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Playing w/ the Idea of a 90's Era PC


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Hey all.

I don't know if this has been covered much in the classic computing section, or if it even belongs here. It's a bit beyond the Atari 8 bit, C64, Amiga, ST, et al.

The early to mid 90s were a pretty sweet time period of PC gaming to me, up to perhaps the late 90s. Junior high to just post high school. Doom, Doom 2, Wolfenstein 3D, Diablo, Starcraft, Shadows of Cairn, Red Baron, Dawn Patrol, Quake, Counter Strike, Half Life, Warcraft 2/3. This is how I, and many of my friends killed time, outside of SNES and Genesis.

 

I know there is GoG, and DosBOX, which helps for a number of things (got about 20GB of GoG content)... but there is always something about using the real hardware isn't there? I'm pretty sure that my parents still have the Acer PC we had back around 1993 sitting in a closet somewhere. I didn't have much love for it, but the games were still good times. I know I have a Packard Bell (eek!) that I picked up dirt, dirt cheap ($10, in a lot of other parts that I needed at the time) some time ago sitting in storage that I could purpose for this sort of thing. I think it is a 100, or a 133MHz Pentium, but I could be wrong... I would have to check specs. I know it runs DOS (I think some flavor of 5), and Win 3.11. Could probably upgrade it to 6, and Win9x. Probably 98se.

 

One of the things that I am curious about... is do the tricks used on the older, more classic type units also work on PCs? Using compact flash or SD in place of HDDs, and using things like a Gotek floppy emulator in place of an actual floppy drive to store, load disk images from etc.? I actually still have a few floppies, and a number of CDs from back then on hand that I could load in.

 

Maybe nostalgia is hitting me hard. Maybe I just like to tinker with crap, and an older computer with components that cost a song these days is a pretty safe way to facilitate my desires to fiddle. I dunno. Lol. Sure had a lot of fun times with some of that stuff, and PCs have come a very long way since then.

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Floppy emulators and IDE to CF adapters work a charm on old PC's, and I would highly recommend them. Building out a 90's PC is a great time, definitely something that's entertaining to do. Even though we have GOG and DosBox, there's just something fun about 'real iron' with all its quirks and frustrations.

 

 

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I just bought a truckload of old D&D games from GOG, and was wondering why we don't have a sub forum for DOS and 90s Windows stuff here.

 

A 90s PC is "been there, done that" for me, especially pieced from old vintage hardware. I still enjoy the old software from those days. It all runs on small, cheap, fanless laptops, and are like a whole other retro console to me. One with hidden depths and almost limitless potential.

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Yeah, totally saw a vid where a guy built up a machine, and was able to use BIOS settings to throttle speeds. Was pretty cool. Saw another one where a guy built with a Gotek, and a compact flash for HDD. Pretty sweet alternatives. Hadn't thought about those options before as more fail safe than OG hardware. I have a Gotek, but it's reserved for the ST. Can always pick up another one. There is also a RE PC right near home with bargain bin AGP/PCI vid cards, and sound cards (seriously there were like 5 Soundblaster 16s in there). As long as the board in my old Packard Bell is still ok, that should provide a platform, provided that a couple possible CL scores fall through.

I'll keep my eyes peeled, but not shy away from starting to get some of the basic pieces while the getting is good.

 

Fired up Red Baron, and Warcraft 2 today, just because. Lol.

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Hey all.

I don't know if this has been covered much in the classic computing section, or if it even belongs here. It's a bit beyond the Atari 8 bit, C64, Amiga, ST, et al.

The early to mid 90s were a pretty sweet time period of PC gaming to me, up to perhaps the late 90s. Junior high to just post high school. Doom, Doom 2, Wolfenstein 3D, Diablo, Starcraft, Shadows of Cairn, Red Baron, Dawn Patrol, Quake, Counter Strike, Half Life, Warcraft 2/3. This is how I, and many of my friends killed time, outside of SNES and Genesis.

So true, this is the era that finally got me to make the jump to PC

 

I know there is GoG, and DosBOX, which helps for a number of things (got about 20GB of GoG content)... but there is always something about using the real hardware isn't there?

Is there? I have a 486 gaming system in the basement that still works as far as I know. But I never have the urge to boot it because DOSbox has me covered. Plus Dosbox's built-in drivers/DOS shields us from the Memory Management/ TSR hell that you need to deal with on real hardware, and it gives us niceties like command completion.

