Off Topic Ramblings - Page 2
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 45 of 45

Thread: Off Topic Ramblings

  1. #26
    Members +
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I think it's because you have Adobe PDF reader installed, and the file extension of the Air file is set to that.
    Check your file extentions settings in Windows and delete that entry, or in install Adobe as a test.

  2. #27
    Hello zswobbie1,
    Welcome to the conversation about old hardware. It is certainly a pleasant surprise to see that thereīs more than just 2 of us interested!

    Hello Ivan,
    Even though the K6 is quite heat resistant, Iīd put on an extra extractor fan. I remember the heat-sink disengaging slightly due to a knock (while turned off) on my K6-II in 1999, and it sat badly on the CPU for some weeks before I noticed... It never complained, even though the aluminium chip surface went slightly grey... brave Chip!

    As soon as I get to investigating the .air file, Iīll see. I suppose you are using a CFS1 .air file, as you expect a supercharger to work, and it doesnīt. Iīm still a bit busy re-doing the stretching and the CoG positioning on the model, but Iīll see about the .air file after that! I also put a CFS1 one in a while back, although the FS98 one flies really well. Christoph Ruhrtenberg had a knack to get the flying feeling nicely done, and flyable.

    Regarding old, old hardware, here it seems impossible to get hold of anything older than 10-15 years. No Pentium 1, 2 or 3 machines around anymore! Those most probably get thown out, and the people left who still have them, keep them!

    Bad news on the motherboard with the CPU named after Gaius SEMPRONius Gracchus: It has defective sound, and LAN only works with the Win7 demo on it, not with my WinXP (but thatīs probably only the configuration).
    I could put in my Win7, but without the sound...

    I could also put on Win98, as I have some Win98 sound cards... but too complicated, because I was given a second discard computer at the same time:

    A machine with a Pentium 4 at 2.8 Ghz ...which started, and stopped!
    It was only the power supply though, so I put in the one from my fall-back 2.6 Ghz Pentium 4, and now it works! Now Iīm downloading the drivers to see if all else also works.

    Itīa Prescott Pentium 4, so it can even take a 3.0 Ghz Pentium 4 CPU I rescued from an old machine they didnīt put in a case fan for, killing the Mobo. How exciting, after the disappointment with the Sempronius machine.

    The drivers went fine, and the Prescott 2.8 CPU it came with did too, at 7900 MIPS. Then I put in the 3.0 CPU and itīs even better, at 9200 MIPS! The sound is also fine, and Iīve just put in WinXP SP3. It looks like itīs a good machine. Letīs see if it doesnīt cave in in a while... I canīt get the Ethernet configured though, but itīs just as well - it wonīt be connected to Internet anyway - better without the anti-virus.

    Now I have to find a new home for the 2.6 Ghz Pentium 4... Itīs difficult, as nobody here really wants them anymore.

    Last edited by aleatorylamp; June 19th, 2018 at 13:10.
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by zswobbie1 View Post
    I think it's because you have Adobe PDF reader installed, and the file extension of the Air file is set to that.
    Check your file extentions settings in Windows and delete that entry, or in install Adobe as a test.
    Hello zswobbie1,

    Welcome to the discussion.
    I am pretty certain it isn't a file association problem with the .AIR extension.
    The reason why is because I have the association set for FDEditor.
    That lets me double-click on an AIR file and it comes up in the Flight Dynamics Editor.
    Also, the Game Computer in my Living Room does not actually have Adobe Reader or Adobe anything installed that I know of.

    Also the problem is not that my tools can't read or edit AIR files.
    CFS also has no trouble reading the AIR file well enough to show the changes that I am making, except for the Supercharger. It is acting as if none of the aircraft have Superchargers.
    Next step is to check with absolutely stock AIR files instead of lightly modified ones.

    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    You know of course that the Gracchi had rather violent deaths. I believe both were killed in the Senate but many years apart.
    A Pentium 4 discard would be good right about now.

    Next step is probably to uninstall and reinstall Combat Flight Simulator on the Game Machine.

    - Ivan.

  4. #29
    I finally figured out what was wrong.
    The Auto Mixture was not enabled.
    This got to be pretty obvious when I tested with one of the older aeroplanes at about 15,000 feet.
    The Engine stalled and I have never seen that happen at practical altitudes because of a Supercharger.
    The power was dropping with altitude but the manifold pressure was not which was the second hint as to what was actually happening.

    Most of the more modern military types of this era had automatic mixture settings.
    Typically the setting would be Auto-Lean for cruise and Auto-Rich for maximum power.
    I wonder if this can be simulated with a custom Gauge?

    - Ivan.

