Something Random

sedrosken

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These days I bet they'd just laugh and go, "People are still mad about that?"

They do seem to have mellowed out a bit in their old age.
 

sedrosken

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In 486-related news, I've got it assembled and after minimal headdesking got it to play nice with itself. My experience with this class of hardware is really starting to show, for better or worse. For right now at least I can't seem to even get it to POST at a 33MHz bus, much less run, but as I said earlier that's more a nice-to-have than a necessity. I've just about worked out all the kinks with the base "gaming" 98lite build on its SD card, and now I'm moving on to break more stuff in other OSes on their own SD cards. I procured a copy of OS/2 Warp 3 Connect, the networking-capable edition of... OS/2 Warp 3. Wow. Exactly what it says on the tin.

1659407460331.png

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Just an excerpt of what I'm currently having fun diagnosing. It's Warp 3, so it could really be anything... let's play "what's making OS/2 mad this time?" roulette! Is it my ATAPI CD-ROM drive, as those weren't yet really a thing at time of release; is it my SD to IDE adapter, which seems remarkably finicky outside of gen-u-ine Microsoft-brand DOS® and Windows™; or is my floppy drive perhaps dying? Did I not sacrifice the correct goat, or did I accidentally do it a minute past midnight instead of exactly at?

Remember, I have the "base" SD card safe and sound, tucked away, and properly backed up. So this is more of a fun puzzle than a "why can't I get this to function" post.
 

Handruin

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On a toes-related note: My roommate secured a Media pass for me at Chicago's Lollapalooza festival, which happened over the past weekend. She officially knows the right people. I have another pass for the Smokeout (Country Music) festival this weekend. Neither of these things are really up my alley, but I'm still pretty let down to miss the opportunity to go and take photos at events like that.

I'm especially sad I missed the possibility of getting to tell the Metallica people to eat shit and die for ruining Napster 20 years ago. It'd be worth getting tossed out to do that.

Should your profile tagline be adapted to Fatwah on Western Digital and Metallica? :)
 

Mercutio

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Possibly. I'm sure I've heard Metallica a bunch of times but the reason I know who they are is that they're the dipshits that killed music sharing. I didn't even actually get to do any of it at the time. They just started the vortex of suck that led to $1/track downloads and $15/month streaming services.
 

sedrosken

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More 486 news: the 486BL cannot cache any more than 16MB of RAM, because it inherited its L1 cache line tags from the 486SLC, which had a 24 bit address bus and couldn't address any more than 16MB of RAM period. At the time this made sense because who was going to put more than 8MB in a 486 of any kind?

So I pulled one of the SIMMs (it had 2 16MB modules) and immediately Windows is much, much, MUCH faster -- Windows 9x fills memory top-down, meaning for the first half of memory it's completely uncached. DOS fills bottom-up so you don't notice the performance deficit unless you're playing very demanding games that need more than 16MB which on DOS are few and far between.

Ironically the machine is now faster and better at multitasking with only 16MB of RAM under Windows 98 (albeit 98lite) than it was with 32.
 

Mercutio

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Long, boring CSB:

My big fancy going-away-to-college PC was a dual 486/50 workstation system. It had come from my father's office, but he made me buy it off him. I remember that it had a Zeos motherboard (about like getting a Supermicro board in the current day; exotic but available) and it'd had a Fujitsu-branded graphics card (which I didn't get in the deal) which was at the time the most serious expansion card I'd ever laid eyes on. His company had been experimenting with that system using OS/2 and Windows NT as an alternative to the HP/Apollo systems they were using.

Anyway, that system had an absolutely mind-boggling amount of RAM, 24MB in total. I think the recommended RAM requirement for NT 3.1 was 16MB, and their first pass at getting NT to not run like ass was to stick more RAM in, which generally worked REALLY well on systems from that era, but NT 3.1 was a special kind of terrible. I'm not sure if it wound up being used for a file server or if it got turned in to someone's CAD system, but it was a couple years old when it came into my life and it held up amazingly well for my first few years of school.

