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The Ultimate Gaming Machine... and it's not what you think it to be, either!

1514 Views 18 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Sturm Jäger
Took me a while to get it right, and I'm still not done working with it either.

That's how it looks at the moment:

...and internally:

And what do you think the parameters are?

Pentium-S 120 Mhz CPU
32 MB RAM (I'll look into increasing that to 128 DIMM module or at least replacing the 2 8 MB SIMMs with 8 MB EDO's for increased performance)
256 K additional cache chip (giving 512 K total with the 256 already present on the motherboard)
ATI Rage 64 V+ graphics card with 2 MB memory (will replace it with an 8 MB one shortly)
ESS 1887 soundcard with built-in amplifier (that's a nice one, really)
800 MB HDD (this one's for DOS)
1,1 GB HDD (Windoze commands here)
Windows 98SE & DOS 7.1 (need to spend a few hours on configuring DOS for full potential, I'm afraid)

Other stuff:
- A4Tech 4D+ mouse (three buttons, two wheels, connected to COM port via a PS/2-COM adapter)
-Case Fan (controlled through an ingenious wiring of the Turbo button)
-52x CD-Rom drive (I'd go with a slower one with an audio-out like they used to be years ago, but they don't make them like that anymore... :(
-Speaker-To-Soundcard adapter (using a couple wires, a capacitor and resistor, it channels the PC-Speaker signal to a spare CD-in on the soundcard - the SPU has three of them total)
-2x USB ports (I'm butchering an USB hub to add further two on the front)

No whoop-a** graphics card, no billions of polygons, no Doom III at maximum settings ... so what's the point? Why do I call it ultimate gaming machine?

You ask what games could be run on someTHING like that?
Oh, blast me, just off the top of my head:
Mechwarrior 1 & 2
Battletech 1 & 2
Battle Isle 1 & 2
Earthsiege 1 &2
Doom 1 & 2
Flashback: Quest for Identity
Robocop 1 & 3
UFO 1 & 2 & 3
Dune 1 & 2
Quake 1
Duke Nukem 1 & 2 & 3D
Shadow of the Comet
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Wolfenstein 3D
Warcraft 1 & 2
... and a few thousand other titles.

I simply love old gaming classics, from back when the games could bring oodles of fun and umpteen hours of gameplay.
And hey, some games are still as addictive now as they were when Molyneux started working on Dungeon Keeper (if you know the joke)!

Yeah, DosBox, VDMSound etc aint bad, but a prosthetic will never match the real thing.

And besides gaming, this machine is a good computerised typewriter too. Come on, who needs 1,5 gHz for a text editor?
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Thats great, its nice to see someone still has appreciation for the classics, before the morons ruined the internet...
woah... talk about ultimate old schoolllllll =)
No no no, the Ultimate gaming machine comes in two modes: Hairy or Hairless. That's the only GameCube I play. *wink wink* ;)
Hey if your computer can handle Diablo 2 with the expansion, you should join the LO D2 clan. We are always looking for new members! [/end marketing plug]

I've never played Battletech 1&2, what kind of game is it? As in, is it like Mechwarrior, where you are in the mechs, or is it kinda like Mechcommander, an RTS kinda thing?
Hey if your computer can handle Diablo 2 with the expansion, you should join the LO D2 clan. We are always looking for new members! [/end marketing plug]
My modern machine sure can - altough I'm not a D2 fan, so sorry but no (well, at this time - I actually never played D2 so far).

I've never played Battletech 1&2, what kind of game is it? As in, is it like Mechwarrior, where you are in the mechs, or is it kinda like Mechcommander, an RTS kinda thing?
Battletech 1 (aka Crescent Hawks Inception) was an old RPG-ish kind of game. Best would be to direct you to this review. It was fun to mod the 'Mechs too.
Now, Battletech 2 continues the storyline but is a different kind of game altogether. Given the similarities, you could call it "Mechcommander 0", really. Some info here, here and here. I must say I found it quite challenging when I played it two years back, and I am looking forward to finishing the game.
And if you are a history buff... to my knowledge, it was the first RTS to grace the computer screens.
this looks cool, how much money did it take you to whip this old workhorse together? not a lot i would assume, and since its an older style PC, the games should run as they are meant to run, unlike with Windows XP. nice job! dont forget about X-COM!!! its a great game!!!
So far it's $130, and it might get higher than that - I'm thinking of getting a couple parts more to further expand its capabilities.
Well, that's still cheaper then most modern PC's, at least.
$50 on the machine itself (second-hand, came with a monitor and some Canon printer - the owner was more then grateful to get rid of it)
$10 on the taxi to get to the seller and transport the machine back home
$0 on remaining spare parts from my old 486DX4/100 (which I have blown up 15 months ago by wrongly reattaching the power cables to the motherboard)
$15 on various COM and PS/2 mice, none of which were working right with it - in the end, I swapped them all for one decent mouse that is currently running with the machine
$15 or so on a new CD-ROM drive. The old one has died a day after the purchase. I am planning to exchange it for the CD-ROM drive I purchased for the computer I am using at work (reason: built-in external audio out with amplifier)
$15 on a HDD rack that featured in my initial configuration plan, but was rejected later on
$3 on an USB extension bracket
$3 on another one like that, which I am halfway through re-making into a 3,5" bay front extension panel (with 2x USB and 1Xaudio)
$20 (approximately) on various parts from the electronics store, some of which are still planned for further experimental enchancements of the unit.

