Author Topic: Old computers?  (Read 12092 times)
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Old computers? « on: June 21, 2014, 10:21:47 PM » Author: mrboojay
I was wondering if anyone else here collects old computers.  I have seen a lot of other older things posted and was wondering about computers.

I have 3 I own personally.
My oldest is an HP-85 from around 1983 I think.  It had the add on ROM drawer and a RAM cartridge.  Neat story how I got it.  I help to run the soundbooth for my church every week (and I mean every week I have been able to go to church Smiley) and one Sunday I walked into the booth and looked at one of the chairs in there.  Sitting on it was this big old computer I had never seen before.  My reaction was, "My goodness, how did this get here?" and it turns out the owner put it there for me to take a look at it and mess about with it some and get it on line.  Cheesy Tongue
Only thing is, it seems the tape drive does not function and the printer seems to function, but it does not work either.

My second oldest is a Compaq Presario all-in-one running Windows 3.1 of which I forgot the specs of.  Maybe 64MB RAM and some Intel CPU, I forget.  This was being thrown out at a yard sale so they let me take it home for free.  Cheesy

My newest one is a Compaq Presario which is one of those flat desktop PCs you set a monitor on which runs Windows 98.  It has a Pentium III and I think 512MB of RAM.  This was originally my Uncle's and it was in a pile of stuff that he let us have so I kept it.
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 03:24:25 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
Oh yes! I have several. I was actually planning to start a thread like this, but you beat me to it.  Cheesy

1. Compaq Presario 5360 - 1999 - AMD K6-2 450 MHz - 128 MB of RAM - 10 GB hard drive - Windows 2000. Was originally Dad's computer, purchased used for $300 in 2002. I got a hold of it in 2006 or so, and it was my only computer until 2010! It's based on the horrible SiS 530 chipset, which doesn't play nice with Windows XP or Linux. It's the most useless of all my old computers, and I'd like to see if I could get something for it on eBay. (It's in the "rocket ship" case, and apparently they are rather collectable.)

2. Generic 486 system - 1996 - AMD Am5x86 133 MHz - 64 MB of RAM - 1.2 GB hard drive - MS-DOS 6.22 + Windows 3.1. Got it from high school, was originally going to be thrown out. It's based on the infamous PC Chips M919 motherboard with the fake L2 cache. An excellent motherboard otherwise, though. I fitted it with an ATI Mach 64 PCI video card and a Creative Labs Sound Blaster AWE64 ISA sound card.

3. Epson Apex Plus - 1989 - Fujitsu 8088 5/10 MHz - 640 KB of RAM - 20 MB MFM hard drive. Belonged to my high school math teacher. Works fine, but has a problem where whenever you try to write data to the hard drive, the DOS gives a memory parity error, and the computer subsequently crashes. If I remove the hard drive and use the computer only with floppy disks, it works absolutely perfect. I replaced the original CGA video card with a VGA unit, and I'm wondering if that's not playing nice with the hard drive controller.

The following computers aren't really vintage, but certainly old enough to qualify to some degree.  Tongue

4. Compaq Deskpro EN - 2000 - Intel Pentium III 1 GHz - 512 MB of RAM - 40 GB hard drive - Windows XP. Got it from high school. This computer actually serves a very important purpose; it's my only computer with FireWire connectivity, allowing me to import the video I film for my YouTube videos from the Digital 8 camcorders I use.

5. Apple iMac G3 - 2002 - PowerPC G3 600 MHz - 512 MB of RAM - 40 GB hard drive - Mac OS 9.2 + Mac OS 10.4. Got it from high school, mint in the box, with all the original equipment. It was kept in a special classroom, and was rarely, if ever, used. I don't use it, and I'd sell it, but whatever box I'd ship it in wouldn't be able to fit in the car!

6. Acer Travelmate 233LC - 2003 - Intel Celeron 2 GHz - 1 GB of RAM - 30 GB hard drive - Windows XP. Got it from a family friend. Don't use it, but it's a cool laptop since it has a floppy disk drive.

7. NEC MobilePro 900C - 2005. This is a Handheld PC, running Windows CE.net 4.1. Bought it on eBay for some $50, which is incredibly cheap for one of these. Unfortunately, it was too good to be true - the seller's pictures were so horrible, I didn't at all see that the entire unit was painted with a sticky, awful-looking grey paint. However, the computer works perfectly and the battery holds a great charge, and I knew I would never get another one for that price, so I let it go.