When I was in college, almost no one was any kind of computer hardware enthusiast, but the CS and Engineering guys I knew thought it was a cool machine because it had more RAM than the Sparc 5s they had all over campus, which were for the most part the fastest computers most people got to play with on a day to day basis.

I will also say that Purdue at the time had student systems that hosted shell accounts, which were set up to give everyone on campus at least access to email, but also to run things like gopher sites and FTP repositories for useful things. Those machines were Sequent 2000s, which had 12 386/33s and IIRC 64MB RAM on a computer roughly the size of an apartment fridge. They were super cool computers, too. The whole thing was functionally a giant rack with a high speed backplane so I/O could come and go from each 19" wide CPU node and could share the total RAM. The mind blowing part of that is that those 12 386/33s were usually hosting somewhere between 2000 and 3000 concurrent shell sessions. Those things were overloaded as all hell (top would usually say the load average was over 5, which in computer terms is what we call "a world of hurt.") but they never stopped running.

... and an even more boring postscript

I started college wanting to study Genetics, but that was right after Jurassic Park came out, so I didn't stay in that program, but one other funny thing happened because I had some familiarity with graphics workstations: I saw somebody messing around with a SGI Onyx in one of the Bio labs and clearly struggling with that thing. Onyx machines are the systems that rendered the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and any SGI machine is hard to miss (a lot of them are purple at a time when probably 99% of computers were beige). I walked in to see the pretty computer and it turned out the Grad students just having no idea how to work their very big and expensive computer. For the whole time I was in college I wound up helping with an X-ray Crystallography and computer visualization project. The prof responsible for the research is the person who grabbed me by the ear, walked me to the advising office and made me change my major.
 

sedrosken

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I like stories like this because they help put the hardware I play with into context. I'm looking at it with 25+ years of hindsight and having only ever seen machines this old a handful of times as a child because they were already woefully obsolete and largely out of service. My whole experience with this class of hardware is, "Wow, this is slow" or "Wow, I'm surprised this even runs, much less runs acceptably well." You got to experience these things in reference to what was actually available at the time.

I'd like to get ahold of a SPARCstation sometime, and maybe an Itanium machine just to laugh at as it tries to run Windows XP 64-bit edition poorly. I think a lot of the soul of the computer industry died with the homogenization of everything onto the x86 platform -- ARM's making that more interesting now, and RISC-V shows promise, and we even still occasionally see MIPS in routers and such, but by and large the diversity of the computing sector is gone.

OS/2 of any stripe right now appears to be a non-starter. Windows NT 3.x has turned into more trouble than it's worth -- after rewriting the boot disks several times, to different disks, from different sources -- it'll boot disk 1 and proceed with disk 2, but refuses to recognize disk 3 at all. I attempted to run WINNT /B from a DOS install, and that got further, but on its first boot to get into NT setup, it gives me an INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE BSOD, and I'm almost wondering if that's not because the XT-IDE 386+ ROM I put in my network card technically turns my IDE bus into an int13h device that Windows NT has no driver for. You'd think that as long as it's able to find the drive at 1F0h, it'd be fine, but nooooo... Can you tell I spent literal hours yesterday trying to prod that into working? I might try one more time later, unshadowing the ROM at D000h, as I feel that might have caused an issue, but if that doesn't work I'm done trying for now. For those curious, I'm using the XT-IDE ROM to give myself LBA support as the BIOS doesn't have it and tops out at 528MB.
 
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jtr1962

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Ah, the good old days. My first PC was a 386-33 with 4MB of RAM. I got it in late 1998 after my friend upgraded the PC at his business. Needless to say it was slow even for the time, but it was better than having no PC. Anyway, that machine had a 1.2GB HDD which was using drive overlay software in order to access the entire capacity. Drive overly software was one of the worst ideas going. Sure, it let you access drives larger than 528MB without changing hardware. However, if you needed wipe the drive and restore everything from backup you were screwed if you didn't happen to have the floppy with the drive overlay software. Happened to me. I kept wondering why I got errors writing files, and the machine kept crashing. Then I talked to the guy in my friend's shop who set up the PC and he mentioned drive overlay software. He gave me a copy of the floppy. All was well.

