View Full Version : gaming pc.. help

December 13th, 2007, 03:49 AM
hey there im doing a task at college about the history of computers etc. could you tell me some computers from the 1990 that ran games. plz

December 13th, 2007, 04:05 AM
Commodore 64 was still alive back in the early nineties, towards the end of it's life, but if you want to get into PC gaming (PC as in what IBM clones have become known as), you'll might want to research games from the 386/486 era. Also google abandonware; you'll get a million sites that freely distribute games in which the pubisher has perished or are technically illegal but no one gives a crap.

also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaming_PC#History

December 13th, 2007, 04:53 AM
Check out www.old-computers.com. Their museum section is rather good.

You can view computers by the year they were released.

Example for 1990 and 1991:

And you can bet most of these machines ran games!

// Z

December 13th, 2007, 07:57 AM
I'd say gaming computers in the (early) 1990's mostly were Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, IBM PC compatibles and some Apple Macintosh. Surely most systems had one or a few games available, but from my horizon no other computer had a gaming impact by then, unlike in the mid-80's when there were plenty of computer games for almost every computer.

Of course I don't mention concurrent video games like the Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive/Genesis and so on, because you explicitely said computers and it is what this site is all about anyway.

Edit: Perhaps I should add the Sharp X68000 in the above list, although it is an internal Japanese affair. The 8-bit systems though were rapidly becoming obsolete and by 1993 almost not a single commercial game was released for those with the possible exception of NES, which again is no computer... ;-)

Dwo Shwoom
December 13th, 2007, 12:26 PM
Spacewar! found its success on the pdp-8, making it the earliest example of a true computer game.

December 13th, 2007, 01:15 PM
"Spacewar! found its success on the pdp-8, making it the earliest example of a true computer game."

<trebek>Ooh..Good answer, but we're going to have to buzz you as wrong since the question was stated "some computers from the 1990"..</trebek>


December 13th, 2007, 03:07 PM
And he didn't answer in the form of a question :)

Either way, he's looking for gaming computers not computer games. You were so close, yet so far. Plus I don't think a mini counts as a gaming rig :P

December 13th, 2007, 09:59 PM
But people at a LAN gaming event would get mighty impressed if you haul in a computer in the size of a PDP-8. At least until you start your mobile diesel engine to generate the electricty you need...

Terry Yager
December 14th, 2007, 02:09 PM
"Spacewar! found its success on the pdp-8, making it the earliest example of a true computer game."

<trebek>Ooh..Good answer, but we're going to have to buzz you as wrong since the question was stated "some computers from the 1990"..</trebek>


Did ya catch the show last week where they screwed the contestant? The answer was: "A Touring Test in AI is used to determine if the user is talking to a human or this." Her answer: "What is an Artificial Intelligence, or a robot?" BZZZT! The question they wanted was: "What is a computer?" I was sure the judges would make things right before the end of the show, but they missed it completly. (I thought her answer was actually more accurate than Trebeck's). Betcha Alex got a ton of mail though...


December 14th, 2007, 02:49 PM
Turing test, after Alan Turing. Sorry to nag. ;-)

Terry Yager
December 14th, 2007, 02:59 PM
Turing test, after Alan Turing. Sorry to nag. ;-)

Thank you, my spellchecker musta missed that one...


December 14th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Well, to answer the initial question to this thread.....

Most late 80's/early 90's computer games were IBM PC and Macintosh based. I grew up during that era, and that was the my first exposure to computers happened via various IBM PS/2 based machines.

