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g-unit1111

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I didn't realize until much later that 3DFX chips were being sold under multiple names. I was always going to computer shows and seeing Diamond, Savage, etc cards. I always had the Voodoo branded cards.

I do enjoy my ebayed Voodoo 5 5500, it keeps my dual Pentium II server company (Poweredge 4200 (not the modern one). Just realized I am going to have to move that again.
I kind of wish I had some of my old PC stuff. I think when I moved I got rid of the Gateway system that I had the Voodoo 2 installed in.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
I kind of wish I had some of my old PC stuff. I think when I moved I got rid of the Gateway system that I had the Voodoo 2 installed in.
I literally GAVE AWAY so much hardware it would make your head spin. GPUs, sound cards, and more. Was all kinda worthless at the time, and who ever thought there would be people turning around and wanting to "Retro game"
 

g-unit1111

Titan
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I literally GAVE AWAY so much hardware it would make your head spin. GPUs, sound cards, and more. Was all kinda worthless at the time, and who ever thought there would be people turning around and wanting to "Retro game"
I recently got rid of most of my old Windows 95 / 98 games since I really didn't have much use for them anymore. I can get retro gaming on a console, like the Switch. But I don't think I would actually want to retro game on a PC. I just remember my PC spent more downtime than I did actually playing games, and by the time I got them fixed up enough to play I was just like "Ah screw it. It's not worth it.". Load times on a 2X CD-ROM - forget about it. I'd much rather have the load times on an M2 drive. Today's gamers are spoiled. Us 90s kids? We had to employ manual labor and elbow grease to get our games to work. But I will say that it's made me a better handy man and got me interested in IT as a result.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
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I recently got rid of most of my old Windows 95 / 98 games since I really didn't have much use for them anymore. I can get retro gaming on a console, like the Switch. But I don't think I would actually want to retro game on a PC. I just remember my PC spent more downtime than I did actually playing games, and by the time I got them fixed up enough to play I was just like "Ah screw it. It's not worth it.". Load times on a 2X CD-ROM - forget about it. I'd much rather have the load times on an M2 drive. Today's gamers are spoiled. Us 90s kids? We had to employ manual labor and elbow grease to get our games to work. But I will say that it's made me a better handy man and got me interested in IT as a result.
Exactly. I remember some great games from that time, but I also remember needing to spend half a day or more installing and screwing with a game just to get it to run correctly every time. I don't have any desire to go back to that.
 

Eximo

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Emulation gets you most of the way there. What I have been meaning to pick up is a Roland MT-32 so I can experience better sound in DosBox. The emulation is okay, it just doesn't sound quite right like my old sound blaster. MT-32 can be adapted via USB and just acts as a MIDI device, so it is exactly how it should be.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
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Emulation gets you most of the way there. What I have been meaning to pick up is a Roland MT-32 so I can experience better sound in DosBox. The emulation is okay, it just doesn't sound quite right like my old sound blaster. MT-32 can be adapted via USB and just acts as a MIDI device, so it is exactly how it should be.
I remember being jealous of my friend who had both a SoundBlaster 16 and a Roland General MIDI card in his system. Games at the time all had General MIDI music and the Roland made it literally sound real. Later the SoundBlaster AWE32 was able to do the same thing. I had a SoundBlaster 32 which was almost the same hardware except without the memory on board but it had 2 memory slots for the old style 30 pin ram, so I stuck 2 1MB dimms in from my old system and set it to load the General MIDI instruments to them and it worked basically the same as the Roland. Of course that was a few years later.
 

Eximo

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Still have our original Awe32 with Midi daughter board, we played a lot of classics with that setup.

Midi devices all sound a little different, even general midi was just that, general, so while the instruments would match up, the actual sound varied wildly.

For a long while I took advantage of a Sound Blaster Live with onboard SB16 emulation. Oddly it did fail on me and only the emulation worked. I sent it in, and it worked for a few months after I got back a refurb, then the opposite happened. Emulator broke and only had functional 128bit sound.

Further had audio issues on my next motherboard, so it still has an ASUS Donar in it. Actually works quite well with some third party drivers, never could get the stock ones to work.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
Still have our original Awe32 with Midi daughter board, we played a lot of classics with that setup.

Midi devices all sound a little different, even general midi was just that, general, so while the instruments would match up, the actual sound varied wildly.

For a long while I took advantage of a Sound Blaster Live with onboard SB16 emulation. Oddly it did fail on me and only the emulation worked. I sent it in, and it worked for a few months after I got back a refurb, then the opposite happened. Emulator broke and only had functional 128bit sound.

