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About Drugwash

  • Birthday 07/19/1966

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  1. It may just have been pulled from a machine that had a hidden recovery area. Many manufacturers employed this trick of having part of the HDD turned into hidden area unreachable from the OS, where a copy of the original system was placed for full recovery when needed. The BIOS usually provided such recovery option hotkey at the POST screen. I had one such drive too, also 40GB (and may even have been a Maxtor like yours), and found it hard to believe the sticker saying 20GB while the original drive label said 40GB, so I searched the web and found details about the issue along with a free application that could restore the drive to its full capacity. For the life of me I can't remember the exact name of that application but searching for "HDD capacity restore" could provide useful results. It would be a pity to scrap a usable drive for only this reason, or even work with partial capacity when it can be restored to its full glory. A network-capable printer would be more suitable to a multi-computer environment. A few years ago when I still had money I bought a used Lexmark e352dn (printer only, no scanner) and hooked it to a local network hub, so both the XP and the 98SE machines were able to access it. Another advantage, crucial in certain cases, is that the device can be placed at long distance from any of the computers, even in a separate room, while USB and COM/LPT cables usually are limited in length, not to mention one LAN cable versus two means less clutter. Having it connected to a router with Wi-Fi capability would allow access to it from any machine with Wi-Fi capability.
  2. I'm in the middle of the city, hardly any wildlife here. With dozens of cats around mice and rats have no chance. Either my own cats brought the fleas from the vicinities or someone infested the area on purpose. There's a small barrel near the house where rainwater accumulates, I use that water for the few plants that survived in the house. In the summer there's also enough vegetation in the garden to harbour all kinds of insects. Main problem here is the world - what it has become and where it's heading to. After extrapolating I came to the conclusion this is not the world I've been dreaming of as a child and it sure doesn't fit my views, neither in the short term nor in the long term. So it's best we part ways sooner rather than later.
  3. Haven't heard back from my ex yet. Probably busy with her own life, she has an autistic daughter that needs constant supervision. I've had fleas for the last three years, thousands of them. More than 30 cats, mostly kittens at 2-4 months have been killed by fleas last year in only a couple of weeks, either by too much blood sucking or by certain disease passed on from one to another - including corona variants known to be common amongst felines. Believe me, this house would better be blown up and rebuilt, because cleaning it up - including dependencies around - would be impossible.
  4. Thank you for the encouragement. Checked the electricity bill, it may take another month before they cut it so I may still stick around for a while. My browser of choice for some time has been Pale Moon, which falls into the Other category. I always liked being in that category regarding many other aspects of life. Talking about browsers, the Wine IE - which actually uses a Gecko engine - cannot open certain MSFN links pointing directly to a comment number; it says: Could be an old version, or my settings, dunno - just thought I should mention it just in case. I have a fairly old Lexmark E352dn monochrome laser printer that used to work just fine under 98SE even when connected through LAN; it did require drivers though, but they were (maybe still are) available on the official site. Unfortunately after being off for a year or so it stopped pulling paper from the tray so now I'd have to feed it manually sheet after sheet. Can't find the drive (and strength) to open and try to fix it; the rubber rollers have probably hardened. If I recall correctly alcohol (isopropyl) softens rubber way too much and soon they could even lose shape, so I'd need another idea. Well, that's just in theory because... you know... my time seems to be too limited. As for smart stuff... well, let's say I have yet to find a device that could perform exactly the way I want - and not they way its manufacturer wants (which usually means backdoors, advertising, missing options etc.) So no thanks, I'm fine with my ~15 year old Huawei U1220s (WCDMA, not GSM) and for a while I also had a Nokia 2630 with a different operator. A few older phones are in a box somewhere in the house but their batteries are most likely dead, and would probably blow up if recharge were attempted. For reasons like what siria said above and others in various places also mentioned I'm so glad to be leaving this world soon.
