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The Spam Thread!
Here me be double posting with some exciting acquisitions and a bit of musing regarding my retro PC project.

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Yeah, I'm sort of bored at the moment, even though I'm converting an audio tape to MP3.

Firstly... I acquired a different flat-panel monitor for Audrey. It's an eMachines E19T5W from 2007. I picked it up in good shape at a garage sale today for just $10, and I couldn't pass up a good deal. All it needed was a good dusting and cleaning of the LCD, and all is well. It was originally going to be the secondary monitor for Audrey, but I re-evaluated my needs and decided just to make the E19T5W my main monitor. Compared to her previous monitor, an HP S2031, the eMachines unit has a far brighter picture and text/details appear more crisp. The resolution is a bit smaller horizontally. The HP had a 1600x900 while the eMachines has 1440x900. I'm using the DVI input.

I also acquired more mundane PC gear, also eMachines branded. A keyboard for the Retro PC project as well as a pair of USB powered speakers for Audrey, which sound pretty good for what they are. I asked about the eMachines PC that came with these, but the lady told me the PC got "fried" somehow and they destroyed it. Sad

To keep things from preventing from getting too long winded... the retro PC project musings continue in the next post. Wink
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For quite some time, I have been meaning to bring my old and rather scruffy Pentium III box, Jasper, back from retirement. The plan is to construct a PC that can run the games that I can't even install on Greta or Audrey. This stems from the fact that a lot of software manufacturers packaged their games in 16-bit installers, even if the actual game themselves were 32bit. Why MS didn't include 16bit compatibility in 64bit Windows is beyond me, even though 64bit processors have 16bit mode, like their 32bit predecessors. But I digress....

Jasper would be a perfect fit for such a project. He has many strengths. His PIII processor and motherboard are compatible with Windows 98, which is better than XP in regards to playing 16-bit games that run under Windows. Win98 can also support some quirky drivers that are unavailable in XP, such as the WinG driver used in the PC port of the Lion King.

But, Jasper has some shortcomings as well. He has a heavy ATX case, and it's also starting to look rather beat up. An additional problem is acquiring the necessary hardware and software to get him back in shape. He needs a new PSU and I also need to find a legit copy of Win98 SE. eBay is a good source for Win98, but the price for a new sealed boxed copy can be a bit steep, especially since people are considering these things valuable collectibles by now. Jasper can run Windows XP as well, and can run it quite well, but in order to get him all the latest updates, I need to get him an internal PCI WiFi adapter as our new fiber modem doesn't have ethernet cables going to it. I could use a USB Wifi stick, but his USB 2.0 PCI expansion card never works right under Windows.

In short, all of these updates will incur a large cost. As much as I want to get Jasper back on his feet, I started thinking about just letting him retire in peace and just acquiring one of those refurbished mini desktop PCs that abound on eBay. Perhaps I could just get a good used XP-era laptop as well, which would also save a lot of physical space and electrical outlets. I think even a small XP Netbook would run my 16-bit Windows games fine, though I would have to source an external DVD drive... but hey, I already have one! For the record, the majority of my 16bit games run under Windows. I have no DOS games.

So... I have a lot to think about. May as well start wandering eBay and finding the perfect candidate if I decide to just let Jasper retire for good.
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cpd2009 Wrote:Yes, Hazel serves me well. She outperforms all the cheap China-tabs that I have used previously. Now, I just need to get her a new faux-leather tablet cover since the current cover was inherited from my previous cheapie tablet and lacks a cutout for her built in camera.

I would love to give my new phone a name, but because all phones through Verizon Wireless require a contract, you only lease the phone if you want the cheapest price. Because of this phone leasing, I don't give such phones names. If I was able to get a truly unlocked phone, be it a Blackberry or a flip phone, then I could give it a name without problem. Leased phones must be returned upon cancellation of Verizon, AFAIK.

You can purchase the phone from Verizon, but it's not unlocked and Verizon doesn't use SIM cards like the rest of the world. If you buy the phone, it's basically tied to Verizon, even if you root it. CDMA is evil. The phone is also more expensive.

There is a GSM provider in my area, but they only have roaming in my own town. You have to go to the next town over to get GSM, which provides SIM cards.

Not to mention that Qualcomm essentially holds you by the neck should you go by the CDMA path - manufacturers have to pay them royalties in case they want to make a Verizon/Sprint/whatever device.

Afaik there was a CDMA telco here, and some telcos did have a roaming agreement with Verizon, but by and large the SIM-less approach with CDMA wouldn't bode well in places like the Philippines where people are used to unlocked phones and card-swapping is a common practise, i.e. using your old SIM when migrating to a new handset.
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cpd2009 Wrote:For quite some time, I have been meaning to bring my old and rather scruffy Pentium III box, Jasper, back from retirement. The plan is to construct a PC that can run the games that I can't even install on Greta or Audrey. This stems from the fact that a lot of software manufacturers packaged their games in 16-bit installers, even if the actual game themselves were 32bit. Why MS didn't include 16bit compatibility in 64bit Windows is beyond me, even though 64bit processors have 16bit mode, like their 32bit predecessors. But I digress....

Jasper would be a perfect fit for such a project. He has many strengths. His PIII processor and motherboard are compatible with Windows 98, which is better than XP in regards to playing 16-bit games that run under Windows. Win98 can also support some quirky drivers that are unavailable in XP, such as the WinG driver used in the PC port of the Lion King.