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To be honest, I haven't had as much luck with DOSBox. I need to read more of the documentation on it. I've got a number of GOG games that auto run it to load and play, and a couple from abandonware does that do the same. There's a handful of important to me titles that I haven't gotten to work, and those are sort of clincher for me.

Warcraft 2 runs, but no multiplayer. Now, the chances if a multiplayer game are really low, but it's a fun idea to do old school LAN stuff with a few friends. More experimentation needed. At the same time, if I can feed the desires to fidget for a few bucks, and entertain myself... Meh...why not? Lol.

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Why not? Because old hardware is a pain in the ass. I'm with zzip, there's nothing sacred about cheesy old consumer beige PC hardware. But as long as you're having fun, go for it.

 

Warcraft 2 used IPX networking, which is an obsolete protocol. You don't need old hardware to run it though, it's emulated quite handily in DOSbox. I think the larger challenge will be finding a human opponent.

 

http://www.doctort.org/adam/nerd-notes/networked-warcraft-ii-under-dosbox.html

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People can be nostalgic about anything... and it doesn't matter if other people are not.

 

I admit I grew up in the 8/16 bit age (1980's) but I started my career on early PC's (we all switched eventually) and building a 486 with the old sound cards, etc. does still hold some charm for some people.

 

Like anything, put enough time between it and the only memories left are the good ones.

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Finding a human opponent would be harder sure. I've got a couple buddies who would jump on the chance though. Lol.

 

I've got at least a good 3/4s of the building blocks just hanging out, minus a better period GPU and soundcard, and those are easily grabbed locally.

 

I think I just like to fiddle by nature. Cars, motorbikes, computers, stereo, system mods (minor), getting better displays. I just have fun with messing with stuff. Lol.

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Why not? Because old hardware is a pain in the ass. I'm with zzip, there's nothing sacred about cheesy old consumer beige PC hardware. But as long as you're having fun, go for it.

 

Warcraft 2 used IPX networking, which is an obsolete protocol. You don't need old hardware to run it though, it's emulated quite handily in DOSbox. I think the larger challenge will be finding a human opponent.

 

http://www.doctort.org/adam/nerd-notes/networked-warcraft-ii-under-dosbox.html

 

oh the memories of playing Duke Nukem 3D Online with this on Compuserve!

 

fig4kali.gif

Edited by Mulletino
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While I'm all about original hardware in most cases, the 90s era PC is something I have no nostalgia for - I'm perfectly content to emulate. However, YouTube keeps suggesting videos about building those machines, so there's obviously a number of people who are into that. So... more power to you - have fun :)

 

Now 8086/286/CGA era? For some reason that intrigues me - probably because I didn't get on the PC train until 386/VGA was commonplace.

Edited by Laner
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I didn't really get into PC games until Dawn Patrol, Red Baron, Wolfenstein, and Doom. Pretty sure our first PC was 486 based. So there's some nostalgia there for me. It's a bit different than what I feel for my consoles. Almost always had to run boot disks, and some games without music. Lol.

 

Landed a Voodoo accelerator card today, along with a Geforce2, and Creative sound card. Cheap. Not sure what card is in my Packard Bell, but it was a buck. I know the graphics on it weren't "hot rodded" for the time though. Gonna try and crack into it this weekend.

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Now 8086/286/CGA era? For some reason that intrigues me - probably because I didn't get on the PC train until 386/VGA was commonplace.

The virtual machines on archive.org should get that out of your system pretty darn quick. They're so crude and awful. As a Mac person of that era, I find the CGA and below to be completely unpalatable/undigestible, almost worse than Spectrum graphics.

 

486 era DOS is what hooked me, too. Golden era of PC games as far as I'm concerned.

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Got a pretty large collection of old pc systems. Love to play with them. Ranging from a bare Commodore PC1 with a 8088 and 360kb 51/4" floppydrive and 512Kb memory, to a few IBM PS/2 8088 and 80286 systems, up to a 80386 grey box with vga and sb16, to a few Pentium machines with speeds between 100 to 233mmx and dual voodoo2 12mb sli, gravis ultrasound,sb32 awe and sb64 awe gold and logitech soundman wave(opl4) hardware.

Real hardware isn't always easy to deal with, because of irq problems and memory restrictions, but when setup it good, it is a blast to play with.

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