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Everything posted by TrevMUN

  1. I found this site explaining how it works from a thread in 2014, though honestly even after looking at the referenced Proximotron itself I'm not too clear on how ProxHTTPSProxy solves the issues.
  2. So far @heinoganda has been updating and revoking root certificates for Windows XP in conjunction with a certificate updating tool he's written. I can confirm that it does solve some issues with getting browsers to work; my XP32 laptop, Etesia, had been in RMA limbo for the better part of a year and when she came back, I found that some web pages like Wikipedia would not load in Chrome due to SEC_ERROR_OCSP_FUTURE_RESPONSE, which made no sense as her date and time were accurate. It turned out that her root certificates needed updating, and after that, any pages which refused to load due to that error worked as usual. EDIT: Ooooor I could have gone back a page and saw that you were just talking about heinoganda's tool. Whoops. @hidao, when this happens, are you getting an error like ERR_SSL_VERSION_OR_CIPHER_MISMATCH? heinoganda has another tool which might help: ProxHTTPSProxy. I used it to solve the issue with FFXIV's web-based launcher adopting TLS 1.2 and thus not allowing XP users to log into the game a few years ago; I noticed when ProxHTTPSProxy is active that Chrome-based browsers could visit sites that normally throw a cipher mismatch error. (The Mario 64 wiki, Ukikipedia, is one example.) However, when ProxHTTPSProxy's running, any Firefox-based browser gets "security risk" warnings for any page you attempt to visit.
  3. If it's any consolation, my Dad used to have a Commodore 64 that I loved playing around on as a kid, at least before I got introduced to the NES and SNES. One reason why I've been looking into all the projects to make new C64s, I kinda want to make one too. Emulation's a bit annoying given how the C64 keyboard layout is so different from the 104-key US QWERTY layout. When my Dad was still in the Air Force sometimes he'd sometimes take me to his office and let me play games on his IBM PC or mess around in Paint on Windows 3.1. Scorched Earth was one I remember the most. Not to mention, Apple has a reputation when it comes to letting users repair their hardware. Louis Rossman has been one of the most vocal critics on how Apple handles things. One of his recent videos on the current state of things. Making your own "Hackintosh" was viable for a while, though that might be a reason why Apple was motivated into developing their own silicon. This guy found that trying to make a Hackintosh comparable to current Macs in price ends up falling short in performance.
  4. You'll probably want a TITAN Black, then, if you can still find one. From what I can see, that's the most powerful card which supports CSAA. You'll take a little bit of a performance hit switching from your 980 though. Perhaps if you're lucky to find two TITAN Blacks, you could run them SLI and make up for that. EDIT: In fact, I just went and checked eBay, and it looks like there's a handful of people selling them. As of this edit, there's three bids on someone selling two of them for $205 each.
  5. If you're being offered a Titan X Maxwell for dirt cheap, I'd say go for it regardless. Based on user benchmarks you'll probably see a 25% performance boost. At any rate, my control panel says 8x is the maximum, and provides options for FXAA and whether or not to anti-alias transparencies (and if so, at what sampling rate).
  6. What would the procedure be for doing that? I haven't been able to get around the ensuing Error 1012 that occurs when attempting to launch FFXIV's game client after using XomPie. From what I can tell, just having the XomPie DLLs present in SysWOW64 is enough to get FFXIV to run again, but only if the executable is pointing to XomPie's kernelxp.dll. Alternatively, using the zernel32.dll trick I learned from community officials for XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Enemy Within also works if the XomPie DLLs are present in SysWow64. But still, though the game will launch, attempting to get to the character select screen results in Error 1012 with either method. I did try completely re-downloading and reinstalling the game to a different drive, as some have suggested works when they encountered Error 1012 in the past, but it didn't help.
  7. Hey @ntfoxy, I was curious since you've developed these quality-of-life programs; have you ever looked into/know the cause of why XP tends to shuffle the "z order" of programs/windows? It's a peculiar issue I've experienced on both XP32 and XP64, in which clicking on a program in the taskbar or alt-tabbing often causes a different program to pop up as active, completely unbidden. If you tab back and forth between programs a lot as I do, it can be an annoyance. I've been told it's caused by programs that launch in the background or start as minimized, but I don't think there's any real way of avoiding that. Using "Show the Desktop" sometimes mitigates the problem but more often than not, programs will just randomly Restore themselves.