  5. #30

    Computer Performance Differences

    Hello All,

    After using the replacement Development Computer for a few days, a few observations can be made:
    1. The computer is about as loud as the old one. This seems to be the Slot Fan and CPU Fan and of course the Barracuda HDD.
    2. The Video and Speakers are still weird but that isn't really a CPU problem.
    3. The system clock is inconsistent. I believe the battery is dead which is pretty reasonable considering the age.
    4. The LED for Power is not working. I never checked it but presumed that it was properly connected before.
    5. The Hard Drive LED on the case is not working except at boot time. Hopefully it is just connected to the wrong leads.
    6. One LED from the CDROM drive is always on. There aren't many connections to mess up, so I might replace the CDROM Drive.
    7. I have run into ONE AF99 Build problem and have not seen it happen again. A restart of AF99 seemed to cure the problem.

    The performance of the computer thus far has been pretty reliable with the exception of the issues described.
    Frame rates in Combat Flight Simulator are noticeably higher as mentioned earlier.
    Compilation and parsing speeds with Aircraft Factory 99 and Aircraft Animator are at least twice as fast and probably closer to three times as fast as before. I no longer have enough of a wait time during a build to leave the computer and get something else I might need.

    - Ivan.

  6. #31
    Hello Ivan,
    Iīm glad things slowly seem to be falling into place, like they do on a slow Tetris game...
    The older the hardware, the longer it takes. The fact that compilation and FS frame
    rates on the "new"
    machine are twice or three times faster is a plus-point in itself.
    Good stuff!
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  7. #32
    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    Frame Rates are actually only about 25-50% higher.
    General Processing Speed appears to be at least twice as fast.

    One of the problems I have been having is that the picture on the screen seems to narrow down quite a bit sometimes to the point where it is difficult to read.
    I decided to try looking through the Video options in CFS to see if other video resolutions would work better.
    What I found was surprising.
    I am still using an old Dell - Sony 17 inch CRT monitor.
    The original resolution I had set was 1024 x 768 which was a pretty good balance between frame rates and image quality with Pentium 233 MMX.
    With the new CPU, I found that it didn't seem to make a difference even when I changed to 1280 x 960,
    I didn't have much on the screen, but the frame rate stayed around 21-22 which isn't great but is still playable.

    I was hoping for frame rates of at least 30-35.
    I am wondering now if perhaps a more modern Graphics Card might improve things or whether the problem is really a limitation of CPU speed.

    - Ivan.

  8. #33
    Hello Ivan,
    I remember running a 16Mb Matrox Millenium for a while on the K6-II at 333 Mhz, and frame rates were fine. Even the usual 4mb 2D-3D AGP card I had did 30 or 32 frames per second, but I never used the high resolution you mention. Even now I only use 1024x768, otherwise I canīt read what I type.

    Now I remember something: When this 16 Mb card broke (it came from a smoking computer), a computer technician friend of mine gave me another Matrox Millenium card, but this time a good, 32 Mb one, but we couldnīt get it to work.

    I remember him saying that the new card was banging its head against the slow AGP port on the motherboard and couldnīt get through. Curiously enough, the K6-II at 333 Mhz was the fastest CPU that this motherboard could take, so he deduced it was the motherboardīs fault, not the CPUīs!

    As your K6-II is a 500 Mhz one, there must be a faster AGP port on the motherboard, otherwise it wouldnīt make sense, so it should be able to handle a reasonably good graphics card.

    I wonder if this is of any use...
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  9. #34
    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    A description of your experiences is helpful.
    I did not actually change the Desktop resolution so it is still 1024 x 768.
    Only the CFS Game resolution was changed. - 1280 x 960.
    Now that I know this old setup will take the 5:4 aspect ratio, I should look into getting bigger and newer Flat Screen monitor.
    4:3 is hard to find, but 5:4 is not.

    I did a little checking. I believe the AGP slot is only a 2X.
    The Fire GL card I tested was only a 1X.
    The Motherboard actually can handle up to a 550 MHz CPU.

    We shall see how things go.

    - Ivan.

  10. #35
    Hello Ivan,

    Iīd forgotten the details of the early AGP slot. My K6-II machineīs AGP was also x1-x2, but contrary to what was expected, its x2 AGP capacity was poor. It couldnīt handle any cards above 16 Mb, and turned out to be quite a low-end machine, especially taking into account that AGP had already been on the market for well over a year.

    If your motherboard can take a 550 Mhz K6 CPU, it looks like a higher category one than mine was, so I would expect your 500 Mhz K6-II with the x1-x2 AGP to be able to cope splendidly with a decent 16Mb or 32Mb x2 AGP video card!

    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  11. #36
    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    The actual motherboard is a Acorp / Aladdin 5ALI61 Rev. D.
    (I think it was a Rev. D but would need to open up the case again to confirm.)
    The deceased motherboard was a M-Tech Mustang R-534F I believe. It gave good service for a very long time.
    So far, the specs don't look too bad with the exception that its memory bus only goes to 100 MHz and I believe the AGP slot is only 2X.

