I was watching a YouTube video where someone was talking about his new acquisition, and he commented that he thought the operating system might be too new for that PC. So I thought maybe a list of recommended operating systems for vintage PCs might be helpful.
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When talking about retro computers or any other collectible, sometimes you’re run into the term period correctness. What does it mean?
Period correctness is simply a term that means correct for the era. It means that an accessory or add-on came from the same era as the item you are using with, and the two items likely would have been used together when they were new.
The Media Vision Pro Audio Spectrum 16 was a popular 16-bit sound card in the early 1990s. It attempted to do to Creative Labs what Creative had previously done to Ad Lib. When it’s didn’t meet that goal, the company became infamous for securities fraud. Two of its executives served prison terms.
I’ve been messing around with Windows 95 on a 486 PC. When people think of non-optional bloat and windows 95 or 98, they usually think of Internet Explorer. But there were two non-removable components in the original Windows 95, when internet explorer was an afterthought in the plus pack, that date from Microsoft’s ambition to supplant Lotus Notes and AOL. Let’s talk about how to remove the inbox and MSN, and reduce the minimum requirements to 17 MB.
Why would you want to do this? Disk space isn’t a problem anymore, but the bloat does slow down Windows 95’s FAT file system. There’s no software you want or need to use today on a retro Windows 95 build that needs these components, so they are just wasting space and slowing down your disk. Even if you’re using a solid state solution. I covered this back in 1999 in my book, but it doesn’t seem like the information is easy to get anymore, so I want to revisit it here.
Another vintage computer enthusiast was showing me some interesting items when the topic of expansion slot buses came up. If you think PCI is confusing, wait until you hear about the things that came before PCI. Let’s dive into the slow and confusing world of ISA vs EISA vs VLB.
The Intel 486DX-50 is a chip that puzzles many people when they encounter it. Intel released the chip at the end of June 1991, as its top of the line CPU. It wasn’t one of their success stories. Within 6 months, the DX2 chips came out. Those chips are extremely common today, because they were extremely successful. So let’s look at the 486DX-50 versus DX2, and why the DX50 failed.
The 486 SLC2 is an oddball 486 chip made by IBM. It isn’t something anyone seems to talk about much, maybe because I’m the only one who finds its story ironic. It’s the story of a proprietary upgrade that found second life on clone motherboards. Except the clone motherboards were made by IBM themselves. If IBM made it, is it still a clone?
Strictly speaking, plastic can’t rust. By definition, rust is iron oxide, the combination of iron and oxygen. But plastic can combine with oxygen and oxidize. It’s not rust by stretch definition, but it’s the same concept. Here’s why it can happen, and what you can do about it.
What is the best retro network card? I will nominate the Intel 8/16 LAN Adapter. Depending on exactly what you need, there are other cards that can be just as good. And there are certainly faster cards. But the Intel 8/16 LAN Adapter is the most versatile. And it’s not terribly expensive.