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/tech/ - Technology

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Hello tech! Recently I have been feeling a bit nostalgic as of late and I am looking to build a computer with the best specs I can put in it that will still be reasonable and run windows 98 for nostalgia and classic computer gaming purposes. The only issue I am having trouble with is where, exactly, to start. I was around during this time, but, I was not exactly very tech savvy. I am curious if anyone would have any ideas for how this build should go. What case should I use? Hard drive? Floppy drive? Etc etc.

Would enjoy to get this off the ground. I think it would be a neat project. If you have any advice let me know. Thanks, tech.


why would you waste your money on old junk when you could just run old software on your current pc?


my tech advice is to use virtual box


I unironically built computer with late 90s Pentium few years ago. I was going through psychosis and my thinking process was that I'd rather fry less than $300 CAD then fry few thousand building my first computer. It ran openbsd okishly before my basement got flooded.

What you should do is just go to ebay and look for vintage processor. finding compatible motherboard could be bit more of a challenge tho. After assembly, just grab old windows installation images from archive.org (like here https://archive.org/details/win98se_201607) and you can have your own time machine to comfiest time in human history


>Old junk
Dos games look better on a Tube Monitor than on an LCD or High Res Display anon. They also sound better on soundcards that were designed for that time period. It's the same reason why people still play playstation 1 on a ps1 on a tube TV. It just feels better. Also I love computers just in general and I think having a workspace that reflects the old 90's aesthetic would be a neat and interesting project.

Based. I was also thinking about buying a fucking 80's computer for lurking BBS and Gopher and shit. What do you think about that?


eh if you are just in for the feels not engineering part of vintage computing it might not be a bad idea to buy old macs. I have powerbook G4 somewhere that runs debian. debian dropped support for 32bit powerpc so I have to migrate to gentoo whenever I get time to do so.

My plan is to cross compile kernel and packages on my modern machine so I don't accidentally kill aging hard drive.


>Dos games look better on a Tube Monitor than on an LCD or High Res Display anon.
>It's the same reason why people still play playstation 1 on a ps1 on a tube TV.


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86box is better then a virtual machine if you just want to play with old emulated IBM compatible machines, though it is far more ambitious then other computer emulators like those for the Mac and Amiga due to the shear amount of hardware there was for the IBM compatible. There is also IBMulator if you want a PS/1 emulator.

The downside of running real retro machines is by now you have issues with dead capacitors, leaking batteries and disks and drives being bad.


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Maybe try ReactOS because it doesn't have the vulnerabilities that 98 has now. ReactOS works on old hardware and is an open source OS that is supposed to be binary compatible with Windows.


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Anyone have any emulator recommendation for the TRS80?


Don't do it bro. Don't become a retroomer. Resist the nostalgia meme.
Either run it in virtual box, or on a Raspberry pi using Dosbox.

I got my fix of Amiga nostalgia using Raspberry pi, and it was a cheap way to get it out of my system.
Put the pi in a full ATX case if you have to, but definitely don't get addicted to buying crusty cum-stained hardware off ebay.


This. You can emulate more than just your Windows 98 box. You can go further back to things like PDP-11s, there are even Raspberry Pi cases that look like PDP-11s with working switches.


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I agree, while old hardware is nostalgic and has a pleasing aesthetic, it is not worth it. Those running old machines have switched to solid state solutions to remove the headache of dealing with old drives yet even then there is the issue of dying capacitors and leaking batteries making restoring and maintaining old hardware a job onto itself. You are not going to have the same experience as those using the hardware back in the day, the meantime between failure is much higher now without a complete rebuild. At least emulation allows you to experience old software without added issues.

Someone did make a working C64 in VRChat but I think VR is a tad excessive and it would be nice if there was something like PC Builder Simulator but for retro machines.


Retrooming suffers from the purity problem.
All group retroomer projects fail, because they fall out badly over an often minor disagreement over how true to the original it should be. Compromises are always necessary, because parts have been discontinued or are super expensive.
The 8-bit people are the worst because their computers used custom graphics hardware that has to be emulated using a microprocessor that's 100x more powerful than their old CPU.

While the group problem doesn't apply to you, the core subjectivity problem remains. How much is down to the tactile experience of inserting a floppy disk for you personally? All serious retroomers use modern storage because they eventually concede that old storage was absolutely shit.

You might want to start with just playing the games alone, to see if you actually care about Windows 98 which was always unstable because of shitty drivers, and IE4 integration.
I found my old games to be manky and unplayable because they're missing modern affordances. The low resolution wasn't endearing on a modern LCD, and it just reminded me I'd played the games to death anyway.


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>All serious retroomers use modern storage because they eventually concede that old storage was absolutely shit.
Is shit, drives and disks are now long past they expected service life and in no way represent how they were when they were new. Today new mechanical drives and media are cost prohibitive where modern storage solutions are cheaper, more reliable with them being also faster being a side benefit that sometimes are negligible due to bottlenecks elsewhere in the retro system. Yet this is where the purity problem starts as the logical conclusion is having a bog standard small form computer that emulates the old computer and fits in a replica case.


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The USB stick floppy drive emulator exists right in the middle of that uncomfortable purity spectrum for me. They even make ones that emit fake floppy drive noises.
That's not to shit on your project OP. At least your nostalgia project can be built. That has always been the beauty of *personal* computers. Everything goes to shit the second your nostalgia project requires active participation of other people.

For group stuff, it's best to accept that the past is a place you can no longer visit. You lived in Rome. Visiting ruined temples, or a museum, or throwing a toga party are not going to be acceptable substitutes.

(Actually the historical reenactment example might be bad, because that community has some of the worst purity fights ever)


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Not OP but for group stuff I think virtual is safest route to go for nostalgia. It makes sense to feed virtual disks into a virtual computer where disk images are models of disks and the drive is a model of a drive. Though it is not a new idea, it is just a number of frontends don't think much about the physical they are representing other then how to show the image when it was meant to be shown on a CRT.


Virtual is exactly what purity spergs are most opposed to.
Minutes after making that last post, I came across some people arguing about setting up a retro arcade cabinet. Practicality of running a particular retro game, vs not having the hardware to run it and having to put a x86-64 running an emulator in the cabinet.

And since you posted a c64, most c64fags won't accept an emulated SID chip because it doesn't sound exactly like it did in their childhood.


Yes because they focus on the physical artifacts from that time while on the opposite end those making VR frontends for emulators are focusing on the experience.


And that's why I'm anti-nostalgiafagging, and avoided going down that potentially very expensive rabbit hole.
By the way, if you make a perfect VR experience then nostaligafags will complain that it doesn't replicate the correct smell of body-odor from a real arcade.


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Old hardware is fun. Don't listen to the "noo don't fall for the meme" because there is no meme, just don't fall for eBay prices and dumb nostalgic bait, do it because it's fun, interesting and a good way to learn and make friends.


One of my dream projects is to make a sleeper PC using the case of a old IBM 5150 or a similar looking clone case.

Or is it’s possible, make a custom computer case that looks similar to it, with a woodgrain look to the top and sides of the case.


Collectors make the IBM 5150, 5160 (XT) costly unless you find someone selling a busted one for parts or manage to get one from a recycler that still get computers that old.


So I guess my best bet is to make a custom computer case that looks similar to it?


You could look at those sold for parts, also XT clones even in working condition tend to be cheaper.

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