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Tr3vor
May 14th, 2012, 05:24 PM
I walk into this computer selling/repairing store and saw this stack of various computers. Most were scrapped out P4 systems, and then I saw the back of this one and saw an AT keyboard port. It was the only computer with all its innards and expansion cards in it.

I asked the guy whats up with that pile of computers and he said that he was gonna recycle them, so I asked how much he would sell me one for. He said that he couldn't sell them (aww...) but he could give them away (YESSS!!). So I took off with the computer with the AT style motherboard, and it turns out that it is a Pentium 133 with 32mb of ram and a 4gb hard drive. It has a ceramic cpu (cool, that's interesting compared to my other CPUs)

So I look at the motherboard and its an Asus motherboard, and it has AT and ATX power connectors on it, which is weird and cool at the same time.

So I put DOS 6.22 on it, so it could be a dos machine, and my other pentium mmx 200 could be a win98 machine, and the sound card (an ISA aztech of some sort) will do sound blaster sounds without drivers. thats really odd, I thought dos was a real turd about drivers.

well, wanted to show off the awesomeness that is a free computer :P

8911

Edit: also It has one slightly bulging cap below the CPU, its through hole soldered so it will be easy to replace when I get to it, but for now it works.

Ole Juul
May 14th, 2012, 05:42 PM
I walk into this computer selling/repairing store and saw this stack of various computers. Most were scrapped out P4 systems, and then I saw the back of this one and saw an AT keyboard port. It was the only computer with all its innards and expansion cards in it.

Congratulations! It's always fun to get a new baby. :) That generation is starting to get more interesting as time goes by. In my opinion it's also the perfect DOS machine for real performance.

BTW: what you're referring to as "AT keyboard port" is normally called DIN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIN_connector) and those plugs are very much used for all kinds of things. In Europe they are (were?) standard for all consumer audio. The PS2 plugs are actually a "mini DIN" and, outside of the IBM PS2 world, usually referred to as such.

Tr3vor
May 14th, 2012, 05:49 PM
yeah, I like my pentiums, they seem to run pretty much everything. the only thing I want is an ibm XT or AT computer for those programs/games that are too old to run on the pentium computers.

Some people say they ain't vintage or whatever, but they are my vintage :P

Caluser2000
May 14th, 2012, 09:00 PM
Free computers are the best ones to get. Congrats.

As for ps/2 ports. It's been perfectly acceptable to call them that for as long as I've been using computers and the computer industry it seems- http://www.google.co.nz/search?q=PS%2F2+ports&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

k2x4b524[
May 14th, 2012, 10:07 PM
there are some older games "Jazz Jackrabbit" for one, that will see the sound card with out drivers, it does that with my old skool awe32 "Full Length non-plug and play" But yes, dos can be a real douche-bag where drivers are concerned..

Tr3vor
May 14th, 2012, 10:43 PM
there are some older games "Jazz Jackrabbit" for one, that will see the sound card with out drivers, it does that with my old skool awe32 "Full Length non-plug and play" But yes, dos can be a real douche-bag where drivers are concerned..

yeah, I'm playing Wolf3d, doom, and pretty much any game without drivers with sound, its pretty cool :P

Ole Juul
May 14th, 2012, 11:03 PM
I'm a little puzzled by the difficulty of finding drivers. DOS generally doesn't need them because it talks to the hardware. At least that's how I've experienced DOS in the last 25 years of continuously using it. Network cards need them though, and it can be a challenge to find one that is respectably small since the manufacturers generally don't care about stuff like that.

luckybob
May 15th, 2012, 12:10 AM
That is a nice SEXY case! And on an unrelated note, the rubix cube needs to be finished.

Caluser2000
May 15th, 2012, 12:14 AM
I'm a little puzzled by the difficulty of finding drivers. DOS generally doesn't need them because it talks to the hardware. What about memory management, ram disks, cdroms/dvds, parrallel port devices such as zip/LS drives, usb and ansi support?

"DOS control of hardware

DOS is quite simple to describe, since it principally consists of only 4 parts:

# A boot record, which activates the operating system.

# The file IO.SYS, which is interfaced to ROM BIOS with installation of device drivers .

# The file MSDOS.SYS. That is the core of DOS, handling the file system and program execution.

# The file COMMAND.COM, which provides the command line, the text based user interface.

When we talk about hardware control, it is done through IO.SYS. That is a program which reads the ROM BIOS code and converts it to DOS's own device drivers.

