Do you ever look at old stuff...

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Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:18 pm

...for nostalgia's sake?
Like this benchmark review from 1998...
http://www.dmitchell.com/home/benchmarks.html

That was like 14 years ago and back in the day when 3dfx still existed, Nvidia and ATI just started to be major contender, 800x600 was considered high resolution, and the pentium 2 reigned supreme. The pentium 2 400MhZ was like 800+ dollars, and 96 MB of ram was considered excessive.

Boy... things have changed so much in just 14 years, plus I feel old haha...
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:36 pm

I worked on cleaning off the hardware shelves last week and ran across my old Warcraft for DOS CD .. now that is going back in time a bit. Unlike the n00bs who played games from within Windows, I stayed hardcore with my QEMM memory manager in place, trying to eke out that extra 7k of conventional memory to get my mouse to work in-game. Ahh those were the days ...
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:43 pm

teehee...2D Business Graphics benchmarks. Good stuff!
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:44 pm

Oh yeah... I remember doing that. I used to make boot discs for each game that I played to optimize the driver set and get as much conventional memory available as I can. Playing games on PC's were just so complicated compared to today. Some games just needed an obscene amount of conventional memory to run properly.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:56 pm

I still remember when my Apple computer could barely run Wolfenstein 3D. The chaingun would just make clanking noises and sadly I couldn't play Doom on it :(. I also remember my brother gave me a Compaq desktop that his company was going to throw away a year after getting it. It had been stripped of most parts except the motherboard, Pentium II 333mhz, 32 mb of ram which I upgraded to 128 or 256 I can't remember, and no hard drive so he gave me a 1.2gb drive to start me out with. I eventually bought an 8gb drive used online and a sound card so I could actually hear things. I think I had to scavenge for a modem as well to connect up to AOL! That was a great machine! Sadly after that machine I kept purchasing those all in one boxes at Walmart where it came with the desktop, monitor, and a cheap printer. Had I actually saved up my money my upgrade times would have been extended. I mean the things would ship with 128mb of ram on Windows XP plus factor in the shared memory required for video which was just aweful! Needless to say I upgraded to 512mbs! I stumbled upon all of the spec booklets I kept from those machines...what a good laugh that was! I actually stumbled upon a Sears and JCPenny's Christmas magazine a month ago from I think either 1989 or 1990 and saw the fantastic prices for an average computer back then.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:08 pm

I still have SO many games from the 90's. I just can't throw them away.

DOS Mechwarrior 2 and Windows 95 MW2: Mercenaries
Kingdom o' Magic on DOS (still the funniest game I've ever played)
DOOM
many more I'd have to dig out to name.

There was just something special about gaming back then that always made me want to keep the boxes and CD's forever.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:11 pm

CB5000 wrote:Oh yeah... I remember doing that. I used to make boot discs for each game that I played to optimize the driver set and get as much conventional memory available as I can. Playing games on PC's were just so complicated compared to today. Some games just needed an obscene amount of conventional memory to run properly.


As a man who successfully* got Falcon 3.0 to play on a 286-12 with 1MB of RAM I remember the conventional memory battle all too well.


* Successfully = The game started up and ran but was worse than a slideshow. Probably less than .5 FPS.
Last edited by adampk17 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:17 pm

Anyone remember the DOS Strip Poker games?
Maaan what we did to get our pr0n fix back then!
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:25 pm

I don't go that far back but I remember when 40MB hard drives were fantastically large.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:49 pm

I do. I used to have some old benchmark programs from back in the early DX9 days that I would run when I got a new video card. It made for interesting study to realize where the companies were spending their time. I recall noticing that it seemed the 2D performance was dropping over the years. Unfortunately I lost the programs and all of my stored data during a hard drive crash. :(

Still might see if I can find some of those programs again one day.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:57 pm

Don't let Starfalcon see this thread.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them. Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:18 am

What? :wink: I remember when I had lots of old hardware...oh wait, that's now...
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:13 am

nanoflower wrote: I recall noticing that it seemed the 2D performance was dropping over the years.


Your recollection is almost certainly correct. Between GDI+ and the WDDM a lot of those tasks were no longer hardware accelerated, but even before that it became less and less of a priority for driver writers.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:10 am

8 inch floppy drives.....

anyone remember the old 5 meg hard drives?

getting master of magic to run....

thunderscape.. with 32 by 32 textures;/

darklands..........

wizards crown...

