General Computer Thread

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Amaris, May 26, 2016.

  1. think

    think calling underdog Premium Member

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    A photo of an engineer wiring an early IBM computer, 1958 by Berenice Abbott.
    A photo of an engineer wiring an early IBM computer 1958 by Berenice Abbott.jpg
    upgrading the OS was different back then mmm
     
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  2. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    These days we'd call that cable gore :)
     
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  3. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cool picture. :mallory:

    I'm installing Win2k on my P-III 500 machines, so far so good, the OS is installed so tomorrow I can start to install service packs and drivers etc.
     
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  4. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    so by the time that's all done you should be able to start installing applications next week :evil:
     
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  5. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Depends on how long it will take to track down everything, I have a vast archive of old programs and drivers, service packs etc so yeah might actually take a few days to get the beast installed. ;)
     
  6. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    "My password is just every Unicode codepoint concatenated into a single UTF-8 string."
     
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  7. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ :rommie:
    And the P-III 500Mhz machine is mostly done, just need to make an image and that's about it, the next project will be trying to replace the capacitors on two old Socket 370 mainboards, they're both victims of the infamous capacitor plague, of course they're the caps used for the VRM which are the most important ones... :mad:
     
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  8. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have an old Aopen mid tower with not the usual Pentium II or III machine inside but the machine inside is a IBM AT Model 5170, I found most of the parts of that machine in a pile at a company, they wanted to throw it away but I could have it, so long story short, I had assembled that machine inside the AOpen HX45 casing, the powesuply is a later model Delta AT unit, 200 watts which is enough for the AT.
    The drive is interesting, it has a Seagate ST-4026 harddrive which is 5'25" full height, so as big as two CD-ROM drives on top of eachother, the drive is a very early voice coil actuator drive, older MFM drives used stepper motor to position the read/write head, the 4026 basically has the technology still used in current harddrives only on a HUGE scale, platters, read/write heads etc, they're HUGE.
    It has a new old stock IBM(ALPS) 1.2MB floppy drive which is incredibly well built, lovely drive.
    AT boards don't have on board stuff, so HDD and FDD are connected to a full length HDD/FDD controller, the harddrive has two cables, one for data and one for the controller, MFM drives did not have their controller on the drive itself.
    I have installed a Hualon VGA card, this is an 16 bit ISA card with 256KB RAM, yes, that's KiloByte.. it was made by Hualon Microelectronics Corp. which seems to be based in Taiwan.. it is ancient, it is ISA and it actually works so that's really great :D
    Of course there has to be a COM and Parallel port card, these are also not found on board actually, I also have a LAN card which is an unknown, I've not taken a good look at it but hey, was free thus awesome anyway.
    The mainboard itself onl has 512KB of RAM so there's a 128KB memory card fitted to up it to 640KB, I don't have an EMS card or anything which is a pity, the 80286 can address 16MB of RAM but no machine I've ever seen had more than 2-4MB which was because RAM was ludicrously expensive back then.. :shifty:
    The last card installed is a 16 bit Crystal Sound sound card, 16 bit, it is one of those just NOT Soundblaster cards, so compatibility was a maybe, some games could use it others not.

    I have built the machine a few years ago but didn't go beyond installing DOS onto it and some utilities like ancient Norton Utilities and PC-Tools so today I plugged it in and switched it on which was kinda a bit scary, most parts of the machine were built in the 80's, the mainboard probably in 1984 so it is nearly 39 years old.. but "click" harddrive spins up, floppy seek and the inevitable error 161, the AT has a CMOS memory like a new PC but there's no battery installed so you either have to be able to use the GWBasic commands or have the setup floppy, I have the latter, so you can set time, date, floppydrive type, if you have a graphics card yes or no and of course harddrive type.. so.. I didn't remember which type the 4026 was, found it online though after some duck duck going, it's type 2 which is usually suited for all 20MB HDD's.:biggrin:
    Rebooted the machine and tadaa smooth sailing everything just works fine as if it's new, even the ultra large and rather fragile harddrive, no strange noises, no bearing chatter which would mean the bearings are shot, it just works, you can say what you want about this old beast but damn is it durable.

    Back in the day this would have been a VERY expensive machine $6000 at least and according to Wikipedia that would be $16,300 in today's money.:wtf:

    Some benchmark results from System Snooper and Checkit
    It is 3.17 times faster than a IBM XT ! at a blistering 1090 Drystones, also with having a 80287 Coprocessor it is 22.75 times faster than the IBM XT with a 150,1K whetstones score :D :mallory:
    The Hualon VGA card dishes out a majestic 4,315 characters per second.. hold your applause :techman: and the rocket ship of a harddrive manages.. 146!! KiloByte per second!!:mallory:
     
  9. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2022
  10. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    nothing like an update to break things.

    Finally got my M40 working with vGPU and along comes an update for Proxmox and completely an utterly fucks things up.

    Not sure which part of the upgrade screwed the pooch. Re-installed the drivers, tried different kernel versions (was running 5.15.64 without a problem).

    So and I'm not sure what's broken it so I'm gonna replace the Telsa with a GTX 2060 which can run native or vGPU but only has 6GB (the Telsa had 12).

    Gonna have to see if I can sell the Telsa for some-one who can use it for ML but the prices has dropped so (people have discovered the P4) I'm not gonna make back anywhere near what I paid.

    Sort of tossing the idea of doing a motherboard upgrade can afford it but can't really justify it. There are some good ebay combo deals on SuperMicro boards (sadly not -f models with IPMI) with Epyc processors and the value for the Xeon v2 systems is down and DDR4 isn't as cheap as DDR3. About $CA750 for the board and CPU plus a chunk for RAM and HSF.
     
  11. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^Maybe go for a threadripper? ;) as for your gfx problems.. maybe try the Oibaf PPA? saved my bacon for a while, I have a Raven Ridge APU and those were really badly supported back when they came out, the Oibaf PPA made it possible to get through all the early teething problems. :)

    I'm still messing with old computers, I have a Pentium MMX 233Mhz machine which back in the day was quite a quick machine, it has a Hercules VooDoo Rush graphics card, interesting card, has a planar with the actual VooDoo accelerator on top of the 2D card.
    Will see if this machine still works. :)
     
  12. Marc

    Marc Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I think it's a something to do with vfio but recent Proxmox updates have played merry hell with graphics pass-through and the like.

    My RTX2060 has arrived and in place. Will say without the M40 and it's blower, my server is a lot quieter (not as quiet as sans video card but still an improvement).

    Haven't looked at threadripper prices so don't know how they compare though to be brutally honest my current system is doing fine for what I need. It's just not as energy efficient as a new system. Between my server and desktop I'm pulling about 315w according the my UPS.

    Fortunately electricity is a) included in my rent and b) not European pricing so I can get away with it plus the electricity in my city all comes from hydro generation so it's clean n green as well :)

    And didn't tell the wife I've bought a new hard disk - Newegg had the WD 8TB drives 40% off so picked one up as I need more space for my offsite backup storage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
  13. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    2060's usually have fan stop, most cards are configured in a way that the fans won't engage when temps are below 50 Celsius.
    Maybe you've got to poke around in the Nvidia settings to see if all the powermanagement stuf is switched on and working.
     
  14. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Onto the Pentium era..
    First machine I checked out again is a Pentium MMX 233Mhz machine, runs Windows 98SE, it has 256MB RAM, a WD Caviar 4GB,drive and VooDoo Rush 6MB graphics card which is really rare it is quite fast I must say, the mainboard is a Biostar M5ATA with the Ali Alladin chipset.
    So, plugged it in and switched it on, tadaa works flawlessly, not the slightest error, not the slightest issue or problem, the OS has had an unofficial service pack which installs every last little update 98SE ever had in combination with all kinds of third party enhancements like being able to run more than 512MB RAM etc.
    So after some checks, a thorough speeddisk session and just looking around that machine has a perfect bill of health which is just awesome. :mallory:

    Next machine is a bit of a frankenclone machine, it came in a case without PSU, also without the usual speed display (so it originally would have been from a 486) also the original PSU must have had one of those huge tumble switches, so I mounted a normal PSU and made the whole thing fit somehow, it has a mildly strange facade now..
    The CPU is a Cyrix 6X68MX-PR200 which was for a short while the fastest x86 chip in the world, it was and still is really fast it ran a 75Mhz bus speed and the chip itself ran at 150Mhz but it was at least as fast as a Pentium 200MMX
    https://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/6x86/Cyrix-6x86MX-PR200 (75MHz 2.9V).html
    The mainboard of this machine is also interesting, in the past if anyone heard the name PC Chips they would not come near it, not even with a 10ft barge pole, PC Chips made rubbish/cheap/nasty stuff.
    I have two board, both made by Ability Electron, the type is MB-586 TXA, one has the Cyrix, the other one a Pentium 166MMX and they both run fine, very stable, not the slightest problem whatsoever, a few years later I had to find some drivers because I simply couldn't find the damn floppy which had the drivers.
    While digging around I found out that Ability Electron was just another name used by PC Chips, you can imagine that I was surprised about that.
    So, I cleaned the machine, put in a fresh CR-2032, and it boots up, I set up the BIOS aaaaaaaaand.... it still works flawlessly.. :D
    It has a sweet little Quantum Fireball SE 2.1GB drive and the usual stuff like a Soundblaster 16 VE, the graphics card is also interesting it's a SIS 6326 PCI which is not really fast, but it works well.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SiS_6326

