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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. #21
    Pretzel (Level 4) Gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Dantes View Post
    ..... if you feel old, imagine me... I'm 33....

    Try 47 on for size.

    I'd like to get my old man's IBM PC from the early 90s. I'm not sure what it had in it, but I know it had a CD rom and floppy. I'm thinking it may have been a P90 rig. I just want something that will play the old X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter games, along with some of the other early CD ROM games.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Ben--Nice, I never used those special tools and i'm guessing but I think 610 was it, could have been a few higher but I doubt 620 as it appears you used extra tools. My first PC was a christmas gift from grandparents, the original 386sx16 from Headstart/Magnavox(ie: Philips) was the first big box pc with a CD in it (it was 1/2 a single speed drive and used CD trays.) I didn't have BBS access until around a few years later so I basically had to self teach myself doing junk tinkering with the system files in DOS5 then 6.X and made .bak files in case I fubar'd something.

    WC2, Tie Fighter, and a few other games were fairly pushy wanting high EMS like 590+ and I'd hit problems so I just went crazy on it and figured out how to pawn off stuff to EMS and other places and stripped it to the minimum possible I could figure in the base memory suddenly stuff worked and other stuff that did worked nicer.

  3. #23
    Insert Coin (Level 0) Custom rank graphic

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    My first PC was this hunk-a-junk. I kinda wish I still had it. Ran DOS 5.0, DirectAccess 5.1 (a menu program), PC-TOOLS 9.0, and Windows 3.1 quite happily. Used to smuggle games in that I'd downloaded to floppies at the library, install them, and play 'em.

    Unfortunately, the floppy drive failed and my idiot of a father thought it was a software problem...and formatted the hard drive.

    Actually...if xfrumx feels like going back THAT far, the IBM Model 25SX might not be a bad option. 386SX CPU at 16MHz, max the ram out to 12MB, and upgrade the hard drive. Many can even have a 486 cpu installed.. Wouldn't take up much space, either.
    I hate it when people write their initials on a game cart's label. Can't get it off without ruining part of the label!

  4. #24
    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    I tried to go digging, best I could find on mine for some reason were some old PC magazine(various ones) scanned pages google popped up. It was a Maganvox Headstart 500 CD. I had the 386sx/16 part right, 4MB of RAM, CD and 1.44 drives, 80MB HDD, had 3 or 5 ISA slots, came with a SVGA card and a monitor that did 800x600 which was huge at the time, a sound blaster, 2400 modem, probably about it and they ordered an epson dot matrix printer with it. Seems that it was a $3000 PC, $500 more due to the monitor of that type, and I think the printer was probably about that much in the day too so it was a hell of an investment by my dad's parents in 1990.

    I would love it if someone could find info as I can not on the CD packages with that system, in particular the games disc. I'd not so much need the disc itself if that were even possible but I'd like a list of the games, even if it's the old 2" thick manual that came with the thing (or the table of contents scanned.) I'd love to go and dig up some old favorites to mess with as I can only remember very few.

  5. #25
    I demand potatoes! Ness7281992's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    I remember those days, and I do NOT want to relive them. Getting games to run on those old x86 machines would take so long, I'd lose interest in the games. Awful, just plain awful. I'd gladly take DOSBox or similar, where I don't have to worry about how much EMS memory is available, or what IRQ my sound card is in? No thank you very much. I love original hardware, but no PC was truly original. There was no set standard like say MSX or Sharp.
    Oh, but figuring all that out? That was what made it all rewarding in the end. And if you think there were no set standards on an "IBM PC Compatable", then you, sir, are rather oblivious. They're all based on the original IBM Model 5150 with its Intel 8086 processor. Just like the Amigas (well, most of them) and even with the MSX series, things got faster, looked prettier, and sounded better as time went by, but it was still based on a standard set back at the start. Even today's Intel x64 processors share much of the same roots as the x86 processors before. Yes, it was impossible to play games made for a 4.7 Mhz processor on a rig with a Pentium (unless you used something like MoSlo, but even then it was spotty), but it could stillrun it.
    Last edited by Ness7281992; 02-11-2016 at 06:39 PM.

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    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

  8. #28
    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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