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The Creeping Network

Crazy Computer Weekend.....

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Got 2 machines on the bench now...one modern-ish, one retro......

My Wife's Dell Dimension 4600, which I'm rebuilding with Windows 7 x86 for her birthday with the new licence I purchased. SHe's had this computer since 2003, the darned thing just won't die, and with good reason.....here's the list of issues it had at the start of the weekend....

- won't "rewind" on XFINITY or Netflix videos (locks up machine)
- grinding 20GB PATA HDD, I would lie awake at night listening to this thing sound like someone pouring ping pong balls down a metal tube, did not fail seatools though, go figure, and it's out of space anyway thanks to......
- The most convoluted iTunes setup ever
- horrible graphics performance
- boot time is pretty short to the desktop, but have to WAIT at the desktop for almost 2 minutes to do anything
- MS Touch Mouse that won't use all of it's features b/c it requires Windows 7 or later
- Cannot play music while surfing the web because it cuts up and crashes iTunes
- Double copies of everything in iTunes from my recovery attempt of over 4000 files, lots of em' rare and awesome stuff that's foreign or not commercially available

Did a test run of Windows 7 x86 on Friday night to the computer's 2nd HDD, runs a lot faster, no more grinding, boot time is just a hair under a minute, the only PITA is that Windows updates (all 200 of them), and the Audio Device was "not supported"........until....

Sunday came, I decided to install a 500GB I had laying around, SATA, and convert one molex to SATA to put her HDD on a faster control bus, then install W7 x86, security essentials, Live Essentials 2012, iTunes, Firefox, and then restore all favorites and re-organize iTunes. Tonight I continue with iTunes as it's a total mess, with media folders embedded into media folders embedded into media folders going on almost 10 years worth of media....ARGHHHH!!! But at least when I'm done - no more double copies, and hopefully everything on back to 2003ish will be copied back over. It'd be nice to hear some of that ol' Riz Ortolani soundtrack or Amon Duul II again.

Currently off of SATA, boot time is well under a minute, you can run everything nice and swift now, and took a maiden voyage to XFINITY last night to test out an episode of Bob's Burgers while we go to sleep. She also has the latest MS Office now, so no longer does she have to fight with saving things in DOC rather than ODT (my biggest facepalm moments are when she's working on something, saves it to ODT, and needs to send to someone in DOC format.....why Open Office, why?).

The 486 Is Undergoing Again

I got sick of a few things with the dual boot W95/WFWG 3.11 setup on that computer....

- not having 32-bit Disk Access in WFWG because of FAT-32
- Windows 95 was slowed to a CRAWL by Plus Pack!, plus I hardly ever wanted to use 95 anyway, most of what runs on it runs on my Windows 7 machine anyway with no issue
- Issues with some DOS apps because expected items are in the wrong spot or non-existant
- an inconsistency in machine names between 95 and WFWG
- and finally, and most importantly, no way to recover my crashed video driver for 95.

I've decided to retire 95.....it was a tad redaundant, and I found myself only ever running my WFWG installation anyway.

So I popped in Fujitsu Disk Manager, re-did my DDO and Partitions for 4 FAT-16 partitions, installed DOS 6.22, OAKCDROM.SYS, Windows For Workgroups 3.11, setup my NIC, Share on the 4th partition, and started setting up applications. All in all, this probably took a total of 20 minutes.......and I thought my Win7 install on the wifes machine went by fast (45 min).

Some changes are already apparent, and for the better. WFWG loads a LOT faster now, networking seems to lag less, and it seems to have less trouble copying the files pushed from Windows 7 x64 on my main box to it. Put on Office 4.5 w/ bookshelf, and Acrobat. Currently installing everything I have in folders next. Trying to get After Dark 4.0 to install but it's failing with an error like it cannot find it's setup EXE.....so I will be trying to install straight off the HDD next.....assuming it works with WFWG 3.11 (I think I used it in 95).

I'm planning to get back to some of the other cool old things I used to do, like hacking NES Roms (I prefer TileLayer for DOS among other tools), Making a website for vintage PC's (Creeping Network is coming back, hopefully soon, with some alterations), making Graphical Adventure games (maybe I'll finish with one someday), and other crap I enjoyed doing on such an old box. This also means I need to update the profile.

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