want to clear them out and free some space!
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