  8. There was a reason I had mentioned the kernel extension projects. The group working on OneCore API has had success getting the XP family of OSes to run DirectX 10 games. There's a few other screenshots like that on their site. I would have given OneCore API a spin already, but before I do that I plan on backing up my system just in case. And to be clear, I don't doubt that getting Cyberpunk to run on XP would be a tall order. It's not very high on my list of priorities, but hey; apparently CDPR provided some assistance to Windows 7 users wanting to run the game, even though 7 doesn't have DX12 support. It would be an interesting challenge to see if some combination of these tricks could pull it off.
  9. I'm not sure. I tried looking up "PC2-5300S-555-12-A3" in hopes that maybe it could help me decipher what each part of that means specifically, but all the search results turned up the exact model of Samsung RAM in question. Curiously I can't find that module listed on Samsung's Product Finder, either.
  10. The amount of memory your GPU has, I think, doesn't impact how much ram XP32 sees. The GPU's RAM is only used by the GPU. My XP32 laptop, Etesia, always reported around 3.5 GB of available RAM regardless of whether she had 4 GB or 8 GB, at least until I installed the PAE patch. Nowadays she reports 7.57 GB of RAM. I'm not sure but I think that's because XP doesn't count whatever memory is necessary for the system to run. Glancing through the CPU-Z report it appears that the RAM modules for both your XP and 7 laptops are both DDR2 and have the same clock rate despite the different sizes involved. I've often heard that it's not a good idea to mix and match memory modules of different sizes or manufacturers, however. Looking around online, it seems like this advice is only really applicable to older systems. Crucial's own website says: "Theoretically, if the other traits (generation, speed, latency, voltage) are the same, there should be no issue using DRAM from two different brands. Though some older DDR3 systems require matched sets of memory." The modules you have do appear to be of the same generation, speed, latency, and voltage. And it looks like your laptops already use a mix of modules from varying manufacturers, which suggests to me that you stand good odds of the 2GB RAM stick working in your XP laptop. I'd give it a shot; if you run into BSoDs where you had no such problem before, then it's likely the RAM doesn't agree with your system somehow.
  11. The wi-fi USB adapters I have which work with XP are the NETGEAR AC1200 USB 3.0 WiFi Adapter (A6210), the ASUS Dual-band Wireless-AC1300 USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter, and (most recently) a Panda Ultra WiFi (b/g/n) 150Mbps Wireless-N 2.4GHz USB Adapter which I bought because it's one of the few wireless adapters that also works with OpenBSD right out of the box, something I needed for an OpenBSD machine I'd been trying to set up. The ASUS adapter connects to the 5ghz band on my router just fine, and I believe the Netgear one would as well if I were using that at the moment but I've got it plugged into a different machine right now. The Panda one, though, is strictly for the 2.5ghz band. Be wary of that, since most wireless devices use that band, if you live in a suburb or urban area you're likely going to deal with network congestion on the 2.5ghz band. Also, I can't quite remember at the moment but I think in order to get the ASUS adapter working on my machine, I had to install Realtek's chipset drivers rather than ASUS' own. You'll want to locate the Realtek RTL8812AU Chipset drivers for it, if you go for that. I don't have a Windows 98 or Me machine with me at the moment, so I can't say whether or not these adapters would work for you on those OSes. However, you do have a third option if you can't do ethernet or wifi: powerline adapters. If you can't run an ethernet cable directly to the router, you can plug a pair of these into the wall sockets (one near your computer, one near the router) and then run ethernet cables to them instead. They'll transmit networking signals through the power lines in your house.
  12. As an aside, I found out I know one of the programmers at CD Projekt RED who worked on Cyberpunk 2077. Not very high up on the totem pole, mind you, but when he found out that my daily driver is an XP64 machine it not only encouraged him to consider running an XP machine of his own for grins, but he also encouraged me to try and get Cyberpunk running on my XP64 machine given the TITAN X Maxwell can actually run the game decently (but not great). Said it would make me internet famous, haha. That being said, I think you and @Mr.Scienceman2000 have the right of it here. In some respects it's possible to get away with using an older OS to run current software, and for that we have to thank the people who put in the work to keep the older OSes relevant. @roytam1 and the gamut of browser forks he manages, the various extended kernel projects, etc. So, @Tonny52: look into the projects for your desired OS and see who's done what. Manage your expectations, but as Scienceman said, "don't give up using what you like just because someone told you to do so." EDIT: Oh, and because I hadn't caught up on all the posts and saw this afterward: From the perspective of what @UCyborg said, there's people who continue to use the older OSes (like myself) because there's enough people who do have the agency (the technical know-how, time to invest, etc.) to assert some control over and resist the planned obsolescence of older systems. I can't speak for others as to why they personally use older OSes, but I can say that for me it was a gamut of reasons. XP64 uses the least amount of memory of all the Windows 64-bit operating systems of which I'm aware, which was a big deal for me in 2007 when I made the decision to go with that over Vista. I still really like having as much control over the RAM in my system as possible, even now with my system sporting 128 GB of it. Also, I dislike Windows 10's telemetry. I of course took all the measures I could to minimize it on the hand-me-down Windows 10 system I have, but even then if I can do something on XP64 I'd much rather do it there. Windows 11's TPM requirements are also a turnoff for me. I can't be the only one who remembers the "Trusted Computing" Palladium FAQ from the early 2000's ...