Not too long after this same person, who was seriously into PCs, upgraded his home machine and gave me his old 386-40. The nice thing about this machine was that it could use the 4MB SIMMs. My 386-33 maxed out at 4MB. This machine could have 32MB. Since old memory was relatively inexpensive, I upgraded the machine to 32MB for about $100. Not long after I bought one of those Promise IDE expansion cards so I would never have to be bothered with drive overlay software again. The CompUSA had 8.4GB HDDs on sale for about $100, so I upgraded. I literally had the largest drive the Promise card could deal with. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of FAT16 at 2GB per partition I had to make 4 or 5 partitions on the drive.

Ever since then upgraded with mostly second hand stuff. I was always a few generations behind but I learned the gamut of hardware from 386s all the way to what we have now.

BTW, two things happened since then. One, PCs got fast enough for what I do that I haven't found myself wanting more speed in a long time. I'm using an A10-7870K APU (integrated graphics) with 32GB. The newest APUs have more than twice the graphics power, and 8 cores instead of 4, with each core being at least twice as fast as mine. Would it be nice to upgrade? Sure, but I find no compelling reason. I'm still blown away by the fact I have 1,000 times as much RAM as I did in my 386-40.

The second thing is storage has been more than adequate for a long time. I remember the 1.2GB drive was pretty limiting, to the point I sometimes had to be selective about what I keep. Those days have been over for a long time. I have two 960GB and one 500GB SSD on my machine, plus an 11-year old 2TB HDD.

Oh, and integrated graphics has been more than fast enough for my needs for a long time, so I'm not seeing any more graphics cards in my future.

So no more upgrade fever for me. Sure, computers in some ways have become sterile, boring appliances that mostly just work but that's fine for most people. I don't miss the days of jumpers on expansion cards and playing with IRQs and addresses. Yeah, the old PCs were dog slow but then again the software they ran was designed for them.
 
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sedrosken

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I'm 95% sure that the folks behind the 5.9 version are the same as the ones doing the NFT crap. No thanks. I'll just use WACUP instead.
 

Mercutio

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OS/2 of any stripe right now appears to be a non-starter. Windows NT 3.x has turned into more trouble than it's worth

OS/2 4.0 wasn't terrible. I liked it at the time but I actually got my first Microsoft certification on NT 3.51 and I can just tell you that yes, it was kind of terrible and crashy. Early NT was extremely picky about what drivers would work since it supporting it often wasn't considered a must-have, but in part, the janky nature of the system was just the exotic amount of hardware that had to be in place to even use it. It need a lot of RAM, only shipped with eight or 10 video drivers and support for only a very small number of storage controllers. If you weren't expecting and planning to work in NT, what you had probably wouldn't work.

I MIGHT still have NT 3.51 install media on a CD somewhere. I usually keep OS installers, no matter how obsolete they are.
 

sedrosken

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Heck, even NT4 doesn't especially like my hardware here, and I'd not really wanted to use that as I consider NT4 to be the domain of a Pentium with more RAM anyway.

I can't get OS/2 past the point where it would be detecting the CD-ROM -- I really do think it's just angry I'm using an ATAPI drive. That and it likely has no idea what to make of an IDE bus with an external BIOS loaded, since the XT-IDE 386+ ROM makes it into an int13h device and has no real "drivers".
 

Mercutio

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Warp definitely worked with standard SCSI and ATAPI drives. I can't speak to what you're using right now, but I IIRC OS/2 was the first OS I installed off a CD-ROM. Maybe your could copy your OS install media to a secondary drive and try installing from that?
 

sedrosken

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So while my car's finally getting fixed (and yes, they're fixing it, not totaling it; thankfully for my wallet, I don't want a higher car payment right now) from my having gotten rear-ended back in May, I was put up in a 2021 Camry SE from Enterprise. First impressions:

- I desperately need to replace the head unit in my car with something that will do Android Auto, and has a backup camera input. I don't know how I was living without that before -- I'm terrible at making spot checks and having maps up on my phone in the window using a mount feels so archaic and comparatively unsafe. Plus, my current head unit is dying -- on really hot days its LCD screen doesn't work at all, nor does the volume knob, I need to control it using the steering wheel buttons. Also it has really bad alternator whine with my current audio solution of a bluetooth FM transmitter since the aux jack is busted.

