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CharmyBee
May 15th, 2009, 01:24 AM
In today's times, what if you were trapped stuck in a room with a computer from 1993-1997, with a fast broadband internet connection, good ethernet card, without disposing/switching/replacing/destroying the computer?

What OS would you survive on?

What ISA sound card would you tolerate the most? Almost none had perfect compatibility and low noise.

Would you kill for a PCI-based "3d accelerator" or a 8X CD-ROM drive?

How much space of a possible 7 gigabytes would work out for you (If the motherboard was not Socket 5-7/Slot 1)?

Would you bother changing the AT power supply by soldering wires carefully to the power switch if it failed?

How many serial 2-button ball mice would you cycle through until you found one that can move straight at least 40% of the time?

I believe the Pentium II 233 is the minimum computer spec limit a modern user can tolerate, since from there on it supports USB and can still boot some modern linux distros. I'm talking taking on earlier than that though.

Vostrocity
May 15th, 2009, 03:06 AM
This is a VERY weird thread btw.

I'm not that good with DOS, but Win95 would work perfectly fine.
Sound card? iPod.
No need for any 3d on Win95.
Who uses CDs at all?
My spare PC (PII 333 Win2k) only has a 5GB HDD, I can survive on 1GB as I can live on web apps.
I've never used a trackball. I'll just plug in my trusty MX Revo.

This is a VERY weird thread btw. (had to repeat that)

Joeb454
May 15th, 2009, 03:09 AM
gentoo

need I say more?

saulgoode
May 15th, 2009, 03:16 AM
AmigaDOS

HappyFeet
May 15th, 2009, 03:17 AM
I would try to use Puppy linux on it. I had a laptop with 400 megahertz, and 160 ram, and it ran great. If not that, then perhaps Slitaz.

sailthesea
May 15th, 2009, 03:20 AM
Rather strangely I just booted up this Dell C640 with Win 2000 by accident I have Jaunty on the dual but after a a few minutes its got right back into action So an old machine can run a very old OS and a very touchy new one quite well
Old computers are not useless I've only ever had one from new (and had far more trouble with that);)

.Maleficus.
May 15th, 2009, 03:20 AM
gentoo

need I say more?
+1

I don't get this thread either... I mean, how many mice would I go through before I found the one I liked? 0, because I got lucky and found a good one the first time. Would I change the power supply if it failed? Of couse, what good would a dead power supply do me...

/confused

lisati
May 15th, 2009, 03:22 AM
There's always FreeDOS if you get stuck for a choice of OS, and one of the installation CDs available has an option to install OpenGEM.

CharmyBee
May 15th, 2009, 03:37 AM
Sound card? iPod.
So PC speaker feedback's good enough for you? Interesting. How about song transfers on a computer without USB?


Who uses CDs at all?

Floppy-based installation is all fun and games until you hit a corrupt disk.


Would I change the power supply if it failed? Of couse, what good would a dead power supply do me...

I ask that because AT cases aren't very fun and easy compared to the ATX cases everyone knows. Many without knowledge in electronics and soldering experience simply give up the computer at that point.

Saint Angeles
May 15th, 2009, 03:44 AM
7GB? thats HUGE (for that time)...

i remember 3d accelerators... man that was weird.

Newuser1111
May 15th, 2009, 04:33 AM
The Packard Bell Legend 408CD computer I have:
64MB RAM
75MHz Intel Pentium
52x CD Drive
CD Drive
Floppy drive.
1GB Hard Drive
Ethernet (PCI card)
8MB SiS video card
And it has Debian 5.0.

It runs ok.

Vostrocity
May 15th, 2009, 10:24 PM
So PC speaker feedback's good enough for you? Interesting. How about song transfers on a computer without USB?
Lol would you even need any sound on such a crappy PC? Same with song transfers, my iPod would be bigger than my hard drive. And PCs from back then did have USB 1.1 afaik.



Floppy-based installation is all fun and games until you hit a corrupt disk.
I'll just use USB installation. And no need for CDs after that. I pretty much used my DVD drive like twice in the two years that I've had my laptop.