  13. Just an update for anyone who's curious, or for Tumagon or Skulltrail if they happen to read this. Still haven't heard back from either of them. I gave XomPie a whirl. It does indeed allow the FFXIV game program to launch again under XP, though there's two problems. One, no sound at all. This has been something reported even on Windows 10 machines with Endwalker's release, but the solutions provided don't apply to XP and so I'm not sure how to fix this. The more pressing issue though is that attempting to log into the lobby servers, I get an error that the game needs to be updated and it closes. People have run into this problem over the years and so I don't know if this is due to XomPie or just shenanigans from the Endwalker update. I did recently get a chance to test on a hand-me-down Windows 10 machine which previously had FFXIV installed, though, and that machine was able to launch the game. (Didn't test the sound, though.) Given my XP64 machine's the beefiest rig I've got, I'd very much like to continue to play FFXIV on that one, so I'll keep poking at this for a solution. I haven't yet tried OneCore API because I don't know how much it modifies the system, and how easily it is to upgrade or remove it since it's under active development. (XomPie, at least the version I have, does very little modding and can be easily removed.)
  14. Shot him an e-mail. In the meantime, I grabbed Dependency Walker to determine what's keeping FFXIV from launching on XP. It looks like there's four APIs responsible: AcquireSRWLockExclusive, InitializeCriticalSectionEx, InitializeSRWLock, and ReleaseSRWLockExclusive. I dunno if @TuMaGoNx is still around, but would XomPie address the lack of those APIs or is this going to take a more extensive approach?
  15. Oh jeez ... my condolences, Dibya. I know how it is to lose a parent; it took me several years to pick up the pieces mentally just from that. It's totally understandable to take time to process and sort things out. Is Samuka "Skulltrail192" on GitHub? I think I remember you said you incorporated your work on ExtendedXP into OneCore API a while back. Hoping things get better for you.
  16. So back in July of 2018, FFXIV's web-based launcher started using TLS 1.1/1.2 (not sure which) which prevented XP users from launching the game. Per @i430VX's suggestion when I posted about this problem back then ProxHTTPSProxy solved that problem, needing only to be running for as long as it takes to use the web-based launcher and then you could play as normal. Well, later in January 2019 SquareEnix officially announced they would no longer support the Windows 32-bit OSes or DirectX 9 with their then-latest expansion, Shadowbringers. However, it wasn't a hard lockout; they just said "you can still try to run the game, but if you run into problems, we won't help." I was pleasantly surprised to find out that FFXIV could indeed continue to run on XP back then. However, the party's over as of today. The expansion that launched today, Endwalker, now uses APIs not present in XP. So even though you can patch and log in via the web browser, once you actually launch the game, you get this: I wonder if @Dibya or the crew working on extended kernel patches have tackled this particular API, but this likely isn't the only one FFXIV now uses which would prevent XP running the game.
  17. So the past week I've been talking with some other folks I know about this situation; they're of the opinion that even the less expensive alternative phones in this list aren't worth it. They recommended that I just get a unopened Android phone that's a couple of years old and then "de-Google" it by installing a different operating system. I was pointed to some alternative smartphone OSes like LineageOS, and also found out about a fork called /e/ which aims to "de-Google" while still allowing access to Google APIs through free and open source implementation. Though, /e/ has a very limited set of devices on which you can easily install it. What do you guys think? If I went down this route, are there other operating systems I should look into trying instead?
  18. Hence one reason why I am so interested in these alternate phones. Probably the most frustrating thing about smartphones is that they lack the upgradeability of a traditional PC. This is also problem that exists in most laptops, although some companies like Framework have been working to address that. But even the phones designed for sustainability and repairability don't appear upgradeable. I can only assume that the modem for a smartphone is soldered onto the phone's SoC board or motherboard. It'd be so much nicer if you could swap them out and update drivers like you would a video card. I hate generating e-waste and generally I only get rid of hardware when it's absolutely beyond help. Even when the iPhone 5S no longer can be used on a network I'm still going to have the thing on hand for using Apple Store apps where I can, and as an emergency fallback. Apparently you can still use iMessage to text people over Wifi in addition to using the phone as a WiFi-only device. I have a friend from Denmark who told me that when he went to Canada (where is phone doesn't work at all) he was still able to get by through connecting to public wireless, so at least that option is there. That's actually the reason why I called it a "clown show" and didn't reference the pandemic, but I didn't want to open a whole new can of worms by expanding on that sentiment. Yeah, that's my concern as well. Predictions are that the 4G network will last for at least a decade from now, but I don't have a whole lot of confidence. I don't know if anyone sells these alternative phones in the area, or has one on hand. I think most people just go with the mainstream phones and whatever's offered by providers.