- This is a 2.5L inline-4 making 205hp. It does not need an 8-speed automatic transmission. 5, 6? Absolutely. 8 however is just overkill and adds to mechanical complexity and failure points. Then again, that's probably what they want. Make it as complicated as possible so it always needs in the shop and no one can do their own work on it. Not that automatic transmissions have ever really been anything other than black magic and blood sacrifices. At this point just use a CVT and be done with it. The damn thing has paddle shifters! In a family sedan! WHY?! Meanwhile, the auto transmission in my car is a 4-speed and that doesn't feel like quite enough. But they only offered more speeds in the manual version -- I can drive stick, but I sure don't want to daily one.

- Every aspect of control in this car runs through a computer of some kind before it makes it to the wheels or engine, and it shows. The throttle response is lazy, the steering feels completely fake (but notably doesn't have any noticeable lag) and the brakes are too tight, I barely tap them and I'm already stopped. Then again for that last point I don't know if that's how it's supposed to be and my brakes just need serviced.

- The fuel economy gains, however, are quite nice. I was getting roughly 28-33mpg in my car with how and where I drive, but this thing was saying it was getting 40mpg doing 55 on a state highway. Maybe there's something to all those computers and extra transmission speeds after all.
 
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Handruin

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There definitely is. If they can keep the engine in an optimal rpm range more often via an 8speed and use computers to adjust all kinds of air/fuel/timing/etc it's a benefit at the expense of complexity.
 

sedrosken

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I'd be interested to see how these complicated setups hold up long-term. Not that I don't plan to maintain my vehicles or anything, but I'm not optimistic about longevity the more they stuff into these things. I really don't want my next car to have to be in the shop biannually or whatever.
 

Handruin

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Like anything it depends on who made the transmission and if they focus mainly on achieving a good product that they focus R&D on.

For example, the ZF Friedrichshafen manufacturer of the reputable ZF8 8-speed transmission has an very positive reputation for being a great 8 speed transmission in both reliability and performance. I have no idea if this is what's in your car but it is an example of a complicated piece of engineering that seems to have been done well.

I'd argue that even my dual clutch 7-speed is far more complicated than your 8-speed because of having two clutches, mechatronics, and complicated oiling to keep it running well. Some how this thing can handle high torque and keep on running for years.

Even beyond that, the Porsche PDK is an absolute engineering marvel that amazes me how they built something so durable and complicated with the amazing performance and high speed shifts it's capable of.
 

Mercutio

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My Element had a defect that my mechanic had never seen before. A tiny sheath that sits along the axel of my car apparently traps water and, given that I live in the midwest, road salt. My axel actually rusted clean through at that point and broke while I was at speed. I had no idea what had happened, only that my car suddenly sounded and felt like I was constantly running over an animal for the amount of time it took for me to get off the road. It was definitely a change of pants moment.

The mechanic I deal with actually thinks it might be a decent case for recall on Honda Elements; there are a couple other people who have reported this same thing.

--

A close friend of mine ended his life over the weekend. The man had lived his entire life in pain and really never caught a break in any way or at any point, but he was extremely funny and charming and he had touched hundreds of lives in his career as a DJ and comic. He was around my age and someone I've known for more than a decade. This extraordinarily unexpected event has left me and more or less all of my social circle doing daily welfare checks and trying to find ways to better keep in touch.

I'm not trying to make a mental health PSA here and I'm typing this to seek sympathy, but I really am saying that I regret all the times I have said that I'll get to something sooner or later because I thought I'd have all the time in the world, and the calls, emails and conversations I didn't make time to have. Men very often remain emotionally distant with one another even when they are close. What a shitty norm that is.
 