My friend playing a game on a tiny 12 inch green phosphor monitor on an apple 2.

One of my friends had a 110 baud modem;/ could type faster then it could send...
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:36 pm

I vaguely remember when my dad bought a 286-12MHz with 256-color VGA graphics, DOS 4.0, and a dot-matrix Epson printer. That was an all-day shopping trip, like buying a refrigerator. At the time I was still using my allowance to buy newspapers and read them in the car, and my dad ended up refunding my quarter because I turned up a Computer City coupon that saved something like $100 on the printer when purchased with a computer system.

We ran that thing for years, and it never did have a soundcard. My dad set up a batch-file menu system so we could access the basic programs, like Microsoft Works and Funnels & Buckets. Somewhere along the line, my mom developed a bit of a Tetris addiction. I got sufficiently frustrated about not knowing how to make the computer work that I finally sat down with the DOS 4.0 manual and walked right through it, command by command. And lo, for it was destiny...

I think I discovered Tom's Hardware, back when it was more like what TR is today, shortly after its inception in 1996. Around the same time, ComputorEdge was still publishing hardcopy and had just opened a sub-office in the Denver area, so that was my other source of "hot and new" information. Even got a couple letters published, I think.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:03 pm

I vaguely recall ComputerEdge. I was more a fan of Computer Shopper, the 600-page bible that came out every month. It also had "The Hard Edge with Alice and Bill".

My dad got a Zenith 286 as well. I forget the MHz but he got 2.5 MB of RAM and a 287 eventually. EGA, no fancy 256 color stuff for us. GameBlaster (AM-synth precursor to the FM-synth SoundBlaster) for sound to start and I think we got 2 x 10 MB or 2 x 20 MB hard drives eventually. And from somewhere an Epson MX-80 dot matrix that was highly reliable. Probably would still be going if used--we sold the system to some guys who wanted to use it as a cheap CAD system for college. Suckers. I think DOS was 3.x and we moved to 5.x before giving it up.

My dad let me do most of the computer junk after a while. He had to use 'em for work so didn't want to mess with them much at home. I ended up setting a multiboot environment though I think it was mainly on the 486DX/33 system for playing different games (EMS, XMS, none for max conventional) and mod demos. It's funny, too, that my mom recently got into Tetris in the last few years.

I'm like a mini Starfalcon with hardware and software. A packrat! I just need to get it all set up sometime for a mini museum or somethin'.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:27 pm

Scrotos wrote:I vaguely recall ComputerEdge. I was more a fan of Computer Shopper, the 600-page bible that came out every month. It also had "The Hard Edge with Alice and Bill".


In the 'Pepsi lab of DOOOOOOOM' !!!! :D Alice wrote a great article on the anniversary of Quake launching IIRC, so I emailed her back and received a great reply. They remain my favorite read for a (somewhat) younger impressionable gamer mind. I even mentioned the old Computer Shopper's width and girth and back damaging weight to a co-worker today. My mailman was happy when I stopped getting that sub I am sure.


Edit: Anyone get 'Crusader: No Remorse' working in Windows yet ???? There is your challenge for the year.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:48 pm

LOL, Walkintarget. I haven't tried but I do have the original Crusader Collection box that includes No Remorse.

I never had a subscription to Computer Shopper but I would pick it up from one of the local computer stores on occasion.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:10 pm

Bunch of young whipper-snappers....

My first computer game (at least, the first one I didn't type in BASIC out of a book) came on a standard audio cassette, which I used in a cassette player that was attached via the MICROPHONE jack to my TRS-80 Color Computer. Yeah, the word Color was part of the name because, at that time, color was actually considered a selling point. A deluxe feature. Anyway, you typed a command (there was no GUI) and pressed "play" and if you timed it right, the program loaded. Well, most of the time. The game was one of those old text adventures; I don't recall exactly which one.

After that, I upgraded to the far more powerful Apple IIgs which featured an absolutely amazing (at the time) one full megabyte of RAM. The entire OS fit on a floppy disk. If you wanted to play a game, you shut off the computer and booted the game from it's own floppy disk. If the game was actually good, you probably switched between several other floppy disks. Most games ran at 230x200 but the really good ones ran at 640x200. And you could show 4,096 colors... but only 800 at once...
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:49 pm

Well my first system was really a Heathkit H89 Zilog Z80-based system. 1 5.25" hard-sector floppy drive and an expansion that added 2 more. CP/M. The video was monochrome, maybe 9"? I recall my dad overclocked the CPU but not sure to what.