  19. The more I look into the whole 3G network shutdown thing and what that might mean for 4G, LTE, and so on, and whether or not any of the phones I've listed here (aside from the Fairphone, which explicitly says it's 5G ready) would work natively on 4G or 5G networks, the more I'm left with more questions than answers. For example, regarding my iPhone 5S. Through this article I found that there are four different hardware versions of the iPhone 5S (and 5C) that each have their own unique selection of frequencies they support. My iPhone is Model A1453, which supports the most frequencies out of that list, including UTMS and LTE. Though I think I just found an article which explains why the iPhone 5S is going to get left out in the cold in spite of being able to use 4G networks and seemingly supporting 4G frequencies. "To be clear, 4G LTE networks did not replace 3G UMTS but rather co-existed so that when a phone user is in an area where LTE coverage is not available, they can still access the mobile network through 3G UMTS." That's probably what's going on here with the iPhone 5S and 5C models. But I wonder if that's also true of things like the Volla, Pinephone, and Librem 5. Speaking of which, I found out about another alternate phone: Teracube, whose shtick is similar to Fairphone in that its mission is longevity and sustainability. Like the Fairphone, Teracube runs Android and has none of the killswitches in the Librem 5 and PinePhone. Though, given Teracube's company seems to be based in America, that should mean the phone would be better suited to using American networks compared to the Fairphone. The detailed specs on the Teracube 2E look like that this would beat out the Pinephone Pro, but not the Fairphone 4. One thing that concerns me is the mention of "4G LTE" as far as networking goes without any further detail. Last I heard this phone was going for $200, but it's sold out right now. Boy, it kinda sucks to have to worry about this kind of thing in the middle of a supply chain clown show.
  20. That would be great if it worked out that way! I guess it depends on how they go about decommissioning the networks. Once they start shutting the towers down and dismantling them, though ... This is one reason why I liked the idea of phones that allow users to replace the parts themselves, even upgrade them. At least then, there'd be the potential to, say, swap out the modem as networks and technologies change. At least with the iPhone 5S, even without a SIM card it's still possible to use non-cellular functions over wifi, so I'll still be able to get some use out of the thing even after 3G goes down. Yeah. I did some looking and it seems to be related to Sprint's merger with T-Mobile, at least for now. Though it does make me wonder why they're doing that. Several carriers, including my current provider, rely on Sprint's network. Speaking of that, I double checked and it looks like Sprint's revised their timetable for shutting down the 3G network to the end of March next year, not January. But I still wonder, if I were to get the PinePhone Pro, if one would arrive before the shutdown date. I'd still need to figure out whether or not my provider'll grandfather in a replacement phone into my current plan or not. (Probably not, but it wouldn't hurt to check.) Jeez. What phones was she looking at? I know the iPhone 13 lineup is well over the $1,000 mark. And Purism sells a version of the Librem 5 which is made entirely in America for those worried about supply chain shenanigans or espionage thereof that's right around $2,000 ... Purism even goes so far as to offer an "anti-interdiction service" to make sure no one slips spyware or backdoors into a phone during shipping.
  21. I tried looking into Jolla and although they list a number of Jolla-branded devices on their site, they only appear to sell licenses for the SailfishOS. I wonder where you'd even buy one if they don't sell them themselves ... I looked it up and found that 2G's getting the axe, too. Verizon already shut down their network, T-Mobile's slated to do so early 2023. Sprint's 2G network will go offline with their 3G network early next year. Also, Sprint's 4G LTE network is going down mid-next year. It seems like, if I want the most longevity out of my next phone, I should focus on one that's natively 5G. Yeah, I've had to get the battery replaced a few times. One annoying thing about these batteries is that they swell up with age. Which would not only be a fire hazard if they were damaged, but they also destroy other parts of the phone as they expand. The cell phone repair place I go to (I don't bother with the Apple Store since they charge a ridiculous amount and they told me upfront they wipe the phones regardless of whether or not there's software issues ... to heck with that!) had to swap out the screen on my phone when the original battery swelled up so much that it cracked the screen! But the battery and even screen replacements were relatively inexpensive, especially compared to buying a new (or used) phone. I'd been hoping someone would come up with graphene battery replacements ... Speaking of which I should look into a replacement battery for my laptop, since it barely holds a charge now. PinePhone Pro would be interesting, but I don't think I can hold out for it. it looks like the Explorer Edition won't be shipped to customers until early 2022, and my provider's 3G network goes down in January ... also, I wonder if the PinePhone Pro's modem can handle 5G natively or not. Yeah, I don't really understand them, either. It's already annoying enough to try and type on a smartphone's touchscreen, I can't imagine seriously gaming on one. I prefer a dedicated handheld gaming console, like the Nintendo Switch or the Steam Deck. (I've got a Switch in fact.)
