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Friday, 29 May 2020

Tech Job Lot from eBay

I made a cheeky bid on this little lot that got accepted and after waiting a few days in quarantine (the spare bedroom) it's now time to unbox it and see what I've got!

The only thing I can remember being in this haul is a HP laptop that works but has a broken screen (which I just so happen to have a spare of) so the plan is to fix it, flog it and the rest (as they say) is gravy!  More money to buy more interesting Retro Computing stuff!

Anyway, here's the video:

Friday, 22 May 2020

How To Remove Rust From Keys and Microsoft Software Unboxing

I purchased some Engineer (that's the brand) Rust Remover last year just in case I needed it and recently I purchased a CDR-80L CD storage box that one of the keys had some rust on so a perfect opportunity to see if it works or not - whilst I was waiting for it to work I also unboxed some recent software deliveries I had received...

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Samsung NP-Q1U UMPC Factory Restore

I've had this UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) for a while now but only just got around to performing a factory restore on it using the manufacturers disc images as I found the discs on the Internet Archive (www.archive.org), only issue was, it was in Russian so spent quite some time getting it to English UK settings!

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Contour ShuttlePRO V2

I’ve had been waiting a couple of weeks for this item to turn up from eBay and it was definitely worth the wait!  The Contour ShuttlePRO V2 is a multimedia controller used for editing video and audio and the like.


As you may have noticed from the handwritten labels on the buttons, it is fully customisable so you can pretty much get it to work with any program you like from VLC to PowerDirector!

Once you’ve got the buttons set up how you like, not only does it make editing quicker and easier but it allows you to be more accurate as the jog wheels/dials are way better than just a standard mouse.

This is not the first Contour Shuttle device I’ve owned as just a few weeks ago I purchased the Shuttle Xpress as I didn’t want to splash out on the pro in case I didn’t get on with it.

When I saw that I could get one from CeX for half the new price and that I could sell it eBay for the same it was a no brainier as it meant I could try it out and if I liked it I could sell it on eBay and get the Pro version - which is exactly what I’ve done!



If you'd like to see the unboxing video I did then take a look here:

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Sorting Things Out - PC Games System Requirements & Other Software Titles

I've been a bit quiet online for the last week as I've been sorting my Retro/Vintage collection out a bit and have rediscovered quite a few things I had tidied away and forgotten about!  I have a spreadsheet containing the details of the permanent pieces in my collection, but it's a continuous work-in-progress as before I get a chance to complete it I've purchased something else at either a car boot sale or (in more recent times) on eBay and I get distracted and move on to unboxing/unpacking my newly acquired items!

I think I have around 70 games (around 50 in DVD jewel cases and 20 in the old boxes they used to come in) but I don't know for sure as that's one thing that I have never gotten around to documenting.


I'm planning on using more of my games collection when it comes to testing the Retro Laptops that I have but the current issue I have is that I have no idea what games are compaitble with which laptops so I am now developing a spreadsheet that has that information on it.

This is what I started with:


Using the information from the back of the games I have put both the minimum requirements and recommended requirements in along with some notes on what else is on the disc like Acrobat Reader and Internet Explorer etc. but it took quite a while to gather the information as it's all in the very, very small print on the cases so I decided to see if there were any databases of PC Games with their specifications already out there that I could use to create a more streamlines spreadsheet of my collection.

After spending some time searching I finally came across www.gamesystemrequirements.com which seems to contain most of the games I picked at random to search for, it contains a lot more concise information which is exactly what I was looking for and will save me having to read all the small print on the back of the cases.  The idea behind the spreadsheet is to make it easier to see what games I can use to test a specific laptop based on the CPU and RAM it happens to have and what OS I have installed - going forward I should then be able to see at a glance what games will run on Windows 98 for example.

