Author Topic: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much  (Read 1580 times)

Online VinDSL

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COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« on: April 10, 2020, 12:05:12 am »
Anybody else going crazy yet -- hunkered down behind closed doors?  >:(

Show you how bad it is here... I spent the past two (2) days restoring a 20-year old (winders W2K Pro) computer, and bringing it up to 2020 specs -- by fully updating the OS -- haxoring its ancient 32bit kernel -- installing a browser that handles modern-day SSL/TLS encryption, and so forth. On top of all that, current updates are still available for its 7 year-old version of Avast! anti-virus software.

Hell, this thing hadn't even been started since March 8, 2013 (according to log files). I had to blow the cobwebs and mouse droppings out of it with a 120 psi air compressor before starting (thank gawd for N95 masks), and replace the dead CMOS battery, before cranking it up.

Truthfully, if somebody had told me (2 days ago) that winders W2K Pro would work on the Peppermint OS website(s), I'd be able to watch 4K videos on YouTube, and all the rest of it, I would have called BS  :))

Anyhow, here are some screenies, in case you're going stir crazy too -- thought you might get a chuckle out of my lunacy...












Offline rayzer

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2020, 02:59:31 am »
i have an xp machine from 2005 i still use for music purposes only but might stick a linux distro on the second drive and see what i can use it for. makes no sense for it to just sit there
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Online VinDSL

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2020, 10:42:24 am »
makes no sense for it to just sit there

"Just sit there", as in: We're all in this together?   ::)

Or, old machines sitting there, collecting dust?    :D

What are you guys doing to while away your time?

Offline 151tom

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2020, 07:04:17 am »
If it wasn't for old computers I wouldn't have any computers to use these days.

I use computers from 2009 as I have parted out my old single core computers except for one home build from the early days of Windows XP.

It isn't been used for many years although I do have plans to resurrect it again to the Windows XP computer it was built to run and install all of my Windows XP software on it and use it for when I need to use Windows only software.

I have at least 25 desktops that were given to me throughout the years setting on a shelf in my shop.

Of that 25 desktops 6 of them are killer gaming computers discarded by hard core gamers who no longer found them usable for gaming.

I use the oem prebuilt desktops for Linux and install small footprint low resource Linux distros on them as my computer everyday computer needs are minimal so they fit the purpose and work great.

I prefer old desktop computers to the newfangled desktop computers built these days as old desktop computers were built to last and from my experience do last so no reason to not use what I already have.

The Wife and I have been retired since 2017 and have zero problems finding something to do around the house.

For us hunkering down at the house isn't that hard for us although we do miss going out to the places we use to frequent regularly with others we know.

Unfortunately we must do what is necessary to stay healthy and get through this Coronavirus pandemic.

The Wife and I try to make the best out of everyday have and pray that a cure comes soon.


Life is good.  :)





“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” - Mark Twain

Online VinDSL

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 11:31:18 am »
I prefer old desktop computers to the newfangled desktop computers built these days as old desktop computers were built to last and from my experience do last so no reason to not use what I already have.

I've been building/refurbishing machines since '82.  Only reason I can think of is... bad caps. And, it's a biggie!

You probably already know this, but for the sake of discussion:

There was a period, around the turn of the century, when Taiwanese manufacturers used industrial espionage to steal Chinese plans for an upcoming state-of-the-art (SOTA) electrolytic capacitor design. The stakes were enormous, and they eventually sold this new process to other manufacturers around the world.

The problem was (and is), the plans they originally acquired were incomplete/unfinished. The Chinese discovered a flaw in the electrolyte composition, almost immediately, and corrected it before (their) implantation. However, Taiwan, and the rest of the world, were unaware of the flaw, and ran with it.

Many, many, many computer components built from 1999-2007 suffered from these 'bad caps'.

I've been doing this stuff so long, I can literally smell 'bad caps'.  Forget the visuals. Bulging/leaky caps have a very distinctive, acrid, and pungent smell -- it's the smell of (electronic) death.

I can smell bad caps a mile away, so to speak. How about you?

One of the risk indicators for COVID-19 is lack of smell...   ;D

EXTRA CREDIT READING: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

Offline 151tom

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 04:58:21 am »
I prefer old desktop computers to the newfangled desktop computers built these days as old desktop computers were built to last and from my experience do last so no reason to not use what I already have.

