Red Falcon's Retrocomputing Thread!

GiGaBiTe

Gawd
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Apr 26, 2013
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997
Good news, its fixed:

k9TzXo5h.jpg


Bad news, hard drive is dead. Now I have the chicken and egg problem of I need a special hacked version of Drive Setup that doesn't exist to format a non-Apple branded IDE drive to work in it. That special version of Drive Setup doesn't exist, there are only instructions on how to make it with Res Edit, which requires writable storage greater than what's available on a 1.44 MB floppy.
 

GiGaBiTe

Gawd
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Got a 120 GB drive working in it, got lucky with an old 700 MB external SCSI drive I had from 1988 that had a hacked version of Drive Setup 1.5 on it.

Video of it booting and running Duke3D before putting it back together:

It has 32 MB of RAM, which is a bit limiting when running some games or VirtualPC. Unfortunately it uses weird 168 pin EDO 5v DIMMs, unlike normal standard 168 pin 3.3v DIMMs using SDRAM in PC land. The only difference between the two memory sticks visually is the EDO DIMM has the middle notch orientated to the left side (vs center on SDRAM) and the side notch orientated to the middle (vs to the right on SDRAM.)

I remember reading posts of frustrated Mac owners in the mid to late 90s where they bought normal PC SDRAM and were flummoxed when it wouldn't seat in the slot. There were a few of the "danger to themselves and everything else" types which weren't having any of it and opted to use a dremel or file to make the notches on the memory module larger to fit. Hilarity ensued with either the memory modules blowing up from the over voltage, logic board smoke or both.
 

Red Falcon

[H]F Junkie
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Ah, I know exactly what you mean about those proprietary DIMMs.
The SPARCstation 5 workstation featured on post 5 in this thread was the exact same way.

It had 256MB of ECC FPM DRAM in 168-pin DSIMM modules, which is almost unheard of.
Surprisingly, I have seen a few mid-1990s Intel workstations equipped with the 168-pin EDO DIMMs you are using as well.

2F2016%2F178%2Ff%2F1%2Fsparcstation_5___internal_view_and_411_scsi_units_by_redfalcon696-da7sxlm.png


^ Those are the 32MB ECC FPM DSIMMs with 8 of them in total for 256MB.
Running NetBSD, I was able to compile smaller programs with 64MB, but anything too big would dig into SWAP, and having the additional RAM made a huge difference.

32MB on your Performa 6360 does look like it is getting the job done well, though!
You are right, those voltage differences do make a massive differences, and it is probably a good thing that those DIMMs were keyed differently to help prevent magic smoke from appearing.

You did a damned good job getting things going on the Performa 6360 (nice find on the SCSI HDD from '88, too), it looks and runs great, and the performance of Duke Nukem 3D was surprisingly good; colour me impressed! (y)
That brings back a lot of great memories from the 1990s, and playing Duke Nukem 3D on the PowerPC ISA looks like a lot of fun.

What is the maximum capacity of RAM that the Performa 6360 can take?
128MB, or more?
 

GiGaBiTe

Gawd
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It has a Performa 6400/180 motherboard in it (hence the 6360/180, the normal 6360 is 160 MHz) and the maximum memory it can support is 136 MB (2 x 64 MB DIMMs + 8 MB on the logic board.)

Finding 64 MB sticks at a reasonable price would be a pipe dream.
 

Red Falcon

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It has a Performa 6400/180 motherboard in it (hence the 6360/180, the normal 6360 is 160 MHz) and the maximum memory it can support is 136 MB (2 x 64 MB DIMMs + 8 MB on the logic board.)

Finding 64 MB sticks at a reasonable price would be a pipe dream.
Oh, gotcha, thanks for the info.
I feel your pain, those 32MB DSIMMs were basically an arm, a leg, and a few fingers and knee cap. :D
 

Starfalcon

Weaksauce
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Nice retro system, impressive you got it together without having to spend a fortune. It is scary how much people want for this stuff nowdays, when I started getting this stuff 20 years ago it was free or pennies....not anymore.
 

GiGaBiTe

Gawd
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Nice retro system, impressive you got it together without having to spend a fortune. It is scary how much people want for this stuff nowdays, when I started getting this stuff 20 years ago it was free or pennies....not anymore.
Look in second hand stores and estate sales, I can still semi-regularly find old gear for not too much. The local dump is also a great place to find stuff, especially around the holidays.

Just after new years, I found all sorts of stuff for cheap at the dump:

2 x 24" ACER 1080p monitors - $20
Strange gaming rig/server with an ASUS P5E WS Pro, 4 GB OCZ DDR2-800, an E7200 and a Geforce 7100GS - $3
Saibo 4 bay NAS with 4 x 640 GB drives - $10
Buffalo 4 bay NAS with 4 x 1 TB drives - $10
Hyper 212 Evo new in box - $3

They also have a bunch of really old 90s laptops, but I'm not too interested in them. I've found 486 and Pentium machines there for just a few dollars. The best part is that people that trash these machines are idiots, they never wipe the machines so you usually get hundreds or thousands of dollars in free software. Sadly this is often accompanied with PI like SSNs, bank records, home addresses, etc. and needs to be disposed of responsibly. It's scary how much PI is on some of these machines, I've bought two that came from law enforcement and one had thousands of SSNs on it with a database of criminal records. Immediately ripped the drive out and smashed it with a hammer.
 

