athenian200 Posted February 7, 2007 Share Posted February 7, 2007 About a year ago, I tried to replace the motherboard in my computer, because I wanted to install a Socket A processor. I followed some instructions that I had printed out from the Internet, and proceeded to activate it. But, nothing happened, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I was going to go back online, but I realized that I no longer had access to the internet, because my computer didn't work. Then I remembered that I had an old 486 in my closet, that I hadn't used since 1997. But I didn't have the Internet back then, and I didn't think it would work. Nonetheless, I pulled it out, hooked it up, and looked at what I had. Apparently, it had an old 3Com Ethernet card, and I found some floppy disks for Internet Explorer 3.0. I installed it, and at first I couldn't access the web. Luckily, my router uses DHCP, and while looking through the networking options in Control Panel, I found DHCP support. I also still had my Windows 95 installation disks. After feeding it a couple of drivers from the Windows disks, and rebooting, I tried to access the web again. Google.com worked well, and most other sites only displayed text and hyper-links. It was a lot like using Lynx, but with limited graphics support. I was able to access more information, but I needed more specific help. Unfortunately, my browser could not understand most websites well enough to post on message board forums. So I tried to search for another browser. Mozilla required at least Windows 98, and so did most others. But after several Google searches, and having to restart IE a few times, I found something called K-Meleon, that claimed to work with my hardware. I downloaded it, and it did indeed work, but it took seven minutes to render a web page. So I alternated between IE 3.0 for looking up information, and K-Meleon for posting on Message boards. In the meantime, I played a few games of Solitaire, and tried to look up things on Internet, which was still viewable, even if it barely worked. I also managed to find an old version of Office for $5.00 at the Half-Price bookstore. I was surprised at how many features I used in Office 2000 were available in this older version. I was able to create documents easily, which I found extremely helpful for organizing data and such. Eventually, I got a reply, and I was told that I had probably attached the power supply wires incorrectly. I was given a link to a schematic for my motherboard, but it was in PDF format. I downloaded the file, and started searching for a PDF reader. I tried an old version of Reader that still worked on Windows 95, but the memory requirements were too high (I only had 8MB). So I found a DOS program that converted PDF to Postscript (this took about two hours), which I couldn't view either. But eventually I stumbled across something in an old DOS book that helped me. I was told that Postscript files could be printed out on a Postscript printer using the COPY command. I happened to know where an LPT-based Postscript printer was, and I hooked it up, and printed out the file. It hadn't converted very well, but the text and graphics were still readable, even if they weren't in the right order. I found I had simply attached the Power On wire to the wrong pins on the motherboard, because they were color-coded incorrectly. So I fixed the problem, and the new computer worked. Does this illustrate a good reason for keeping things at least marginally compatible with older machines? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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