Further had audio issues on my next motherboard, so it still has an ASUS Donar in it. Actually works quite well with some third party drivers, never could get the stock ones to work.
Agree the Roland had the best sound clearly but the SoundBlaster could get somewhat close if you had the right instrument sets downloaded. It took a lot of messing around.
 
Exactly. I remember some great games from that time, but I also remember needing to spend half a day or more installing and screwing with a game just to get it to run correctly every time. I don't have any desire to go back to that.
Well, the difference is that nowadays you have the internet to look everything up instead of having to guess what could be wrong.
Also all the setting up can be done on your main PC, ide to SD cards have made this a breeze you set up all the games you want on an SD card , stick it into your vintage PC with such an ide to sd card and off you go.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
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Well, the difference is that nowadays you have the internet to look everything up instead of having to guess what could be wrong.
Also all the setting up can be done on your main PC, ide to SD cards have made this a breeze you set up all the games you want on an SD card , stick it into your vintage PC with such an ide to sd card and off you go.
Yeah too much effort for me. I have brand new games still in the package (or Steam queue) that I don't play, that putting together enough janky old hardware (some of which I would have given away for free in the past) to properly play old games is just not how I want to spend my spare time.
 
Yeah too much effort for me. I have brand new games still in the package (or Steam queue) that I don't play, that putting together enough janky old hardware (some of which I would have given away for free in the past) to properly play old games is just not how I want to spend my spare time.
Sure, I was just saying in general that it has gotten way easier now with all the tech available.
I do have all the parts and several old Dos and win9x PCs and I rarely do anything with them so I feel ya.
 
Oct 15, 2021
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I'll probably make a thread about this at a later date, but I have a Compaq Deskpro 4/25is. A 25mhz i486 system that was already old when I got it 15+ years ago. Taught myself programming on the thing. Gave me a real appreciation for code optimization!
Anyway; I pulled it out of the basement the other day and tried to boot it up.
Carefully
I opened it up, and checked for corrosion & sus capacitors. Then pulled the PSU out and fired that up separately with a dummy load. No sparks or pops.
Reassemble everything, found an old vga monitor, cut pin 9 out, found a ps2 keyboard, and fired it u... InstantPOPflash.
Well ----. <MOD EDIT: LANGUAGE>
One of the caps on the riser board had blown up.
Removing the riser, everything else seems to work†, well, not-explode, but it doesn't POST.

† hdd spin up, power LED, LED on Main-board, CPU warms.

Maybe someone else here is a vintage enthusiast or involved with board repair and can guide me towards identifying/fixing the problem.

My problem is that several things could be wrong, and I have neither the electrical experience nor the documentation to figure out which.
In order of suspected likelihood:
  1. The PSU is not supplying the correct voltages to the main-board/one of the power rails is on the fritz.
  2. The blowout fried something else that isn't visually obvious. (The CPU does warm up though so hopefully not that!)
  3. Something I don't know enough about to even consider.
  4. The riser board is required to POST.
  5. It is posting, but all my HIDs are too new or not being recognized or powered properly. I'd expect a beep from the speaker or a LED on the keyboard at least though. And I'm not getting even that.
  6. The BIOS or CMOS is corrupt
  7. There are other components on the mainboard that have independently died in the last 15 years, besides the popped cap.
The worst is that I can't find manuals or diagrams for anything. The ones at "hp.manualscollection" are not actually for the /i series despite their claims to the contrary.
And the beautiful specs sheet at https://www.1000bit.it/ad/bro/compaq/compaqdeskpro-ispecs.pdf while correct, is not helpful for board repair.

Thoughts, advice, or commiserations welcome.
Or 'F's for my lovely vintage i486. I really hope it's not dead for good though.
 

Eximo

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Board repair is rarely something that can be done over a forum. There are certainly people out there who repair vintage boards, but generally sought after or popular models. Not sure a Compaq 486 falls into that category.
 

skippyboy92362

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Jul 31, 2009
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Where to start. Been building since 1991 and remember when 10 GB hard drive cost over $1000. Still have most of my old mother boards, ram and CPU,s all the way up to my current builds. Been through using switches on the motherboards to set your timings, to setting timings in bios , to the current where it is just about automatic. But the greatest advance I seen was when AMD did two things. 1 the 64 bit consumer processer. 2 when they released the first Dual core CPU. What wonderful days the early 2000s where and the one up everywhere with hardware manufacturers. Darn I am old.🙂
 
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dahermit

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Sep 29, 2015
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I went back to college late in life, when I was about to turn forty. I was introduced to computers in the form of Apple 2e with word processing software called "The Bank Street Writer". The 2e hand one 5.5 inch floppy... no hard drive. One had to swap the Bank Street Writer disk for their disk on which they saved their file. The Bank Street Writer had no spelling corrector or, as I remember, even a lexicon to help one spell. This was at a Community College.