And a couple of weeks ago I picked up a Dell Optiplex GX150 (Intel Pentium III 1 GHz - 512 MB of RAM - 20 GB + 15 GB hard drives - Windows XP) for $15 at the thrift store, along with a monitor. I might turn it into a Linux machine. Then just a few days ago I picked up an HP Pavilion A720n (AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 2.2 GHz - 512 MB of RAM - 200 GB hard drive - Windows XP) for free from a friend. Not sure what I'll do with that one.  Tongue

Trent
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 03:32:56 PM by TheMaritimeMan » Logged

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Re: Old computers? « Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 07:17:35 AM » Author: mrboojay
That is a neat collection.  I edited my post to include some story and more info about mine.  About yout iMac G3, what kind of class room was it?  One that never got used?
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 01:59:32 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
Thanks. The iMac came from my middle school. When I went there in the mid 2000s, there were four of them in service that I know of - one in a computer lab and three in the music classroom, and all of them were strictly off-limits to any use whatsoever. I don't know why. The ones in the music room supposedly contained composition software that would be used in the Grade 8 music class, but my class never did that. That room was locked when there was no class in session that used it, so even the curious student (like me  Cheesy) couldn't get to them. I reckon mine is one of the ones from that room.
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 03:47:38 PM » Author: mrboojay
Oh OK, thanks.  That seems odd.  That was an expensive computer to buy and let just sit. Huh?
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 06:34:24 PM » Author: TheUniversalDave1
I was helping somebody move some furniture recently, and I saw a super old computer. I asked about it and I was told it would cost $80 to bring it home. A few minutes later, I was told to take it free of charge. So take it I did!

I can't figure out how to boot it. It just stays in the setup menu and nothing I do will make it boot. I KNOW Trent will know exactly what to do 'cause he's the computer expert. I have no idea who made this computer, the nameplate just says "Amta."
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 07:41:17 PM by TheUniversalDave1 » Logged

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Re: Old computers? « Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 08:49:20 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
Aw sweet! Semi-generic 486 systems are always cool.

It goes straight into the setup menu when it boots? That's weird. So for now I'm going to assume the hard drive is unbootable (maybe corrupt, or completely nonfunctional, etc.), and see if it will boot from a floppy disk. Go here and download this program using a computer with a floppy drive. Stick in a blank floppy, run the program, and follow any instructions. After that stick the disk in the new computer, turn it on, and see if anything notable happens.

http://hddguru.com/download/software/Magic-Boot-Disk/Magic_Boot_Floppy_Creator_v2.0.exe

I'll leave you with just that for now since I'm not in a good position to provide much more right now.  Tongue
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 09:18:12 PM » Author: TheUniversalDave1
Well, when I first plugged it in and turned it on, the hard drive started making this extremely obnoxious "CLANKETY-CLANK" type of sound and after shaking the computer around a bit, it quieted down. When I turn it on, it makes a few beep sounds and the screen shows the second picture. I can press delete and it takes me into the setup menu. I've watched a few of UXWBill's videos, and from the research I've gathered the 486 processor was the predecessor to Intel's Pentium processor. Please excuse my ignorance on the subject, this is my first old computer.

The only workable computer I have is my Toshiba Satellite from 2010 and I'm pretty certain that it has no floppy drive. Is it even remotely possible to find a new hard drive for this thing? If I can ever get it to boot, would it be possible for it to run Windows 95? So many questions...  
  
Idea! I checked on eBay, and found that there are floppy drives with USB plugs on them available for $10. Maybe, I can get one of those, and download the "Magic Boot" program onto a floppy from my 2010 computer, and try to boot my ~1995 computer. I'll probably need to get a floppy drive with a USB on it anyway so I can impress everyone at school when I save my project or whatever onto a floppy rather than a USB! I'm pretty sure their computers have a floppy drive.