    - Ivan.

  12. #37
    Hello Ivan,
    The name Aladdin rings a bell. I think I had one of those for my K6-II, but an earlier Rev.
    probably an A or maybe a B, and not Acorp. On mine, the Bus was I seem to remember
    only 66 Mhz, and that was part of the problem. Good luck! I hope you find a nice
    graphics card!
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  13. #38
    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    Do a search for images of the 5ALI61 motherboard. It may bring back memories.
    There were a few other versions, but I don't think the revision number was all that significant.
    Maybe mine will have a AGP limitation as well.
    I just know that for now, it seems to work well enough and is much superior to the old Pentium 233 MMX which was in turn slightly superior to the Cyrix 686 150 MHz.

    - Ivan.

  14. #39
    Hello Ivan,
    Iīm glad your machine is going well.
    I had done the image search, and yes... it did bring back memories!
    It was the first machine Iīd bought all new parts for to build up into a desktop case. Given adequate graphics hardware, it was one of the most stable and robust machines Iīve ever had. It never gave heating problems either - probably because it was 333 Mhz - only needing fans on CPU and Power supply. Compared to the 233 MMX running the old green-light B/W scanner, it was in general over twice as fast.
    Glad itīs going well.
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  15. #40
    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    I was in the basement a couple days ago and came across a bag with some computer equipment in it.
    There was a Zip Drive and.... a 9 GB 68 pin SCSI drive in a anti-static bag. If it works, it would be enough of a disk subsystem to build another machine.

    - Ivan.

  16. #41

    Old museum pieces...

    Hello Ivan,
    I remember my first daughter whoīs 44 now, using Zip drives to store her AutoCad plans when she was studying. The only other possibility was a .zip file covering multiple floppies - a drag! If Iīm not mistaken, the capacity of a normal one was a couple of Mb, but there were larger ones with 10 Mb.

    Iīve never seen a SCSI HDD. A 9 Gb one of these back then must have been not only huge, but a real hot-rod. Interesting!

    So with another development machine underway you can be further safeguarded against future hardware failures. Old hardware in good working order is vital, as one never knows how long it will last.

    Old software does jobs that the new stuff wonīt do, at least not in the way, so our private museums are great!

    Whatīs amazing are the high prices well-working old machines will fetch on E-bay!!
    As much as a low-end modern machine!
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  17. #42
    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    Actually it has been so long since I used a Zip Drive, I can't remember the capacity.
    I know I have two different versions with two different capacities though.
    The USB version is the more advanced. The one I recently found is an older version.

    The 9 GB SCSI drive isn't really that big. It is still 3.5 inch form factor but it looks to be just over an inch in height.
    If it doesn't work, then I don't suppose it really matters what the form factor is.
    I have too many things going on right now to do any testing though.

    I am not necessarily a fan of old computer hardware. I just don't want to spend any significant amount of money is all.

    - Ivan.

  18. #43
    Hello Ivan,
    I didnīt know about the form factor. By "huge", I meant the 9 Gb capacity.
    I think it was at the beginning of the 90īs when 10-40 Mb Hddīs were common, and a bit later they went up to 850 Mb, still under 1 Gb. In 1998 I bought a 4 Gb one for 200 $!

    About the money, I donīt blame you. One has to defend oneself from the "system" that constantly seems to want to pull it out of oneīs noses, so itīs better spent on more important things. So, if something works and does the job...
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

  19. #44
    Hello Aleatorylamp,

    I believe your time lines might be a little off.
    This 9 GB SCSI probably isn't as old as you think it is. I looked for a manufacturing date but could not find one though.
    The IBM PC/XT came with a 10 MB "Winchester" drive and the IBM PC/AT came with a 20 MB drive and that was in the early 1980's.
    When we bought my IBM PC, the XT and AT were also available but the 10 MB drive was not optional and it added $1000 to the price tag.
    The AT was a couple thousand more and that was entirely unaffordable to us at the time.

    As for spending money on computers, there is always a little bit spent on small things.
    I will probably need another monitor at some point and that should run about $150 or so.
    There is a constant stream of Flash Drives coming in.
    I will also need a new battery for the motherboard and probably also a CPU fan because this one is making some serious noise.
    I also just ordered a AGP Graphics Card (new) but that is less than the cost of a typical lunch.

    - Ivan.

  20. #45
    Hello Ivan,
    My time lines for the appearance of the hardware on the market are definitely off, and such prices were completely unaffordable. Sorry, I hadnīt specified that I was rather referring to the time this hardware had become a bit more accessible to the general public.

    Hopefully your new AGP graphics card will throw its weight!
    "Why make it simple if you can also make it complicated?"

Members who have read this thread: 17


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts