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What can i do with a circa 1991/3 box ?


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I "unearthed" this anachronism while i was looking through the junk in my place .

Its an old box which i remember using when i was two(im 15 now) . Its branded Wearnes , comes with a 5 1/2 inch( i think ) ???? drive and a 3 1/2 inch floppy . It also has a cd-rom drive .

I vaguely have memories of Windows 3.1 on that box . I have no idea where the wires are and Ill upload some pictures later after I get home from class . ( Round 9-10.30 pm GMT +8ish)

Does anyone have any idea what I can do with this box ? As in anything interesting(geek interesting please ) ?

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Ah , sorry for the delay .





Im planning to take this on as a free-time project ... As in take it slow , use it as a source of R&R .

Now that you have seen the ports , could anyone tell me what are the models ? like cat-5 or something so that it would make it easier to buy ? I cant remember what they used to look like . The only thing i can recollect about this box is that i loved to change starter plugs and strum guitars on some eduware .

Cheers ,


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Looks like you have 2 parallel ports, a keyboard with a DIN socket, a serial port, and your vga, audio (line in&out, speaker and mic) and a midi/joystick port. You could probally get a ethernet nic for its ISA slots and network it. No idea if you can still buy that stuff though.

For shits and giggles, stick an ubuntu CD in it, see what it makes of it lol. You should be able to get some kinda webserver running on it no problem, but this certainly ain't gui land. Digg had one running on an apple newton a while back.

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Hmm... one of those 'parallel ports' seems to be one of those long since extinct second (old-school 25-pin) serial ports... besides that, go with VaKo... see if you can pic up an ISA NIC and throw a live-CD in there... if I had to guess without looking it up I'd say it's likely a low/mid range 386 so it's not gonna be big on MHz... not gonna have much RAM in there either, I'm thinking probably between 4MB and 16MB if you struck lucky :)

If it *is* a 386 or higher, any version of Windows up to 95 will work though 95 itself would be rather slow, especially with less than 8MB RAM... If you chose Windows I'd recommend Windows 3.1, perhaps Windows For Workgroups 3.11 if you wanted to improve the networking slightly. For functionality though, try and see if anything Linux-based will do anything useful on there because there's a chance that a Linux-based distro may be designed specifically for something you might find useful rather than trying to make Windows 3.1 do some crazy stuff it's not meant to do :)

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i doubt its a 386, its got a cd-rom drive, i'd say 486. a live cd would be nice but i doubt it would boot from cd, in fact I'm betting its an old proprietary cd-rom connected to the sound card.

no doubt it would be alot fun to mess with and it'll probably would run an old version of linux. Though i'd think the 2.6 kernel would be too big for the RAM (EDO??) and the hard disk would not be big enough for a large swap partition.

still it'd be interesting to hear quite what you do with it.

n.b looks like a nice soundcard (they don't make 'em like they used too)

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It says it's a 486 DX2-50DV on the badge.

Rofl... I completely missed that... yeah a 486 is still useful though but the CDROM might be non-IDE as was mentioned... If you're using DOS or Windows the drivers are freely available for all of the proprietary connections I've seen (Sony/Panasonic and derivatives) but I wouldn't like to say for Linux as I wouldn't have a clue...

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Thanks guys for the replies =) Now i'll have to go hunting for cables :D

Atari6502 , you have an eye for detail ... I missed that out myself :P

So .... I'll have to find out what type of cd-rom drive I have and look for ISA NIC cables . Its going to be a fun distraction after my exams in a few more weeks .

Still , I have no idea what I CAN do with it . Anyone has any experience working with these machines ?

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Just a note, the NIC is the actual card, the cable should be regular CAT5 :)

I've worked on countless machines like that but mostly back a long while... they worked well in their day but they're not the most powerful machines...

You'd be very lucky if you managed to get it to play any media... it would likely play WAV, MIDI and audio CDs but MP3 is likely a no-no unless you can squeeze enough out of the thing in DOS (and yes there are DOS MP3 players)... you could probably do something non-media related, perhaps a single-user NAS box... but then you'd be limited to the size of disks you could use... I don't know if it'd work as a firewall or anything like that, it's not my arena so I don't know what kind of minimum CPU you need...

Uhm... word processor? midi player? err... gameboy emulator?

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