  22. I mentioned in another thread that I've got a hand-me-down iPhone 5S I've been using since 2016. Originally I planned to keep using that until the phone finally breaks down irreparably, but to my chagrin I found out that due to the planned shut down of the 3G networks in America early next year, I've no choice but to get a new phone soon. So I'm wondering if anyone here who uses smartphones has recommendations. As far as usage goes, I'm not looking for some high-end phone that can double as a gaming device. I mainly just talk and text, surf the web, and listen to YouTube videos while driving via Bluetooth/USB hookup. I do use apps, especially now that some sites don't simply just do 2FA but specifically require you to use a security app like Duo Mobile or something. I've had some interest in alternative phones, and I'd like your opinions on those as well. I really liked Purism's privacy-oriented Librem 5 with its hardware killswitches that physically disconnect components, but it's ridiculously expensive for a phone that's roughly on par with 2013 phones and even then I'd be waiting well over a year if I ordered one. The Pinephone, which is all about open source and has some a (less user friendly) set of killswitches too, is a lot more reasonably priced ($149~$199) but it's still a phone with 2013-ish specs. I've read some comparison reviews on both, as well as a one-year review of the Pinephone. I also really liked the concept behind the Fairphone 4 since it's about longevity, repairability, and reducing e-waste, and for a phone that costs about $670 its specs are not too far behind current mainline phones. But the phone only ships within the EU and even if I could get one via a reseller, compatibility with frequencies used by American networks is iffy. There's also a Canadian company called Xfone that's refurbishing Google Pixel 3As, wiping Android and installing Ubuntu Touch on them instead (and using Waydroid to allow for Android app compatibility) ... but I wonder if it would be worth the $325 (in USD) compared to just getting a refurbished Pixel 3A for $150 and doing it myself ... if I can. On the other hand there's a German company that's come out with the Volla Phone, which does have a "worldwide" edition that would cost about $420 after customs, and apparently Volla OS does have Android app compatibility (with the exception of paid apps relying on Android Play Services, but I don't use paid apps). The warning that it's only CE certified makes me wonder if there would be issues getting one stateside. It also would have similar compatibility issues with the 4G networks in America as the Fairphone 4 would, as it uses frequencies 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 MHz. Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions on phones or opinions on these alternative phones I've been looking at, I could use some advice. I've got until the end of the year, since my provider's 3G network's going down come January 2022.
  23. Still using XP on two different machines over here! One as my daily driver and the other as ... my mobile daily driver, haha. And it's all thanks to you guys! Without MSFN I wouldn't have known about the SABERTOOTH X99 drivers I used for my main rig's latest overhaul, ProxHTTPSProxy, NoVirusThanks' OSArmor, and the multitude of XP-friendly browser projects. Or, for that matter, the PAE patch and the 2009POSReady updates available for XP32. I'm hoping projects like One Core API, or even the possibility of porting over ReactOS features, will help keep XP from not falling too far behind.
