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About ifkz

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    Space Invader

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  1. Wow, thanks for all of the pointers; I just ordered a StarTech unit since it seemed to be of slightly higher quality and it ended up being competitively priced. I also emailed member Osgeld above to see about his, since this is classic 386/486 computer #3 and these PSU's are not getting any younger...glad I did not opt for the ATX to AT adapter after the notes!
  2. So my AT power supply died while installing DOS floppy disk 2 of 3, what was the final stretch of rebuilding my newest classic PC, an off-branded 386sx-16. It clicks, and...at least there was no magic smoke. So far it seems the best option for a replacement is a Athena branded AT power supply for about $24 shipped from newegg (Athena Power AP-AT30 300W AT Power Supply)...is this about the only option besides a used vintage unit?
  3. Real life got in the way, but I finally completed the hardware work on this 486DX-50: installation of a battery holder went well, the BIOS is saving settings and my cards are installed and working in DOS. I was also able to get CD-ROM support going and I installed Doom and Duke Nukem 3d. Doom runs full screen at high detail fairly well, and the soundtrack with the AWE (Yamaha OPL) sounds great! The real surprise is Duke3d, with the VESA modes and a higher resolution, it performs almost on par with Doom, fairly speedy at 320x400 and only a two window sizes down from full screen. The video card really makes a difference. Perhaps there is a DOS version of Doom that supports VESA? Another surprise: The stickers on the interior of the case say I can upgrade this to a DX4 CPU.
  4. Wow that does sound like trouble. The only advantage (I can think of) to getting into the BIOS is setting the boot order of the drives, but I do not plan on running any flavor of Windows, so it might be unnecessary. I can correct the date/time from DOS using the command line. Humm... My main roadblock with this machine is getting the old, dead, BIOS battery switched out (which requires a complete hardware disassembly), then I can finally start loading it up with more than just a basic DOS installation. The weather has cooled off here in Texas, so I hope to dive into it after work this week. After that I can load it up with my AWE, Diamond 4MB PCI, UniVBE, and 'Heretic-Shadow of the Serpent Riders' and have a blast.
  5. Really, it doubles the speed? Doom might be actually playable in a normal-sized window? I'm all ears! I can not say much about this mini-motherboard: it is made by Flytech, the AC adapter lists the computer as a Carry-1, and it is silkscreened for a 386/486dlc. It has a built-in floppy/IDE controller/onboard video, almost like a laptop in that respect. The CPU is soldered onto the motherboard and is clearly labled as a 486dlc-40. I tried all combinations of jumper settings and this was the fastest I could get out of my bench marking utility. On a related note: I also see it has some sockets for cache and only two out of eight or so) slots were populated. I have no idea about populating more, if it is as simple as loading it with chips, or if there is more to it.
  6. Yes, it was Phil's videos that helped me figure out the installer I was missing to get these plug 'n play cards going in pure DOS, and you are right, I enjoy both Youtube channels. My AWE64 is the regular non-gold version, hopefully I didn't make a bad purchase. I think I am set on older hardware that I am interested in: 386 upgraded, check! 486 desktop, check! 486 laptop, check! Even though I had a 586, and all of the Pentiums at one point, I am most nostalgic about this earlier era, the closest afterwards is with the 3dfx cards in and around 2000. I am dying to get out in the garage and swap out the dead BR2032 battery and replace it with a proper holder in this Compaq Desktop. Need to make some time! Once everything is together I will look into some of the benchmarking tools Phil mentioned. After a new video card (the Diamond ISA) and Soundblaster my 386 jumped to 59-60 in TopBench, about the level of a 386-33sx. Doom was still mostly unplayable at high detail and a large window size, but it was nice to finally complete the overall project and hear this machine "sing" with the Vibra soundcard!
  7. Thanks Mitkraft, I will try it out as soon as I tear it apart and replace the dead BIOS battery with a CR2032 and a holder...then the fun can begin.
  8. If ya'll figure out how to make the F10 floppy can you post some simple instructions? It looks like I will also need one for this Compaq Prolinea 450
  9. I was reading about that, I tried to get an older 1994 Vibra with the Yamaha OPL, tracking says it is in my mailbox when I finally get home tonight. There were "2 available" so I'll see if the seller read my note saying..."hey, I want the one in the picture!" My soundcard problem is going to be the Plug 'n Play standard, the AWE64, and interfacing it with DOS. I found a youtube video on the topic and DOS installations, it appears I will need to install the PNP driver and then proceed with a normal DOS soundblaster install.
