Something Random

DrunkenBastard

Storage is cool
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I upgraded to a 27" 1440p monitor and my first impression is that everything's so small! I can't be getting old person eyes yet... I can still read it, but it's definitely going to take some getting used to. I will definitely have to wear my glasses at all times now.
You may need to turn on Windows dpi scaling which may help in certain situations.
 

DrunkenBastard

Storage is cool
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Jan 21, 2002
Messages
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on the floor
Watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called "The Man Who Saved The World". I had no idea the world came so close to total nuclear annihilation but for the actions of one man. Highly recommend a watch.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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You may need to turn on Windows dpi scaling which may help in certain situations.
DPI scaling doesn't work 100% of the time, and everything's designed for 96dpi, usually, and inconsistencies in UI always bother me more than they should. It's already an exercise in frustration to use Windows as it is, with some aspects of the UI dating back to Windows/NT 3.x, some from 95/NT4, and so on and so forth.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called "The Man Who Saved The World". I had no idea the world came so close to total nuclear annihilation but for the actions of one man. Highly recommend a watch.
I didn't look it up but I'm pretty sure you're referring to one Stanislav Petrov, correct? The one who (correctly) assumed that if the US were to authorize a nuclear launch against the USSR, it wouldn't have just been five missiles and called the computer malfunction that said there were that many headed there out as such?

Or, I suppose it could have been another Russian, this time in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, that fluke third officer (usually they only had two) Vasili Arkhipov aboard that B-59 who refused to let the crew fire nuclear torpedoes in response to being told to surface via practice depth charges.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Hmm. This gets more and more interesting the deeper I get.

So the PlayStation I ended up getting and modchipping works well enough -- I have to replace the laser mech, right now all it will boot into is my burnt copy of the 240p test suite -- and I have to figure out a better solution for burning stuff at slow speeds so it can more easily read the disks. Apparently the PS1 is very notorious for having finicky-at-best CD drives.

The Trinitron is a complex beast. Provided I can find the jungle chip, I should in theory be able to tie 75 ohm resistors to each of the signal lines for the OSD to get ports for RGB on the back, which is a nice little project -- I'm not comfortable enough with a dremel to even start with trying to panel-mount a real-deal SCART connector, but I'm comfortable enough soldering now that I could put together a little breakout cable for SCART to get phono plugs for each of the signal lines and stereo sound, and I have a set of those stepping drill bits so it wouldn't be a big deal to make holes for phono plugs. I'd be happy enough with S-Video if I could get the geometry dialed in right. I can *almost* get it perfect but the image is ever-so-slightly rotated, and the service menu lacks a PROT option so I'm guessing I'll have to manually get in the cabinet and mess with the yoke to fix that. Even more frustrating, despite my writing my new settings, it just refuses to actually save the settings I set in the service menu -- I almost wonder if it's got a battery that powers some kind of SRAM chip that holds those values, and the battery has long since died or something.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Another PIII build is underway. I've managed to accumulate some desirable retro hardware again -- first a Voodoo3 3000 AGP, then an Aureal Vortex 2, and now I've managed to land myself a microATX i815 board out of some IBM NetVista. Figuring out the pinout on that thing's front panel is going to be fun, but once I manage that, I should have a pretty decent platform for a late-90s Glide/A3D machine. Not going all out -- since it's just a Voodoo3 there's no point in going any faster than a PIII-1000EB, 512MB of RAM (the chipset's cap and also the reasonable limit for 9x, though with a patch you can use more) and a 120GB SSD on a SATA to IDE converter.

9x has no concept of TRIM and through IDE it wouldn't work anyway -- even on what seems like native SATA on my i865 board XP can't use any tools to force TRIM on its SSD, either, because it's locked through the BIOS to IDE emulation mode -- but I've chosen a modern enough drive that it shouldn't be a problem. The firmware should do a completely adequate job of garbage collection on its own, and even if the performance is degraded compared to what the drive's rated for, it should still have absolutely no problem saturating the UDMA-100 the i815's IDE controller is good for.

