segunda-feira, 20 de abril de 2015

Restoring my old IBM PS/1 486DX2 66MHz - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#46

The PS/1 line of computers was IBM’s successful return to the home market in 1990 and this specific model from 1993 was the very first time that I saw a tower model, even before the Amiga 4000T arrived. I fell in love with it right away and started saving some money getting also a part-time job just to get one of these! Even so, it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my parents, ‘cause these IBM machines were so freaking expensive, as you can see by the numbers printed in the original invoice that I’ve kept all these years! Its price was three hundred and ninety thousand escudos, around two thousand euros in today’s money!

It came originally with 4 megabytes of ram, one hundred and seventy megabytes of hard disk space and it’s a DX2 with 66 MHz and not a DX/33 as stated in the invoice. Through the years, I’ve managed to get some extra ram, to a total of 16 megabytes, and replaced the original hard drive so that I could get an astonishing number of five hundred and twenty eight megabytes for Windows 95 and games! Later I’ve also got a CD ROM drive and an ISA SoundBlaster compatible sound card that brought a new life to my favorite old DOS games.

Now let’s bring it back from the dead and listen to its startup amazing sounds!

The original PSU from my PS/1 died several years ago and, just now with the tip from my good friend Paulo_Becas, I realized that there are ATX to AT PSU converter cables. So, I’ve bought one of those from for about 15 euros and just used a spare ATX PSU that I had laying around.

Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Let’s try a few classic games, some of my biggest addiction from that Era!
Back then my favorite game genre was the point’n’click adventure type, so, inevitably I had to try some. Starting with Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, the floppy disk edition that has no digitized voice. I have it on steam, though, and finished it recently. Such an amazing adventure!

This is the first time that I’m hearing music from Wolfenstein 3D, and I’m amazed by it! I remember to play this game with only the beeps from the PC speaker! By the way, the IBM PS/1 models have this pretty handy PC speaker volume knob in the front of the case! Awesome thinking! Not everyone had the possibility to buy an audio card. Back then, prices weren’t friendly at all! So, if we’re gonna play games with sound only from the PC speaker, let’s make it with style!

Another awesome point’n’click adventure game from Lucas Arts: Day of the Tentacle, with tons of hilarious unforgettable moments! And this one has some amazing digitized speech throughout the game! Just an amazing accomplishment from Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman, that you know… right?..

Moving on to another game, this time around it’s another title that I’m hearing, for the first time, its music and sounds using a sound card! I remember to play GODS at a friend’s house even before I bought my own IBM. It’s one of the greatest classic from the Bitmap Brothers!

Who hasn’t played the very first Micro Machines? It’s such an entertaining and funny little game that got me hooked for countless hours and even days! I don’t recall this degree of sluggishness.. It’s maybe a sound issue?!? Hummmmm.
I’ve already reviewed this game for my channel, so feel free to check it out clicking on the rectangle shown on your screen.

The Monkey Island franchise brings so many memories from those awesome 3.5 inch floppy disk Era! Such an amazing time and such an awesome piece of programming, again from Lucas Arts and the creative minds of Tim Schafer, Dave Grossman and Ron Gilbert. Did you know that the film series Pirates of the Caribbean somehow drank some inspiration from the Monkey Island games? This is the second installment of the franchise, LeChuck’s Revenge. Another awesome point’n’click adventure classic.

It can’t get more classic that this: DOOM 2, Hell on Earth, the second installment of ID Software’s groundbreaking franchise. There weren’t any big differences in gameplay and graphics from the original DOOM. The Johns – Carmak and Romero – just focused on more complex level design taking advantage from the natural computer hardware evolution. And, someone once stated that “it’s a keep on the hard drive forever game”.

This is the first time I’m trying Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe on the PC. I used to play this game on the Amiga and it was considered by the press the best game ever made for that platform. Honestly, it’s not my kind of thing and, right now, I’m thinking of a ton more titles that are way better than this. Well, I’m testing it just to hear its main theme that I have on my iPod and absolutely love it.

Now comes a game that I spent so many time playing and enjoying. The very first Warcraft Orc and Humans, from Blizzard. Even today it continues to be so addictive! After I shot these images I spent the rest of the afternoon playing it! This isn’t just a “build base”, “build army” and “destroy enemy” type of RTS. We have also missions where we need to rescue friendly forces and besieged villages and it was a major breakthrough on the genre back in 1994. And it was highly enjoyable to play with a friend in multiplayer mode by modem or over local network.

So, guys! I hope that you’ve enjoyed this return to the past! It feels so good to have my old IBM working again! It was my first PC and, from the minute I’ve pushed the start button, it brought so many great memories from those years of DOS gaming!

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