    When I'm done messing with these two I'll step down to the 486 era.. :mallory:
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  15. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    So I'm noticing something a bit weird today. If I try to load posts or threads that have embedded YouTube content, they seem to either load really really slowly or freeze after initially loading the thread (I can't scroll down or anything). I noticed earlier while watching YT it seemed to load a bit slower than normal but then it seemed fine. I haven't noticed this as much on a Chrome test but I haven't evaluated it much.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I can't recall it ever happening with Safari before.

    ETA: Seems to be intermittent. I can't view the music thread properly in TNZ at all, but it only seems to affect threads that have YT embeds. :confused: Stuff like lots of images seems fine and doesn't affect viewing.

    Upon further testing in Chrome, it seems less slow but doesn't want to always load the embeds properly. They show up as errors. So it would seem the issue isn't necessarily a browser problem with Safari, as I've used it for years without such a problem. YouTube itself seems to work perfectly fine for me, just not anything linked/embedded elsewhere.

    Also, I tested the embed feature on other websites and had the same issue. The browser doesn't want to load the page correctly if there's a video embedded.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  16. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ If Youtube has a hickup then loading a page with embedded links will have the same problem, even more if there are more than one links embedded, that will cost even more time.
    As for the cause, no idea.. :biggrin:
     
  17. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    EricF was suggesting that YT could have altered something relevant to how the embeds are coded, which seems logical to me. It seems much better and back to normal as of this post, and I had no issues using YT itself (as I often have it open in a tab to play music and such). It's possible they updated or changed something that unwittingly borked the way embeds load and it's now been (hopefully) fixed. :)

    Definitely weird, but not a problem I'd like to see repeated. :lol:
     
  18. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Messing around with some old parts, so far I have a casing which came with a PSU, a complete mainboard with the Intel VX chipset, it has a Pentium 166MMX CPU mounted on it and I have been able to find 32MB of EDO RAM so far, I have more old SIMM's around but I have to see how large they are 32MB is okay though for the era.
    I have a graphics card, a S3 Trio64, the card was made by Genoa and it works fine, I have harddrives that would be fiting for the machine, at least I think so, haven't looked at them in ages.. I think I have a CD-ROM drive as well for that machine, the casing already contains a 1.44MB 3.5" and a 360KB 5.25" floppy drive so that's covered.
    I have soundcards and eveything else you need to build a retro rig, I seem to have quite a few Pentium 166MMX chips around, more than any other classic CPU.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2022
  19. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I heard that folks at ETH Zurich invented a new smartphone architecture called TEEtime.

    "This architecture, introduced in a paper pre-published on arXiv, allows users to flexibly choose what resources on their smartphone they will dedicate to legacy operating systems, such as Android or iOS, and which they wish to keep for their own proprietary software and data."
     
  20. Santaman

    Santaman Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Attach old CD-ROM to PSU, switch on, press open.. whirrr.. clunk clunk.. nope *blink blink* press open.. whirrr.. clunk clunk.. nope *grumble grumle..* press open.. whirrr.. clunk clunk.. nope.. *sigh...*
    Try to open up the drive.. so remove bottom aaaaaaaand discover that it is a drive that's built upside down into its shell ARGH!! :ack: *sigh* carefully remove the film cables, carefully remove the tiny power cables which are seated in tiny sockets while having rather large hands.. remove circuit board, curse.. curse again.. pry off the faceplate of the drive, curse again because it DID NOT COME OFF EASILY!:mad::klingon::mad:
    Pry drive out of the shell, curse and sigh, remove the upper bearing which helps to fixate and hold a CD in place under normal circumstances, find door opening mechanism.
    Play with motorized latch, watch it disengage and drop down the inner tray so you can in fact place a CD, move it back and forth, no problems there.. hmm..:vulcan:
    Watch the electric motor/gears/drive belt.. sigh and curse.. the damn belt is slipping and of course I don't have any replacement for it, it also doesn't feel as flexible anymore hmm..
    Tried an old trick, remove the belt, clean it with washing up liqued, clean that away and then drop it in nearly boiling water.
    Re-assemble drive, plug it in, press open.. whirrr, clunk brrrrrr! :D to quote Claptrap Aaaaaaaand open!!! *applaud self* :mallory:
    I am not sure how long this fix will work, the belt is ancient and still not as flexible as it should be, for now it works though, think it might have been a little greasy so the washing up liqued will have solved that.
    Oh and I have more drives with this problem.. :crazy: