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About Maes

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    Here's an old post I made on the subject,

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  1. ...wait until you see the PC XT I'm tinkering around with this period ;-)

    Ph34r t3h sp3cs:

    V20 CPU @ 8 MHz
    8087 FPU (recently added)
    512 KB RAM (damn...not even the eponymous 640 KB :-( )
    5.25" 360KB disk drive
    21 MB Seagate hard disk with ST-501 interface, WDC controller card
    CGA graphics
    Monochrome white monitor (recently added, all previous ones were burned out)
    150 W double height AT-connector PSU (imagine a modern PSU twice the normal width).

    Unlike the other Pentium boxes, this one has quite a story: I have it in my basement since 1996-something, although a sticker on the case says "1988", donated from a private school. It can play almost all CGA-era games of the time, as long as they can fit in 512 KB of RAM, and I had even put the 8-bit soundblaster on it, which worked flawlessly: it was even able to play music modules with a super-optimized player, Galaxy module player.

    It can boot from the hard disk, and was just catching dust in my basement until I recently decided to see if I could get 8088 corruption to run on it.

    The major problem now is getting software to/from it. I have a spare 360 KB drive and plenty of 360 KB disks (that's how I transferred software to it back in the day), but nowadays Windows XP just doesn't work properly with low-density drives, even if you set them up correctly. Windows 98 works better, but I have no installation of it handy somewhere.

    So...after a lot of trial and error I connected a 3.5" 1.44 MB drive to the XT's existing floppy controller (which only "sees" 360 KB disks!) and it manages to format 3.5" disks (with the Double Density hole covered) as 360 KB (probably 720 KB single side). Windows XP read those normally, although forcing it to format 720 KB disks is a little tricker:

    works for me. The catch is that you must be careful not to exceed the first side of the disk, where the XT can't read it (weird however how the 2-headed 5.25" 360 KB format is automagically mapped to 3.5" 360KB single side :-S )

    I'll post here as I manage to bring more shit accross.

    1. Show previous comments  24 more
    2. leileilol
    3. Maes


      It plays them, but I have to drop the sampling rate to get consistent playback all the way. 4-channel mods play fine upwards to 32 KHz, depending on the song, with 22 KHz being handled fine for everything.

      For 8-channel, 11 KHz works best for everything, with a few handling 15 KHz as well.

    4. leileilol


      Try turning off the VU meters. Even old computers choke on those more than the actual sound processing