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The Spam Thread!

(04-29-2019, 10:21 PM)cpd2009 Wrote:  I forgot how I managed to get XP Home Edition on Timothy. I checked the product key, and it is one I recognize. I do have another old student copy of XP Pro stored away at the moment. I was considering just installing that, but the current setup works well as it is. If I ever get a larger HDD for Timothy, installing XP Pro will be the only option.

Speaking of HDD, you might have noticed Timothy has a Hitachi Deskstar drive, a 40GB unit. I know that people lost trust in these particular brand of disks thanks to earlier Deskstar models (made by IBM) having high failure rates, which led to a class-action lawsuit. People nicknamed the drives "Deathstars" because of it. Even Hitachi acquiring the Deskstar brand didn't help repair it's reputation.
It was a NeverLiveItDown moment for sure. I've had a Hitachi Deathstar drive back in 2011, 1TB, and it lasted for a few years until it gave up the ghost due to a couple or so bad sectors. I am glad that I was able to salvage important documents off it, but it was otherwise a disaster. Said failure was exacerbated when I was trying to compile an Android ROM from an Allwinner A31 SDK in early 2015. I could've just replaced the hard drive with another one and call it a day, but by that time my PC was getting more and more antiquated that I decided to just screw it and assemble a brand-new Pentium G3258 rig.

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I was able to test a few emulators last night. Kega Fusion and Nestopia work like a charm, though there is a screen tearing issue with Nestopia. I'll have to find VSync settings or force it in the ATI control panel. bsnes was a fail. Super Mario World ran super slow. I'll have to resort to SNES9x or ZSNES.

I'm also going to have to source a new-old-stock system recovery disk off eBay. Timothy's particular model came from Gateway's business division, and that was sold to a separate company called MPC (not to Acer like the consumer division). MPC eventually went bankrupt, taking their driver downloads with them. There was a third party driver site for MPC systems at one point, but it's long gone. I'll just need the Applications and Drivers disk. Timothy is a Gateway E-2600S, and a simple search turned up what appear to be genuine restoration discs. I'll have to bite since I can't source the drivers from a reputable website and I lost my stash of drivers I downloaded in 2015.

As for Timothy's GPU, it's a Radeon Xpress 200 IGP. I may install a low profile PCI-e GPU such as a Radeon HD 5450 or other inexpensive card if the need arises. An Xpress 200 is more than enough for the old PC games and basic NES/SNES emulation. SD MP4 videos play well in VLC.

It's surprising that current versions of VLC continue to support XP while nearly all other major applications have long dropped XP support. I guess it's because there are many people still using XP despite it's security risks.

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One random day about a month ago, I was watching some of those Fine Bros. "Kids React" videos after seeing an episode centered around an old Atari 2600. I was surprised to see one of the kids, Emma R, wearing a Casio Calculator watch, seen above. (skip to about 1:07) When it comes to kids wristwatches, it's either the licensed $10 character watches (Disney, superheroes, etc), fitness trackers, or smartwatches. Granted, this particular video was from 2014, but newer React videos from 2017 still show Emma wearing said calculator watch.

Specifically, the watch she has is a Casio DBC32-1A, which you can get on Amazon for about $25 USD. It's a rather advanced watch for a kid, and it's not labeled as water resistant. It's still cool that there are people and kids that still find older watch technology cool and interesting.

I've been a fan of digital watches most of my life, and I did have another old Casio calculator watch from 2011. The rubber band started falling apart though. I may have to look in to this newer model myself.

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And order has been placed for the Casio DBC32-1A, along with the last "Pearl and Wagner" kids chapter book for good measure. Amazon offered me a free 30-day trial of Prime, and after considering it for a bit, I thought that I may as well give it a shot. There is a lot of content on Amazon Prime Video that doesn't show up on Netflix. I may also be eligible for Prime discounts if I need to order video games or other things.

Don't get me wrong. I try to shop locally in my town when possible. But when it comes to new video games, the selection is severely lacking. I can't get out of town often enough to explore Walmart or Best Buy either, so Amazon is one of my only sources for new video games.

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Shouldn't hurt to try out Prime, really, though it sucks that their films' exclusivity is quite a barrier to entry, further encouraging piracy.

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(05-01-2019, 07:47 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Shouldn't hurt to try out Prime, really, though it sucks that their films' exclusivity is quite a barrier to entry, further encouraging piracy.

