Peter's z80.eu site blog
Benchmarked two VLB cards with 3DBENCH 1.0 and Wolfenstein 3D Timedemo 
Monday, October 2, 2017, 07:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
As already expected, a S3 805 video card seems to be faster than a Trident 9400CXI (which is interestingly displayed as 9100 LCD in some tools). This can be easily checked by using two benchmark tools, one which is well known, the other is difficult to get.
3DBENCH from Superscape in Version 1.0 (not 1.0B or 1.0C, but the first one) is suitable for older PCs below Pentium class, so my 486DX4 shows comparable values.
And Wolfenstein 3D in a "timedemo" version (not the activision version !) shows it even more precise - the S3 (the Miro Crystal 10SD) is superior compared to the Trident.

3DBench TRIDENT 9400CXI:


3DBench S3 805 (Miro Crystal 10SD):


Wolfenstein 3D Timedemo TRIDENT 9400CXI:


Wolfenstein 3D Timedemo S3 805 (Miro Crystal 10SD):


Screenshots were done with VTHIEF 0.07, viewed and again grabbed with ST201F.

Btw. meanwhile I replaced the AMD486DX4-100 CPU with an AMD 5x86 (133MHz), this results in 66.6 fps for 3DBench (with the S3 card).

Related link points to download page of 3DBench 1.0...
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Found an appropriate video card, but followed by some problems 
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 08:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
I found a Vesa Local Bus Card - a Miro Crystal 10SD, but it was not working.
After a deeper inspection of the card itself, I found something missing on it - a capacitor. So I added a new one, and the card worked again.

But it didn't worked in all 3 VLB slots, just in 2 of them - strange.

Also, I recognized my 486DX4-100 was slower than expected. So after some successless tries with other jumper, I was also asked for memory benchmarks, because I expected "fake cache" problems. The benchmark software SPEEDSYS 4.78 (DOS, originally from http://user.rol.ru/~dxover/speedsys, but disappeared since a few years, can be found now also >here<) helped a lot, because it was possible to see the cache had still an effect, but not much.

Last but not least I was able to blame the TURBO SWITCH for the slow function. After reseating the switch connector, problems were gone (see second benchmark picture).


My very first problem, even before the DirectX setup told me, that the video card had no usable drivers (because of using Windows 3.1 driver), was related with the harddisk, or more in detail, with the CompactFlash card, I tried to use with the IDE controller and the CF Card adapter.

I was able to create a partition and also to format it, but it wasn't bootable. But after using FDISK /MBR, it worked - I thought using FDISK for creating the partition will be enough, but no, the master boot record has to be "fixed" additionally.

The "related link" points to the wikipedia entry for VLB. Interesting facts there.
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I didn't had (at least) the right video card ... 
Sunday, September 17, 2017, 05:14 PM
Posted by Administrator
... to install DirectX 3.0 and later on, Diablo 1. That's because if you install a video driver from Windows 3.1 (but used in Windows 95), there is no hardware acceleration nor DirectDraw support.
The Diablo 1 CD included also a "Test your PC" feature, and beside the fact I didn't had a Pentium 60 (at least) installed, it needed also a CD-ROM with 300kps minimum data rate and ... tataaa ... a DirectX compatible driver/card.

I was soooo close to it, see my photo:


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Forgot what it means: Installing Windows 95 (first edition) on a 486 PC 
Saturday, September 16, 2017, 11:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I rebuild a 486 PC with some spare parts, and because it had 32MB RAM, I thought it would be a good idea to install Windows 95... YES, this first rolling stones ("start me up") driven meanwhile ancient operating system.
Unfortunately I didn't have an IDE CD-ROM yet available for it, so I decided to recreate the floppy disks for installing Windows 95 from my Windows 95 CD-ROM (using my modern PC).
This was not so easy ... while googling for it, I found a lot of hints about Windows 95B (OSR2) installation, also describing how and what to copy onto the floppy disks, but hey, Windows 95 (first edition, 4.00.950) differs here totally !
Infos I found about a "WIN95_02.CAB" file were misleading - there is not such a file for the first edition. There is also no need to format floppy disks in DMF format here.
But it's not difficult - the bootdisk has to have at least the OEMSETUP.* files,
and the first installation floppy disk (No. 1) must include these files:
DELTEMP.COM, DOSSETUP.BIN, EXTRACT.EXE, MINI.CAB, MSBATCH.INF, PRECOPY1.CAB,
README.TXT, SAVE32.COM, SCANDISK.EXE, SCANDISK.PIF, SCANPROG.EXE, SCANREG.EXE,
SETUP.EXE, SETUP.TXT, SMARTDRV.EXE, WB16OFF.EXE, WINSETUP.BIN, XMSMMGR.EXE

The second installation Disk contains only PRECOPY2.CAB, and the 3rd one just PRECOPY3.CAB and WIN95_03.CAB. All subsequent floppies contain a WIN95_XX.CAB file, while XX is the number of the disk, starting with No. 04 up to No. 22. Btw. the german version of Windows 95 has an INFO.TXT file instead of README.TXT ;-)
At least 30 minutes later, the base installation was finished.

What I didn't knew before - the video card was an ET3000 and Windows 95 did not recognized this, but you can surprisingly install drivers also from Windows 3.1 (there were no Windows 95 driver for the Tseng ET3000). Now I was even able to set 256 colors (instead of the default 16 colors).

Next project for me: Installing the first Diablo game (from Blizzard)... stay tuned.
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UCSD p-SYSTEM for IBM PC - bootable and not MS-DOS related, not the usual psys22.zip file 
Saturday, August 26, 2017, 12:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Looking for the Pecan UCSD Pascal / p-system disks (which can't be found for download in the Internet), I digged out two disk images while visiting an almost unknown forum.
Because the images were in IMD format, I had to unpack them first with IMDU before I can try it with a virtual PC (VMware Workstation etc). But the images were not usable (or seems to be not usable). But I didn't stop trying and I also took PCem for it, and while choosing an "IBM PC" for emulation, it suddenly works (it stops booting for about 10 secs, but went on working, showing the start menu selection !).
So the first learning was, it does ONLY run on 8088/8086, not on a later Intel CPU (like 286, 386 a.s.o).
This is it after booting (doing nothing else):


And these are the contents of the two disks, showed with "(F)iler":




Last but not least this is the (unusual) editor:


The disk images are in RAW format, and have a structure of 40 tracks, single sided, 8 sectors/track. Not sure if this can be changed to an other disk format, because you have to change the p-System code also.

See related link for the attached ZIP file with the disk images.

P.S.: I have also a page for UCSD software, see >here<.
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