The smart thing about DOS is that the operating system can be expanded with external device drivers. IO.SYS reads them via the start-up file CONFIG.SYS. First device drivers are read from ROM BIOS. Then any possible additional drivers are read from disk. In that way DOS can handle hardware units which did not exist when the PC was originally configured.

A final option to handle hardware from DOS programs is to write special drivers for the individual user program . Many DOS games come with their own graphics drivers (they have to recognize all graphics standards on the market!). Another classic example is the word processing program WordPerfect, which in its prime (version 5.1) came with drivers to more than 500 different printers! "

Ole Juul
May 15th, 2012, 01:13 AM
As for ps/2 ports. It's been perfectly acceptable to call them that for as long as I've been using computers and the computer industry it seems-
I don't think I've heard ps/2 ports called anything else either. However, regarding the connector, didn't the OP have a 5 pin DIN?


What about memory management, ram disks, cdroms/dvds, parrallel port devices such as zip/LS drives, usb and ansi support?

Good point. :) I didn't think about memory management since I generally include that in utilities which is pretty much covered by Simtel or PCmag. I have had problems finding a driver for a zip disk (in fact never did relocate a version of guest.exe that worked). Still cdroms are pretty new to DOS and a generic driver will work now. A few years ago they weren't very common - I certainly couldn't afford one.

USB support? That's for DOS? I didn't think they had those until win95 came along.

ANSI support? Oh come on. :) Stick nansi.sys in your config and be done with it. I would hope you wouldn't have to go looking for that sort of thing.

In any case, I personally haven't had to go looking for drivers, and just wanted to convey that one can be a perfectly happy DOS user without going through the torture that some chose to endure. :)


The smart thing about DOS is that the operating system can be expanded with external device drivers. IO.SYS reads them via the start-up file CONFIG.SYS. First device drivers are read from ROM BIOS. Then any possible additional drivers are read from disk. In that way DOS can handle hardware units which did not exist when the PC was originally configured.

From my understanding, that was indeed what made DOS the winner when they added that facility.

DOS lives on!!
May 15th, 2012, 06:46 AM
Congratulations on you free find!

USB support? That's for DOS? I didn't think they had those until win95 came along.
There are USB drivers for DOS out there on the internet. The first *real* support for USB devices came along in Windows 95.

Ole Juul
May 15th, 2012, 09:46 AM
There are USB drivers for DOS out there on the internet. The first *real* support for USB devices came along in Windows 95.

I've got them. :) I remember when the "Panasonic Miracle Driver" was a hot topic, and that was in '03. Some of the DUSE files look like they are from a year earlier though. My point is that I wouldn't call that stuff "vintage" and there is not much practical use for it nowadays when there are so many more functional options.

Tr3vor
May 15th, 2012, 09:51 PM
It was working just fine, untill today when I changed the CMOS battery with a CR2025. well, It hangs or something after identifying the drives, and sometimes moves the cursor across the screen a few times and hangs. It did this once before when I put a friend's HDD in it as a slave to copy some games and stuff, but whatever, I'll figure it out...

Maybe it has to do with that cap thats going out? I reseated the BIOS chip and that didn't help, and I stripped it down the the video card and floppy drive and that didn't help much either. This is odd, I was streaming some dos games from it on twitch.tv last night, and now it doesn't want to cooperate?

I don't think that it was thrown out because of this...

Edit: I'll make a video of it tomorrow probably, its an Award bios.

Tr3vor
May 15th, 2012, 10:21 PM
Ok, not to be rude and double post or whatever, but...

I took the CMOS battery out for 20 minutes and booted the machine without it, and guess what... it works. Must have been a corrupted setting in the cmos or something that needed clearing, this makes me wonder if I should bother leaving the battery in there if it does that. Well, I don't know if it does that all the time or not, so I guess I'll play around with it some more later.

Could this be a sign of a bad bios or cmos ram or something? hmm....

Well, I've had enough for one night...