Oh, here we go: http://oldcomputers.net/heathkit-h89.html

Ok, 12" I guess. Our model had greyscale mono instead of green as shown.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:35 pm

Am I the only person that misses the old, fun DRM? DRM that involved you breaking codes with the provided booklet, filling in blanks to phrases in the manual, referencing game compendiums or just looking at the tables and answering what was in certain cells. Nothing said "please don't steal" like "please don't steal" written on the floppy or a half hearted DRM attempt. Don't treat us like a criminal, regardless of whether we purchase it or not.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:36 pm

Codewheels!
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:40 pm

shaq_mobile wrote:Am I the only person that misses the old, fun DRM? DRM that involved you breaking codes with the provided booklet, filling in blanks to phrases in the manual, referencing game compendiums or just looking at the tables and answering what was in certain cells. Nothing said "please don't steal" like "please don't steal" written on the floppy or a half hearted DRM attempt. Don't treat us like a criminal, regardless of whether we purchase it or not.

Played 688 Attack Sub a metric crapload back in the day. Needed the manual to start the game as it asked for a certain word in a certain position on a certain page.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:49 pm

Packard Bell 486 SX 33MHz w/4MB RAM and a 250MB HDD and......a CD-ROM! I remember playing Return to Zork for hours on that machine. Felt twice as fast when we upgraded the RAM from 4 to 8 MB for $250. Stopped turning on because the rod that ran from the front button to the PSU in the back of the machine crunched.

Came with a broadband 2800 baud modem that only took several minutes to load AOL "artwork" screens. Upgraded to a 28.8 screamer one xmas, that was awesome. Back when you could really feel an upgrade.....
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:16 pm

axeman wrote:Disk drives? I don't need that new fangled technology. I load up scarfman from tape on my TRS-80. (just kidding, I can't remember what happened to my TRS-80)


Mine (a Model I) is up in the top of my closet and worked last time I pulled it down.

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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:30 pm

512x384 res or bust lol.

I remember benchmarking my 33Mhz 486 next to my 166Mhz Pentium MMX and my upgrade 233Mhz MMX. Those were the days. :)

It seemed those chips could plow through ANYTHING that came their way. Now look at us...tiffed the IB chips only offer 10% boosts over sandy...while running at 5Ghz...

My my how far we have come.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:02 pm

I used to like the children's books that would (for some reason) come with some BASIC code (I think it was BASIC). They'd have you input it into a system like a Commodore 64 and it'd make the screen flash or something.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:08 pm

absurdity wrote:I used to like the children's books that would (for some reason) come with some BASIC code (I think it was BASIC). They'd have you input it into a system like a Commodore 64 and it'd make the screen flash or something.

Code: Select all
10 PRINT "BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS THE DECWRITER WILL BE OUT OF PAPER"
20 GOTO 10
99 END
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:37 pm

For kicks, Scott should do a review of old hardware and attempt to run modern applications for fun. Run XP on say a PII and try to do compression, run Office 2013, panorama factory, etc. And obviously omit programs that need extensions and such.
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Re: Do you ever look at old stuff...

Postposted on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:38 am

nanoflower wrote:I do. I used to have some old benchmark programs from back in the early DX9 days that I would run when I got a new video card. It made for interesting study to realize where the companies were spending their time. I recall noticing that it seemed the 2D performance was dropping over the years. Unfortunately I lost the programs and all of my stored data during a hard drive crash. :(

Still might see if I can find some of those programs again one day.



I still run an oooollld benchmark called 'Final Reality' everytime I upgrade, it's good for amusements sake. I think it might have been made my Futuremark or whatever the 3DMark creators are calling themselves these days.
Every single GPU upgrade since the Voodoo 3 3000 my score on it has gotten progressively worse.

It's entertaining to look back and read older new/review bits sometimes. I tend to keep a most of my old hardware around just for memories sake.
I have an old 200 something MB HDD that still works too.

Fun stuff. Once upon a time 120MHz Pentium seemed unbelievably powerful.
I do miss the Celery 300 @450. Buy low end get performance that matches or exceeds the most expensive processor around in minutes.
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