When I went on to a four-year institution (1984), there were few computers available if your particular school did not have a computer lab. The school of Education (my school) did not have a computer lab where as the Science school did. So, I would sneak into the Science school lab to do my word processing an their Radio Shack TRS-80s. TRS-80s were a combination of green phosphor screen with a keyboard as one unit. For some odd reason, I could type at a speed of about 80 words per minute... a feat which I have never been able to achieve before that or since. I attribute that unlikely typing speed to the fact that the TRS-80 keyboard was slanted (rows of keys staged, higher than the first, etc.) like the manual typewriters I learned to type on in high school (class of '62). I find that the flat keyboards of modern tablets are almost impossible for me to type on.

I remember when a computer that had two floppy drives rather than one was considered to be advanced. Likewise the Orange screen rather than the eye-fatiguing Green Phosphor. I also remember the abortive first attempts to use tv screens as monitors... I literally could not read them when word processing.

You young people just do not know how good you have it.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
I went back to college late in life, when I was about to turn forty. I was introduced to computers in the form of Apple 2e with word processing software called "The Bank Street Writer". The 2e hand one 5.5 inch floppy... no hard drive. One had to swap the Bank Street Writer disk for their disk on which they saved their file. The Bank Street Writer had no spelling corrector or, as I remember, even a lexicon to help one spell. This was at a Community College.
HAH I remember writing some early school assignments in Elementary school on then "new" Apple IIe computers and Bank Street Writer.
 
Mar 21, 2022
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I own an X8086, a massive 1.5MB of memory, a power supply that doubles as a coffee warmer and an original Philips monitor CRT 4:3. Graphics card is a massive 256MB. Its just a memory unit, nothing fancy, reminds me when a computer wasnt an all singing all dancing piece of furniture vital to your life. The 56k modem Dialup still works and I still have a dialup portal to the web. Only thing it gets used for these days is is to play wioth Windows 3.1. To my mind the best OS ever made.
 

Colif

Win 11 Master
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Jun 12, 2015
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oldest Computer part I have is older than I am
8th November 1965

part of a computer used to track Apollo and other space craft. Computer itself took up a room, it was long gone by time I found this part.
Texas Instruments made it.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Can I sell my voodoo 5 5500 here?
In the classified section of the forum.


Ebay is probably a better bet.

Odd that should come up, someone just made a new Win98 driver for it, lets it support 16:9 and 21:9.

 

NightHawkRMX

Polypheme
Ambassador
oldest Computer part I have is older than I am
8th November 1965

part of a computer used to track Apollo and other space craft. Computer itself took up a room, it was long gone by time I found this part.
Texas Instruments made it.
Gotta love those hand drawn traces. Very neat. Before computers were used to design computers.
 

NightHawkRMX

Polypheme
Ambassador
I recently got my first properly "vintage" computer last week. I traded 4 sticks of PC133 ram I didn't want for a "broken" Toshiba Infinia 7130 Desktop from 1996.

The issue ended up simply being a broken reset button causing the pc to rapidly turn on and off and not actually post. Simply unplugging the button for now did the trick.

Spec wise it is an
Intel Pentium 133mhz Socket 7
32MB SDRAM
Onboard S3 Virage 2MB
Onboard Yamaha YMF701 OPL Sound
Asetek 200w PSU
Toshiba CD ROM drive
Philips DVD RW combo drive (an upgrade by the former owner)

I removed the modem since it is largely useless in modern day. I installed a USB 2 cars with Windows 9x drivers just to get some more USB ports.

I installed a 40gb IDE HDD that works just fine and installed Windows 98 SE even though this would have had 95 original and even had a 95 disc in the CD drive once I pried that open.

The Toshiba CD ROM drive is iffy. At first it wouldn't come in or out on its own. I opened it and lubricated it. It all appears in fine condition internally. That helped for a bit but now it doesn't want to open properly.

Windows does not see the combo drive, despite it being installed from that drive. Probably a driver issue.
 
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