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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-08 5:56 PM (#807 - in reply to #806)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
Win2K is too new for this thing. I went for NT4.0 and Win95C, works well enough though there are still a few small issues.
Not a huge fan of 2K anyway, it works, but that's about it. I never really used it, sticking to 98SE well into 2005 - and I was stuck with Chicago really at that point due to having nothing but that 486-33 for almost a year, only had a P2-266 running 98SE by the end of the wait for the Pentium D where I finally had to move from 9X... I'd still use 9X if I could preferred the interface hugely, Win10 isn't too bad though.

Colecovision? So you're one of those guys huh? Pah! Intellivision rules! :D

Still never got around to trying MIDI with my ST, still haven't gotten to the bottom of the huge library of games it came with. Definitely liked the Amiga 500 better to be honest, though for music production (outside of modules) the ST takes it, I'm sure, as it was behind a lot of music in the 80s/90s, generally Atari ST+Korg O1+Akai S1000/2000 in smaller studios.
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CyrixInstead
Posted 2017-07-08 6:28 PM (#808 - in reply to #807)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Harris 286

Posts: 21
0
DXZeff - 2017-07-08 5:56 PM

Win2K is too new for this thing. I went for NT4.0 and Win95C, works well enough though there are still a few small issues.
Not a huge fan of 2K anyway, it works, but that's about it. I never really used it, sticking to 98SE well into 2005 - and I was stuck with Chicago really at that point due to having nothing but that 486-33 for almost a year, only had a P2-266 running 98SE by the end of the wait for the Pentium D where I finally had to move from 9X... I'd still use 9X if I could preferred the interface hugely, Win10 isn't too bad though.

Colecovision? So you're one of those guys huh? Pah! Intellivision rules! :D

Still never got around to trying MIDI with my ST, still haven't gotten to the bottom of the huge library of games it came with. Definitely liked the Amiga 500 better to be honest, though for music production (outside of modules) the ST takes it, I'm sure, as it was behind a lot of music in the 80s/90s, generally Atari ST+Korg O1+Akai S1000/2000 in smaller studios.


I've never really known a thing about computer music on a personal level, beyond growing up through the 70's/80's where everything had synths, I have no musical talent whatsoever.
Yep the Amiga 500 was a better machine than the ST, at least for most games hence I bought one, it seemed incredibly powerful for the time. However for all serious use of a computer I used a Amstrad PCW, first a 8256, then later got a 9512. I worked for a local newspaper at the time and Amstrad PCW CP/M was what we all used with Locoscript. It was the predominant computer and program of the era, not least because of the 80 column hi-res built-in monitor and the printer bundled. Locoscript was really good though and had tons of free or very cheap enhancements for journalism. Funny how it's almost forgotten today.Sadly I don't have either of those machines now. It seems strange to thing back now to how I ALWAYS had 3' blank discs with me.
My first computer was a Commodore VIC-20 back in 1982! I still have that one too with a load of stuff
Dad had first an Acorn Electron, then BBC model B, after that together an Apple II europlus and IBM XT from his work, apart from the Acorn's they weren't that interesting to me apart from ELITE on the Acorn's.
I bought a Oric Atmos 48K from money earned doing chores in the neighborhood(mostly washing $ polishing cars) from co-op for £49 with a bundle of tapes, this was 1984 when Oric were going under and CO-OP closed it's big shop here. I did a lot of BASIC programing on that little red and black machine at the time.
The next machine I bought was a Sinclair Spectrum 128K with the big heatsink on the side, it was also VERY cheap(for the time) after Sinclair had been bought out by Amstrad, Rumbelows was the shop I got that, for again £49 I think.
I used to copy games for Spectrum with a tape2tape boombox onto the free tapes you got from Esso garages for petrol purchases and sell them at school to buy cigarettes, my first business, did a roaring trade by copying the albums of the time too, duran duran, A-ha,and old rock like Rush, sabbath and zeppelin, DIO etc!
As for the Colecovision, I bought that about 12 years ago, I had always wanted one when they were new for that brief period where consoles were a thing. It's a nice little machine, my pal in USA got me some modded controllers for XMAS one year, straight cables and rounded sticks and that really helps. I have the TURBO module too, steering wheel and pedalthat is lots of fun.



Edited by CyrixInstead 2017-07-08 7:03 PM
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-09 9:25 AM (#810 - in reply to #808)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
I don't have musical talent, I have bash keys until something sort of works.
Indeed, I'd heard of Amstrads being used in a work environment before, it seems fitting for them really.

The first machine at home was a Pentium, Socket 4, my father bought it for his business which was doing fairly well at that time - but only for that short time, he wouldn't have been able to afford it again a year later. My uncle also built a 286 not long before then. Otherwise none of us owned one, though there were still Spectrums and such on the street for quite some time. The school still used Apple 128s until around 1997/98.

The Intellivision I obtained around 8 years ago out of pure curiosity, it was quite cheap and came with the box and all. I have the voice module but very few games for the system, contemplating looking into whether anyone made a flash cart for it because the games are far too pricey now. No idea what people mean when they say the weird controllers aren't comfortable, they are if you hold them properly and were far better than those crappy CX-40 sticks the Atari had at that time. In fact, whilst the orientation is different, your hand position and the operating principal of the directional disc are much the same as controllers which came later. For one thing, you move the CX-40 stick with your right hand and press the button with your left, whereas the Intellivision controller has you use your left thumb for the disc, your fingers curl around to the trigger and your right hand handles the function buttons, like nearly every control pad today.

----------

I think I'm done with the PPro, so many reliability problems. I had a crash trying to run Atlantis in NT (Deciding to do as I said a long time ago, compare it to how the game runs in 95) and the system now infinitely reboots. I've changed out so much hardware and seen the OS installers so many times now that I'm sick of it, might move the video to the Pentium II or something and just briefly cover the PPro's problems in it. I didn't have a use for the system anyway, really, the K5 and P2 surpass it on either side of the scale. Never had a chance to get to know this machine before as I had to borrow parts for more important things after its original video, now I know it is unreliably. Could be due to the pre-release CPU I guess, no idea. Anyway, it was nice playing with it, if only for a short time, but I do think the platform was a big mis-step in Intel's part, there's no getting around the PMMX and Pentium II were much better systems and it might well have cost them further, taking up valuable time and resources which might have been used to realize the Celeron would suck and thus not lose so much market share to the K6 / MII when that appeared.

For now, though, I'm probably going to play with synths. I have to automate my backing tracks and parameter changes for my schooling of the guitar man.
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-07-10 4:07 PM (#811 - in reply to #810)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



AMD 5k86

Posts: 132
10025
dang dude, you broke your pentium pro already... I kind of doubt the processor would be to blame unless it is not entirely compatible with the MB because it's the 1MB cache version, which btw, I did some benchmarks between my 1MB and the 256K Ppro and there was little to no difference in performance which was very disappointing. I'm sure in some obscure configurations and software, there might be but for casual use and gaming, nada.

Edited by waybacktech 2017-07-10 4:09 PM
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-10 7:38 PM (#812 - in reply to #811)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
I'm not 100% certain that it's busted, but it did take a hit in the move. Probably going to try it at someone else's house, because I remember my Athlon behaving like this when the motherboard couldn't ground to the case properly and we already know what the grounding is like in here. However, if it turns out to be damaged, I then have to seriously question if that might be breaking things. I am doubtful that running Atlantis in an adequately cooled machine would break anything like that. An interesting problem did appear beforehand where the PnP system seemed to break and Windows suddenly had to re-detect everything when it started up, and I mean in-depth stuff like "Motherboard Resources" and "System Speaker" as well as IDE controllers and whatnot. Unless I'm wrong, device information (Interrupts and such) is stored in some kind of NVRAM or Flash, if this is true I have to wonder about the level of EEPROMs and such I've seen break, like are they actually breaking or are they just really susceptible to ground faults. I'm not entirely sure that's how it works though, need to do some research.
Whilst I had no use for it, I bought the PPro simply because it's a fascinating platform that didn't last long, another even-numbered socket with unusual, sometimes questionable qualities to compliment Socket 4¹. I won't give up on it so easily, I'm just tired of it for now.

It does seem that filming will move to the Pentium II, but still covering the PPro briefly first as there are interesting aspects of the hardware if nothing else. I'm not happy with the P2 either, but I was never going to be, it probably works as well as I could expect it to aside from my still being suspicious of the Yamaha card. (Recording versus another XG device, possibly mis-labeled as it may be my MU. That MIDI was played on my old 724 in the video on that card though and it sounds closer to the 724 file here).

My guess with scores would be that the benefit is in SMP and applications using large amounts of RAM, probably not unlike the Xeon E5 today which doesn't fare well at all in UP systems - their difference being more in L3 cache. A lone E3 will keep up with or even outpace an E5 in regular workstation tasks like video encoding, but the E5 will show its true power when running a number of VMs, especially with its multiprocessor capabilities. From what I can gather, ASCI Red used the 256K version of the PPro though... who knows.

¹ I have to wonder if Intel is superstitious because other than those which end on a ten (though an odd ten like Socket 370, 1150) most Intel sockets in later years end with an odd number, as did their most successful ones earlier on (3, 5, 7, 775 for example) where their less successful types were even (4, 6, 8, 478 springs to mind). There are exceptions in recent years, but I find the idea amusing... "Socket 774? No! Don't do that! Put an extra ground pin on it or something!"

Edited by DXZeff 2017-07-10 7:39 PM
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-07-10 9:08 PM (#813 - in reply to #812)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



AMD 5k86

Posts: 132
10025
I don't know, Socket 8 seems to me to have been much more successful than I originally believed, only because of the number of processors that have been on the market over the years even after so many have been melted down for their gold and the fact Intel put together a special P2 with full speed cache just for Socket 8, seems like it was successful enough I guess. Of course it carried such a heavy price didn't help market share, but still, damn there are a lot of them that were made it is amazing to me.

I think the wiring in your house is killing, or at the very least causing issues with your computer equipment. Maybe you are just cursed with getting nearly dead equipment all the time, but I kind of doubt that's the reason. Vintage hardware is usually pretty robust.

I've had that problem with PNP before too, that for some reason everything gets reset and windows thinks all of the hardware is new. I have also had that happen with Windows 98 if scanreg thinks there is an error and restores the registry on boot, then windows practically goes back to the beginning of it's history and detects the hardware all over again. Anyway, point being, I don't think at this moment that there is anything bad on the motherboard that would have caused that issue, although if that keeps happening then it would point to probably hardware, then I would maybe suspect quirky memory corrupted something before I'd suspect the motherboard. I mean, it's not like we are talking about a pc chips motherboard you are using with your Ppro so... I'd have a hard time believing it is broken, but with grounding and other power related issues, who knows what that would do to a motherboard over time. Seems to me it would cause at the very least stability issues in the short term, periods when the motherboard just turns into a total moron.

I never thought about engineers at Intel being superstitious before but that's something to maybe keep an eye on. I wonder if that would carry over to dates for their product releases..

744 vs 724... wouldn't the 744 sound the same as the 724 since it is basically the same chip just with a 3.3v pci spec?

Anyway, I think the 724 sounds better, not counting the background hiss of course of the 744 Close.. very close though. I'm not sure if that is enough difference to call it a fake or not though. Maybe just a tweaked sound font programmed into it? idk... close, but 724 sounds better to my ears.

Edited by waybacktech 2017-07-10 9:19 PM
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-10 10:15 PM (#814 - in reply to #813)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
My suspicion basically goes that they're not broken, they are merely misbehaving because the operating conditions are wrong. My shed is grounded, I wired that, so I'll test it out there tomorrow and see if the problem goes away. Unfortunately I can't record out there, too much work and I'm not sure the circuit could handle the load of everything running at once like that without throwing a breaker, at the very least it would encroach on the limits of the circuit as I couldn't use a very high gauge wire and thus set things up to trip earlier than they would indoors, it was only meant to run the light and one tool at a time, I have to shut the heater off in winter if I run much more than a drill.

There's something up with that 744, it seems to be using only GM drums and possibly only GM patches despite the XG SysEx being triggered correctly in the MIDI, sound quality is noticeably worse and most effects don't work. It sounds like a low-end GM chip attempting to sound like an XG chip. I did turn on the options in the control panel - the layout is a little different to the panel for the 724 I had and the 744 drivers from that package don't work with this card - but changing those options doesn't do anything so far as I can hear. If it is a copy, it's a good one, but not good enough. Given the odd SPDIF circuit, something that wasn't needed on the 724 to achieve a digital output, I have to wonder if it wasn't a case of ignoring Yamaha's spec and more so that they used a different chip that didn't have those features out of the box. With the luck I seem to have it could just be broken, I don't know, it works but it rules out my using the machine for music production as I can't use the XG synth to test things for the MU90R and the card is too noisy to record with, so back to the 386/K5 setup again I guess. Seems to handle games fine, but not in DOS.

My luck with these things used to be terrible, I thought that had ended, it did for quite a while, but it seems the bad luck is returning. I'm still not convinced that it isn't just the crappy electricity supply, except the sound card.
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-07-10 10:35 PM (#815 - in reply to #814)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



AMD 5k86

Posts: 132
10025
If you feel electricity when you touch the computer case as you mentioned before, wouldn't that mean one of the lines is shorting to the ground wiring of the house?
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-10 11:38 PM (#816 - in reply to #815)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
I only feel it if I touch something else that the power can flow to. I have as yet failed to track down where the current is leaking from and short of smashing the walls up to tear the conduit out and look, there's not much I can do. The council (and their contractors) have a habit of simply not connecting the ground wire up properly, or at all, they are quite notorious for just stuffing "that pesky green wire, you don't need that one" behind the joists and coiling it over. If it were connected then the circuit would shut off if significant leakage occurred as the RCD would detect the imbalance and throw its switch. This can only happen if the current flows somewhere it shouldn't, and the earth wire is clearly somewhere it shouldn't be flowing, the imbalance would throw the switch. If the earth is not connected, current cannot flow and therefore the RCD cannot detect the abnormality.

Earth is usually tied to Neutral beyond the consumer unit, which would still be adequate for the RCD to detect a fault, because it would leave currently flowing either somewhere it shouldn't, or flowing the wrong way in certain circumstances. At the very least, the ECLB should throw in this case, assuming they installed one - I don't think those are mandatory and I didn't pay much attention, because I don't think the problem lies here.

If the fault lies with the earthing to the building, that is the responsibility of the property owner and not the electrical supplier. The property owner has made it clear they don't really care to fix these things and if I get someone to do it, I get fined for unauthorized tampering or some such by the property owner, namely, the city council. The ground definitely makes it as far as the earth bar, because the water pipes also connect to this and they are confirmed grounded, so the fault could be anywhere between there and any given outlet which isn't connected as that could disconnect the entire ring should it be at the start of the circuit, or if one either end is missing the connection, those between them also lose their connection. If the wiring here is radial, and it was messed with recently enough that it might be - there are at least three coloring codes alone, let alone revisions to regulations over that time - then losing connection in one place could disconnect grounding for the entire circuit. It may be possible to test the latter simply by disconnecting the circuit temporarily and feeding something into the ground pin, then seeing if I can close a circuit between that socket and another, but without knowing how they were actually wired it won't be easy to pinpoint a problem, even if I do find one. I do know that some are missing the wire entirely, so unless they earthed the back box and the sockets happen to tie the earth to the screw holes, those ones certainly won't be grounded.

My current solution would be hooking grounding to a nearby radiator, but I need to find the leakage first, otherwise this will merely produce sparks and throw over the RCD. I know the DX7 leaks, really badly, they're known for it, so I don't leave that plugged in when I'm not using it... which is practically never because it's a horrible thing that barely works anyway, regardless of ground faults (it doesn't actually connect to or require grounding, something illegal for metal chassis appliances now). If it is something of mine, I'd suspect an MOV to be going bad, but I recall the problem being there before I moved in. If it isn't I suspect someone tied the earth wire to neutral early and forgot to hook it up at the consumer unit (or left it off on purpose when the breaker kept throwing itself) or otherwise, something became conductive somewhere, possibly water in the conduits or something stuck inside an outlet. No idea as to why the level seems to vary from time to time. My solution is also potentially very dangerous, because if the earth strip is not grounded, or the radiators develop a fault, then they could become live and, as the building is 99% copper, the taps would do the same as there is enough metal in the broken combi boiler to carry the current from the CH lines to the DHW. I don't mind endangering myself so much, but endangering guests isn't something I really want to do. Even if it did work, I'd still have other problems, several light fittings don't work or one thing.


Short version, I still don't much like this place. For what it's worth, I'm in contact with a solicitor at the moment because I'm tired of the council dragging their ass about it, they owe me big time. I didn't ask for this, I was happy where I was, now I'm stuck here with cardboard walls, a lack of basic facilities, absurdly high bills, surrounded by screaming kids and all night parties while having crap thrown at my windows for no apparent reason, coughing my guts up with half of my shit missing that I can't replace. And they wonder why I've been actively trying to find the bastards that took my stuff to smash their teeth in, or why I threw out everything bearing a Siemens logo.
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-07-11 1:23 AM (#817 - in reply to #816)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



AMD 5k86

Posts: 132
10025
Have you noticed the grounding problems on all of your outlets or just some of them?

Personally, i'd probably lop off the ground prong on the computer cord. Seems safer that way to me. Might even fix your stability issues as well.
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-11 12:29 PM (#818 - in reply to #817)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
Most of them. The entire living room, the main bedroom, most of the kitchen. There is one outlet in the kitchen which seems to be grounded and the back bedroom above that also appears to be grounded. Boiler isn't (it should ground through the copper, but regulations still say it must be grounded electrically too), outdoor light isn't though it may just be high enough to dodge that rule.

Cutting the ground pin off would mean tampering with the cable or PSU. If I remove the pin from the plug, the plug cannot be inserted into the outlet. I can jam the outlet open, but I'd rather not do that, did it once before and it ended horribly.
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-07-11 5:24 PM (#819 - in reply to #818)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



AMD 5k86

Posts: 132
10025
seems like the outlets who's ground is hot are not connecting back to the main ground at all and one wire got connected to ground somewhere. just an idea from what you're saying. I'd think the problem would lie with the wiring on an outlet, switch or lamp, unless the problem actually exists in the electrical box itself with how the circuits were wired and one was wired accidently to ground. If something is shorted in the wall that would be a problem to get at but it still would seem like you'd have breakers popping all the time if the ground was truly connecting back to the main ground bus.

Power supply usually has the ground cable from the plug screwed to the casing inside. That can be removed and just tape it up, not a big deal to do and shouldn't really look as though it was tampered with, or you might be able to get some electrical tape around the pin itself of the cord or plug in the psu.
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-11 6:02 PM (#820 - in reply to #819)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
I have just come up with a more elegant idea. I have an old 4-gang extension cord that I don't use, it seems the plastic dummy earth pin from an old adapter plug will fit the plug on that. Assuming this is possible, I could try using that and therefore wouldn't have to risk modifying something I care about, or leaving the faces of any outlets open when it is unplugged. The problem then is being careful what I'm linking the devices running from that cord to, one cable between a PC there and one which is running from a hot ground outlet and things could turn nasty very quickly.

An interesting artifact I have noticed, is that some of my PSUs won't turn on at all if the "ground" is connected - presumably by design, so it's actually neat that they do this. This is mostly supplies I have that were made for use in the US and Asia though, it's easier to isolate them on the other side of the step-down transformer due to some of the cable adapters I use.

Edited by DXZeff 2017-07-11 6:03 PM
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waybacktech
Posted 2017-07-11 9:36 PM (#821 - in reply to #820)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



AMD 5k86

Posts: 132
10025
What about modding a power strip?
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-11 9:56 PM (#822 - in reply to #821)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
Basically what I'm doing. It occurred to me that as this is a plug which can be opened anyway, it will likely be easier to just do that and remove the earth wire, or else insulate it from contacting the pin. Should be fairly trivial;
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DXZeff
Posted 2017-07-17 12:58 AM (#823 - in reply to #822)
Subject: Re: Recently Played/Bought/Messed with



Rise MP6

Posts: 262
1001002525
Location: Hull, UK
Yeah, Pentium Pro not playing ball. Also the sound card in the Pentium II has lost its right channel intermittently and sounds really weird when that channel does work. Also, the system runs really well;


I'm taking a break from this and putting all my time into sequencing and other things. The only crap thing there is, it means I'm still stuck sequencing with machines that aren't very good at it at a less comfortable desk, because I can't use the Pentium II now.

Whether this PPro+P2 video ever happens I can't be sure at this point, though I'd feel crap for breaking the promise I made to make one. I'll see what happens, but I am thinking more and more that I'm likely to focus on something else when I come back to it. This is becoming increasingly tiring.

I would like to state that I don't dislike the Pentium II at all, it seems like a good system and I think the video card issue is down to the driver version, so I'll dig in my archives when I get a chance. I also still suspect the PPro is only acting up because of no grounding, even without the ground being hot it probably does expect there to be an actual ground, it wouldn't have been designed with these conditions in mind and therefore, can't be blamed when strange things happen operating outside of said expected conditions. Have to wonder if that "Yamaha" card was just faulty from the start though.

Edited by DXZeff 2017-07-17 2:03 AM
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