Back to Sasara.moe
Cataloguing machines, spares parts, config, notes, and links for my collection of wonderful old machines!
Uses 256-colour, HTML 3.2, and my childhood GeoCities theme, so it's viewable in old browsers. Yes, that's it.
Like all old sites, it's under construction! It should also probably be split across pages.
|Commodore||VC-20 · Plus/4 · C16 · C128 · Aldi 64 · 64C|
|Apple||//e Platinum · iMac DV|
DFI Am386 ·
NEC APEX ·
Childhood MMX ·
Compaq Presario 5060
HP Brio BA600 · IBM Aptiva 2199-200 · Dell Dimension 4100
|Laptops||Contura Aero 4/25 · Libretto 70CT · iBook G3|
|More||Palms · Loose Parts · Bootdisk · Thanks · Footer|
The VIC-20 was Commodore's first colour home computer, announced in 1980. The VC-20 was re-badged for sale in Germany, owing to the unfortunate meaning of the original name. Commodore had the PET, but it was the VIC-20 that propelled the company's machines into the mainstream, and set the stage for their incredible C64.
This PAL VC-20 is from 1983, with the "cost reduced" short board. Note the beautiful rainbow badge, indicating it was built alongside the C64. I bought it broken from a chap in the UK in 2023, and restored it with some retrobright, reseating its hodgepodge of mismatched ICs, and replaced the broken keyboard with an "Aldi 64" unit (while retaining the orange function keys). The modern round-pin sockets and extensive flux residue on the back indicates this machine had a rough life, but I'm so happy she's functional and beautiful again. I agree with Adrian Black, the VIC-20 had the best breadbin case.
The last thing I want to do is the S-Video mod for use with my Retrotink, but I'm exploring if there are options to do something similar but not destructively.
|Name||Noel Llopis||-||-||His VIC-20 video really helped!|
|Case||Stock||-||-||Retr0brighted to fix some nasty blotching|
|Keyboard||Aldi 64||-||-||Replaced dead board with one from an Aldi 64|
|Motherboard||-||-||PAL shortboard version|
|CPU||MOS 6502 B||UE10||0683|
|CIA 1||MOS 6522||UAB1||??86||Much newer, must have been replaced|
|CIA 2||MOS 6522||UAB3||4682|
|VIC Video||MOS 6561-101||UB7||1883||Want to do S-Video mod|
|BASIC ROM||MOS 901486-01||UE11||3883||BASIC 2.0|
|KERNAL ROM||MOS 901486-07||UE12||5281||Much older, must have been a replacement|
The Commodore Plus/4 was introduced in 1984, as the flagship of the 264 line. While it lacked the sprites and sound capabilities of the C64, it had an expanded 121 colour palette and a much-improved BASIC 4.0, along with some interesting but limited productivity software. Its case design is easily my favourite among all 8-bit machines, and Bil Herd's little motherboard is a work of industrial art. It's a gorgeous machine!
My parents bought me this, a C16, a breadbin C64, and a 1541 drive for my birthday in 2004, back when these machines were going for peanuts. While I love the aesthetics of the Plus/4, I admittedly spent more time on the C16 because the keyboard felt nicer to use. I got into the habit of writing stuff on the C16 and running on the Plus/4, to extend the life of the latter.
The PLA finally died in 2023, so I replaced it with Eslapion's PLAnkton +4. Works flawlessly!
|Name||Bil Herd||-||-||The lead 264 and C128 designer|
|Case||Stock||-||84||Some very minor scratches|
|Keyboard||Stock||-||84||Rattly/scratchy, might need lubrication|
|TED||MOS 8360R2||U1||2684||NTSC video and sound for the 264s|
|CPU||MOS 8501R1||U2||Needs heatsink|
|PLA||PLAnkton +4||U19||23||Replaced dead MOS 251641-02 (2584)|
|BASIC ROM||MOS 318006-01||U23||2884||BASIC 4.0!|
|KERNAL ROM||MOS 318005-05||U24||3884|
|Func. Low ROM||MOS 317053-01||U25||3884|
|Func. High ROM||MOS 317054-01||U26||3084|
|SPI ROM||MOS 6525B||U27||3284||Plus/4 software. Wonder if I could replace?|
The Commodore 16 was introduced by Commodore in 1984. It used the same familiar breadbin case as the Commodore VIC-20 and C64, though its tiny motherboard was similar to the other machines in the ill-fated 264 family. This actually makes it great for expansion, because you have so much room to work in.
