Project Twentieth Century: Resurrection

There comes a time in every young man's life to remember his past. Though others may mock him and claim that it wasn't that long ago, he still holds it dear. It may even be desirable to reclaim relics of that past before they become lost, rare, or financially unavailable. And so it is.

If you listen to my podcast, you know about my obsession with backups. Software is incredibly easy to back up and preserve. Hardware is at least a magnitude harder. This is my experiment with backing up old games with the hardware they were meant to be played on.

Screenshot of the Windows 98 Second Edition desktop, showing evidence of a Pentium II 300MHz with 256MB RAM.

As it turned out, I seemed to have installed Windows 98 SE on Twentieth Century when I initially got it, then something must have blown up. I'm thinking that it was the RAM, since adding the PSU and video card didn't do anything. I was disappointed that the keyboard isn't a PS/2 one, though it has a PS/2 connector on it, presumably to connect a mouse. I was initially disappointed with the ethernet NIC not being detected, but I threw some better drivers at it, and it's fine. Up to then, it was air-gapped and I was moving files around a USB drive; not ideal, but workable and would be 'fine'.

This machine really likes the CMOS battery in the motherboard, because it won't boot without it! That little fact would have saved me two or three hours. Surprisingly after 15 years, the thing still has a charge!

After this ordeal, I'm really thankful that SATA doesn't mess around with jumpers on the drives. It's unfortunate that this motherboard doesn't like hard drives that hold more than 32 GB. I guess I'm stuck with the 2 GB drive that came with it. Oh well, it's not like I was planning on storing anything much on this system.

The only thing I have left to do is get a working sound card. I should be acquiring one within the week. Aside from that, this thing works like it should. It's a bit loud and a bit disassembled, but that's OK. I might get another, larger, maybe quieter, hard drive.

I was able to play a little StarCraft on it. I can appreciate the difference between playing it on a big 24" monitor and a small 15" CRT. Before I patched it, I exploited the best bug ever: having a drone abort an extractor, then fly over water.

Posted under Gaming.

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