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Thread: Classic PC gaming, should I get a classic PC, use my new one or wait for something like the Hyperkin x86??

  1. #26
    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    Kinda splitting hairs aren't you, Ness? He said there were no set standards, but he meant in terms of how each individual PC could be wildly different in what kind of hardware its user has in it, not in terms of what architecture its based on--which is far from being the only thing that affects how well or reliably a game runs (these being what dude was talking about).

    By comparison, the MSX and Sharp were basically consoles that looked like PCs. I don't think it was possible to really change the hardware except in the most minor ways (say, giving it more memory or a cartridge drive). That's something, but its a far cry from the customizability of PCs, where one might have a Sound Blaster and another might have a Roland--cards that are on a similar level, but interact with the machine in different ways and thus require different programming (and, on the user's end, mean different things you have to fiddle with to make the thing work). And that's living in a world where only the sound cards are different, but in reality it'll be everything from the graphics to the amount of RAM to the type of RAM to who manufactured your particular parts (which again result in different stuff you have to do to fiddle and make System Shock stop salting the fries)....

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    Strawberry (Level 2) AdamAnt316's Avatar
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    Angry Bastard Input Output S**tstorm

    The main issue I've had with real vintage PC hardware these days are dead BIOS batteries. A few months back, a friend of mine was looking for an old PC compatible he could use to program a 2-way radio, and I went through my collection to find one which was suitable. I dug out three of them, only to discover that none of them would boot up properly due to a dead BIOS battery. I figured it'd be as simple as installing a new CR2032 or somesuch, but instead I discovered that two of them use the cursed Dallas Semiconductor DS1287/DS1387 RTC chip, which has a battery of some sort integrated into the package, and sealed in epoxy, which is downright evil IMO. To make matters worse, the original parts aren't even available anymore; you can get a DS12887 or DS13887, which might work, but might not. There are ways to bypass the internal battery within the chip, but it involves cutting slots in the IC package, which I'm not looking forward to. And even worse, you still have to figure out what the correct BIOS settings might've been.........
    -Adam

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    16-bits, yo Custom rank graphic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    I was an EMS/XMS ninja. I vaguely remember getting it as high as 610 I believe. I never had a problem running games after I hit this one (I think it was Wing Commander 2 with speech pack) as it has some really shitty requirements to run it as far as EMS went (over 600 of 640K.) It took awhile but I figured out this slick way to pawn off some stuff and disable or change figures in the autoexec and config files where it paid off. Sure here and there something may have needed a tweak since, but that was a huge roadblock and when I broke that wall a lot of stuff I had going ran better too. You just needed to know how to mess with stacks, pages, and other goodies. I learned a lot manually messing around and at times on BBS's in the area too so I could get cool Future Crew (and others) demos to go too.

    I don't miss it, it was damn fun, but I wouldn't go back either because I think the lack of speed and screwing around in dangerously old hardware likely to crap out with drive me nuts. DOSBox serves its purpose just fine.

    Oh man, I got so good at freeing up EMS for most games, then Ultima 7 came along and it did NOT want EMS. AT ALL. That was probably the worst game to get running particularly since you pretty much needed mouse support, so you had to get the mouse driver loaded (it was common for this game to go and find a smaller mouse driver and see if that one would work with your mouse). Then there were the dreaded sound card drivers. And you couldn't load them high because NO EMS. But once you got it working, it was SOOOOOOOOOO rewarding. I feel bad for today's gamers for missing out on that sense of accomplishment.

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