But, Jasper has some shortcomings as well. He has a heavy ATX case, and it's also starting to look rather beat up. An additional problem is acquiring the necessary hardware and software to get him back in shape. He needs a new PSU and I also need to find a legit copy of Win98 SE. eBay is a good source for Win98, but the price for a new sealed boxed copy can be a bit steep, especially since people are considering these things valuable collectibles by now. Jasper can run Windows XP as well, and can run it quite well, but in order to get him all the latest updates, I need to get him an internal PCI WiFi adapter as our new fiber modem doesn't have ethernet cables going to it. I could use a USB Wifi stick, but his USB 2.0 PCI expansion card never works right under Windows.

In short, all of these updates will incur a large cost. As much as I want to get Jasper back on his feet, I started thinking about just letting him retire in peace and just acquiring one of those refurbished mini desktop PCs that abound on eBay. Perhaps I could just get a good used XP-era laptop as well, which would also save a lot of physical space and electrical outlets. I think even a small XP Netbook would run my 16-bit Windows games fine, though I would have to source an external DVD drive... but hey, I already have one! For the record, the majority of my 16bit games run under Windows. I have no DOS games.

So... I have a lot to think about. May as well start wandering eBay and finding the perfect candidate if I decide to just let Jasper retire for good.

There's actually a hack for InstallShield installers to run on x64 by replacing the 16-bit stub with a 32-bit one, but it seems spotty imo, and I had to come up with creative ways to get around the problem, besides the no-CD hack Dave and I tried out with Madeline 2nd Grade Math, and later with American Girls Premiere. The hack isn't like the illegal ones where the original executable is replaced, as with these games only the EXE and other libraries are installed on the target drive; it still has to stream assets off the CD mostly because hard drives of the time are too paltry to stuff everything on. A bit of experimenting with the registry and copying some files is all it takes.
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I was thinking....

Maybe I could just run Win98 SE in VirtualBox. That way, I wouldn't have to acquire additional space-consuming hardware and better yet, I can take screenshots of full-screen games and apps. VirtualBox supports hardware virtualization, and since Win98SE isn't a resource hog compared to say WinXP, Audrey would be a perfect fit for such a setup.

However, I need a bit of help deciding what to do. Would Win98SE running under VirtualBox VM perform just as well as running on dedicated hardware? I don't have any resource intensive games and software as it stands.
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So, Seamonkey is a wonderful browser. It's highly customizeable, has loads of extensions, and is open source. It does have some odd annoyances though, such as not having a "Run" button when you download an installation file from somewhere. It's obviously for security purposes, but I tend to scrutinize all the sites that offer me downloads and normally I can tell which sites are legit and which ones aren't. You also have to restart your browser when you install many extensions. This isn't that annoying to me, but I always think exactly why that is. In other browsers, you don't have to restart the program to install an extension. But I digress....

Oh, and Seamonkey tends to get bogged down after a long browsing session. Not sure if it's the program itself or just RAM limitations, but yeah. I can't really run Seamonkey while doing audio conversion on Audrey.

This leads me to a grand experiment I am going to try.

For exactly one week, I am going to make Internet [strike]Exploder[/strike] Explorer my default web browser and use it for all my web browsing tasks. Why? Simple. I haven't used Internet Explorer in years, mainly because back in the day, I used Netscape while everyone used IE, and being the alternative browser user stuck since that time. I did use IE for a brief period before I found out about Netscape, but that was version 4 back in 1999!

Internet Explorer has a bad reputation, most of it deserved since IE6 was a really horrid release in regards to security holes and site compatibility. Since IE8 however, it appears MS is trying to shed IE's bad reputation and has made a browser that is noticeably faster and robust. It's not picture perfect, as seen with that security hole that MS had to patch quickly this last week.

Even so, I feel that I should give IE a chance since I never really used it in the first place. Hence my experiment. Will IE be able to stack up to Seamonkey/Firefox in terms of performance and extension capability? I'll find out.

It already has one point for having AdBlock Plus in their extension gallery. Smile
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IE is just as bad a memory hog as Seamonkey >.> I'm serious, it actually takes 30 seconds to fire up on Edison.

If you want fast, I suggest going indie and look around for lesser known browsers.
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RAMChYLD Wrote:IE is just as bad a memory hog as Seamonkey >.> I'm serious, it actually takes 30 seconds to fire up on Edison.

If you want fast, I suggest going indie and look around for lesser known browsers.

IE11 takes less than 10 seconds to launch on Audrey at first launch. It always seems to have launched faster than Seamonkey on her hardware. IE11 on Greta takes a tad bit longer to launch... about the same as Seamonkey really. But that is IE11 running under Windows 7, so there's that.

I am truly noticing speedier browsing with IE, and I intend on continuing with my week-long quest. It may be fine now, but issues may crop up later on. One issue already... no FlashGot. Can I live without struggling to open up Seamonkey to download a new YT video every time I need to? We'll see.

Oh, forgot to add... it seems that Flash programs run much faster under IE11 than they do on other third-party browsers, and it's most noticeable with Greta and her Nvidia GPU. I do have IE11 set to run with the Nvidia GPU, and Webkinz runs very smoothly.
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Got a flu.

This week will be pretty hard to go through.
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Blackberry Bun Wrote:Got a flu.

This week will be pretty hard to go through.

Sad

Let's hope you recover quickly. The flu can be horrible.
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