  24. Dang, and I thought I had a lot of hardware! The amount of computers I have has, ironically, dramatically increased since my career required me to move to California and go from room rental to room rental. Despite not having a permanent place to live at the moment! Starting with the machines I've got set up—and yes, I name my computers, haha: Palouser: The big one, an XP64 rig which handles everything from my excessive browsing habits, to illustration, 3D modeling, animation, and video production, and most of the gaming that I do. She's named for an infamous wind from the state where I was born. This computer's gone through many overhauls over the years. The current configuration is thanks to @XP-x64-Lover discovering XP64 drivers for the SABERTOOTH X99 motherboard. At the moment, Palouser's got a NZXT Phantom 820 case, an ASUS TUF SABERTOOTH X99 motherboard, an Intel i7-6950X CPU, 128 GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM (as 4 x 16 GB sticks of white Corsair VENGEANCE RGB, 2 x 16 GB VENGEANCE RGB in black, and 2 x 16 GB VENGEANCE RGB PRO sticks Corsair sent as a replacement when I had to RMA the other pair of black VENGEANCE RGB sticks) and an EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X 126-P4-2992-KR 12GB SC video card. Aside from that Palouser has two 1 TB WD Blue drives, but I've got a Samsung 970 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD I want to use as her OS drive. Just ... haven't set aside time to try and get that set up. The case is now the oldest thing in Palouser's setup, dating back to 2012 when I had gotten the case specifically because the previous case, an APEVIA X-Dreamer II ATXB4KLW, lacked airflow and was killing my hard drives. For her 2019 overhaul, I went for hardware that's about as good as I can get for an X99 chipset, with the TITAN X being the highest performing card the XP family can use (albeit with some .ini shenanigans). Etesia: My personal laptop, a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge e431 running XP32 Home Edition. She replaced an ASUS Eee PC 1005HAB (more on that later) in 2014; I got her from a custom PC building company, XOTIC PC. Etesia mostly handles tasks on the go, as well as some of my multimedia production work. I named her after the etesian winds in the Mediterranean, since that's an important wind for sailing in the Med and lends itself well to the whole mobile nature of a laptop. XOTIC gave her a custom wrap I designed that resembles Minoan Greek art. I had specifically sought out a model of laptop which allows the user to swap out the RAM and hard drive easily after what happened to the Eee PC. Such as it is, I've actually had to send Etesia back for repairs multiple times ... and more recently XOTIC's RMA team's work hasn't been great (usually damaging something in the process of fixing something else) so I'll probably have to take matters into my own hands in the future. When I first got Etesia, she had an Intel i5-3230M CPU with HD 4000 Graphics integrated, 4GB DDR3 1600MHz of RAM, and a Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 500 GB hard drive. She's also got a Matshita BD-RE UJ242 optical drive. For some reason the RMA team swapped out the perfectly-functioning motherboard and CPU for reasons I don't understand, though, which downgraded her CPU to an Intel i3-3120M. They added a second 4 GB DDR3 stick (different manufacturer though, so now she has one each from Corsair and SK Hynix) though, so after they did this I installed the PAE patch for XP 32 so Etesia can at least make use of all 8 GB. Marin: This is actually the first PC my family owned, a Gateway P5-120. I named her after a wind that blows in the Gulf of Lion. Marin's a Windows 95 machine that sports an Intel Pentium 120MHz CPU and I believe 16 MB of RAM. Offhand I forget the type of hard drive she's got. I keep Marin around not only as a memento to halcyon days but also to natively play games and run programs from the 90's that I can't run on other systems. Aside from having the original CD drive swapped out for a DVD-RW drive, Marin's otherwise unmodified. Some day, I'll probably max out her RAM to 128 MB. Maybe find a good 3D acceleration card from the era for her, too, turn her into a real old-school battlestation. Levanter: Back in 2018, Palouser's previous set of hardware started having serious problems. I still don't quite know what the culprit is, but it seems it might be heat stress on the motherboard, making running that hardware for too long without shutting down periodically and letting things cool off untenable. While I was trying to figure this all out, a friend of mine in the area gave me his 2013-vintage gaming PC since he'd been looking for someone in need of a hand-me-down and knew about my hardware woes. He put Windows 10 on there, though I took steps to strip out all the telemetry I could. This PC's very Corsair-themed: Corsair Carbide 500R case in black, ASUS P8Z68-V motherboard, Intel i5-2500K CPU, 16 GB (as 4 x 4 GB sticks) of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1333Mhz RAM with big blue heat spreaders matching the motherboard's look, and an AMD Radeon HD 6950 video card. For storage she's got an OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB SSD and a Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB HDD. All the Corsair parts and the pure black case inspired me to name her after the Levant wind in the Mediterranean after I found out that "Levanter" was sometimes used as slang for pirates and privateers. I mostly use Levanter for anything that Palouser and Etesia can't do. For now, that's mostly relegated to downloading updates for my Steam library and handling video conferencing. Ostwind: Palouser's previous setup included an ASUS P5Q-PRO TURBO motherboard