I've been building/refurbishing machines since '82.  Only reason I can think of is... bad caps. And, it's a biggie!

You probably already know this, but for the sake of discussion:

You are exactly right.

Bad capacitors on motherboards and in power supplies along with the other issues that come with cheap power supply design which can and do sometimes do take out a working motherboard.

Many, many, many computer components built from 1999-2007 suffered from these 'bad caps'.

I've been doing this stuff so long, I can literally smell 'bad caps'.  Forget the visuals. Bulging/leaky caps have a very distinctive, acrid, and pungent smell -- it's the smell of (electronic) death.

Yes I remember those times and it provided a good income for me who recapped a lot of those motherboards.

We used to purchase brand new unopened motherboards with a complete capacitor kit from manufacturers.

I learned electronics in the days of vacuum tubes and hand wired point to point chassis when electronics was made to be repaired when it did fail and then still used for years afterward.

I can smell bad caps a mile away, so to speak. How about you?

Yes.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 05:04:25 am by 151tom »
“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” - Mark Twain

Offline 151tom

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2020, 06:37:12 am »
I use computers from 2009 as I have parted out my old single core computers except for one home build from the early days of Windows XP.

It isn't been used for many years although I do have plans to resurrect it again to the Windows XP computer it was built to run and install all of my Windows XP software on it and use it for when I need to use Windows only software.

My oldest desktop.

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“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” - Mark Twain

Offline rayzer

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2020, 07:26:08 am »
bad power supplies were a problem too, ive had at least 3 die on me over the last few years.
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Online VinDSL

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2020, 10:12:15 am »
Well, dang. It looks like we've all been doing this stuff for quite awhile  ;D

[ I'm getting ready to do a 'curbside pickup' at the grocery store. ]

The thought just occurred to me...

Do you remember when Linux first hit the scene? It was a curious concept, but useless toy IMO -- sort of a DOS clone.

At the time I already had 10 years of 'computer experience' with PCs at home, and a mainframe at work. Plus, I was running a multi-line BBS, from the abode.

Without getting into all that -- as I was sitting here, waiting for the missus to get ready -- I was looking at the W2K Pro screenies above.

Hang in there, I'm getting to my point   :D

When Linux first hit the streets, 'they' were trying to figure out what to do with it. Linux was a laughingstock, in the general computer community.

Linux was going nowhere, so Linus and the devs took the bull by the horns and decided to make Linux OS the best server software in the world -- much to the chagrin of the Linux desktop community.

[ Okay, Honey, I'm typing something here. I'll be right with you. ]

Okay, guys the fuse is lit, and the heat is on...

Bottom line: It amazes me how much W2K Pro looks like modern-day Linux desktops.

BBL

Offline 151tom

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2020, 01:08:08 pm »
Yes we have been doing this awhile.  ;D

I started using Linux in early 2014 prior to Windows XP EOL so by the time I started getting into Linux it was quite dveloped and easy to learn and I cut my Linux teeth on Debian Wheezy 7.xx and been a Linux user since.


My first computer experience was on a TRS 80 and it had an 8 inch floppy drive and that was sometime in early 1980s learning how to write machine language.

I learned quickly that wasn't for me and understood why most of those guys were burned out in the head and I definitely did not want to become one of them.  ;D

In early 1990 I went to work for the State Department as a bench tech repairing terminal monitors and computer boards from the mainframes and everything else electronic related.


I remember Windows 2000 Professional and liked it and it worked great and I was sad to see it go however it didn't take long before I liked Windows XP just as much and Redmond seemed to have their act together back in the day.


That's funny "the fuse is lit".  ;D
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 01:22:41 pm by 151tom »
“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” - Mark Twain

Online VinDSL

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2020, 03:42:46 pm »
Bwahahahahaha!

Last might, I made 'the mistake' of allowing my 2013 version of Avast! Anti-virus software do a full 'Safe Mode' scan. It's been working okay in 'Real-time Mode', with the updated (March 2020) virus definitions.

Wrong!  It supposedly found a virus embedded inside a .gz backup of my website, from 2005.:))

I chose 'Ignore', and that's all she wrote.

Subsequent restarts and multiple power-down reboots failed to recognize me as a registered user. Every time I tried to login, it created a new user, with default settings on everything.