Handruin

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I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. If you need anything I'm happy to help.
 

sedrosken

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A close friend of mine ended his life over the weekend. The man had lived his entire life in pain and really never caught a break in any way or at any point, but he was extremely funny and charming and he had touched hundreds of lives in his career as a DJ and comic. He was around my age and someone I've known for more than a decade. This extraordinarily unexpected event has left me and more or less all of my social circle doing daily welfare checks and trying to find ways to better keep in touch.

In the wake of one of my friends doing something similar I reacted in much the same way. I'm just terrible at keeping in touch anyway, but I want the people I care about to know I care. But then I get busy, life gets in the way, I don't have the sheer amount of free time that I used to. There's this thing called balance but over the years I've rapidly swung back and forth between extremes it seems like. I'm very sorry for your loss.

I'm not trying to make a mental health PSA here and I'm typing this to seek sympathy, but I really am saying that I regret all the times I have said that I'll get to something sooner or later because I thought I'd have all the time in the world, and the calls, emails and conversations I didn't make time to have. Men very often remain emotionally distant with one another even when they are close. What a shitty norm that is.

I've found that in younger generations the walls are coming down. My friend group is pretty openly... for lack of a better word, affectionate. We support each other, we let each other know that we care -- in this way, at least, I think we might just end up OK.
 

jtr1962

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Sorry to hear about your friend's death, Merc. I've already been down that rabbit hole myself. I wrote about it here but can't find the post. I came within minutes of taking my own life in my third year of college. Only the fact the train I was planning to use came through at only 60 mph, instead of the usual 125 mph, is the reason I'm still alive. I carried no ID that day. I wanted what was left to be unidentifiable to spare my family any pain. The idea was they would think I just ran off. A few minutes after my aborted attempt, I started to get violently ill, thinking if not for sheer luck I wouldn't even be here now. I went home, never looked back. I realized now I was both severely depressed and just plain burned out. I took the next year off from school over my parents' objection to get my head straight. My senior year was a lot more relaxed. I really grew in that year off.

This isn't to say it was all hunky dory after that. I spent most of my 20s pretty depressed. It's what happens when almost nothing goes your way. The catalyst was an affair gone south in my second year of college (her last year of high school). I knew her in high school, but never thought of her that way back then. Then I had the luck of going partway to college on the train with her two years later. So I fell in love. I'm pretty sure she had already been in love with me in high school but for some reason I never thought of her that way. I was interested in another girl who in retrospect wasn't worth the effort. I'm glad I finally saw the light two years later. She was much prettier and nicer than that other girl. I'm not really sure what went wrong, but I think the fact we were both introverts didn't help matters. And we were way too young anyway. I was hoping maybe we would get together later on but it never happened. Add in the lousy jobs I got stuck with, and most of my 20s sucked. When I went into business at home for myself things finally started improving emotionally. Also, throughout all this bike riding helped keep me sane. After that entire incident in college, I gave up on the opposite sex, except as friends. I barely got through one heartbreak. I couldn't handle another, ever.

Now I'm homebound taking care of my mother. I should be really depressed all the time but I'm not. I guess compared to my late teens and 20s this is a picnic. I had nobody to really talk to then, either. My father was emotionally distant. My mother might listen sometimes, but she often just told me I'm tired of hearing about this or that. I knew that already though from my childhood. I never even told either of them about the girl I mentioned earlier until a few years after the fact. I figured I wouldn't get any sympathy from them, or if it worked out, neither of them would really share my joy.
 
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jtr1962

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I was able to book an apt to get my updated covid booster shot on the 7th at a nearby walgreens if anyone else is looking to also get the new bivalent version targeting omicron. It was approved for release a few days back.
Thanks for letting us know. I skipped the two boosters because I was waiting for an omicron specific booster. I'm not in a high-risk group anyway, being that I only go out every other week to buy groceries. And I wear an N95 mask with a surgical mask over it.