  10. Thanks boxpressed, will do! I am still waiting on my Soundblaster Vibra16 to arrive and then I can finish the mini 386 computer and start on upgrading this 486, hopefully I can get some benchmarks and pictures this weekend after both are finished.
  11. Yes, it seems like my simple Diamond 4MB PCI will be just fine for this build, much better than the 2MB ISA Diamond Speedstar I was considering (which will now go to the 386 mini-computer). Nice to see some experimentation with 3dfx cards in DOS on the vogons forum posts, good reading! Also, thanks for the F10 floppy disk idea. I searched around HP's support site and found a few links; it will be nice not to have to wipe, re-install, and partition the drive assuming I can figure out how to get it on a floppy. This Compaq is also getting an AWE sound card to make the ultimate version of what is very similar to my first computer.
  12. Wow, that is strange configuration CatPix; related to that, AT keyboards are very rare to find in thrift stores now, I have not seen one in several years. I am still looking for a serial mouse for the 386 I mentioned, hopefully that will be a little easier to find. The date codes on this 486 say it was made right before the Windows95 wave of Pentiums. What may have been a cost cutting move back then makes for the beginnings of a really nice DOS gaming system now.
  13. I feel like I have won the vintage computing lotto! Short story: My 486 Compaq desktop arrived late last night and it has a single PCI slot mixed in with more period correct ISA slots. This means I can use any PCI video card with it, all the way up to my 3dfx Voodoo cards if I wanted. Long story: I was inspired by LGR's Youtube 486 build, which got me to finally upgrade a 1993 vintage mini-computer I have owned for several years. I hunted down an ISA video card, a Soundblaster, more RAM and found that the mini-computer was, more or less, a 386. While I am grateful for this 386, it is not powerful enough for the older games I want to run. I decided what I really wanted was a 486DX class computer desktop that could be upgraded... In addition to the PCI slot I also have PS/2 slots for the keyboard and mouse, which are a lot more common than AT style keyboards and serial mice. I installed DOS 6.22 and I am looking for the BIOS partition creation tools (a simple function key at boot does not work on Compaqs of this era). Does this mean anything to anyone else? I fully expected to be running an ISA video card, and I have read of the later and rare VLB standard, but never PCI. I have a 4MB Diamond PCI video card that I will be using for now (the 3dfx cards are all in use in my other vintage computers). What would a 3dfx Voodoo 5 PCI do on a 486?
  14. This is one of a handful of older machines I own, for me they function as a nostalgic trip back to my first PC (which was a 486DX-33). This one is a generation before the 486 (as much as I can determine, the Cyrix processor is...odd). I would like it to have some sort of role in my retro computer collection next to my more powerful 486 hardware. Last week, midway through upgrading, I realized the Cyrix 486DLC was not a low power version of the 486 but a "386 with a 486 instruction set," per Wikipedia. Youtube videos say there are a few speed sensitive 386 games like, Wing Commander 2, that would be ideal on the hardware; I am looking for a few more that I might not have known about or considered. Thanks all for the recommendations so far! My loading software process on my DOS only machines: remove the hard drive and connect it to my Windows98SE box through an IDE cable, autodetect it in the bios, and transfer directories back and fourth that had been installed in Win98. I have a small collection of floppies that I use for smaller installations. It is all very ancient equipment, nothing modern, but it's period correct. This mini PC has only an onboard floppy, I will see what UniVBE and a newer video card will do later tonight.
  15. I am looking to broaden the games I have on my newly rebuilt and upgraded 386 compatible PC. Wolfenstein 3-d runs well, there is Prince of Persia, Tetris and a few others. Once I find a serial mouse for it, that will open up Lemmings and maybe some of the Lucas SCUMM games (Indiana Jones-Atlantis is highly talked about), and perhaps the Leisure Suit Larry VGA remake. Wing Commander 2 is also on my short list once my Soundblaster arrives. Any other community favorites for the pre-486 era? [Doom & Heretic run terribly] My machine: I-Carry mini PC Cyrix 486DLC-40 (TopBench score in the low 50's, nowhere near a real 486 cpu) 16MB RAM DOS 6.22 1MB Cirrus Logic video card (arriving in the mail today) Soundblaster Vibra16 sound card (in the mail)
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