Your best bet would be to get a hold of a late model 80486 based computer, a 66 MHz DX2 or 100 MHz DX4 being my big recommendations, and with a Turbo Switch should you want to play anything older.

some good name brand machines I've used include
IBM PC-330 100DX4 (Type/Code 6571-W5K), 100MHZ 486, 8MB of RAM, 540MB HDD
Compaq Deskpro/Proline 386 stuff
Acer's 386 and 486 based stuff
Zenith Data Systems 386 and 486 stuff (all of which are built like tanks)

As for big games of the time, here's the biggest stuff I can think of
Maniac Mansion and Day Of The Tentacle
Microsoft Flight Simulator
Leisure Suit Larry 1 through 3
Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist
Sim City
Sim City 2000
Doom I, II, and Ultimate Doom
Tie Fighter
Ultima V, VI, VII parts 1 & 2, and VIII
Kings Quest series
Legacy of the Ancients (it's in CGA and runs on an 8088, but it was made in 1987 so it still counts)
Tank Wars

Dwo Shwoom
December 15th, 2007, 02:16 PM
Ok, so that I don't start any more dull conversations...

The pc and macs were all the rage, as mad-mike said.

the main games that really got attention in the 90's was FPS and Adventure games, and maybe some RPG's as well.

now, why isn't it that we haven't really touched up on this stuff in the forums much?

December 15th, 2007, 02:40 PM
I think a lot of why this stuff is not touched upon in the forums much is because it's hard to tell weather it's really vintage or not. Vintage PC and Vintage Macintosh are a lot different from Vintage Computers in general, it's sort of a sub-genre.

The older stuff is more collectible because it's harder to find and harder to do something with with their strange old 6502/8080/Z-80 processors, hand-built memory cards, lower resolution video, lower Kilobytes (4K-64K) memory, and weird media formats (like 720K single sided 8" floppies in a box as big as a washing machine). Most of that software cannot be run on a modern PC without some sort of Emulator, and most of the hardware is not capable of too many of the modern tasks without someone to make a new application for it.

However, old PC's are possibly the easiest thing to collect. As soon as IBM's first one hit the shelves, it's set the standards for everything today. At one time just about every big corporation had a plethora of IBM XT, AT, and even some original PC doing all the number crunching for them in some way, during the 80's, often interfaced to an AS/400 or more often a 360 Mainframe for file storage and data interchange. However, some of those machines are special for this reason such as....

The IBM PC 5150 - The First PC
The Columbia Data Products MPC 1600 - The first decent IBM PC Clone
The Compaq Portable - The first Luggable PC, as well as the first Legal (okay, gray area) clone
The IBM PC XT 5160 - THE standard that was copied by just about everyone at some point
The IBM PC AT - The first 80286
The Tandy 1000 Series - One of the most popular computers of the 1980's
The Compaq Deskpro 386 - The first commercially available/successful 386 based PC
The IBM PC 5140 - A very interesting portable bridge between the Personal Computer and PS/2 series
The IBM PS/2 Model 25 - The first of the IBM PS/2 series machines, and one of the few 8086 machines
The IBM PS/2 Model 80 - IBM's most well known and hugest computer sizewise

On top of it, there are scads of historical pieces of hardware and software that make these machines one of the newer collectible deals around, not to mention that they are cheap as heck to get your hands on if you know where to look. Also, they are all a lot like snowflakes, you can score 4 IBM XT's and not a single one of them will have the same configuration. Each machine seems to have a story to tell, weather it was a file server, a BBS surfer, a family machine, primarily used for games by someone's kid, or was at one time a big business machine interfacing with their Unix based mainframe. And the nice part is due to this nearly anonymous base configuration deal with these older PC's, it makes it a lot more acceptable to put them to frequent use and modify the snot out of them as they are not all that rare except in a few very rare cases.

As for me, part of it is nostalgia, the other part is that I fell into vintage computers by my want to have a computer in the early 2000's, and not being able to afford a new one. So I patched together an 80486 running Windows 3.1 using every resource available to me to find parts, work around minimum system requirements that were untrue, and basically assemble a computer 10 years out of date using cast-off parts and building an experience the whole way. Through all that, I learned a lot, and found it fun to putz around with vintage hardware and wax nostalgic via playing those old DOS games in their natural environment. There's also the challenge of showing what can REALLY be done on something so old, on one hand they are obsolete to the average end user, but not nearly as much as one would think.