Vintage Computers

Matt2000

An Unfortunate Discovery
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Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
17,828
Location
Four from the top and two from the third row, UK.
Car(s)
'12 MX-5 PRHT, '02 Freelander, '90 Disco 1 Bobtail
We don't have a thread for this and I know I'm not the only one who likes them. Also I needed somewhere to put photos of my new acquisition.

In an unexpected turn of events, I came home from work with a new vintage computer today. This machine has been in a cupboard since I started with the business almost 15 years ago, in that time I don't think it was ever used. It certainly hasn't been used in the last 10. About 5 years ago I put dibs on taking it home when the time came for it to be thrown away, as it was always being kept 'just in case'.

Well without me knowing, it had been moved to a junk pile. I just happened to be in the office today and had the car with me, so I brought it home.

It's a ~2000 Dell Dimension XPS 700r, with a 700Mhz Pentium III, 384MB of RAM (3 modules), a 20GB HDD and an ATI graphics card. The main appeal for me is because it has sat in locked room for at least 15 years, it's basically mint. The location it sat in didn't even seem to get much sun.



I was happy to reunite the CD audio cable with it after I stole it years ago, the sound card is missing as I think it's in my Dolch PAC. I need to reinstate it as it will have the correct drivers.


Pentium III on a card, just a single processor but a good one. Dell always took the cooling pretty seriously.


This is apparently an ATI 128 Rage Pro VGA 16MB AGP. Probably quite good.


Amazing Dell splash screen.


Specs in the BIOS, unsurprisingly it has lost the time after not being powered on for such a long time.


I heard the CD drive spin up and found a surprise 2Pac CD inside. It's like an old car CD player.


I started it up and it works perfectly, it currently has XP Pro on it but the NT Workstation 4.0 product key label is intact so I may install that. I'll probably us an SD card adapter anyway to save this HDD.

My P100 machine can't play the old Monopoly game I have so this might do the trick, otherwise another fun machine to have around that might actually have some value.
 
I got a Mac Classic II recently, as expected the capacitors are all toast in it so it doesn't boot. I ordered a caps replacement kit that I just need to install, I haven't had the time yet though.
I also have a PowerBook 140 with a similar issue and replacement parts sleeping in a bag for a couple of years waiting for its turn. That one's extra hard because the plastic its case's plastics are basically crumbling with age, the hinges have already dissolved from opening it a few times. I have a 3D printed hinges replacement set I got from eBay, it's waiting on the pile of things to fix.

I need to take photos of all my shit to post on here :)
 
Many many years ago we arranged a LAN party with 150 or so attendants. Someone donated a ton of computer scrap which we used for a "scrapheap challenge" of sorts. This was when the show was on TV. Before the challenge I walked by the pile and saw a familiar Amiga power brick. Quickly found the Amiga 600 and monitor. I nicked the computer and power brick, but didn't have room left in the car for the monitor. Someone else nicked that. The Amiga actually has a built in hard drive (600HD/40) so it boots up when you flick the power on instead of asking for a software disk... or last time I tried, anyway. I'm not sure if my current 65" TV has any compatible inputs. What's a bit annoying is that I lost the screws holding the case together. No idea why I opened it in the first place.

And yes, the Amiga has some vintage porn on it. Samantha Fox, if I recall correctly.
 
1024px-Commodore_Amiga_600_back.png


The Amiga 600 has standard composite video (the yellow plug at the back), if your TV a also has that then it should connect and display an image :)
 
CA$100 was too good to pass for a 20" Apple Cinema Display and a 1st gen G4 Mac mini :)

I'm currently in the process of installing a custom build of Mac OS 9.2.2 made to boot on it, since the Mac mini shipped with Mac OS 9. I'm also considering a M.2 SATA SSD on an IDE carrier board to get rid of the slow as hell 80GB 4200RPM IDE laptop drive that's in it at the moment.

IMG_8416.jpeg
 
Apple design can be such a funny thing, it's amazing that a Mac Mini that doesn't look much different to a new one can be rocking an IDE hard drive. :p

I refitted the original sound card in the Dimension XPS but when I went to refit the floppy drive I and realised that I've misplaced the small metal clips that actually hold it into the case. I'll probably find them but have ordered a good tested FDD on eBay for £20 as it comes with them.
 
They've only used that design for about 5 years, and only one year with a PowerPC chip (and IDE) in it! The "new" flatter design has been kicking for 13 years though 🧓
 
CA$100 was too good to pass for a 20" Apple Cinema Display and a 1st gen G4 Mac mini :)

I'm currently in the process of installing a custom build of Mac OS 9.2.2 made to boot on it, since the Mac mini shipped with Mac OS 9. I'm also considering a M.2 SATA SSD on an IDE carrier board to get rid of the slow as hell 80GB 4200RPM IDE laptop drive that's in it at the moment.

View attachment 3569645

Boot Mac OS 9? On a mac mini? Isn’t that only through Classic Environment?

They've only used that design for about 5 years, and only one year with a PowerPC chip (and IDE) in it! The "new" flatter design has been kicking for 13 years though 🧓

It was a good design but I feel the hardware was weak in the PowerPC days even for when they released it. I did use the intel variant with Nvidia graphics for nearly 6 or so years in a concert environment. We ran a program called ProPresenter which is like a souped up PowerPoint for mega churches. But what made that problem so nice was how you were basically always in show mode, meaning there was no exiting out of the presentation. You could edit on the fly, insert motion backgrounds Willy nilly, insert video, and eventually, put live video feeds in behind text. It was a powerful tool but also needed decent graphics power. For the price, the intel Mac mini with Nvidia graphics was the best bang, especially since peripherals weren’t a problem. It also was such an eye opener after upgrading from dual 450MHZ g4 powermac. I pushed the people above me to get that last gen thick Mac mini because it was easier to open up and upgrade hardware inside before they switched to flatter, only really upgrade the memory easily model. Plus they went to intel graphics which were crap.
 
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They've only used that design for about 5 years, and only one year with a PowerPC chip (and IDE) in it! The "new" flatter design has been kicking for 13 years though 🧓
Heh, shows how much I know about Macs because I didn't realise they changed the design! :LOL:
 
Boot Mac OS 9? On a mac mini? Isn’t that only through Classic Environment?

It’s not officially supported, but a version has been made to run, with some caveats (sound not 100% supported for instance):

It was a good design but I feel the hardware was weak in the PowerPC days even for when they released it.
It was basically a repackaged G4 iBook which was already long it the tooth by then.

I had a first gen Intel mini for a while, with a Core 2 Duo in place of the Core Solo it shipped with, one of the rare times Apple “allowed” you to do that in this kind of machine. It served me well for a long time :)
 
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