The machine doesn't run all of the games flawlessly - I already found that out with Battletech 1, since it just locked up when choosing the GPU. Maybe it's just a compatibility issue, will check up on that GPU shortly (got another one with which BT1 used to work - so it will either confirm or totally rule out the theory)

I am, however, thinking about building further two machines - a _proper_ 486 like the one I accidentally destroyed, and another one, slightly slower, just for the kicks. Hey, it's not like people don't use C64s anymore either.

X-Com... a.k.a UFO (US and European releases)
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oh sorry, didnt notice you were in poland, sorry bout that. although it might be difficult, i really recommend you try to get X-com (UFO defense, or terror from the deep, not sure that rig would run apocalypse) they are excellent games, even by todays standards, highly engrossing and set the standard for tactical squad based games.
I really like the UFO series, in fact. Got all three.

And I'm sure this rig will run Apocalypse. It worked on 486DX4/100 with 24 MB RAM just perfectly.
I've already installed it, just didn't have time to play... yet.
Very nice list of games, though not Syndicate and Syndicate Wars? these are even available as abandonware, if you haven't played them I recommend that you pick them up, also MDK is always fun to play. Hmm, point and click games also springs to my mind, they've done a ton of those that are worth giving a go, games such as Kingdom O Magic etc etc.
cool, im attempting to get apocalypse to run on my XP right now.(quite a pain...) but it will all be worth it to slay those alien scum!
I love 'classic' gaming. DOS and win95 games are where you can find some of the best rpg's ever written.

I'm not real crazy about downloading emulators, mostly because I'm not sure how trustworthy the software is. So I may just end up doing what you did here and create my own 'Ultimate Gaming Machine'!

Hey everyone who likes older games! check out this link, it has tons of old abandonware games, for free! and best of all, its LEGAL!!!!
I have Syndicate somwhere in here, maybe even Syndicate Wars too.

Ickebeebon, Apocalypse works very well through VDMSound. It's only partial emulation and doesn't consume as much CPU power as the likes of DosBox. In fact, I used to run it that way for a while.

Oh, and Abandonia is about as legal as Abandonware goes - not much, really.

Some further testing has shown that Battletech 1 won't run on this machine. Well, it's not like I won't be hunting for another one or two machines when going to a computer parts market on Sunday... :evil:

Got an Ethernet card for it. Happens to have drivers for Win95 and higher. This card will be useful for playing matches of Quake, Starcraft (or whatever else you can think of) over a small LAN I plan to build.

Considering downgrading to Windows 95 OSR 2 (aka Win95b/c) for improved speed.
yeah, i got apocalypse to work(finally, with the help of VDMsound and other help sheets) and its been worth the work. man, reliving those old memories is priceless.

p.s- did you mean that abandonia is illegal, or did i misundertsand? are there any better sites out there?
Abandonware is not really legal as a whole. Some sites claim to contain abandonware while they carry oldwarez (which is not the same thing, even though the site creators might not know it), some even claim abandonware status for straightforward warez.

Abandonia, fortunately, is "on the good side".

A place you could check is - they exist for a longer while and have a much larger game collection.
Not to mention a number of games that Abandonia has lost their permissions to host. That happened May last year, when ESA have found out that Abandonia hosted some of their games without permission (the Abandonia crew was just as surprised to find out it was actually true), and thus all of the previous permissions have been denied. The site is getting back the permissions - slowly - this time not bothering with the dumb legal lackeys but going directly to the copyright owners.

I know a couple other sites, but - either through purpose or ignorance - they cross to the "dark side", so will not post their adresses.
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Thanks for the info Horseman! now i feel informed!
Well done on posting those webbies.. there is going to be a whole lotta fun there.. work will never be the same..

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