I spent most of Saturday in attempts to make at least one working PC from several older machines. There was a buch of machine that were used by me or by my family: a Pentium @150 MHz, an AMD K6-2 @233 MHz, a Pentium III @1000 MHz from Dell and some parts from other machines.
All of these machines are younger or as old as the computers that I use today (these PeeCees are from 1997-2002 and my SGI O2 is from 1998 and the SGI Indy is from about 1995 at best).
Actually I don’t need PC that old: my DOS-related stuff can be handled with the Psion MC600 (with bonuses of absolutely quiet operation, portability and a looooong battery life) and the rest can be done on the SGIs. I wathed to do two things: a) review the hard drives in order to find some missing old data, b) do some speed comparison between PCs and SGIs. I was also curious how (and if) the Minix3 and the Plan9 will run on such hardware (the Minix at least boots but I didn’t tried the Plane9, yet). Also I knew that the Dell is non-working but I tried to ressurect it as well.
The results are somewhat poor: too much parts were already dead. So finally I have managed to make a semi-working computer of this setup:
- processor: Pentium at 150 MHz
- RAM: 128 MB (4×32 MB)
- gfx: S3 Trio
- HDD: 2 GB IDE
- CD-ROM: a 40x CD-reader
- floppy: 2 are ainslled (5.25″ and 3.5″) but none is working
- case: a 386-era one (it had better quality and was more compatible than newer ones)
At the end I put the thing back to storage. Maybe I will find more time later to install sometring working on it.
P.S. I tried to attach the IDE harddisks to my IBM Intellistation Pro E. It is a thing thal looks like a real computer – it’s black, it has a SCSI and so. But it isn’t. It is a PC (Pentium II – based). And, yes, it is possible to attach an IDE disc. But when I did that then it startet to book from the IDE device only and it totally ignored the main SCSI drive. It’s BIOS don’t allow to change the order of startup device (it is possible only via an utility for Windows – which is useless in this case becouse the box runs the Debian). When I disabled the IDE devices in the BIOS (which was the necessary to allow boot from SCSI discs) the these devices were (obviously) invisible from the OS…