Well, I'll be! Those A500 cases got funded on the very last day! I'll let you all know when my Vampire SE case comes in. In other news, here's what's happened since my last post here: -The Power Mac 9600 continues to be a very finicky machine. It turns out that half the reason for its instability was what I call "insidiously bad RAM", the sort that can somehow pass POST only to give you silent data corruption hell after the fact. Out of frustration, I moved the DIMMs around so it was running non-interleaved, and it wouldn't chime. Not even a Chime of Death, it just turned on and did nothing. Turns out one of the presumed-working DIMMs seems to be bad enough that it fails to let the system POST in non-interleaved mode, leaving me with only 192 MB of confirmed good RAM for this thing. Ouch. But if that wasn't bad enough, I tried something else: limiting it to 128 MB with known good DIMMs in interleaved mode. It was still unstable. It seems like I have to eat the performance penalty of non-interleaved RAM for reliability's sake. Also, because I unsoldered the cache-enable resistor jumper, I could change the G3 upgrade's cache to write-back instead of write-through, which improves performance noticeably in benchmarks. Still need to test whether it works out in practice. -I also dug up this little CompactFlash to IDE adapter I had lying around, with a 4 GB microdrive that I had pulled from an iPod mini that I upgraded to flash storage. Adding this on either IDE channel on the Tempo Trio causes the usual hang on startup. Yes, even the primary one that I normally have the DVD drive connected to. It's quite annoying, to say the least, since I was hoping to use it for an additional OS boot volume, but it really feels like this system wants either SCSI or SATA, not plain ol' IDE/PATA. -The Amiga 2000's still out of commission, even a month later. I ordered one of those CPU slot adapters meant for fitting a Vampire 500 V2+ accelerator board, which I still intend on doing later, but putting the 68000 into that still makes the system act like it's braindead, as if it's still not seeing the CPU at all. (Yes, I took note of the proper orientations!) And no, I still don't have a proper desoldering gun for removing the CPU socket... it's kind of frustrating, really, knowing this system could easily be repaired, but not having the tools (or the money for said tools) to do so. -The other MDD G4 I hauled from VCF initially only recognized 768 MB out of 1.25 GB that I had installed, but moving the DIMMs around a bit caused everything to show up fine. Funny how that works. I also dropped a typical Radeon 9000 into it, since it's cheap and OS 9-compatible. Yes, the ideal way to go for OS X (Leopard especially) would be a later card with Core Image, but I'm restoring this system with OS 9.2.2 as the priority, being one of the fastest systems that can natively boot it, and want to keep costs down. I just need to recap the PSU (Samsung) and replace a blown fuse. Looks easier to work on than the AcBel one that my dual 1.42 GHz MDD used to run on. Hopefully, that'll get it working again without forcing me to take more drastic measures regarding ATX PSU mods. -I plopped a new battery into my iBook G4 1.42 GHz. Had to reset the PMU in order to coax it into charging, but sure enough, it actually holds a good charge! I just need to think about what I'd use it for, and whether or not I feel like taking the time to tear down the entire thing just to replace the old HDD with a SSD. -Back to the 9600 for a bit: I was initially dismayed with its performance in Unreal Tournament being tons worse than the iMac G3 350 slot-loader, despite both running on G3s with a Rage 128 GPU. It seemed like there was more to this than just the iMac having double the bus speed (100 MHz vs. 50 MHz) and SDRAM being interleaved at the DIMM level by default, so I double-checked the renderer and realized I had it running in OpenGL the whole time rather than RAVE! A quick switch later, and it runs about as well as the iMac now, albeit with an awfully banded/16-bit look on a GPU known for having a negligible performance penalty to run in 32-bit color. Mind you, I wouldn't consider UT'99 performance on either machine acceptable by modern standards; it's well below constant 60 FPS. Best to break out one of the MDDs and boot OS 9 on it (the OS X port doesn't support music for some reason, which I consider unacceptable due to how much I love UMX tracker music in general), which are powerful enough to run it without a hitch (lining up with my impression that first-gen Unreal Engine really wants CPUs in the 1 to 1.5 GHz range, x86 and PowerPC alike), or just do the sensible thing and run it on any ol' modern PC with D3D10/11 and OpenAL.