with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU, 4 GB of 4 x 1 GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2 800 mhz memory, and an MSI N560GTX-Ti HAWK video card. Most of that dates back to 2009, although originally this setup had a GIGABYTE GA-X38-DQ6 board and a BFG Tech GeForce 8800GT that were lost due to an annoyingly (un)lucky lightning strike. Initially, when I first made plans to overhaul Palouser (especially once DDR4 RAM was coming out) I was going to use these parts in another computer for a different purpose; I'm no fan of tossing out usable hardware. The hardware failures that started happening in 2018, though, put to bed any notions I had of using the hardware for anything that would involve long uptimes. Still, the parts work, just that any prolonged use involves memory errors. Rather than throw the parts out (I hate contributing to e-waste) and because I always had a fondness for the Crucial Ballistix Tracer's blinkenlights, in 2019 I bought a cheap Compucase HEC HX300 case and spraypainted it gray and red, then got the old setup installed in that case. The Tracer LEDs look kind of like those that are on the ties worn by Kraftwerk in the 1970s, so I went full in on a paint scheme that resembled their uniform in those days. Red interior, grey exterior with red accents; I might even see about getting the acrylic window replaced with a transparent red one. The Kraftwerk theme is also why I named her "Ostwind," though it doesn't seem like people in Kraftwerk's hometown name a lot of the local winds. I had a Kingston Digital 120GB SSDNow V300 I'd bought for Palouser's 2019 overhaul, but when I found that Palouser's new setup works as-is with the current OS install on her WD Blues, I repurposed that SSD for the machine I now call Ostwind. Right now, I've been messing with OpenBSD on this machine. I might use Ostwind for anything involving PII, though given the RAM errors that occur from prolonged uptimes that might not be a good idea. We'll see, I suppose. Friagem: Something I wanted to do for a while was dabble in cryptocurrency mining, but not with brand new hardware or any of my main computers. Instead, I wanted to try and use older, inexpensive, second-hand hardware. Back when Fry's Electronics closed, I found out that a liquidation company was handling the sell-off of store fixtures, including decorations, tools, and a bunch of computers and peripherals. I was able to pick up one of the computers used for running a cashier terminal for $25: a late 90's/early 00's beige box case with a Gigabyte F2A68HM-DS2H motherboard with an AMD A8-7650K Radeon R7 APU. For RAM, the machine has two 8 GB as 2 x 4 GB sticks of Corsair Vengeance DDR3 ... unsure of the speed. Although the PC did have a Patriot Blaze SSD, I've set that aside since I don't really want to get rid of the original Fry's point-of-sale software that was on it. It's kind of like a digital archaeological artifact now. Instead I got a fresh, cheap PNY CS900 120 GB SSD and installed Hive OS on that. I was also able to get, for free, a broken Radeon R9 380 video card off of Craigslist. I figured it'd be worth seeing if I can still find a use for the card and keep it out of the e-waste garbage bin. Turns out the thing's video output is kaput, but it can still crunch numbers just fine. So, in addition to mining hashes, I could use Friagem to fold proteins or help SETI search for intelligent life, too. (Though I don't think I can do that through Hive OS, haha.) Given the whole "treasure hunting aspect" and the fact that the store where I got her (the San Jose location) is themed after a Mayan temple, that inspired me to name her after seasonal winds from the antarctic that blow in the Amazon. I only run Friagem occasionally, and generally only when the weather is cold and in lieu of running the HVAC. That way, I can save on heating bills. In spite of having only a single video card, Friagem's already mined enough ETC to pay back what I spent to get her going. Of course, it's not every day you find someone giving away a semi-functional video card ... These are all the PCs I've got set up for use, even if only occasionally. In addition to those, I have more here and in storage half the country away. I hung on to (what's left) of the PC my father was going to throw away, as well as the family PC that came after Marin (a Windows 98 machine that has an AMD K6 if I recall) ... I'm fairly sure the Windows 98 machine is toast but some day when I leave California I'm going to see what I can do with it. There's also an HP Pavillion ze5700us laptop I have in storage; used to be my Dad's work laptop until he no longer needed it. There have been times I used it as an emergency fallback, like when my ASUS Eee PC broke and I hadn't yet gotten Etesia from XOTIC, but still needed a laptop for doing college work. I posted about that back in 2014, actually. I still have that APEVIA X-Dreamer II case in storage, too, and maybe I can put it to use for something that won't require a lot of cooling. (It was the MSI N560GTX-Ti HAWK that was frying my hard drives when Palouser was still using that case.) There was also a Enermax Coenus computer case I got for cheap years ago, which I had planned to use for Palouser's 2009 parts. Now I'll have to think of something ELSE to do with that case; for a number of reasons, it wasn't feasible to get that case for building Ostwind. Speaking of, when I was looking for options to build Ostwind I had originally thought about just seeing if I could get a cheap used case, maybe one from the 90's. I never found any that would have been feasible, but in the process of trying to find one, I wound up being given a Compaq DeskPro EN (PD1006 if I recall) and a Dell Optiplex GX1, both of them never used. The GX1 was