All posts for the month January, 2017

Let’s see, it must have been in 2002. I began doing repairs around late 97, in 01 I replaced the AT case and PSU for an ATX case/PSU (as the Mobo allowed either kind). Then in 2002 I ordered a Mobo with integrated CPU (ECS K7SEM), that’s when I pretty much made it my own. I gave it to my sis when she got married, then years after I visited them and saw it there just collecting dust and asked for it back. It is my Win98 rig, besides gaming I also use it for scanning docs and pics with my trusty Canon N640pEx.

The first PC I assembled (mid 03) buying everything had a huge (like 5 bays I think) white ATX case, it had a Biostar M7VKQ mobo with an a Athlon XP 2100 CPU, 256MB PC133 ram, a KWorld capture card (which I still have in storage) a Sound Blaster Live 5.1 Mp3 (which I’m using on the K7SEM) and a Sis based 32MB PCI video card. I I was totally free, no longer I had to share the “house PC”. The HDD was a 40gb one, which at the time it was plentiful for my gaming, development and video capture / editing / DVD riping. Sadly, less than a year after, my father died and I had to sell it to help with the ensuing financial difficulties (I was an entry level IT tech at the time).

Some background first: It was with DOS that I began using computers, a Tek 8088 was my first PC, then we moved onto a Tandy 1000 TL2 then onto an HP Vectra VL2 486/66. On the Vectra is where I began using Windows.

With this project I pretend to recreate some of those experiences. I had some old components laying around, others, like the case and the 5.25″-3.5″ bracket adapter I bought new and this is what I came up with.

“The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a PC, why not do it with some style?”

These are the specs:

Mobo: WS440BX Gateway Tabor 3
CPU: Pentium II Klamath 233 @ 133 Mhz
Ram: 64MB PC133
HDD: WD AC14300 4.3 GB
CD: GCR8481B
Video: Nvidia TNT 16MB AGP 2x
LAN: 3Com 3C905-TX
Sound: Soundblaster Pro 2 CT1600

Everything was coming along nicely, until, I realized the PSU placement was far from ideal:

Ouch. Never had this problem in my career. A quick search on the internets showed the problem is more common than I thought, even with modern hardware. I was able to find a local vendor who was selling an ATX 24 pin to ATX 20 pin converter, it even had the white cable for some reason (not that I’m complaining). Just a little help and I was back in business:

I was going to use an IDE to CF adapter, but then remembered part of the experience back in the day was that HDD noise, so I went for the oldest specimen I had.

The FDISK operations went fine, I removed the existing partition then created 2 partitions.

It was when I tried to format drive C: that it made that “clank clank” noise of death and format gave an error. Fearing the worst, still, I rebooted and this time tried to format drive D: which worked fine. I tried again to format drive C: and this time it went through. So I went ahead and proceeded with DOS installation, so far so good.

With DOS 6.22 up and running I went ahead and installed Win 3.11

Riva TNT Drivers installed. 1024×768 and 256 colors to keep that retro feel.

Sound card drivers, no problemo

The Sound Blaster Pro 2 CT1600 is an awesome card, (not pictured) I was playing some Gabriel Knight, simply outstanding.

Some of the games from my 8088 games also work fine

I’m pending to get the network card working.