I can see where this is going. This is EXACTLY how my toilet collection, TV collection, VCR collection, vacuum cleaner collection, and the most recent, fluorescent light collection started out. With just one. That's all it takes. Oh well, make way for more computers!
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 09:56:15 PM by TheUniversalDave1 » Logged

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Re: Old computers? « Reply #8 on: July 08, 2014, 05:26:53 AM » Author: themaritimegirl
Sounds like the hard drive has gone bad, then. Yes, the 486 was the predecessor to the Pentium.

Absolutely; this computer uses an IDE hard drive, which was standard in computers until just a few years ago. If you can find even a newish hard drive, that will work. Only thing is if it's larger than 8 GB, the computer will only be able to see the first 8 GB of it.

Yeah, a floppy disk is the only way to get a computer this old with a bum hard drive to boot. Yep, a USB floppy drive will work. Could use a school or library computer, as well. Just remember that you don't download the file I linked *to* the floppy - put it wherever convenient, then run it, and it will extract other files onto the floppy. Yes, Windows 95 will run excellent on this computer - that's what we're going to try once we confirm that it boots. (Although it sounds like we'll need a hard drive, too...)

Here's a couple of hard drives that will work perfect. No telling for certain if they have any problems, though.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/for-IBM-6832-20U-Computer-Quantum-Fireball-CR-Series-3-5-Hard-Drive-CR64A011-/121375677268?pt=US_Internal_Hard_Disk_Drives&hash=item1c428ddb54

http://www.ebay.com/itm/QUANTUM-FIREBALL-6-4GB-3-5-IDE-HDD-EX64A109-/261247906675?pt=US_Internal_Hard_Disk_Drives&hash=item3cd396b373

Alternatively, I have a boatload (I'm talking 30 or so) of IDE hard drives I salvaged back in high school. I've tested them all, with an extremely thorough program, to work perfect. If you want, I will send you an appropriate one for $5 and shipping. I'll re-test it before sending it out, too. As a matter of fact, I'll put Windows 95 on it so it's ready to boot with not much work required at all.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 05:43:20 AM by TheMaritimeMan » Logged

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Re: Old computers? « Reply #9 on: July 08, 2014, 08:27:42 AM » Author: TheUniversalDave1
That sounds awesome! Cheesy Thanks for all your help, Trent.

I'm definitely interested in buying a hard drive from you. It may have to wait until I get a few extra dollars, though. 
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #10 on: July 08, 2014, 04:07:08 PM » Author: TheUniversalDave1
Do you know how much it will cost to ship the new hard drive? Should I smash the old one with a hammer?
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #11 on: July 08, 2014, 04:28:44 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
I just weighed the one I'll most likely send you assuming it passes with a clean bill of health. Shipping will be $8.99; so your total would be 13.99. It's a 1.2 GB Seagate. It should be quite a bit larger than the drive currently in it. I run the same model of drive in my own 486 system.

Can you possibly make a video of starting up the computer, just so I can hear what the hard drive does? You can set the availability to "unlisted" to the public can't see it, and post the link here. If the hard drive sounds like it might still be good, I would actually consider sending you my drive as a trade for the old drive (if you were game for that, of course).
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #12 on: July 08, 2014, 06:17:23 PM » Author: TheUniversalDave1
If you want to trade the drive in there for the Seagate, I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm not worried about the information on that drive because I know you're a trustworthy person. I've actually spent the last two hours watching the first two videos of your Turbo 486 system from school. Will this new drive provide the signature Seagate sound that you talked about in the video?  Wink

The earliest time I will be able to make a video would be tomorrow evening. But I will do it.
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #13 on: July 08, 2014, 08:29:52 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
I can actually identify any hard drive made up to the early 2000s by its manufacturer, solely by its seek test upon start-up. If you look at my "old hard drives" series of videos, I do a video for each manufacturer, and you can tell pretty clearly that each manufacturer had their own unique seek test sound. By the mid 2000s hard drives had gotten quiet enough and manufacturers had started to implement simpler, quicker seek tests, such that you couldn't really tell any more.

Quantum
Seagate
Western Digital
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Re: Old computers? « Reply #14 on: July 09, 2014, 09:29:26 AM » Author: TheUniversalDave1
On VideoKarma, they're telling me that I need to program the parameters of the hard drive into the CMOS setup menu. 1024 Cyls, 16 heads, 63 sectors. I just wanted to check with you and see if that's a good idea.
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