After comparing what is written on the back of the jewel cases and what is listed on the Game System Requirements website I see that there are quite a few discrepencies so I cannot rely on it fully and still have to check the back of the games, but it has helped me lesson the amount of data that I am collecting and my spreadsheet now looks like this:


All I've got to do now is add all the software I have including all the DVD jewel case types, big box versions, CD jewel cases, software in CD sleeves and in my CD/DVD organisers!...



**EDIT/UPDATE**

Here's what it looks like with a few more entries:


Tuesday, 5 May 2020

iomega Clik! PCMCIA PC-Card Floppy Disk Drive

Way back in 1999 iomega released a pocket-sized zip disk drive that until recently I never knew existed!  Despite being around 21 years old the PCMCIA card has not given up the ghost, but is there any data on the disks that came with it and if so what data is on them?  There's only one way to find out!

Saturday, 2 May 2020

IBM ThinkPad Laptops - January Car Boot Sale Finds Tested and Inspected

Way back in January 2020 I picked up 8 different laptops for £1.90 each (click here if you want to take a quick look at all 8 and the Shuttle Desktop I got).  I've been so busy doing other things that I have only recently gotten around to having a proper look at them and have produced a 4 part series of YouTube videos of me inspecting and testing them...

The first one I took out of the storage box was pretty beaten up, the lid is covered in very deep scratched - clearly the car booter had no idea what the real value of these laptops is and had not been storing them properly or looked after them at all.

Without giving too much of the game away, in Part 4 I also do a speeded up tutorial on how to install Windows 98 Second Edition!

PART 1:


PART 2:


PART 3:


PART 4:


Thursday, 23 April 2020

How To Create A Backup Image of a CD and Upload it to the Internet Archive Website

Drivers for Windows 95 and Windows 98 laptops are not always easy to find so it comes in handy if you have the original System Restore Disks that may have originally come with the laptop but the world of Retro Computing isnt always that forthcoming as a lot of the discs have been either lost or thrown away over the years - so what can you do to get hold of old system restore discs I hear you ask?!

Well, you can visit https://www.archive.org which is the Internet Archive website and you can see if anyone has uploaded a backup copy there that you can download, burn to a disc and then restore your Vintage/Retro laptop back to factory settings!

The only way these disc images get on to the Internet Archives website is by people uploading disc images of the Restore Discs that they have.  This is why it is important that if you have any system restore discs, when you  get a chance, make backup images of them and get them uploaded to the site.

In this quick video I will show you one way of creating a CD disc backup and how easy it is to upload them to the Internet Archives website...



Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Using A Universal Power Adaptor With Your Retro Computing Laptop

I don't know what people are doing with the original power supplies for some of the laptops I keep buying but more often than not, I'm either getting the wrong power supply (they seem to think it's OK to use any ol' power supply even if it's the wrong Voltage) or I'm not getting any power supply at all.

To begin with I would scour the likes of eBay and Amazon looking for the correct power supply that would have originally come with the laptops and pay between £7 and £25 without even knowing if the laptop(s) worked or not!

Then, it suddenly dawned on me, there must have been some Universal Laptop Power Adaptors 'back in the day' - I wonder if I can find some on eBay...


Just in case you want to try and get hold of some yourselves, here is a list of the part numbers of the Universal/Replacement Laptop Power Adapters that I have:


2-Power

72W DC (Car) Adapter - CUC0001B
75W AC (Mains) Adapter - CUA0002B
90W AC (Mains) Adapter - CUA0001B


LOGIK

90W AC Dell Laptop Power Adapter - LPDELL12
90W AC Lenovo Laptop Power Adapter - LPLENO17
(Despite its name, the Logik Lenovo Adapter works with other makes too).


Targus

150W AC Power Notebook Adapter - APA08EU


Although these model numbers are no longer manufactured, every now and again 'New Old Stock' seems to turn up on eBay and that's what all these are/were, new but old stock and were never used until I got them - in fact at the time of writing this I have two more 2-Power NOS power adapters on their way to me in the post!  It's amazing what you can find if you look hard enough.