It's funny how one's mind works. I obviously haven't used RegEdit in W2KPro in at least a decade, but I found the problem(s) in the registry, after an hour or so, and fixed them. Everything was back to working, except the background images, during the boot process and sitting at the desktop. So, I went back into the registry and fixed those, too. Now, it looks better than ever.

Manually haxoring the registry was always a daunting task for me, because I only had to do it ever year or two. Evidently, I must have retained its contorted winders logic, somewhere in the back of my head. This time, it wasn't so bad.

Remember those days?

Guess I'll install ClamWin and tempt fate, again:  https://is.gd/UnaB4A

Offline 151tom

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2020, 06:06:54 pm »
Remember them days very well and glad they're gone in my world.

Clamwiin is good I've used it for many years and now only as a potable every now and then when I have a doubt.

My Windows boxes aren't allowed to be connect to the WWW so anything that gets inside of it is something I let in from a usb thumb drive.

I just like having a Windows XP box available because of all of the cool software I have for Windows OS.

The other reason I like having a Windows XP box is there are certain things Windows OS can do better than Linux.

“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” - Mark Twain

Online VinDSL

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2020, 08:09:29 pm »
My Windows boxes aren't allowed to be connect to the WWW so anything that gets inside of it is something I let in from a usb thumb drive.

I just like having a Windows XP box available because of all of the cool software I have for Windows OS.

The other reason I like having a Windows XP box is there are certain things Windows OS can do better than Linux.

I hear ya!

The only XP I've ever owned is the XP Home install, that came with my Asus Eee PC netbook. And, the only reason I keep it around is for maintaining the print server, on my LAN.

Print servers are renowned for being finicky, unstable and high maintenance. Netgear, for some odd reason, made the situation worse. The only way one can access the print server settings is through a proprietary Netgear program. The only OS the proprietary program works with is winders XP.

And, no, I don't connect XP to the web. I learned my lesson about that.   :D

I've fixed a lot of machines, over the years, for friends and coworkers -- all winders machines, of course.

When XP went EOL, a coworker told me he wanted to buy a REAL copy of Windows XP Pro, before it disappeared and have me install it on his lappy. He said he'd been running a bootleg copy for years. While he loved XP, he said the bootleg copy had always given him fits, for this or that reason.

He asked me if I would buy it for him (he couldn't find XP locally) and he would pay me back. So, I ordered a retail version of XP Pro from Newegg. I had never even seen a boxed copy of XP -- only bootleg copies on burned CDs.

When it arrived, I opened the box, plugged an Ethernet cable into his lappy, and went to town. I couldn't believe how simple it was to install XP from an official installation disk. It was pretty much the same as installing a Linux OS using Ubiquity.

The plan was to install XP first, then immediately download anti-virus software and install it next. However, I never made it that far. As soon as XP was booted, it would instantly get a virus. I lathered, rinsed, and repeated the installation process 3 or 4 times, with the same result(s) -- viruses before I could download a virus protector.

The last time I installed XP, I did it without the Ethernet cable attached. I downloaded the anti-virus software using Peppermint, and put it on a USB stick. Then installed the AV software using the USB stick, before connecting his lappy to the web. Bingo!

Lesson learned. XP was/is the virus champ!

Offline 151tom

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2020, 03:09:22 am »
The plan was to install XP first, then immediately download anti-virus software and install it next. However, I never made it that far. As soon as XP was booted, it would instantly get a virus. I lathered, rinsed, and repeated the installation process 3 or 4 times, with the same result(s) -- viruses before I could download a virus protector.

Lesson learned. XP was/is the virus champ!

I never had a problem installing Windows XP on any computer and never had a virus from installing Windows XP  on a computer.

I never had problems with viruses or malware using Windows OSs except for the one time I opened a file I downloaded and BAM I was infected.

The only reason I don't have my Windows XP boxes connected to the internet is because Windows XP is no longer supported.

I know many people use unsupported OSs which just ain't a good idea regardless of what brand OS it is and besides it just ain't smart.
“Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.” - Mark Twain

Online VinDSL

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Re: COVID-19 Project: I Think I Like Old Machines Too Much
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2020, 11:18:46 am »
The only reason I don't have my Windows XP boxes connected to the internet is because Windows XP is no longer supported.

I know many people use unsupported OSs which just ain't a good idea regardless of what brand OS it is and besides it just ain't smart.

Agreed!   ;D