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Turning old slow obsolete laptops into dedicated Classic 99 units

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Quick check on the M35X-S329 - it looks like it scrapes by on the IOT Core requirements...

  • Intel Pentium M 725 (1.60 GHz) (requires 400MHz)
  • 512 MB Memory 80 GB HDD (requires 256MB)

Classic99 is starting up at 110MB (but a lot of that is the oversized AMS and all the built-in carts, so that footprint can be reduced a lot). It's on the threshold of 'won't know without trying'.

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1 hour ago, Tursi said:

 

Classic99 is starting up at 110MB (but a lot of that is the oversized AMS and all the built-in carts, so that footprint can be reduced a lot). It's on the threshold of 'won't know without trying'.

 

FWIW - I ran Classic 99 on that thing under XP with all it's overhead, it ran a little slow, but with a bare bones OS, it would obviously run better, and I'm willing to decided to << upgrade the memory >> if needed cause it's dirt cheap now days. (at least I think this is the right one)

 

And yeah, it's currently only has 512K in it.

 

512K.thumb.JPG.0ac3ba27f4d034148cee3ba55b2b2da4.JPG

 

** EDIT **

Ordering stuff from China takes awhile, so I ordered it now, so it'll be ready if/when this gets done.  Good thing too, because it'll take about a month to get here.

 

Memory.JPG.32f36e32681c3c1e2c2a92b55af2c709.JPG  Not bad for 2GB! (if it works).

 

 

Edited by --- Ω ---

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Just placed my second vote - This is getting exciting. I've often tried similar things to get an Amga dedicated laptop. I did eventually get it to work well using AF7 with it's linux base to boot, but it's pretty limited. I would love to setup another old laptop I have here as a dedicated TI emulator. So you'll get some booter votes from me when i remember to do so. ;)

 

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On 1/4/2020 at 1:43 PM, --- Ω --- said:

** EDIT **

Ordering stuff from China takes awhile, so I ordered it now, so it'll be ready if/when this gets done.  Good thing too, because it'll take about a month to get here.

 

Memory.JPG.32f36e32681c3c1e2c2a92b55af2c709.JPG  Not bad for 2GB! (if it works).

 

 

Nice deal!

 

Don't be too excited! I'm not going to get to actually building anything anytime in the next few months.

 

Someone else is welcome to try of course, I'm not the only one who can write code! ;)

 

It is tempting to just do XPe...

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6 hours ago, Tursi said:

Nice deal!

Don't be too excited! I'm not going to get to actually building anything anytime in the next few months.

It is tempting to just do XPe...

Thanks.

I understand you have other irons in the fire.

Whatever you end up doing is fine in my book. :thumbsup:

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BTW, I have a couple of Dell Latitude D600-series laptops which may or may not fit into this experiment.  They are not worth throwing up on eBay, and they work so I am reluctant to send them off to recycling.

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4 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

BTW, I have a couple of Dell Latitude D600-series laptops which may or may not fit into this experiment.  They are not worth throwing up on eBay, and they work so I am reluctant to send them off to recycling.

Those are the right color combination for a dedicated TI/Classic 99 system too!  If anyone wants one for this purpose, please do not forget to vote for "laptop"

<< HERE >>

 

 

1860577630_DellLatitudeD600.jpg.17e089856de0d3c1bb71c0d837fabb0f.jpg

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I am following this thread with great interest, and I would be interested in one of those laptops @OLD CS1.

 

I picked up my old SONY VIAO out of storage for this project, but the years have not been kind.  The keyboard is all wonky, works fine for a few minutes, then decides it dosent want to work at all...

sonyvaio99.jpg

Edited by DavidC
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It's neat to see others interested in this project too.  Without all the unnecessary Windows processes and other garbage running in the background, even a "borderline system" should run this quite well.  

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So last night instead of sleeping I downloaded BartPE to play with again... it's a tempting offer, particularly since you noted that you do have an XP CD. (Thanks Weird for getting that idea in my head ;) )

 

It might be possible to create a wrapper that let's Bart build the PE image and provide a Classic99 "plugin", so that basically you insert your XP CD, run the creation tool, burn the ISO, then boot and run an install script on the target. (I need to check how comprehensive peinst is... I think I only ever tried it once back in the day). I built plugins for BartPE back in the day so I don't expect that to be an issue.

 

That dances around the license issue, though I have two worries.

 

The minor one is that the resulting system may still be larger than it needs to be. I need to actually build it and see. ;)

 

The major one is that encouraging people to run XP scares me a bit, since the network stack was never fully patched. We can of course not include the tools to configure the NICs, but people can also easily add those parts. I would feel pretty awful if someone got their network compromised. I do have some ideas to ease my conscience there.