I'll get the booster in a few weeks, once the usual rush passes. Plus I'd rather be dealing with any side effects once cool weather comes.
 

sedrosken

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Well, in a strange twist of fate, I now have a viable option for VGA capture. I was given a Datapath E1S card from a friend. The problem is that in my main machine, it's very unstable since it's a PCI-E 1.0 card and doesn't play nice with my PCI-E 3.0 board. Luckily I was able to shunt it down to 2.0 speeds, but it's still a bit strange and it chokes my video card to run at that speed especially because I had to split the x16 slot it's connected to, to 2 x8 slots since the Datapath is a x4 card.

I've asked about and been given the go-ahead to take an old FX machine we had sitting in the office not doing anything. I'm hoping that's more reasonable with the card and I'll just use it as a dedicated capture machine on my LAN, probably running Windows 7 or a frozen version of Windows 10 so I can keep running the same drivers. Right now it's got an FX-4130 CPU in it, and apparently upgrades are reasonably cheap now if that can't quite cut the mustard.
 

LunarMist

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My Element had a defect that my mechanic had never seen before. A tiny sheath that sits along the axel of my car apparently traps water and, given that I live in the midwest, road salt. My axel actually rusted clean through at that point and broke while I was at speed. I had no idea what had happened, only that my car suddenly sounded and felt like I was constantly running over an animal for the amount of time it took for me to get off the road. It was definitely a change of pants moment.

The mechanic I deal with actually thinks it might be a decent case for recall on Honda Elements; there are a couple other people who have reported this same thing.
I thought your Honda was crushed some years ago during a tornado or something. Those vehicles have been obsolete for over 11 years, so I doubt there is much case against the manufacturer.
 

Mercutio

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My ancient but still functional Tektronics Phaser 850 died today in the most spectacular way possible. The power supply had a flame out. I wasn't even home to see it, but one of my roommates turned it on to print something, something that happens about three times a year.

Not much to see from the outside but apparently it set fire to the power cord and singed both the table and the entire back of the printer chassis.
I *think* I got that thing all the way back in 2001? In any case, it gave itself a Viking funeral and at least went out in style.
 

jtr1962

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It's possible a new old stock power supply board can get it back into working order again, assuming you can find one, and the fire didn't damage anything beyond the power supply/cord. Wasn't that a fairly high-end printer back in the day?

I personally want a Game of Thrones style Viking funeral. Someone says "dracarys", and a dragon lights me up.

EDIT:

Here we go:

 

LunarMist

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My ancient but still functional Tektronics Phaser 850 died today in the most spectacular way possible. The power supply had a flame out. I wasn't even home to see it, but one of my roommates turned it on to print something, something that happens about three times a year.

Not much to see from the outside but apparently it set fire to the power cord and singed both the table and the entire back of the printer chassis.
I *think* I got that thing all the way back in 2001? In any case, it gave itself a Viking funeral and at least went out in style.
I hope the damages were covered by your home insurance.
 

Mercutio

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Here we go:

You are definitely overestimating my willingness to work on a 20 year old printer. I'd probably give any of the early models of Laserjet a shot at repair but IMO if any other printer lives for more than five years we bow our heads and say goodnight.

I will say that current HP color lasers are absolutely gross. I campaign for Brother printers in most cases, but the leased color HPs some of my customers use cost upwards of $900 to re-stock with toner, and the cartridges don't seem to last any longer than the old ones did. Crazy.
 

LunarMist

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Ah, the good old days. My first PC was a 386-33 with 4MB of RAM. I got it in late 1998 after my friend upgraded the PC at his business. Needless to say it was slow even for the time, but it was better than having no PC. Anyway, that machine had a 1.2GB HDD which was using drive overlay software in order to access the entire capacity. Drive overly software was one of the worst ideas going. Sure, it let you access drives larger than 528MB without changing hardware. However, if you needed wipe the drive and restore everything from backup you were screwed if you didn't happen to have the floppy with the drive overlay software. Happened to me. I kept wondering why I got errors writing files, and the machine kept crashing. Then I talked to the guy in my friend's shop who set up the PC and he mentioned drive overlay software. He gave me a copy of the floppy. All was well.