Friday, 17 April 2020

How to Test and Wipe a Retro IDE Hard Disk Drive

Although wiping/testing a Retro IDE hard disk drive is relatively simple, not everyone will know where to start and not everyone will do it the same way!

Some just do a quick format (not the best way), other may even do a full format (still not the best way) but I test any hard disk drives I get from Car Boot Sales or eBay by using Active KillDisk as it's (currently) Free for Personal Use and in this short video I will show you what I do...



Thursday, 16 April 2020

Testing My iPAQ Collection - H6330 Stowaway Keyboard and Nexicam Digital Camera Addon

My iPAQ collection isnt massive (that's what she said) but it does have a couple of interesing items in it; namely a Targus Stoway keyboard and a Nexicam Digital Camera addon and in this video I will not only test them but show you how to install them - assuming they all work that is!...  It was a bit of a faff at times as I don't have a working battery on the iPAQs that I have as they are very expensive to get hold of and with zero power, when you disconnect the power you lose everything on the iPAQ and have to keep starting again from scratch...

I've sped up the installation sequences so if you have a go at installing the software shown in this video yourselves it will take a bit longer than shown!

Monday, 13 April 2020

Testing and Cleaning an IBM ThinkPad 380Z Laptop - Car Boot Sale Find!

Here's another one of the sub-£2 laptops I picked up earlier on in the year, namely an IBM ThinkPad 380Z.

As you can see the lid is dirty and there's a great big scratch on the screen completely and utterly ruining it :(
On top of that theres a crack in the corner of the screens bezel and there's something nasty and disgusting on a couple of the keys.
There are also some very strange markings and dents on parts of the laptop but I have no idea what they are.
After gathering up my laptop cleaning gear, I got down to giving this latop a thorough cleaning...


One thing I have learnt from doing this video is that going forward, even if I'm not making a YouTube video, I shall start recording anyway as for those of you who have seen the video will know that whilst air dusting the laptop a spring shot off across the screen that basically stopped the power button working!  Luckily I spotted this whilst I was editing the video and found the spring under my screwdriver set and it's now safely in a small plastic bag and Sellotaped to the laptop!

As you will see from the photos below, it's a hell of a lot cleaner than when I started but the weird and wonderfull markings and dents are still there - looks like something acidic has touched the laptop but no idea what.


Because it has no Hard Disk Drive or HDD Caddy, it's covered in scratches and strange dents and has a few cracks in the case I have labelled this one up as Spares and Repairs - you can't win them all, beside for £1.90 it's well worth it for the parts in case I get another one of these that requires a floppy disk drive or CD-ROM drive :)


Friday, 10 April 2020

Testing IBM ThinkPad 380D Laptop - Car Boot Sale Find!

As it cost me under £2 at a Car Boot Sale earlier on in the year, it's not surprising this little beauty did not come with a power adapter, not to worry though as I just so happen to have a box of geniune adapters 'just in case'...

First things first, time to check the voltage on the power adapter I have to ensure it doesnt damage the laptop:


It's the correct voltage so we're good to go!


As you can see not only did the laptop power on, but it has a working hard disk drive in it with what appears to be a relatively fresh installation of Windows 95 on it!


Overall the laptop is in very good condition, although there is some damage to the bottom right-hand corner:


I was pleasantly surprised to see Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (just about) runs on this laptop even if the playing back of videos was a but jerky it was still playable.



Specifications:

CPU: Intel Pentium 150MHz (P150)
RAM: 16MB
Optical Drive: 8x CD-ROM
Floppy Disk Drive: 1.44MB
Graphics: 1MB Neomagic NM2093 MagicGraph 1282V
Audio/Sound: Crystal Audio (SoundBlaster Pro 2.0 Compatible)

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Retro Gaming - Installing and Testing Some Games I Picked Up

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000 - Theme Hospital - Friends - Starsky and Hutch

I picked up these games a few weeks back but I've only just had a chance to see if any of them work and if they do, are the games I've picked any good?!

It's a bit of a long one (that's what she said) but it was a lot longer before I edited out the long installation times!  One of my most favourite games of the day was Theme Hospital which wasn't the first game I ever completed (that was Doom) but it was the first game I ever completed without using any cheats like I did with Doom...



Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000

System Requirements

OS: Windows 95/98
CPU: Pentium 166MHz
RAM: 32MB
DISK SPACE: 110MB
GRAPHICS: 2MB

**SPOILER ALERT**

As the laptop I was using is a Windows XP laptop I didn't think this would work but thought I'd give it a go but as expected, it didn't work so got a thumbs down from me.


Theme Hospital

System Requirements

OS: Windows 98/XP/Vista
CPU: (Pentium) 75MHz
RAM: 16MB
DISK SPACE: 55MB
GRAPHICS: DirectX 5 compatible

This is one my most played games of all times, certainly in the top 10 of my favourite Retro Games (oooh - that's a good idea, I'll have to create one of them)...

I spent many an hour on this game and loved every minute of it - even when all the patients got the squits and vomited all over the floor!


FRIENDS - The One With All The Trivia

System Requirements

OS: Windows 2000/XP
CPU: Pentium III 1GHz
RAM: 256MB
DISK SPACE: 240MB
GRAPHICS: DirectX 9 Compatible Graphics Card

In the UK Friends was shown on Channel 4 at 9pm on a Friday night and was a must watch TV show and as Netflix has shown, it still is!  I never knew this game existed until the other day so had to pick it up and give it a go...


Starsky & Hutch

System Requirements

OS: Windows 98/ME/XP/2000
CPU: Pentium II 450MHz
RAM: 128MB
DISK SPACE: 700MB
GRAPHICS: NVIDIA TNT2 3D Card with 256MB of RAM

Wow!  The graphics and gameplay on this game are amazing.  Why have I never seen this game before??  If I had gotten this game 'back in the day' I would have spent hours and hours on this game - as you'll see from the video, the graphics are fantastic and the gameplay is brilliant.


Monday, 6 April 2020

Upgrading The RAM on a DELL Latitude D820 Laptop

As you may have seen from lots of previous posts, I have amassed quite a collection of Retro Software from Operating Systems and Utilities to plenty of Games so it's about time I got some laptops ready to start using them all...

I am going to start with this rather nice Dell Latitude D820 that has Windows XP on it - although it has already got 1GB of RAM (2 x 512MB sticks) I'm going to upgrade it to 2GB for not other reason than I can :)


Now I've got my test Windows XP laptop all set up it's time to get testing things so watch this space!...

How To... Replace The CMOS Battery In A Dell Latitude D820 Laptop

Changing the CMOS battery on a Dell Latitude D820 is a lot easier than a lot of other laptops that I've seen and in this video not only will I show you where it is and how to change it I will also show you how to make your own rather than having to buy one off of eBay!

To make your own battery you will need the following items:
  • CR2032 Button Cell Coin Battery
  • Conductive Tape
  • Knife
  • Heatshrink Tubing
  • Heat Gun (a soldering iron up close will do if you dont have a proper heat gun)


Appologies for the bad jokes (there aren't many) - #thatswhatshesaid

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Compaq Presario 1060 - Retro Laptop Unpacking/Unboxing!

I won another different looking Compaq laptop on eBay the other day and only just had a change to unwrap/unbox/unpack it - to me it looks more like a Toshiba than a Compaq, again it looks like they were still experimenting with their look as most of the future Compaq laptops didnt look anything like this model.

Compaq Presario 1400 - Retro Laptop Unpacking/Unboxing!

Finally got around to unboxing this little beauty today!  It doesn't look like any other Compaq laptop I have ever seen (nor own), it looks a bit 'Apple Maccy' (if that's such a word) a bit like they were experimenting on what their new laptops were going to look like going forward, I don't remember see anything like this before from Compaq so I guess it didn't catch on!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Microsoft Golf - The Number 1 Golf Game For Windows

Won this big box Windows 95 on eBay the other day and it's just turned up!  Apparently not only is/was this the #1 Golf Game For Windows but you should also Adjust Your Grip On Reality!