 

But that's as much as I've done today, thought and lack-of-sleep experiments. ;)

 

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22 minutes ago, Tursi said:

So last night instead of sleeping I downloaded BartPE to play with again... it's a tempting offer, particularly since you noted that you do have an XP CD. (Thanks Weird for getting that idea in my head ;) )

 

It might be possible to create a wrapper that let's Bart build the PE image and provide a Classic99 "plugin", so that basically you insert your XP CD, run the creation tool, burn the ISO, then boot and run an install script on the target. (I need to check how comprehensive peinst is... I think I only ever tried it once back in the day). I built plugins for BartPE back in the day so I don't expect that to be an issue.

 

That dances around the license issue, though I have two worries.

 

The minor one is that the resulting system may still be larger than it needs to be. I need to actually build it and see. ;)

 

The major one is that encouraging people to run XP scares me a bit, since the network stack was never fully patched. We can of course not include the tools to configure the NICs, but people can also easily add those parts. I would feel pretty awful if someone got their network compromised. I do have some ideas to ease my conscience there.

 

But that's as much as I've done today, thought and lack-of-sleep experiments. ;)

 

At the risk of sounding like a complete and total idiot,,( I am )  what is the risk if the laptop is never connected to the internet?   Unless I am missing something obvious..( I probably am ).  Cant files be transferred via a usb stick?  Ignore me if I missed the point, or educate me if I am completely wrong. 

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55 minutes ago, DavidC said:

At the risk of sounding like a complete and total idiot,,( I am )  what is the risk if the laptop is never connected to the internet?   Unless I am missing something obvious..( I probably am ).  Cant files be transferred via a usb stick?  Ignore me if I missed the point, or educate me if I am completely wrong. 

I'm on the same page.  USB capability for sneakernet?  Yes.  Do I need WiFi to connect to my TIPI?  No, not on this machine.  I have a switch on the side of my "TIshiba", that I have turned off.  

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 Sneakernet  transferring files from one computer to another wearing sneakers or maybe slippers within a 10 foot radius of a refrigerator full of beer.  ; ok1

 

stupid forth joke.

 

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It's not the people who realize that connecting to the network is risky and simply don't do it that worry me. It's the people who think "I'm smarter than that" and force it on. ;) With Bart I can't completely remove the network subsystem (I think) like I could with XPe or a from-scratch system.

 

Anyway, it's just where I'm at. ;)

 

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This sounds like fun!  I just voted for "laptop".  In the next week or so I hope to break out the old Dell D630, load XP and try changing the registry to load classic99.exe instead of explorer.exe in the registry (HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell) then change the boot splash image using one of the following methods:

 

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/change-splash-screens-startup-xp-64172.html

 

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/solutionbase-customizing-the-xp-boot-logo/

 

 

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13 minutes ago, twoodland said:

This sounds like fun!  I just voted for "laptop".  In the next week or so I hope to break out the old Dell D630, load XP and try changing the registry to load classic99.exe instead of explorer.exe in the registry (HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell) then change the boot splash image using one of the following methods:

 

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/change-splash-screens-startup-xp-64172.html

 

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/solutionbase-customizing-the-xp-boot-logo/

 

 

I "think" this 16 bit 640 X 480 image should fit the requirements...

BOOT SCREEN.bmp

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Hey, we're coming up in the world guys!   Keep voting!

 

331770742_Comingup!.JPG.8b5b2c0125ab158c3f3bd5993376191a.JPG

 

--- EDIT ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

UPDATE.JPG.b98fce6c7bae4a52cbfefde6b3ad1ad6.JPG

Edited by --- Ω ---
Update
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So far here are my results (Link to Google Drive D630-Classic99.mkv Video):

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1h2ny6IdH1apmlvv64toIAD9lL68AShx5

 

 

Thank you Omega for the boot screen graphic.  I still see the XP welcome screen and am unable to get classic99 to start fullscreen, but I knew that would be the case.

 

So far, I do not see a benefit to changing the registry to replace the Explorer.exe shell.

 

 

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1 hour ago, twoodland said:

So far, I do not see a benefit to changing the registry to replace the Explorer.exe shell.

 

Yeah, I'll patiently wait to see what magic Tursi comes up with.

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23 hours ago, twoodland said:

Thank you Omega for the boot screen graphic.  I still see the XP welcome screen and am unable to get classic99 to start fullscreen, but I knew that would be the case.

 

So far, I do not see a benefit to changing the registry to replace the Explorer.exe shell.

Interesting, I was curious what that'd look like on regular XP...

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perhaps you need a config option to "Start in fullscreen mode" Tursi?

 

Also curious if the Welcome! screen is an asset that can be DLL patched...

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Its been decades since I replaced that screen but I recall that the name has to be changed as well as the extension.

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3 hours ago, wierd_w said:

perhaps you need a config option to "Start in fullscreen mode" Tursi?

 

Also curious if the Welcome! screen is an asset that can be DLL patched...

Has one. Dunno if it works because full screen development tools aren't very useful ;) will look at it.

Perry sure I was able to remove the welcome screen on the XPe image back in the day, but we'll try to make it seamless ;)

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