I ask that because AT cases aren't very fun and easy compared to the ATX cases everyone knows. Many without knowledge in electronics and soldering experience simply give up the computer at that point.
I have worked inside a PII and K6 before. And it wasn't that bad. I have no idea if they are AT or ATX.

Swagman
May 15th, 2009, 11:04 PM
AmigaDOS

in 93 it annihilated ALL.

CharmyBee
May 15th, 2009, 11:19 PM
I'll just use USB installation.

Kind of impossible since back then, no version of Windows had support for USB storage devices. It started to be included in Windows 2000 and ME and there's only third party drivers for Windows 98 that have a high chance of hosing the system.

SunnyRabbiera
May 15th, 2009, 11:20 PM
Well it depends really, I know Debian has wonderful legacy support as does Puppy.
If the computer had at the very least a CD drive it is salvageable as long as the bios can boot from the CD.
But I expect anything made before 1997 to be a lost cause, 1997 is probably as low you can do considering the hardware.
A PII and III is still a great processor, a PIII has more of a chance though.
If AMD, maybe another story, the early AMD's kicked butt.

CharmyBee
May 15th, 2009, 11:22 PM
But I expect anything made before 1997 to be a lost cause,
and that's exactly why this thread exists. When you're stuck with a lost cause of the computer and you need to have the urge to twitter or check tv listings RIGHT NOW the solutions would be varied and such make for interesting reads.

SunnyRabbiera
May 15th, 2009, 11:29 PM
But then again it depends on what was included.
Computers that were made with win95 had CD drives, that would be the first step in recovery as there is not much that runs on a floppy anymore.
You could give a smaller distro like damnsmall a shot on it, but it might be limited as heck.
1997 is most likely the limit though to rejuvenate a computer of that age.
Maybe 96 but its really pushing it if older.

samjh
May 16th, 2009, 12:34 AM
Are we also limiting the operating system from that era as well? Linux would have been at its infancy. FreeBSD would have only begun. It's really only DOS and MS Windows 3/95/NT3 for Intel x86 computers, and perhaps AmigaOS for Amigas.

Personally, I'd go for a Mac. I had a Macintosh LCII at the time, and it worked like a charm. :)


with a fast broadband internet connectionIt would be useless. There were no broadband modems available for PCs at the time.

nitehawk777
May 16th, 2009, 02:56 AM
Yeah,...
just had dialup,..(and sloooow modems). But there was this FREE unlimited ISP ("FreeWWWeb") and it was great. I had a 286,..with about 1mb ram,...and a 10mb hard drive !
I ran a kind-of dos shell (that I "borrowed" from work).....it was called "PC-Tools 7",..and had just oodles and oodles of dos menus, applications, and utilities (with a tiny screensaver thrown in). I also ran a program called "4dos" on it,.....
I thought that was the Ultimate of all computers. I could get along just fine with something like that again (but then,..I'm kind-of into old computers).

CharmyBee
May 16th, 2009, 02:57 AM
it was called "PC-Tools 7"

That box is my footrest :D

nitehawk777
May 16th, 2009, 03:04 AM
That box is my footrest

LOL!!!
My brother just recently got rid of his old "Vic20"......
(he held on to the Commodore 64s for a while longer,...)...

sertse
May 16th, 2009, 03:06 AM
as someone said, gentoo.

Or CRUX even.

Or even good old Debian, which has a floppy install.

Dngrsone
May 16th, 2009, 03:26 AM
A couple years ago, I built a monster legacy machine:

Based on an Octek Pentium-class motherboard (with external cache card), it featured an ESS sound card, NEC 4x4 CD-ROM, a half-dozen hard drives ranging from 960MB to 4GB (I had two add-in IDE driver cards in addition to the onboard IDE ports), an integrated Zip-100 parallel, 5.25 Floppy drive, and dual power supplies (one to power all the drives) all stuffed into a full-tower AT case.

The power supplies were custom-wired by yours truly and I had Slackware 10.0 on it. It worked great as a teeny file-server (total 6.8GB, I think) and experimental platform, but it dies a horrible death in a flood.

I still have PC-Tools on 5.25 floppy, by the way.