in mint condition, until something tore huge scratches into the top panel when I moved to my next room rental. P***ed me off. On top of that, before finding out about the liquidation at Fry's this year I had gotten an old banged up NZXT Source 220 case for real cheap. That was originally going to be the basis for a low-cost protein folding/hash crunching PC, but then I discovered the liquidation at Fry's. Maybe in the future if more dirt-cheap or broken but usable hardware turns up, I can put together a second PC like that. The ASUS Eee PC is actually in a box here with me; back in 2014, I'd run into a hard drive issue and was attempting to take the drive out so I could try and back up the data on it before the drive completely failed. Having never disassembled a netbook before, that turned into a nightmare. Especially when an SMD component snapped off the motherboard and disappeared. For that reason I don't think I can revive that motherboard, at least not by myself. It would take a specialist, I think, to figure out what's missing, get a replacement, and put it on the mobo. Once I finally have a place of my own I'd like to put some of that hardware in storage to good use. For years now, I've had a mind to take the old family Windows 98 machine (if it even works at all) and mod the case into something that you'd see out of vaporwave or Miami's South Beach, then use the machine as a centerpiece and jukebox that plays ambient vaporwave/synthwave music over speakers via Bluetooth. (Why Windows 98 specifically? That's the first Windows OS that supported Bluetooth if I recall, and Windows 98 features heavily in vaporwave motifs.) I might use the Optiplex GX1 instead now that the case had been damaged, but I preferred the idea of converting the generic "beige box." I'd been thinking about using the Compaq DeskPro as some form of NAS. Someone had done so with a different Pentium II machine using Debian 2.7; I also thought about using something like Kolibri OS, but I don't know if that OS has NAS functionality yet. I also mentioned recently (and I believe in past posts on MSFN) I had wanted to make a router/modem/firewall PC. @jaclaz had suggested a thin client for that. Truth be told, it's what I had originally wanted to do with the parts I used to make Ostwind until they no longer were fit for continuous use. Still, might be fun trying to see if I can throw together a low-power PC of my own. If I ever get a chance to have a home of my own, I'd also thought about installing some kind of smart home network that's not reliant on proprietary products and having a dedicated PC to manage that. Though I'd probably not get too crazy with it, and keep the system separate from the LAN and not accessible remotely for safety reasons. I've also thought about other purpose-built PCs. Especially due to the shenanigans with Steam no longer supporting XP yet still having lots of games which do run on XP, I'd liked the idea of building a Steam cache server that would let my computers download updates closer to home. ( @i430VX might remember me talking about that on Discord.) I want an excuse to find as many of those old UV reactive transparent computer parts as possible, and a Steam cache server would be a good excuse. I'd probably not actually use a blacklight in such a machine as I understand that they eventually cause UV reactive plastic/acrylic to fog up or go brittle, but a computer whose theme is solely "look as much like a plastic squirt gun as possible in as many colors as possible" would be one heck of a conversation piece. Aside from that, I've had a lot of interest in the Commodore 64 scene; now that they've got reproduction C64C cases, replica systems like the Ultimate 64 and the C64 Reloaded Mk2, and the Mechboard keyboard, all that's really missing these days is brand-new C64 keycaps. Perifractic found a solution with Legos, while someone's working on making replacement keycaps. (Originally these were going to have the same double-shot method to making the keys, but the pandemic threw a wrench in those plans.) ... Jeez, now that I look back on how much I wrote, I think this might have been overkill.
  25. That's a pretty slick documentary. The use of 3D assets and vintage clips set to narration reminds me a lot of Mustard's style. I remember seeing another video on Teletext, but I can't find it. It covered some of the games available over Teletext. I could have sworn Techmoan did one about it but apparently not ... Also, that moment when I realize that the "chat on Teletext via SMS" function was, in a way, an ancestor to Twitter. neo's observation that "Teletext is a good example that if the constraints of a medium are truly embraced, the result can be a unique visual language that fits extraordinary well" is one I would say anyone familiar with the demoscene or retro game development (and I'm talking actually developing games for old platforms!) would be all too aware. Watching the "making of" videos for the NES game Micro Mages, or the early MS-DOS era game Planet X3, are fascinating in how they discuss the constraints of the target platforms. That reminds me, I got a text from my cellular service informing me that they're shutting down the 3G network in a few months, and my phone is affected. I've got a hand-me-down iPhone 5S I've been using since 2016. Annoyingly, even though apparently the iPhone 5S' hardware does have native 4G LTE support, the phone cannot natively use a 4G network thanks to Apple shenanigans. I'd resolved to only switch phones until my 5S finally, irreparably gave up the ghost. Now I'm gonna have to get a new one anyway, and probably a new plan too, since I had a pretty sweet "bring your own phone" deal specifically for that device.

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