  5. My house is almost uninhabitable for a normal human. Last year there were 42 cats confined in the hallway and not enough litterboxes - imagine how it looks and smells like, because I couldn't clean up anything. On top of that there's all the stuff brought in from my aunt's former flat, some didn't even fit and had to leave them outside in the rain, and now they're destroyed. There's no gas, electricity will be cut pretty soon, no connection to the city sewage so no daily showers or doing the laundry once every week, extremely poor heating in the winter... Oh, did I mention the hundreds or thousands of fleas every summer for about three years already, that drive one (that is, me) crazy because none of the available "solutions" on the market works? Or the mosquitos out in the garden, if one would think going out to breathe some fresh air would be a good idea? Who in their right mind would live here? Told you there would be much much more to say for a true and complete understanding of the situation, and that wouldn't help anyway because there is no solution. As for parallel universes and all that stuff, I was mostly joking - although I know about various theories in quantum physics and whatnot - but even it it was true and I got dragged from another universe and swapped with the real me that pertained to this universe, things are as they are, the past - in this timeline - happened as it happened, just like whatever happened to the other me in the other universe is their reality and their past now in their timeline. The future? Dunno, maybe I'll go back "home" and get buried with honors as in my home universe I may have been the president of the Earth Federation.
  6. Nobody should be starving anywhere in the world, actually. But things are way much complicated when greed takes over. Such discussion would soon become political and touch many other fundamental aspects of human society - something that would be out of place here in this forum. Never thought a simple fact of life would get so much momentum. As mentioned to someone in a PM it would take the whole story of my life plus my way of thinking and understanding of the world, of the universe, for others to understand why things are as they are - something I just don't have the time and strength for, and then it wouldn't help with anything other than your understanding and, maybe, acceptance. I've already died once back when I was three years old, and it wasn't a big deal. Doctors brought me back to life and I believe they shouldn't have; everything that happened backwards in my life since was due to that apparently good deed. Every decision I've ever taken for myself was wrong, even if there were nine good alternatives and a single bad one I would inevitably choose the bad one everytime. It's like I was sucked in a parallel, mirror universe where left is right, good is bad, and so on (anybody here watched the 1969 Doppelgänger movie?) Imagine living a life like that. Or maybe I'm just plain crazy (oh, not a politically correct word at all - as if I cared! ) Anyway, I really feel ashamed for stirring you all up with my problems, didn't want that to happen at all - I'm just too blunt and honest, a manufacturing defect. Let's wait and see what happens next, maybe my ex will manage to sell my grandparents' wedding rings which may gain me about an extra month or two of existence (couldn't call it living by any standard). Otherwise it's been an honor for me to be part of this kind and knowledgeable community here.
  7. Ah, should've spoken sooner - it's just been my birthday the other day (on the 19th), could've gotten a lot of nice presents. Just kiddin'. Fact is the utopia in my head clashes hard with the dystopia of the real world, and I just can't take any more of it. So everything is aligning perfectly. Please let's not make a big deal out of this, after all it's completely off-topic.
  8. Have you checked with the Device Manager to see precisely which memory addresses, IRQs and DMAs are used by the three controllers? I suspect there may be an overlap. Generic drivers may exist but they may not always provide any extra settings that the card may offer, at least not in a graphical interface. DOS drivers may be more flexible in that regard. Even now I remember the autoexec.bat settings for that ESS1869: A220 I5 D1 T4. The T bit stands for Type and T4 is for SoundBlaster Pro-compatible. Regular SoundBlaster cards use IRQ7 but that one worked better/natively on IRQ5. Dunno where I found the details, Internet was merely a dream for us back then at the end of the '90s. Well, many cards back then used to have physical jumpers or dip switches for various settings, others used well established values for memory/IRQ/DMA/etc that wouldn't overlap so maybe IBM thought they shouldn't bother with software settings that may not need changed in the first place. No idea what the truth was but I know the BIOS as a whole was overly simplistic. And another weirdness of that BIOS is that one enters it by tapping the Insert key, not Delete or any of the Function keys, but only upon cold boot or hard reset - upon a warm reboot there's no way to access the BIOS. Unfortunately they chose not to provide a Reset button on the case despite such socket existed on the main board, so I just dismantled the hardware case lock and put together a small board with a touch button instead. Worked as a charm! Thank you kindly but unless some miracle happens I won't live that long. My situation has always been unfortunate due to various factors, and it now seems to have come to the end. Well, better luck in next life... maybe.