Starfalcon

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I agree you can still find some stuff reasonably, but finding popular and wanted parts are not easy anymore. Heck most of the voodoo 5's I got for nothing back in the day because no one wanted them, the most i paid for one was retail for the PCI version I have. Now if I wanted to find those, I would be paying a lot of money.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
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Messages
146
Could be a tarnished card edge connector or ISA/PCI slot. Try spraying some deoxit gold in the slot and on the card edge connector and inserting/removing it a few times.
Hmmmm, I cleaned card edges with an eraser and then isopropyl alcohol on a cleanroom wipe when I assembled and motherboard was new in sealed bag. I have ran into similar behavior with these ESS cards in the past on another 486 I built a few years ago. I honestly suspect card doesn't like the ISA bus at 10MHz, as problem went away at 8MHz ISA speed. But 10MHz ISA literally gets me another 1FPS in the Doom timedemos so I don't want to lose that. So far SoundBlaster works fine at 10MHz ISA and 13.3MHz ISA, but 13.3MHz doesn't gain any more speed in VGA benchmarks so not worth risk of possible data corruption from the controller card or HDD not liking the high ISA speed.

My Tseng ET4000 is a very early card with only 512kb (was 256kb before I installed two more memory chips) so I think it may be a slightly limiting factor. Supposedly later ET4000 cards with 1MB are faster. With my 40MHz CPU, not sure if a 'faster' ISA card would gain anything???????
 

GiGaBiTe

Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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Hmmmm, I cleaned card edges with an eraser and then isopropyl alcohol on a cleanroom wipe
Don't do this, erasers are abrasive and damage the contacts. Only use an oxide remover like deoxit gold or electronics cleaning spray.

I honestly suspect card doesn't like the ISA bus at 10MHz, as problem went away at 8MHz ISA speed. But 10MHz ISA literally gets me another 1FPS in the Doom timedemos so I don't want to lose that. So far SoundBlaster works fine at 10MHz ISA and 13.3MHz ISA, but 13.3MHz doesn't gain any more speed in VGA benchmarks so not worth risk of possible data corruption from the controller card or HDD not liking the high ISA speed.

My Tseng ET4000 is a very early card with only 512kb (was 256kb before I installed two more memory chips) so I think it may be a slightly limiting factor. Supposedly later ET4000 cards with 1MB are faster. With my 40MHz CPU, not sure if a 'faster' ISA card would gain anything???????
ISA really never had a defined speed. Early "turbo" XT clones would run ISA at the bus speed of the CPU, which was usually the CPU clock and it could basically be anything from 7-20 MHz. Later machines used a clock divider off the FSB or PCI bus, which still had a range of clock speeds.

Most cards behave between the original 4.77 MHz XT bus and around 10 MHz. Any further and compatibility rapidly drops off. If you aren't seeing any performance gains after a certain speed, then something else is going to be the bottleneck.
 

70 Polara

Limp Gawd
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Yeah it is crazy that ISA never really had a set speed. It's interesting that this particular motherboard has a separate setting for the keyboard controller and the ISA bus. The keyboard defaults to 9.5MHz, and ISA defaults to 8MHz at 40MHz bus setting. This board has an AMI WinBIOS that leaves much to desired. When my EPROMs get here I'm going to burn some Award BIOSs I found on the internet. Looking at them in a hex viewer I think I found the Award BIOS I've seen some of these boards have, and if so it should be more flexible. It's personal opinion, but back in the day I always liked Award BIOS far more then AMI BIOS.
 

Killahurtz

Gawd
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644
a couple of mine:

Abit BE6 i440BX , PIII 700 flip chip on Abit Slotket slot 1 adapter, Voodoo 3 3500TV , I forget the mem , creative sound

IMG_5187.jpg




Abit VP6 , 2 x PIII 1ghz @1140mhz , Voodoo 5500 AGP , dual boot W2K pro / XP pro , 2 gig Infineon memory , 3 x 18g scsi raid 0 , Kenwood TrueX 72x (the fastest CDR ever made)

IMG_4275.jpg


IMG_4282.jpg
 
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Starfalcon

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Nice systems, I have a ton of Abit boards myself...RIP Abit. Still use my BP6 300A@450 semi regularly, along with some of their socket A stuff. Plus I have a soft spot for duallie rigs, I have a ton of them in my collection.
 

defaultluser

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I had a good experience with my first Abit board, a BH6 1.0 plus Celeron 300A @ 450 in 1999. A year later, I added a Slotket and upgraded to a 533A running at 800mhz (used the BIOS upgrade trick to drop voltage range down to 1.6v.

That served as my media server for several years. I stopped using it around 2005, then rebooted it in 2014 when folks on here started building throwback rigs. After I realized it would be in better hands, I sent it to them.

I had more good experiences with Abit boards. I used an Abit KG7, a fairly stable implementation of AMD's 760 chipset.

But after that, I had to ditch Abit for Asus A8V, as there were some poor reviews. But they were great in their time.
 
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defaultluser

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That's ...insane. The most I ever did was throw some ISA/PCI/AGP cards in boxes, but I've bee clearing things out since then.

I find that I cant's be bothered to assemble and test ancient equipment I've already tackled, so if I'm not using it anymore, it's either gifted to others, or trashed.
 

Starfalcon

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Yeah I know, lol....Ive been accumulating that stuff for 20 some years now. Plus the list hasnt been updated in a while...so there is more that isnt on it...
 

defaultluser

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Yeah I know, lol....Ive been accumulating that stuff for 20 some years now. Plus the list hasnt been updated in a while...so there is more that isnt on it...

And do you have it up and running, or is all all packed away in boxes?
 

Killahurtz

Gawd
Joined
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Messages
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a couple more...a little newer

here is the 775 box...on the right , Abit IP35pro , BFG 8800gtx OC , Corsair mem , Creative sound....runs great , runs period stuff crispy

the left is 939 Athlon 64 X2 4400+ , Asus A8AR32-MVP Deluxe (first full 2x pcie x16) , AMD X1900 crossfire , Patriot mem , Creative sound




IMG_5170.jpg
 
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