Not too long after this same person, who was seriously into PCs, upgraded his home machine and gave me his old 386-40. The nice thing about this machine was that it could use the 4MB SIMMs. My 386-33 maxed out at 4MB. This machine could have 32MB. Since old memory was relatively inexpensive, I upgraded the machine to 32MB for about $100. Not long after I bought one of those Promise IDE expansion cards so I would never have to be bothered with drive overlay software again. The CompUSA had 8.4GB HDDs on sale for about $100, so I upgraded. I literally had the largest drive the Promise card could deal with. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of FAT16 at 2GB per partition I had to make 4 or 5 partitions on the drive.
In the Spring of 1998 I got my first computer, a Pentrium II 400MHz with 128MB of RAM and 11.5GB HDD from the DELL store. It was considered fairly high end at the time. I had some kind of Viewsonic CRT monitor from somewhere else, then added the SCSI CD burner, two SCSI scanners (flatbed and 135), and some kind of inkers printer supposedly for photos (quite awful). It was about $6K all together, which was a lot of money for me at the time. By October I had inherited the internet, maxed out on 384MB of RAM, and was disgusted with the 5400RPM drive. Within a year I had replaced most of that system and sold some parts. All in all I had about six scanners, four computers and regret all that money and effort over a four year period. I should have purchased a really nice car or something for mud life 'crisis' and waited until 2002 when technology became much more practical.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,335
Location
Eglin AFB Area
So, on my YMF744 card in my PIII build, there are vestigial pads for an SB-Link connector. It was a short-lived quasi-standard pushed by Creative and Intel primarily -- VIA/Yamaha actually referred to it as PC/PCI -- what it did was connect ISA IRQ and DMA lines directly to a PCI card so it was able to be natively addressed by DOS software without an IO redirecting TSR driver or some sort of emulation.

According to a guide on VOGONS, a retro forum of sorts, you can put 10K resistors at the pads for R49 and R50 to enable the connector. They're actually meant for tiny SMD resistors marked 103, but I only had through-hole components available -- so to do my due diligence and check the guide I may have committed an atrocity. Yes, those are just kind of soldered to the pads. I left the leads longer so I could more easily separate the components and also reuse the resistors later on for another project if I felt like it. Incidentally I don't know if those are backwards or even if they're properly 10Kohm resistors -- the package they came from was marked such but I never learned to read the colored lines.

1667712078793.png

I also did the cardinal sin of soldering in breadboard wires instead of, you know, a proper header to the pads for the connector, but I didn't happen to have any handy and I wanted to see if it worked now, not when I could wait on cheap electronics parts to arrive on the slow boat from Shenzhen.

Like a charm, it works completely fine in my 440BX build, and it's actually the first time I've heard this card function properly under DOS. The kind of sad part is that this chipset also properly implements DDMA, which is another technology basically doing the same thing over the PCI bus itself. Jury's out on whether the board makes use of it, considering the SB-Link cable is a far superior hardware solution rather than relying on software I've just used that.
 

LunarMist

I can't believe I'm a Fixture
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Messages
15,680
Location
USA
Resistors like that are not polarized. In olden times 10K was brown black orange. I learned the code at 8 years old. It seemed important at the time. That was before the thin film/thick film and metal oxide were used in consumer products.
 
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sedrosken

Florida Man
Joined
Nov 20, 2013
Messages
1,335
Location
Eglin AFB Area
I can't tell if this parky guy in the other thread is a real person actually getting offended at us messing with them, or if it's a bot of some kind. Either way it's very entertaining.
 

Newtun

Storage is nice, especially if it doesn't rotate
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Messages
448
Location
Virginia
Other than a bot, maybe one of our old members is pranking us.

It almost seems like they're purposely using bad grammar and syntax, as well as obscene and vituperative language, just to be annoying.
 

Newtun

Storage is nice, especially if it doesn't rotate
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Messages
448
Location
Virginia
We've recently started getting P. O. D. pix in our order-confirmation Emails. They were legible "stills", though.

But my wife recently got an Email from Amazon with a link to a "live" map showing the delivery van location "real-time".

That's progress!
 
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