  9. Unfortunately this discussion will remain academic to me because I'm literally starving to death and the electricity bill was due three weeks ago so no way I could buy that card - or anything else for that matter. Original Creative cards may be of better quality than others but there may be problems with driver compatibility and also certain models may not be correctly detected by some software (games etc). A friend of mine had such cards and he did complain quite a few times. I also stumbled once into a card pulled from a Dell machine (it had a Dell subsys ID) and just couldn't find a matching driver. That machine of mine had/has a custom IBM BIOS that does not allow one to change HDD parameters, it handles them automatically. Actually there's not much one can change there, it's mostly for viewing information. Regardless of the HDD capacity it will only report 528MB, which used to be a strange common limitation back then. Windows 95 could run just fine off that HDD but there was not enough free space for applications and storage. With the help of the IDE controller on the ESS card I could hook up a 1.2GB Quantum HDD and was a happy camper until that fatal "plug" day. Can't remember how transfer speed was, for a 486 DX66 operation was quite slow generally (originally was an SX25, had to replace the 50MHz quartz oscillator with a 66MHz one after upgrade because it wouldn't go higher than 50MHz). The three IDE controllers may have been the problem in your case, not a faulty HDD. The OS only allocates IRQ14 and IRQ15 for IDE if I recall correctly, and there may be other "fixed" things such as memory addresses, DMA etc that cannot be handled properly by Win9x when more than two IDE controllers are installed.
  10. The machine in question only had one IDE channel on the main board, which was detected by the OS as the primary channel. The IDE on the sound card was not detected by the BIOS but only by the OS (and designated as secondary channel), so one could not boot the machine from a HDD connected to that channel. I don't recall if there was any jumper on the sound card that would specifically choose which channel should the IDE be assigned to. If your main board already had two IDE channels then the OS would indeed have had trouble with a third one on the sound card, since only with the advent of SATA did the Windows OS start to acknowledge and configure more than two IDE channels - something the Win9x line doesn't do AFAIK. To mount an additional HDD to that particular machine it would need an extra IDE channel, either built into a soundcard or separate as an ISA card. The machine only has ISA slots and a VESA slot - no PCI. Any IDE2SATA adapters should be compatible with the old IDE/ATA standard employed by such ISA card. I vaguely remember having a few "newer" (at the time) HDDs that wouldn't be detected by the BIOS at all due to certain differences between the board IDE controller's standard and the standard used in the HDDs, so an adapter may face the same problem. BIOS hot swapping works but one must be extremely careful with every aspect of the operation. It's crucial that the chips are the exact same model or pin to pin compatible if they come from different brands/manufacturers. Sometimes they may be pin to pin compatible but operate with different voltage (i.e. 3.3V vs 5V, or 5V vs 12V), so that should also be taken into account. Two apparently identical main boards may use completely different chips so don't take board ID for granted. Accurate chip datasheets are mandatory.