Indeed. They have a new reboot of Rocky and Bullwinkle that looks very fun, but it's an Amazon exclusive. Worse still, there was a reboot of another Jay Ward cartoon, Mr. Peabody and Sherman that is exclusive to Netflix.  Undecided

Anyway... using Windows XP is a great way to indulge in nostalgia, but compared to Windows 10, it's becoming archaic and clunky. Windows Update is more cumbersome to use for one. Even the default themes are becoming very dated. Back in the day, I recall marvelling at XP's look and feel over the 9x series, especially the icons. Others didn't care for the new look, calling it the Fisher-Price theme. Unlike Windows 10, you can still use the Classic themes without a problem. But to be honest, Windows Classic wouldn't look that great on Windows 10. Many apps are meant to take advantage of modern design, and would look very out of place when used with a classic 9x style.

I'd imagine Windows 7 is set to become the next XP. It's support is ending next year, and there's people who still hate Windows 10 and refuse to upgrade.

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(05-02-2019, 09:21 AM)cpd2009 Wrote:  
(05-01-2019, 07:47 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Shouldn't hurt to try out Prime, really, though it sucks that their films' exclusivity is quite a barrier to entry, further encouraging piracy.

Indeed. They have a new reboot of Rocky and Bullwinkle that looks very fun, but it's an Amazon exclusive. Worse still, there was a reboot of another Jay Ward cartoon, Mr. Peabody and Sherman that is exclusive to Netflix.  Undecided

Anyway... using Windows XP is a great way to indulge in nostalgia, but compared to Windows 10, it's becoming archaic and clunky. Windows Update is more cumbersome to use for one. Even the default themes are becoming very dated. Back in the day, I recall marvelling at XP's look and feel over the 9x series, especially the icons. Others didn't care for the new look, calling it the Fisher-Price theme. Unlike Windows 10, you can still use the Classic themes without a problem. But to be honest, Windows Classic wouldn't look that great on Windows 10. Many apps are meant to take advantage of modern design, and would look very out of place when used with a classic 9x style.

I'd imagine Windows 7 is set to become the next XP. It's support is ending next year, and there's people who still hate Windows 10 and refuse to upgrade.
Why must vendor lock-in be a thing? Oh well...

Yeah, Windows XP was fun whilst it was in its prime, and honestly I don't mind the interface which some see as rather infantile and reminiscent of a children's educational application. Though in fairness later themes tweaked upon this and made XP look more professional, albeit only in certain editions unless you get the Embedded and Plex themes from third-party sources. The Windows Classic UI is still present in Windows 10 to some degree despite being largely DummiedOut; Microsoft being very much into backwards compatibility still keeps it for legacy application support though I could see them modifying it given the relative simplicity of the default Windows 10 theme.

It's very much so as far as what I've observed. Most if not all internet cafes here in my place still swear by Windows 7, but they run the risk of getting infected due to complacency with updates. I can't blame those who still cling on to 7 though, largely due to Snowden and MS shoving things up everyone's throats. *cough* Candy Crush *cough*

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Decided to double check the official Acer/Gateway support pages for E-2600S drivers, and yes! They have the drivers available for download. I'm going to burn then onto a CD-R for future use. I have decided that I want to upgrade the HDD to a larger capacity, something around 80GB - 160GB range. I may even consider putting a 500GB HDD inside, but it depends on how large a 32bit XP installation can support. The Intel P4 521 is an x64 CPU, and can run Windows XP x64 edition. x64 drivers are available at the support pages, but for what I'm using Timothy for, an x64 OS would be overkill.

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XP x64 rarely saw use outside of workstations and dedicated users, though a number of games did have at least some support for it like Unreal Tournament 2004.

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The Casio DBC32-1A arrived on Friday, and other than a few small things (lack of water resistance, calculator buttons being a bit hard to press at times), it's a lot better than my 4-year-old G-Shock GLX-5600A. The display is nice and big and the alarm is louder too. It's very comfortable to wear as the band is more flexible than the G-Shock.

Because of no water resistance, I do have another Casio on standby which is water resistant in case I have to wear a watch on a rainy day.

I also acquired what appears to be a new open-box Sony DRU-190A ATAPI DVD+/-RW drive for Timothy. He only had a DVD-ROM drive, and the Sony was only $10. A bit dusty, but it was in it's plastic bag along with the documentation and software disc. And when I opened the drive drawer, a blank JVC CD-R came out. And when I played a DVD for the first time, it asked to set the region code. So the drive was literally never used, or was used so little the DVD region was never set.

I still have to test burning capabilities. Timothy won't be used for much burning other than maybe audio discs or video CDs, but hey, I finally have a PC I can use that ancient Burn & Go software on.

The drive came with Nero Essentials 7, but it's a more feature limited version of the suite. The DVD playback was limited to a 30-day trial, so I had to uninstall it. But that is after I also uninstalled InterVideo WinDVD. Sad There's always VLC, but historically, deinterlacing wasn't as good as a dedicated MPEG-2 decoder + WMP. I think it's a bit better now in regards to VLC.

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