I keep procrastinating, but I really must dig out a couple of Retro laptops so I can start trying all these games I have accumulated out!  I think I'm going to have to invest in some sort of capturing device that I can hook up to a VGA output of a laptop and capture on my Windows 10 laptop so I can edit it and create a video... #watchthisspace

Friday, 20 March 2020

Iomega Clik! 40 PC Card Drive (PCMCIA) 40MB Disk System

I've been wanting one of these for a while now but they've always far too expensive, until now that is!  I was the only bidder on this item on eBay so it got it for a song :)


As you can see it came with 5 40MB disks (2 are in the case with the PCMCIA card).  They're all labelled up from 1 through to 5 so not sure if there is some software on these disks that needs to be installed in this order or if it was simply a numbering system where they kept notes on what was on each disk so they didnt have to keep re-writing the labels and ruining the disks.


Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Targus Stowaway Portable Keyboard for Compaq iPAQ

I've got a couple of Compaq and HP iPAQ's (one even has a charger) but until now I've not had a keyboard for any of them.

Once you unfold the keyboard, you have to slide the two sides inwards so you can then use it.  It has a built-in dock that you connect and rest your iPAQ on to so you can type using this full-size keyboard on a very tiny screen!




The battery doesn't work in this iPAQ so I can't try this great little keyboard out and I can't seem to find a replacement battery on eBay right now but I've only been searching using the iPAQ model number so what I need to do now is either find a service manual and get the part number or (the more interesting way) take it apart to see if there is a part number on the battery itself...



*UPDATE*

I've just gotten around to finding out the part number of the battery and you'll never guess which method I chose!


There are 4 tiny torx screws holding the back on the Compaq 3660 iPAQ and then all you need to do is take an appropriate spudger and carefully prise the back off.



Now I have a part number I'm off to do some hunting, unfortunately most of the new compatible batteries for these old iPAQ's used to come from China via eBay but with all that's currently going on with the Corona 19 Virus I'm not sure if anyone will be posting any from there at the momen.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Todays CeX Bargains - Tiger Woods, Starsky & Hutch, Theme Hospital and Friends

With all that's going on right now with regards to the Corona 19 virus that may soon turn in to a pandemic, I got up extra early and headed off to Bedford CeX with the voucher that I got from selling my Microsoft XBox One X and purchased a very nice gaming headset as I don't think it will be long before the C19 virus starts to affect our daily lives and I predict I'm going to have a fair but of spare time on my hands soon unfortunately.

Oh, and I also purchased these retro PC games while I was there:


Starsky & Hutch and Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf were both 50p each and Theme Hospital and the Friends game were £1.50 each so not too bad a price.



I really must spin up a Windows 98 and/or Windows XP gaming computer to try all these out...

Monday, 24 February 2020

Retro Shuttle Desktop Computer Pentium IV 4

I picked this up at a car boot sale the other week, it didnt come with a floppy disk drive and the beige optical drive that came with it didnt work properly but today I finally found not only a black floppy disk drive, but a working optical drive to match!


I've installed Windows XP 32b on it and it works like a dream!  There is one thing missing though, as this was a gaming rig 'back in the day' when LAN partys were all the rage, a bag is required to help you carry it around to your mates house without it getting damaged.

As this is around 20 years old it's going to be a job to find one... except by complete luck/chance someone listed a genuine Shuttle Bag on eBay this week and it has just arrived!





Thursday, 20 February 2020

How to Upgrade the RAM on a Samsung V25 Laptop

The RAM slots are located underneath the keyboard on this laptop so the first thing you need to do is locate and remove the single screw that is holding the keyboard in place from underneath the laptop as shown here:
You then to press two clips that are holding the keyboard in place as shown here:
 The PC133 RAM can be found under the metal cover which is being held in place with a single screw as shown here:

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