  11. One can see all this "plug" stuff can be quite confusing for someone who doesn't master English perfectly or is somewhat tired and/or distracted at the moment. Technical terms can be tricky sometimes. Well, lesson learned - the hard way. Maybe PCI behaves differently than ISA, maybe that particular machine had some quirks, maybe it was bad luck on my side - who knows. I remember there was a weird sound, like whistling or something, for a second or two then silence. That sound card never worked again but the machine did, and I still have it stashed in a cabinet. Fired it up a couple years ago just for kicks, it was still working. I think it has another sound card, an ESS1868 I believe, but couldn't find one with an IDE controller so can't attach a secondary HDD. That I don't know, not sure if it would work but it just may. I know I did BIOS hot swapping a couple times in order to rewrite the chips that wouldn't start other boards, but that's a slightly different story. That would be correct according to Wikipedia, however in practice I personally never had any such problems. There may be issues for the OS when replacing previously connected device with a different one, mostly regarding mice, but a keyboard should not create problems other than the slower repeat rate as mentioned above. The current drawn by either device is usually low considering a PS/2 port can only provide 275mA. Certain boards provide protection - at least theoretically - through fuses, as I noticed few times while working with hardware.
  12. There used to be a few variations of Win95 including a pan-european one but never one for my specific language (Romanian). Either way the installer itself would have most likely still been in English (I may be wrong on that though). One could still set a few limited things like keyboard layout to their native language with the English version but I remember I had to copy over all fonts from the pan-european version in order to actually get the special characters in my language (şţâăî ŞŢÂĂÎ) to display properly. Thinking about it, the wording "while Windows is running" does sound peculiar. Windows can be running only while the computer is running. The correct wording shoud've been "while/after Windows is [already] installed" or something similar but I guess they never thought someone like me could actually plug in a card. Man, was I stupid!
  13. Yeah, that may well be the case. However, considering not everybody is a native English speaker a "device" can be anything in one's mind - including an ISA/PCI/VESA/etc card. As mentioned above there weren't many other types of devices that could safely be plugged in/out at the time so one could easily get confused. Well, you have now. Nice to meet you. BTW it wasn't a tower but a desktop, very easy to open: just press a button, slide the cover to the back for about 10 cm and pull it up. Here's a picture: As for hot plugging keyboard/mouse I remember the mouse could be a problem - as in not (re)detected - but keyboard would usually be (re)detected except for the speed setting that would be (re)set to default. There used to be a key repetition delay option in certain boards' BIOS that could be set to a lower value and it would work fine at power up or reset/reboot, but if keyboard - either AT or PS/2 - was plugged out and back in while the computer was running the value would be reset to the default high so keypress repeating became very slow.
  14. It was an OEM setup I believe, most likely a Win95 2.0 or 2.1 - definitely not a 2.5 because it didn't have USB support. All my HDDs - internal and external - are so packed right now that I couldn't find any spare space for a VM if I wanted to. Not even sure if the disc would still be viable either, after all that time and all installations back then.
  15. Laughable at. However the "you'll keep getting windows 95 updates" bit reminds me of an old mishap that I find hard to laugh at even now. Back at my beginnings as a Win9x user I was installing Win95 and later on 98SE quite often on the old 486 IBM ValuePoint, either due to hardware change, various viruses or whatever other reasons. At some point - I believe it was with Win95 but I'm not 100% sure anymore after 20+ years - during one of the installations I actually paid attention to the various screens advertising the "mighty features" that version had over "previous" version. Wish I hadn't. One of those screens mentioned Plug 'n play and I clearly remember it saying one could even plug in a card while Windows was running. A very unfortunate choice of words. Although I did have enough experience with hardware, and something at the back of my mind kept saying I shouldn't take that statement literally, some devil kept whispering in my ear I should try it. So when the OS installation finished I simply took my ESS1869 ISA soundcard and plugged it in with the computer on and Windows running - exactly as advertised. Needless to say the OS got screwed up and that wonderful card got instantly fried. Could never find another one like that (it had a built-in IDE controller that was crucial for adding a HDD larger than the max 528MB accepted by the BIOS considering the mobo only had one IDE channel occupied by main HDD and a CD-ROM, and it was correctly detected as Sound Blaster Pro by all of the games I was testing back then). So yeah, the 9x team back then had quite a lot of vision but they also made mistakes, some of them with tragic consequences for poor users. I suppose whoever tested Windows 11 upgrade on a Win95 system in the picture above would not wait for any Windows 95 updates anymore...

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