My parents bought me this, a breadbin C64, a Plus/4, and a 1541 drive for my birthday in 2004, back when these machines were going for peanuts. I was starting to get interested in 8-bit computers at the time, and admittedly spent more time on the C16 than any of the others. I was always more interested in weird productivity tools and tinkering than games, so it's software and keyboard just.. clicked? I didn't realise at the time how little these sold compared to the C64; I thought it was a wonderful machine.
In 2022 I upgraded the C16 using SaRuMan's excellent non-destructive 64 KiB memory expansion module, which slots under the TED. Unfortunately, it's also developed an issue with its reset line over time, where it can't be warm power-cycled. I'm still troubleshooting.
|Name||David Dunham||-||-||My high school computer and bowling teacher|
|Keyboard||Stock||-||84||Repaired a broken 6 key|
|Motherboard||Stock||-||84||Upgraded with SaRuMan 64 KiB|
|TED||MOS 8360R2||U1||4084||NTSC video and sound for the 264s|
|CPU||MOS 8501R1||U2||Needs heatsink|
|BASIC ROM||MOS 318006-01||U3||3084||BASIC 4.0!|
|KERNAL ROM||MOS 318005-04||U4||3184|
The Commodore 128 was 8-bit computing's swan song. It was three computers in one: a C128 with improved BASIC and 128 KiB of memory, a C64 mode that was almost entirely compatible, and a CP/M machine running on a Zilog Z80. It was designed by Bil Herd and his team, the same people behind the 264 line. The biggest external design changes were a sleek new beige case with larger vents, a numpad, and a set of extra function keys for use in C128 mode. This machine meant business, but also had that legendary C64 sprite and sound hardware.
I don't think it's a stretch to call it the most capable 8-bit machine of all time, as its exhaustive parts lists and complicated motherboard can attest! Sure, there have been machines with multiple CPUs, but consumer hardware on different instruction sets, on the same board!?
Josh Nunn of The Geekorium gave me his PAL Commodore 128 after hearing me wax lyrical about the machine on an episode of my silly podcast. Over time its 80-column circuitry and some of its higher memory banks have started having issues, which I've yet to fix. I couldn't find a replacement for the missing F7/F8 key, but I did find a little extra HELP.
|Name||Screenbeard||-||-||The gracious person who gave it to me :)|
|Case||Stock||-||85||Retrobrighted and fixed grounding strap|
|Keyboard||Stock (fixed)||-||85||Repaired function keys, replaced F7/F8|
|Motherboard||Stock||-||85||Mostly works, but not 80-column mode|
|CIA 1||MOS 6526||U1||4285|
|CIA 2||MOS 6526||U4||4285||Has "S" printed on top|
|SID||MOS 6581 R3||U5||4285|
|CPU/MPU||MOS 8502 R0||U6||4085||Used in C128 and C64 modes|
|MMU||MOS 8722 R2||U7||4385||Memory management unit|
|CPU Z80||Zilog Z80 B (Z8400BPS)||U10||3585||Z80 mode for CP/M|
|PLA||U17||#TODO: Add here|
|Char. ROM||MOS 390059-01||U18||1985||"CBM M452995 8541H"|
|Colour SRAM||Hitachi HM6116P-4||U19||2785|
|VIC-II||MOS 8566||U21||4185||PAL version|
|VDC||MOS 8563 R2||U22||0786||Non-functional|
|Clock Gen.||MOS 8701||U28||4185||"F6 S" printed on top|
|KERNAL ROM||MOS 251913-01||U32||4185||With BASIC. "Taiwan 26011D-370"|
|BASIC LO ROM||MOS 318018-02||U33||4185||"Taiwan 26011D-290"|
|BASIC HI ROM||MOS 318019-02||U34||4185||"Taiwan 26011D-291"|
|128 KERNAL ROM||MOS 318020-03||U35||4085||"Taiwan 26011D-292"|
The "Aldi" Commodore 64 is a bit of an oddball. Commodore wed a motherboard and keyboard from early-revision 64Cs with an older-style breadbin case, and sold them in Germany through Aldi and a few other supermarket chains in 1987. As an Aldi fan, I can absolutely picture these machines being sold in the middle isle of shame between hiking boots and economy-sized bags of pfeffernusse.
Confusion abounds online about these machines. I wrote a post about how these cases were indeed grey, after reading people say they had the same cases of original breadbins. Other sites claim they pre-date the 64C, despite that machine first coming out in 1986. Either way, Aldi 64s were manufactured by Commodore USA and imported, perhaps to use up an oversupply of spare parts. They've since become a bit of a collectable on account of their weird configuration and history. Mine has since yellowed to that "coffee milk" colour, which I oddly like.
My Aldi 64 is empty, I have to confess! I snagged an original keyboard and case from Europe, though it didn't come with a motherboard. My plan is to use the chassis for one of those Commodore 64 replacement boards, and all-modern ICs as a fun experiment.
|Name||Jan Beta||-||-||German! And it was his first 64 :)|
|Keyboard||Stock||-||87||Repaired a broken 6 key|
|Motherboard||-||-||To be bought|
The Commodore 64C was a redesigned C64, first released in 1986. Despite rumours of the impending demise of the line in favour of the more expensive C128 and Amiga, demand for the 64 remained strong, and was a valuable source of cash for Commodore in later years. It included new motherboards with consolidated ICs, and a sleek new beige case which made typing much easier. It also proved physically incompatible with certain peripherals popular in Europe, hence the introduction of the breadbin 64G with 64C internals.
I'd always wanted a 64C since seeing one in a magazine. I didn't have any nostalgic memories or personal attachment to the breadbins, but the 64C looked gorgeous. Even the keyboard font is amazing, despite it being printed instead of double-shot to save costs. In the end I found a PAL unit for sale in Australia from 1988, though it was mildewy enough that it took a few soapy baths and scrubbing to make usable.
This is probably the closest I have to a "daily driver" Commodore, though that may change when I finish my Aldi 64. It's compatible with all the awesome new homebrew hardware out there today, including my beloved EasyFlash 3. Adrian Black is right, these machines were built to last.
|Name||Adrian Black||-||-||His videos fixed so many of my machines!|
|CIA 1||MOS 6526A||U1||3588||"216A"|
|CIA 2||MOS 6526A||U2||3588||"216A"|
|KERNAL ROM||MOS 251913-01||U4||3188||With BASIC|
|Char. ROM||MOS 901225-01||U5||3488|
|Super PLA||Sharp 251913-01||U8||3388||"LH5062B A"|
|Clock Generator||MOS 8701||U20||3588||"F6 22"|
The Apple //e Platinum was the last of Apple's 8-bit computer line, starting with the original Apple ][ in 1977. The //e Platinum included the mixed case support from the IIe and IIe Enhanced, along with an 80-column card and numpad included standard, and a revised colour scheme to match their other new machines at the time. The 16-bit IIgs would later define an entire II on a single chip.
It's interesting to contrast this iterative development with most other 8-bit companies at the time. Had Commodore taken a similar approach, the C64 may have been a compatible evolution of the PET, rather than a clean-sheet architecture. Woz and his team also encouraged expansion with the II, which seems almost unbelievable compared to the sealed boxes Apple sells today.
The //e was probably the second computer I ever used. My first and second primary schools were in the process of phasing out their II machines, but we still used them for a year or two. The hardware, video, and sounds imprinted in me, to the point where I immediately recalled them years later when watching YouTube. My beautiful specimen came soon after, bought from a chap in Melbourne who restores old Apple hardware.
|Name||Ms. Brooks||-||My first primary school teacher|
|Case||Stock||86||Bit yellowed, but great condition|
|Keyboard||Stock Platinum extended||86||Nicest feeling keyboard I own!|
|Motherboard||IIe International NTSC||86||B607-0288-C|
|AUX||AIIE 80COL/64K Expansion||Pre-installed|
|Slot 1||-||(Usually printers)|
|Slot 2||-||Would like a Super Serial Card|
|Slot 3||(80 column card, indirect)||-|
|Slot 4||-||(Usually memory expansion)|
|Slot 5||-||(Usually for mouse)|
|Slot 6||Apple I/O Controller||8417||655-01-10B|
|Slot 7||-||(Usually for co-processors)|
|Disk A||Apple 5.25 140 KiB A9M0107||86||Connected to I/O controller|
|Disk B||-||Would love a FloppyEmu|
The handsome SPARCStation 5 was released by Sun Microsystems in 1994. It uses the same "Aurora" case as the S20 and S4, sitting between them in capabilities and performance. It can be expanded with 8 DSIMM slots and 3 horizontal SBus slots, one of which was shared with a faster AFX bus for higher-capacity frambuffer cards. I suspect these are rare as hen's teeth today! It also supports two 1-inch SCSI drives, a floppy drive, and has space for an optional slim optical unit that's almost as rare.
I loved my time using Sun kit at university in the mid-2000s. To this day I still regret getting a Power Mac G5 (since sold) over one of those UltraSPARC towers when I had the money to. Sun even had retail stores in Singapore, just a few shops down from Make Fine where I built my first PC in 1998. FreeBSD people have a lot to be thankful for from Solaris.
This gorgeous machine was graciously given to me by Mike of Chinwag fame, after he read me talk nostalgically about pizzabox computers like this. He even pre-installed NetBSD on it for me!
|Hostname||mike.lan||Named for Mike who gave it to me!|
|Case||Stock||Service Code S5, PN 600-3432-01|
|OS||NetBSD 9||Want to dual-boot with older Solaris/illumos|
|Motherboard||02 Rev 50|
|CPU||Sun microSPARC II 70 MHz||STP1012APGA MB86900 9508 Y31 -70A|
|RAM||64 MiB (2 x 32 MiB) ECC||Want to upgrade to 256 MiB|
|Audio||Crystal CS4231A-KL||Surface mount chip under SBus3|
|SBus 3/AFX||Sun STP3010PGA TurboXGX||Graphics card, frame buffer 270-2253-02 Rev 50|
|FDD A||Sony MPF420-6 3.5 1.44 MiB|
|SCSI 0||Seagate ST5660NC 545 MB||4500 RPM, 80-pin|
|SCSI 2||Would love a slim Sun CD-ROM!|
DFI (Diamond Flower International) were a manufacturer producing PC clones in the early 1990s. This basket of parts originally came with a 386SX-16CN/20CN baby AT motherboard with an AMD Am386-SXL, a mix of SIMMs for 4 MiB of memory, a Multi-IO card, switchable Oak CGA/EGA/VGA graphics card, and a TEAC 5.25 1.2 MiB floppy drive.
I bought the parts for this machine in a junk bin at Challenger in the late Funan Centre in Singapore when I was a teenager. I could never get them working, so they sat in a box for the best part of two decades until 2023, when I finally made them functional with little more than DeOxit and some thorough cleaning! I paired it with a cute tower from eBay, and have been slowly building it into the best 386 SX I can.
The most recent additions include an Intel i386-SL co-processor, Sound Blaster 2.0, Ethernet NIC, and a SCSI controller. The original Multi-IO card only supports one IDE channel, so I experimented briefly with running a CD-ROM off a Sound Blaster IDE channel. Without the funds for an Atari Falcon (!), I've made this into my GEM desktop, and am keen to track down a single-sided 5.25 drive for it.
|Hostname||mio.lan||Because it has a MIO card. Ahonhon!|
|Case||Weird Baby AT mini tower||Needs proper clean|
|OS||MS-DOS 6.22/ViewMAX, GEM/3||Should probably be DR-DOS!|
|Motherboard||DFI 386SX-16CN/20CN||Baby AT|
|Coprocessor||Intel i387-SL N80387SL||Bought in 2023|
|RAM||8 MiB (8 x 1 MiB) 30-pin SIMM||Max supported!|
|Chipset||Chips & Technologies CS8281|
|Multi-IO||Acer MIO-400 KF ISA||IDE, FDD, game, serial, parallel|
|Graphics||OAK OTI-067, ISA, MGA/EGA/VGA||Needs HY51C4256S-10 upgrade|
|NIC||3Com EtherLink III 3C-509B ISA|
|Sound||Sound Blaster 2.0 CT1350B ISA||Other PCs were too fast for it|
|SCSI||Adaptec AHA-1542CP ISA||To mess with SCSI storage options|
|FDD A||TEAC FD-55GFR, 5.25 1.2 MiB|
|FDD B||Panasonic JU-2561888PC, 3.5 1.44 MiB|
|IDE 0||PQI 256 MiB Disk-on-Module||Highest capacity without going XT-IDE|
|IDE 1||Might get a CF adaptor?|
This horizontal desktop is an unusual Tatung PC clone rebranded and sold by NEC Japan in 1996, desu. Someone I met in Australia bought this machine when he lived in Japan, and used it as a DOS game machine. IBM PC clones like this were still fairly unusual in Japan at the time, owing to the proliferation of NEC's PC-9800 and later machines.
It was scary how many boxes this machine ticked. Our first family computer was a 486 with VLB, and I had Japanese friends in Singapore who either had this exact machine, or one that looked similar. It even included the exact Sound Blaster 16 CT2230 with OPL3 I used to have! Everything about the design also screams 1990s Japan, with a layout that harkens back to the original IBM 5150.
I originally wanted to replicate the family 486, but this ticks all the boxes. Unfortunately, I do have a sensitive nose, and it smells extremely musty and mildewy when it heats up, so I might need to do a through cleaning at some point.
|Hostname||ryza.lan||Because it has a VLB riser!|
|Case||Original NEC case and JP stickers|
|PSU||Astec [sic] SA145-3430 145W||Stock, P/N TCS-9510|
|OS||PC DOS 6.3 JP, Windows 3.11|
|Motherboard||Tatung TCS-9510||With ISA and VLB riser|
|CPU||Intel i486DX2-66||95301066AD, 93|
|RAM||16 MiB 72-pin FPM||Like to upgrade to 64|
|BIOS||PhoenixBIOS 4.01 5762||1995-09-08|
|Ext. Cache||128 KiB||Like to upgrade to 256 KiB|
|Graphics||Cirrus Logic CL-GD5428, 1 MiB||Onboard|
|NIC||TODO: Need to get|
|Sound||Sound Blaster 16 CT2230 ISA||With a real Yamaha OPL3!|
|FDD A||Sony MP-F17W-50D 3.5 1.44 MiB|
|IDE 0||Quantum Fireball ST 1.6 GB|
|IDE 2||Creative Infra48 CD3220E CD-ROM|
This was the machine that started it all. We had a family 486 and Pentium 1 growing up, but this was the first computer I built myself. I'd wanted my own computer for years, and coming second place in a primary school writing contest gave me the funds!
The debate I had at the time was going with a Pentium Pro, or the Pentium MMX. I chose the latter because I thought the higher clock and multimedia instructions would make it better for games, but then I proceeded to use it to learn programming and do tinkering instead! Either way, the CPU was paired with a generic Octek Socket 7 motherboard, the last of the classic AT designs before the world shifted to ATX. I resisted upgrading it to an AMD K6, preferring to keep it as I original built it.
When the original family 486 was thrown away (sadly!), I was able to harvest the 5.25-inch Panasonic HD floppy drive, and the Sound Blaster 32 ISA card, both of which I thought made sense to put into this machine. There's a lot of family history in this banged-up box, and it still works as well as the day I cobbled it together.
|Hostname||ami.lan||First anime crush, first PC!|
|Case||Beige DIY Baby AT||Needs sanding and repainting|
|PSU||Speed ATX-580W||With -5V rail and AT-ATX adaptor|
|OS||Windows 95 OSR2|
|Motherboard||Octec Rhino 12+|
|CPU||Pentium P55C MMX 200 MHz|
|RAM||64 MiB SDR UDIMM||Like to upgrade to 256|
|Chipset||VIA Apollo VPX/97|
|Ext. Cache||256 KiB||Surface-mount|
|Graphics||Matrox Mystique 220 PCI||Stunning VGA quality|
|NIC||Compex ReadyLINK RL2000-PCI||My first NIC!|
|Sound||Sound Blaster 32 CT3600 PnP||IDE controller died, but I don't use|
|SCSI||Need for Zip Drive|
|FDD A||Panasonic 5.25-inch 80-track||Needs deep clean|
|FDD B||Mitsubishi 3.5-inch HD||Need to fix door flap|
|IDE 0||SanDisk Extreme 32 GiB CF card||Works with passive IDE adaptor|
|IDE 1||Need another UDMA CF card|
|IDE 2||Mitsumi 32x CRMC-FX3210S CD-ROM|
|SCSI 0||Iomega Zip 100 MiB||Works, but need SCSI controller|
This was the machine all my friends had when I was a kid in Singapore, and I secretly wanted. My overeager imagination at the time thought the front bezel looked like a rocket ship, with its flippy USB and Game Port cover being the gap between its fins. I still think its design holds its own among other beige-tastic boxes from the time.
After years of searching for one in decent condition, I decided to amalgamate a few into one working box. I found a 5070 from the US with a badly broken power supply and motherboard, but had a functional optical drive and was in good cosmetic condition. Six months later I found a 5060 from the UK that booted, but was banged up badly on the outside. Voila!
Today it's a massive pain with its proprietary power supply, IO shield, and ports, but naturally it's one of my favourite machines. This is what I use to play those old Windows games like Worms World Party and Age of Empires II, just as I did with friends back in the day.
|Hostname||yoko.lan||From mecha sci-fi Gurren Lagann|
|Case||Merged from 5060, 5070||Two broken cases made one good one!|
|PSU||MiTAC MPU-110REFP 110W||Compaq proprietary|
|OS||Windows 98 SE|
|Motherboard||MiTAC/Trigon Typhoon 10||Compaq OEM EMEA board|
|CPU||AMD K6-II 333 MHz||Could upgrade, but gonna keep stock|
|RAM||112 MiB (16 + 32 + 64) SDR UDIMM||Upgrade to 384 MiB|
|BIOS||686A1 ROM, 1998-08-27||F10 to access|
|Chipset||VIA Apollo MVP3||Released 1997-09-22|
|Graphics||ATi Rage LT Pro, 8 MiB||Onboard. Claims to be AGP.|
|Modem||Compaq PSB215A Fax/Voice, ISA||Not stock, from another Compaq|
|Sound 1||ESS ES1869F AudioDrive||Onboard. Very low noise chip!|
|Sound 2||Sound Blaster 16 Value CT2770, ISA||For DOS games|
|FDD A||Mitsubishi MF355F 3.5 1.44 MiB||Compaq P/N 304235-001|
|IDE 0||Quantum Bigfoot TX 5.25 Series, 4 GB||My first 5.25-inch hard drive!|
|IDE 2||Panasonic CR-588-C(CQ) 32x CD-ROM||Stock. P/N 310185-004|
Brio machines formed part of HP's small-business line in the late 1990s, to complement the Pavilion line aimed at home users. They had a classy, understated design compared to the bulbous plastic of their Pavilions, and more pedestrian graphics hardware. Despite using the same OEM part sources as Compaq, the Brio machines had beautifully standard components. Even the Dell Dimension I bought later was more proprietary than I expected, despite it looking more like a plain box!
A Brio BAx was my second childhood PC, bought at a COMDEX show in Singapore at a steep discount. This one was binned during one of our many house moves, much to my chagrin. Fortunately I managed to find someone selling the slightly lower-end BA600 that otherwise looked identical. The dead power supply was replaced with a generic SFX.
The original Brio had dark grey drives, which long since died. I replaced them with a black CD-ROM for something different, and my extremely unusual blue Iomega 5.25 Zip drive. Normally I prefer keeping colours the same, but I think the recess in tbe bezel makes it look intersting.
|Hostname||darjeeling.lan||British HP Sauce... Girls und Panzer!|
|Case||Stock OEM HP, Model DTPC-19||System Number D9083A|
|PSU||PTC-400 SFX (replacement)||Original HP gave up|
|CPU||Pentium III 550 MHz|
|BIOS||Award HW.27.09 (QHW.09.05)|
|Chipset||Intel 440BX (Seattle)|
|Graphics||Matrox MGA-G200A-D2, 4 MiB||Onboard|
|NIC||SMC EN5030B PCI||Stock. Need drivers|
|Sound||Crystal CS4280-CM SoundFusion||Onboard|
|SCSI||Iomega Jaz Jet SCSI Accelerator, PCI||Advansys ABP-960|
|Modem||Rockwell WS/M1-5614PM3 PCI||CIS Technologies|
|FDD A||Panasonic D2035-60391 1.44 3.5||JU-256A316P F3007|
|IDE 2||NEC ND-3450A DVD-RW||From HARDOFF in Otsu, Japan!|
|SCSI 0||5.25 [sic] Iomega ZIP100Si "Insider"||Unusual form factor!|
IBM made some gorgeous desktop hardware. I'm especially partial to the industrial design of their PS/2 era machines, but their generic PC Aptiva line is almost as striking, and much easier to work on with its standard ATX components. This Aptiva 2199-200 came out in 2000, at the tail end of IBM's beige days. It even retains the original drive door, which most people seemingly broke or removed. I love comparing its design to my Presario 5060; they have similar components and construction, but are so wildly different.
I bought this machine in 2023, ostensibly to use as a Sleeper PC on account of its standard PC components and positions. In the end, I couldn't bear to change anything about it, so I'm trying to turn it into an OS/2 machine. I was even able to pick it up with Clara from the seller, and take it for a walk!
|Hostname||hitori.lan||Most relatable character in a long time|
|Case||IBM FRU P09N5402|
|OS||OS/2 Warp 4.5, NetBSD|
|Motherboard||IBM PR0263 Rev 3.0|
|BIOS||Award PCI/PnP 586 230759922|
|Graphics||GeForce FX5500 256 MiB PCI|
|NIC||3Com EtherLink XL 3C509B-TPO PCI||EEPROM socket for XT-IDE|
|Sound||ESS 1938S H170||Onboard|
|Modem||ESS 2838 V5.0 PCI Modem||MPE28383PS FM-3623-11 W06/01|
|FDD A||NEC FD1231T 3.5 1.44 MiB|
|IDE 0||Quantum Fireball CR 6.0 GB||FBCRA 655-0695|
|IDE 2||LITE-ON LTN-403 17-40x CD-ROM||IBM P/N 36L8788|
|IDE 3||Creative CD620E Hex CD-ROM||Our first CD-ROM! Needs repair|
This Dimension from October 2000 is surprisingly weird. Dell used this beige case for several of the computer lines, including the later XPS. I didn't know until I bought this unit that the entire plastic shell is clipped onto an internal metal frame. This explains how the "A-TCH" [sic] OEM sold the same chassis for Micron; they just swapped the panels.
Dells were boring, but ubiquitous in Singapore. Our school had a fleet of them, complete with Zip drives which made ferrying homework much easier! I still feel those warm childhood fuzzies when seeing them, because it meant fun subjects were about to start. Nostalgia is weird.
I don't think they were as popular in Australia, so I was surprised to see someone selling one in Canberra. It's my highest-performing retro PC, though I'm tempted to replace the PSU and motherboard with non-proprietary parts at some point.
|Case||Original OEM||Service Tag 42VF21S|
|PSU||Proprietary in ATX form-factor||To replace with non-proprietary|
|OS||Windows Me, FreeBSD||Win Me is bad, but hey, nostalgia|
|Motherboard||To replace with non-proprietary|
|CPU||Pentium III "EB" 800 MHz|
|BIOS||Dell A05||To replace with non-proprietary|
|Chipset||To replace with non-proprietary|
|Graphics||ATI Rage 128Pro AGP (4x)||Stock. My only AGP card!|
|NIC||3Com EtherLink XL PCI||3C905B 03-0184-000 Rev-A|
|Sound||Sound Blaster Live! CT4780 PCI||Came with machine|
|FDD A||NEC FD1231T||Dell P/N 09886C|
|IDE 2||LG CRD-8482B CD-ROM||Dell P/N 0699YR, October 2000|
|IDE 3||LG GSA-H42N Super Multi DVD Writer|
Is including a VM a stretch for this page? Maybe! It was one of the first virtual servers I booted on OrionVM, and got it working using Michael B. Brutman's excellent mTCP stack. Today I keep it around as an ice-breaker for client meetings.
|Hypervisor||OrionVM Xen HVM|
|RAM||512 MiB||Minimum on OrionVM|
|Graphics||Cirrus Logic GD 5446||QEMU virtualised|
|NIC||Realtek RTL8139||QEMU virtualised|
|HDD||10 GiB||Minimum on OrionVM|
Palms (ne. PalmPilots, Pilots) were personal digital assistants sold in the 1990s and 2000s. They were lightweight, fast, had endless battery life, and synced easily with your desktop using PalmSync.
I loved PalmPilots when I was a kid. I didn't have to track contacts, business expenses, or tasks, but what self-respecting nerd wouldn't want a small computer the could carry around in their pocket? I downloaded games, BASIC interpreters, books, and the AvantGo package that let me read web news on the go.
This is my small collection of Palms, mostly from family. I'll admit I use the ones with removable batteries more often, just because AAA cells are so much easier to source and replace. My roommate at uni lost my first III, but I managed to replace it! They also all have protective cases.
|IBM Workpad 20x||1998||160x160 greyscale||2 MiB||Rebadged III, bought from eBay|
|Palm IIIx||1999||160x160 greyscale||4 MiB||My first Palm|
|Palm V||1999||160x160 greyscale||2 MiB||Dad's work Palm. Needs new battery|
|Palm m515||2001||160x160 colour||16 MiB||My mum's. Needs new battery|
|Palm Tungsten W||2003||320x320 colour||32 MiB||My first smartphone! It was dropped :(|
|Palm Zire 72||2004||320x320 colour||32 MiB||My mum's. Needs new battery|
|Palm LifeDrive||2005||320x480 colour||4 GiB Microdrive||Bought on eBay in 2022|
Components that aren't currently in a machine. Probably for testing, a future build, or nostalgia in their own right.
|AOpen PT75 Plus II PCI, S3 ViRGE/GX, PCI||Q5C4BB 86C385|
|Diamond Viper V330 RIVA 128 4 MiB, PCI||Testing Win31 driver limits|
|Tseng Labs ET4000AX 1 MiB VGA, ISA||PN 9201 Rev A1|
|Sound Blaster 16 Value||Our first sound card!|
|ESS AudioDrive ES1868F||From my P1, but have IRQ conflicts|
|NEC USB D720101GJ, PCI||29931461-003009 V1.1|
This is the config for my DOS boot disk, which contains benchmarking and diagnostic stuff. This should be made into a menu.
@ECHO OFF PROMPT $p$g PATH A:\RUBEN;A:\TOOLS;A: SET DIRCMD=/A/O:GEN/P SET TEMP=A:\TEMP SET TMP=A:\TEMP GOTO %CONFIG% :MINIMAL GOTO END :FULL LOADHIGH A:\DOS\DOSKEY.COM /INSERT :: http://adoxa.altervista.org/shsucdx/ A:\TOOLS\SHSUCDX.COM /D:JIMKLOSS :: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=72553 A:\TOOLS\UNISOUND.COM :END
[MENU] MENUITEM=MINIMAL, Minimal Boot MENUITEM=FULL, Full Boot (HIMEM, EMM386, Drivers) [COMMON] [MINIMAL] [FULL] DOS=HIGH,UMB LASTDRIVE=E DEVICE=A:\DOS\HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF /VERBOSE DEVICE=A:\DOS\EMM386.EXE RAM I=E000-EFFF NOTR VERBOSE ;; http://www.kegel.com/nansi/ DEVICEHIGH=A:\TOOLS\NNANSI.COM DEVICEHIGH=A:\TOOLS\VIDE-CDD.SYS /D:JIMKLOSS
My special thanks go to the following amazing people and projects, without whom this hobby wouldn't be possible:
This is part pie-in-sky, part shopping list, part thinking out loud.
By Ruben Schade. Last updated 2023-11-18.