As for exactly what variety of Win9x I'll be going with, I've decided tentatively on Windows ME pending final system stability, trying my best to stick with all VxDs since ME's problems mostly boil down to issues with mixing VxDs and WDM drivers. This is 100% not a DOS rig, between the less-than-ideal sound situation (the Vortex2 has a DOS driver, but it's completely emulated and sounds awful) and just having a dedicated machine anyway in the 486, I'm not bothering with anything non-Win32. It's a bit of a change of scenery from the copy of 98lite my 486 runs. As for whether I'll run the 98lite shell swap tool on ME, I'm leaning toward not, because the version of Shell32.DLL it copies over freaks out some later software that's supposed to be able to run, and having to hex-edit stuff to change references from Shell32.DLL to Shell32.W98 is a pain. It wouldn't be worth the miniscule speed boost it's good for on such an already fast machine for the task at hand, and really would just be for aesthetics -- which, to be fair, I do prefer the 95 explorer to the IE "enhanced" one, but it's not worth the trouble.

Why 9x in the first place? Well, it's era-appropriate, but also because the Vortex2 sound card it's going to use has very lackluster drivers for NT5. On 9x you get full hardware acceleration for 3D APIs like EAX and A3D, whereas on 2000/XP you just get stereo output. The Voodoo3 is in a similar spot -- sure you can get Glide support on 2000/XP, but it's through third-party drivers and in general they just kinda suck on NT. And there are some games that have weird issues on NT5 that don't happen on 9x.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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I actually already watch both of them! I have a great deal of interest in alternate platforms, I just kinda get ahold of them, get them set up and go "Okay, what now?" because unlike my PC excursions, I have no frame of reference for it and no attachment to it.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Nov 20, 2013
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Hmm. In 486 news I've managed to follow this guide to install what essentially amounts to a Windows 3.11 (not for Workgroups) virtual-machine under Windows 98SE. Of course, Control Panel GPF'ing on the special mouse driver and one of the pieces of software I actually wanted to mess with requiring 386 enhanced mode -- the VM can only run in standard mode since, hey, Win9x is already running in 386enh, and it doesn't like to share -- led to me putting together some scripts to swap configuration files around for DOS-specific ones and then providing a proper environment (correct PATH, WINPKT loaded for rudimentary and slow but crucially working networking) for loading Windows 3.11 directly in 386enh mode. I also had to patch WIN386.EXE and IO.SYS to accomplish this, but in the end I had a working setup that... was completely useless, but fun. I call it useless because the amount of software I've even seen that will work under 3.x but not 9x can be counted on one hand, and due to the lack of 32-bit file/disk access, it's also much slower than 9x when it's actually doing stuff. It being more unstable is also a given.

I went through and updated some of the decisions I'd made when originally putting it together, such as remounting the battery pack with command strips this time instead of velcro with perished adhesive. I also disconnected and disabled the game port on my super IO card, since (I didn't know this when I originally put it all together) most MIDI cables that hook to the game port have a passthrough for a joystick/gamepad, since MIDI just uses some otherwise unused pins on the port. Now I don't have to potentially deal with those conflicting, since they were at the same address.

Of course I managed to completely screw something up -- I caught the IDE ribbon cable in some metal and sheared it to the point that it does not work anymore. And of course I had no suitable spares, since the way I had it set up was with a very long cable as it had to go to some awkward spots. I tried to cobble together something with an already-used but salvaged connector off of another cable, and a rather long but uninterrupted cable, crimping it with just a bog standard pair of channel locks. It seemed to work at first, but it's behaving rather strangely -- IO is fine for the most part under DOS, but Windows loads extremely slowly and calculating the free space also takes an order of magnitude longer. This is enough for me to just bite the bullet and grab some fresh cables off ebay, and an extension lead to go where it needs to go that needed the extra length. But I have to wait for those!

Speaking of stuff I had to wait for, the PS1 has a fresh laser mech now and it boots everything I throw at it without issue. Now I finally have a reason to go through with that RGB mod that I'd been putting off, now that I have all the parts.
 

fb

Storage is cool
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Jan 31, 2003
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Östersund, Sweden
3.1 was kind of nice.I remember installing it on a Pentium 120 MHz with 24 MB RAM on a really small partition on the very edge of a HDD, it was really, flying but I had no use for it at the time.

And, it also had a really good file manager. 🙂
 
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