Caluser2000
May 15th, 2012, 10:50 PM
It's a good idea to have a break. I put my 286 aside for a few days due to getting no where with a serial port issue.

Tr3vor
May 16th, 2012, 01:45 PM
Well, I put the battery back in, and now it works :P I guess it shouldn't do that for a long while.

I thought it had a card for a 2nd Parallel port, but upon closer inspection and research, it turns out to be a SCSI controller card, but it doesn't have any pins on the card to hook anything up to it, but it does have a parallel-like port on the end of the card, is this for an external SCSI drive? this is neat, although I'm not to interested in SCSI stuff...

SpidersWeb
May 16th, 2012, 02:40 PM
A lot of older scanners etc were SCSI, but you could also likely use that connector for something hard core like a SCSI external Syquest drive, or Zip drive, CDROM, or HDD etc etc etc with the proper driver in CONFIG.SYS. Usually can find the cables etc floating around on ebay etc.

I really wish PCs just used SCSI all along, would've made things so much eaiser :/

Mau1wurf1977
May 29th, 2012, 12:15 PM
What a bargain :)

If you run into games that run too fast just go into the BIOS and disable the L1 and L2 options. You should then have the performance of a 386DX.

NaokiS
June 5th, 2012, 04:21 AM
Congrats on the find! Looks like nice spec machine. I saw and old Soundblaster AWE 32 in a PC shop that did repairs, altough when i asked ccould I buy it or do anything to get it they said they were'nt going to p`art with it :( Oh well, thankfully my step-dad had a boxed italian version spare XP

Tr3vor
June 29th, 2012, 11:05 PM
Now it poops out, I think it might be the bulging cap or something, or my ram went bad.

It thows me the 1 long and 3 short beeps upon power up, so since I think its AMI, that means error in ram above 64k, but if thats so, wouldn't there be a picture at least?

I might swap out some ram, and if that don't work, I'll try getting that cap replaced soon :rain:

luckybob
June 29th, 2012, 11:16 PM
Now it poops out, I think it might be the bulging cap or something, or my ram went bad.

It thows me the 1 long and 3 short beeps upon power up, so since I think its AMI, that means error in ram above 64k, but if thats so, wouldn't there be a picture at least?

I might swap out some ram, and if that don't work, I'll try getting that cap replaced soon :rain:

take a pencil eraser and rub the contacts on the simms/dimms. this will make them nice and shiney. you can also do this to your agp/pci/isa cards. I had a stick of ram that a friend threw away as "bad" and I secretly fixed it and used it for myself.

Tr3vor
June 30th, 2012, 08:52 AM
I'm not so sure that it is the ram though, since the BIOSes of these kind of computers usually check the first 64k, bring up the screen and then check the rest of the memory, right? So the fact that it isn't bringing up the screen is something. and it instantly gives me the beep code, instead of giving it to me when checking the memory. Also, I have quick boot enabled on that machine, so it shouldn't check past the first 64k anyway. I'm thinking its that cap.

DOS lives on!!
June 30th, 2012, 08:58 AM
So you're saying that nothing appears on the screen at all? If so, then check the video card to make sure that it is in all the way, or try another video card. That solved the 1 long, 3 short problem on a P1 computer that was doing that for the longest time.

Tr3vor
June 30th, 2012, 09:09 AM
My problem is that I didn't check the BIOS type and assumed that it was AMI, or thought it was AMI because my other computer had one, but in fact its an Award BIOS, so the issue is actually "no video or bad video ram", so I reseated the video card, and bam, it works again. I wonder why though, it was working just last week. oh well, computers will be computers.

But I'm still gonna keep an eye on that bulging cap >_>

DOS lives on!!
June 30th, 2012, 09:43 AM
Cards and RAM cards/chips can work their way loose over time, or if you've moved the computer recently. But anyway, glad you've got it working again. Even if the card is just barely worked loose, the computer will respond badly to it.

Tr3vor
July 13th, 2012, 09:54 AM
hmm now, it won't post with that video card in it anymore. period. its throwing beep codes at me all day. I am guessing that its video card is dead. I put another PCI video card in, and it didn't throw beep codes at me, but it posted once, and now it won't do it again, and no beep codes.

I think something's going on here...