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My Retrocomputing Projects For 2022

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Ruben listed his retrocomputing projects for Q1 2022 two days ago, and it seemed like a good way to get an overview on exciting things yet to do—and show the world you’re perhaps a little bit crazy. I don’t mind though, I just want to have fun. In the past few months, I’ve barely been touching my retro computing gear (except for the Nintendo handhelds now and then, but remember: retrocomputing can be more than games!), and that’s a shame. Hopefully, simply listing these here will get me in the mood to do something about it.

Adding Q1 to the title would have induced too much stress. Before you know it, it’s the end of March, and I still haven’t tackled any of those!

486 Stuff

  • Install the SCSI ISA card I stole from work. It has a low bracket profile so doesn’t fit yet.
  • Get that thing online! There are plenty of parallel port-to-wifi adapters out there, but a proper ethernet card or something similar would be great. I’d love to host a BBS on it someday, so others can log in and leave a message, not unlike Blake Patterson’s Byte Cellar machines.
  • After getting it online in DOS mode, I should try out the exclusive Windows 3.11 features. Perhaps I can find a vintage way to share files across all of my retro computers, including this one.
  • I’ve been dabbling in C compiling on the 486, but the GCC toolchain is excruciatingly slow. The Open Watcom or Borland vintage compilers look much cooler. I should learn a bit more from Brian Provinciano’s port talks.
  • I haven’t given the OPL3 on the genuine Sound Blaster 16 in there a proper use except for gaming. Programming or composing on that myself would be interesting. I tried a DOS program to do that but it requires more than 8 MB RAM…
  • Finally hunt down that expensive 5" floppy drive and explore some old floppies I have inherited from my grandfather.
  • I can only mount the SD card—that acts as an IDE HDD—on Linux using certain mount attributes. I should really get that fixed so I can browse using my Mac.

Win98 Stuff

  • Install the lineage tree creation program I inherited. Sounds like a lot of fun!
  • Ruben’s encyclopedia posts got me excited to revisit Microsoft Encarta.
  • Find something to finally use that SCSI PCI adapter with. Perhaps an external Zip drive. No luck on the flea markets so far.
  • Fix Rayman 2’s crashing stage. Not sure if it’s the GeForce drivers or just a corrupt save file.

WinXP Stuff

  • Buy an old PCI-Express VGA Capture card. That way, I hope to directly capture the video stream from the 486/Win98 PC. I only have one slot left and have been unable to find the matching one on eBay so far. Upscaling and capturing VGA, especially several DOS modes, is very tricky, according to the VOGONs forums.
  • The XP and Win98 machines share a screen and keyboard/mouse using an USB Hub. They also share speakers but I haven’t invested in or built a mixer yet, meaning replugging the audio in cable every time I switch devices. That can’t be right.

Others

  • Find a cheap way to capture HDMI output. The GameCube now has a HDMI upscaler, and the Evercade console also outputs HDMI, so I could use that to capture my own screenshots for Jefklak’s Codex. There are so many options to choose from…
  • Is taking photos of your Nintendo DS really the only way to capture the screen? The 3DS is modded and has a screenshot feature now, but ARM7 mode does not.

I'm Wouter Groeneveld, a Brain Baker, and I love the smell of freshly baked thoughts (and bread) in the morning. I sometimes convince others to bake their brain (and bread) too.

If you found this article amusing and/or helpful, you can buy me a coffee - although I'm more of a tea fan myself. I also like to hear your feedback via Mastodon or e-mail. Thanks!

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