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jjzcp
November 19th, 2005, 08:45 PM
Hi. In a week or so i am headed to the city, and i am going to buy a computer that will be my future windows box. There are a couple of options. I am leaning towards the cheapest computer i can find, which would be a Compaq Deskpro 2000 PII233 with 80MB ram, 2GB of HD space, 3 PCI, and a 16x CD for $9.00 CAN. The other option is a Compaq DP ENS Cel 500 with 128MB ram, 2 PCI, and 4.3GB of HD space for $29.00 CAN. Which do you think is a better choice?

Also what is the highest OS these two computers can run?

Mad-Mike
November 19th, 2005, 11:51 PM
I'd go with the Celeron due to the memory and faster hard disk, plus, if the board is right, you could possibly upgrade it to a Pentium III.

Jorg
November 20th, 2005, 04:41 AM
Is the ENS a SFF (small form factor) or does it still have room for a normal DVD drive?

Terry Yager
November 20th, 2005, 07:52 AM
For those prices, you should buy 'em both, and decide which you like better, then re-sell the other one (hey, it works for me...).

--T

tvdog
November 20th, 2005, 07:59 AM
Compaq's are crap, proprietary to the nth degree and poorly supported. So I would say toss both of them in the trash and look for a real computer (Dell or IBM). As an administrator, I once traded an 800MHz Pentium III that was a Compaq for a no-brand Taiwanese 400MHz Pentium II and considered it a splendid deal.

If you do get one of those systems, you will never be able to use any version of Windows other than the one it came with. Compaq never produced updated drivers for any of their systems, so you will need to use the same version Windows that is on it now. But - you still should wipe the hard drive and reinstall. Only, don't use the recovery CD if there is one; that will fill your disk with proprietary Compaq crap that will play havoc with the system and mess up half your software installations. Instead, install the original Windows version from an OEM (or retail) CD and add in drivers from Compaq's web site.

But preferably stay away from the Compaq's altogether.

Terry Yager
November 20th, 2005, 08:15 AM
Compaq's are crap, proprietary to the nth degree

...And how does this statement not apply to Dell? They are just as proprietary. Some IBM models even contain proprietary parts (power supply, f'rinstance).

I agree though, you're better of getting something more standardized, if any are available. Have to disagree with your opinion that Compaqs are crap, I've always had good luck with them (except for thier limited upgrade path).

--T

jjzcp
November 20th, 2005, 09:40 AM
Here is the link for the celeron...
http://www.vfxweb.com/index.php?productid=8899

Here is the link to the pentium 2....
http://www.vfxweb.com/index.php?productid=7689

If the celeron can be replaced by a P3 processor in it can you tell me?

carlsson
November 20th, 2005, 10:15 AM
My experience is that often the "generic" drivers from the component manufacturer - in the case they offer one - works just as well as the customized drivers from the computer manufacturer, e.g. Compaq. There may be a few less or different software options, but seldom the interfacing to the component seems different enough to not make the generic driver work.

All computers have pros and cons. A branded computer seems more thought out and well built, but may be limited to the manufacturer's choices and often have custom layout and technical solutions. A noname computer built from loose parts is more standard, but many people despise "home brewn" computers as more instable, more amateurish. Somewhere inbetween there are a few bigger brands who used a deal of (tested?) off-shelf components and sometimes offered docs, drivers and support on these. Dunno if such brands (e.g. Fujitsu) are "better" than Dell, Compaq, IBM, HP and so on.

The Deskpro Celeron 500 looks nice, but it lacks a CD. Since it is slimline, a replacement CD would be expensive. On the question which CPU it would support, ask if you can lift the cover. Often there is a sticker on the inside of the cover that tells about memory configurations, possible CPUs and so on. I'm not sure if you would improve anything by a future upgrade though.

If you find other offers elsewhere, I recommend that you get a computer with ATX power in case you ever come across some affordable upgrade components. A Compaq may not work for this purpose, but a "standard" case might accommodate a newer motherboard (and perhaps better power supply) without you need to get a new case and everything else.

Mad-Mike
November 20th, 2005, 11:59 AM
Compaq's can't be upgraded? I never knew. I used to re-build P1-PIV Compaq's back in my Alabama days for people I knew. I would often take the motherboard out, read the chips to figure out what everything is, do a search on Yahoo....viola, updated drivers. Most of those computers had Windows ME, XP, or 2000 on them, and often time the owners wanted 98 SE back on them, and I managed to get them working 100%.

Shoot, my proudest achievement was taking a 2 month out of warranty very young HP Pavilion, and managing to find drivers that would work with Win98 SE with that particular Chipset (which was a challenege). I basically made a 2.4 GHz rocket out of it, and it ran 100% perfectly. No errors, all the peripherals worked properly (tested them in my room, on my own ISP, with my the customer's peripherals).

My only complaint about Compaq, are the 386-Pentium 1 era machines, when they started with all that fancy scmancy plastic facia crap, particularly CD-ROM doors. I had a P-1 that came in, and I had to hunt for almost 3 hours through my stash of used CD-ROM drives to come up with a proper replacement that worked and could fit the Compaq OEM "stylish" door on it (they just slide off upwards, then snap back on on most CD-ROM drives).

jjzcp
November 20th, 2005, 12:25 PM
In the celeron, if i get it, i could do some modifying to the case to get a CD in it. :wink:

Terry Yager
November 20th, 2005, 12:29 PM
In the celeron, if i get it, i could do some modifying to the case to get a CD in it. :wink:

Or, you could use an external unit.

--T

carlsson
November 20th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Yep, the interior of a SFF case is so tight that you would probably not fit a half-height (?) CD/DVD inside. There was a reason why the manufacturer chose a more expensive slimline design, other than it was cool. My last work computer was a second-hand Deskpro EN SFF or something, 800 MHz Pentium III. It was neat inside, but oh so tight.

NathanAllan
November 21st, 2005, 12:09 AM
I did a repair for a lady once, I replaced her packard bell with one of those deskpros. I liked that machine. It can be upgraded as far as the processor and drives, though the one thing that you oughtta look out for is that funny littl partition that compaq liked to drop on the end of their drives for restoring corrupt files. Pieces of crap? Some but not all. That deskpro in particular was just like that lady's. Its got both isa and pci slots and is pretty expandable. Also, be sure to drop a fan in the fron tfan mount, there's not one on the proc, all it has is an oversized heatsink. It might be noisy but it's cooler that way.

About Compaq being un-upgradable, there's the Compaq Method I like to call it, how everything is put together. That deskpro is pretty straightforward though. It's easier to work on than that other one. I would steer clear of that thing. And get both the deskpro's, heh heh. And what I'd do is drop a little 100mb laptop hdd in there (the case is suprisingly roomy) for those backup files. Go with a straight format of the main drive. And what the hell, get a usb or wireless card slot for the back. You might wanna upgrade it further. If I had the room I'd probably hunt one down here.

Nathan

CP/M User
November 21st, 2005, 11:14 AM
I too was also to be very wary about buying a Compaq. The other one was Packard Bell - not sure if it extends to Hewlett Packards as well, so I simply buy any of those machines. I was just informed they have the tendency to stuff up every so often (requiring a service), don't know what their like for upgrades/updates.

My IBM computer has lasted - never had any problems with it, though I payed a mint for it. My new computer which I got reasonibly cheap is an Acer, haven't had any problems with it yet. Fingers Crossed. The ones at School seem to be very reliable (one reason for picking an Acer), though I think their an Aussie/Asian based company.

I've also liked Dells as well - but their marketing sticks. You have to ring to order it, pay for the transport for it, just so you get a cheap Dell computer. They have a million conditions when you get their machines delivered.

Perhaps the Lexmark printers were designed for Compaqs/Packard Bells/Hewlett Packards?!?

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
November 21st, 2005, 11:34 AM
Perhaps the Lexmark printers were designed for Compaqs/Packard Bells/Hewlett Packards?!?

Oh, you mean the "Everything's Disposable" school of thought? (I thought that was strictly an "Americanism").

--T

Micom 2000
November 21st, 2005, 05:19 PM
Well I'm no especial fan of Compaq or for that matter of any of the big computer corporations, especially MS$, but they tend to aim at the corporate buyer where price is no deterrent. If you can get thru their BS they are usually the best hardware-wise. Admittedly the generic computers are easier to hack, until the cheaper motherboards or cards in them have conflicts with some new equipment.

I've always been big on IBM equipment, their support was as you suggest, excellent. Admittedly the majority of my experience with them was with MCA boxes. They were a breeze to disassemble and well-designed. Imagine my surprise some years ago with a Compaq Advantage (I think that was the model) that Compaq was emulating IBM. Open up without a screwdriver and even with a fold-up housing for the drives. I still regret selling it because it was a hardware hackers dream. Kind of like working with the older US automobiles as compared to working on the internal chaos of almost all current car makes.

Before HP gobbled up Compaq they also had a database and specs which equalled IBM and even had parts disassemby schematics. Finding specs on one of the disappeared smaller companies is always the collectors nightmare and I have many cards or equipment which I am unable to use or configure because of that.

Even the Tandy source is becoming hard to find. They bought out GRID and then later sold it to AST. Try finding any data on the 1500s relating to their BIOS control of the crappy Conner HDs. I WAS pleasantly surprised to find data on an ASA motherboard within a older generic box recently but generally the smaller companies fade or are acquired and any support is discontinued, even tho it takes minimal memory on a HD on their site.

Once they've taken a company over any support ends. Or like with the major software companies they rid themselves of the program and then both disclaim any responsability for the abandoned item. Even if they spent .1 % of what they originally spent for marketing the commododity was allocated for space on a HD and bandwidth for access they would be simply responsable vendors. ISTR there was originally some sort of law for US-licenced manufacturers along those lines. That was obviously before the last few US administations who concentated on corporate instead of consumer protection.

To their credit some like IBM, Apple AND HP to their credit, until recently, did still do that. The rest are swine and deserve to be pirated, just as they do to the consumers. Rant, RANT, RANT.

Lawrence



Compaq's are crap, proprietary to the nth degree and poorly supported. So I would say toss both of them in the trash and look for a real computer (Dell or IBM). As an administrator, I once traded an 800MHz Pentium III that was a Compaq for a no-brand Taiwanese 400MHz Pentium II and considered it a splendid deal.

If you do get one of those systems, you will never be able to use any version of Windows other than the one it came with. Compaq never produced updated drivers for any of their systems, so you will need to use the same version Windows that is on it now. But - you still should wipe the hard drive and reinstall. Only, don't use the recovery CD if there is one; that will fill your disk with proprietary Compaq crap that will play havoc with the system and mess up half your software installations. Instead, install the original Windows version from an OEM (or retail) CD and add in drivers from Compaq's web site.

But preferably stay away from the Compaq's altogether.

jjzcp
November 21st, 2005, 06:48 PM
I don't really care if it is campaq or not, i just care if it works, all it needs to do is be able to run windows, and dos, and and has to be expandable(ish).

I think i am going to get both Compaq Deskpro 2000's, and a HP Vectra VL PIII450. I hope i am not going over board, but who cares, these computers are all i need, and the price is only about $52.00,so it does not break the bank.

Also can windows 95 support USB?

Micom 2000
November 21st, 2005, 07:10 PM
Packard-Bells are disposables and certainly don't belong in the company of the real brand-name computers.

Lawrence

CP/M User
November 22nd, 2005, 01:24 AM
Terry Yager Wrote:

> Oh, you mean the "Everything's Disposable" school of thought? (I
> thought that was strictly an "Americanism").

No, it's happening here as well. Since a business found out they can make more money by making stuff which doesn't last, this is what most of them do - which is strictly occurning -everywhere-

"jjzcp" wrote:

> I don't really care if it is campaq or not, i just care if it works, all it
> needs to do is be able to run windows, and dos, and and has to be
> expandable(ish).

Well I'm not foreshore how reliable a compaq is, but if there's more reliable computers out there for the same amount of doe, I'd be getting my hands on one of those instead. An unreliable machine only makes the computer technican happy by keeping up regular visits every 3 months & for how long does it take for the technican to fix it - a week? 2 weeks? a month? etc...

> I think i am going to get both Compaq Deskpro 2000's, and a HP Vectra
> VL PIII450. I hope i am not going over board, but who cares, these
> computers are all i need, and the price is only about $52.00,so it does
> not break the bank.

Fair enough! :-)

> Also can windows 95 support USB?

Definitely not! (I would have kept my old computer if that was the case).

CP/M User.

ribbets
November 22nd, 2005, 04:57 AM
I don't really care if it is campaq or not, i just care if it works, all it needs to do is be able to run windows, and dos, and and has to be expandable(ish).

I think i am going to get both Compaq Deskpro 2000's, and a HP Vectra VL PIII450. I hope i am not going over board, but who cares, these computers are all i need, and the price is only about $52.00,so it does not break the bank.

Also can windows 95 support USB?

So for around $30.00 U.S. your going to get two computers (working I Hope)
That will get you on the net and and run enough software to keep the family happy for while. For $30.00 around here you might get to take in a new release movie and maybe a small box of parafin coated pop-corn.

One night stand or months of enjoyment, sounds pretty easy to me.
Theres always networking them to a more updated SERVER and using the power from that server to enhance these older units sometime in the future, but for now, I'd enjoy them for what they are.

Windows 95 supports a very small series of USB, Windows 98 is a lot more usable and friendly.

Have fun ...

Terry Yager
November 22nd, 2005, 05:13 AM
I have a Mitsubishi Amity CP (tablet) here running Mitsubishi OEM Win 95 OS-R2, (is that the same as 95B?) which has a USB port, but I haven't actually tested the USB functionality yet.

--T

ribbets
November 22nd, 2005, 06:12 AM
I have a Mitsubishi Amity CP (tablet) here running Mitsubishi OEM Win 95 OS-R2, (is that the same as 95B?) which has a USB port, but I haven't actually tested the USB functionality yet.

--T Had a Dell Demented pre USB Tower several years ago and tried to install an after-market 4 port usb card with its own software into this beast it WIN 95 B :roll: and I had some difference of who was boss. That version had support for a few UPS's and one or two USB card that were compatable to windows picking and choosing the addresses and irq's. Loaded in Win 98 and and it took that card like a long lost child and cared for it until the Celeron went pyro. Weren't the early celerons made with candle wax?

carlsson
November 22nd, 2005, 06:22 AM
So, a PIII450 for 34 CAD and two PII233 for 9 CAD each? Are you going to build yourself a nice little network, or hoping that the lesser computers are part compatible? I might rather investigate whether the HP takes faster CPUs and later look at the loose 733 MHz ones the shop has to offer (19 for a Socket 370, 24 for a Slot 1).

EvanK
November 22nd, 2005, 10:37 AM
"General discussions" means "general discusssions about vintage computing". This thread doesn't belong here.

jjzcp
November 22nd, 2005, 04:16 PM
I am hoping to build a network, consisting of the three computers i am planning to buy, one dell XPS T450 (I need a windows install disk, in order to get it up and running again), and a AST 486 running at 50MHz(currently my main dos box that i program with, but i will install win95 eventualy). Before i can set up the network, i need to make a stop at a friends house. He can get me win 95, and 98 install disks for free. :wink:

NathanAllan
November 22nd, 2005, 10:26 PM
I dunno... Making old computer hardware do things sounds vintage to me. And the computers in question aren't gigahertz machines or anythign near it.

Why don't you fulfill the vintage requirement and use old ISA cards with coax ethernet on them and go with the coax? Heck, better yet, set up a token ring as your network. The stuff is almost as cheap as breathing since noone wants the old stuff, especially the ISA cards and older stuff.

NathanAllan
December 14th, 2005, 10:52 AM
jjzcsp,
How's the project going? Have you thought about going wireless? It's an idea. I've always been a token ring or coax fan myself. I know the hardware can be a pain but that's just me. I just ordered a HomeRF package and am looking forward to setting that stuff all up :) I got it cheap, all of it, three pieces includig the AP for $28 shipped. I live in such a small apartment that having cables would seriously take up room (not kidding!) and I just don't have it to spare. Another project that I have to stat is gettign what wires I do have (phone and cable tv) installed properly so that each room has access. As it is I got wires going from room to room across the floor. Gotta watch your step, heh heh.

It's great having a friend that has any software you could ever want, isn't it? I have a friend that's "corporate" that has hooked me up with software that he thinks I need but I'll probably never install it. I have to bug him extra to get the stuff that I want to install, heh heh.