Just a guy with a love for tech

Updates and acquistions

Adam L April 27, 2023

Over the past few months, I've accomplished a lot of upgrades and repairs on the various machines, from replacing CD-ROM drives to repairing power buttons, and replacing motherboards.

One of the major quality of life changes is that I now have two KVMs set up that give me full access to all but two of the machines here.

Now that I have this, switching between each machine is as simple as two button presses. The machines are divided into two banks of 4, ones with VGA output and the others with HDMI/DVI. This will make diagnosing, config and general usage of the machine a million times easier now that I don't have to constantly swap which ones are connected on the bench.

Site changes

Structure and style

As you have no doubt noticed, the site looks rather different compared to a week ago.

There are now two views of the site, one which uses far simpler HTML and CSS and one that uses modern HTML and CSS.

The reason behind this is two fold

  1. I saw people trying to visit the site using retro machines but of course, with the previous theme, it would've looked horrendous due to all the broken HTML and CSS
  2. I saw that some visitors had slow connections and when I saw that the CSS+JS code was over 2MB (due to the search index) that was going to take some time to download.

The low bandwith version of this site is here to fix those problems with mostly HTML4 compliance, minimal CSS and zero JS.

Processor Collection

The new CPU page is now available and is located on the menu bar above or you can visit here but stay and read this first!

Machine updates

AST Advantage

I replaced the CD-ROM drive in the AST Advantage, the drive used (a Mitsumi CRMC-FX400B) is an alternate model that was also factory fitted.

I've also installed a Seagate Medalist ST32122AB in there so now the AST can boot without any assistance from the Promise IDE Controller which has now been removed to make room a network card.

While I had the lid off, I replaced the failed Sunon KDE1208PTS3-6 with a Noctua NF-R8 redux-1800 which has a nearly idential rated CFM but at a fraction of the noise. To make absolutely sure I also added Gelid Solutions Silent 50mm fan to the CPU heatsink, belt and braces.


This machine got some additional cooling as well, a Noctua 60mm fan was added as a rear exhaust and I installed an Artic P12 120mm fan on a PCI bracket directly blowing on to the Voodoo2.

In addition to this work, I removed the Vibra-16 and installed an Audigy, this seems to have solved a few stuttering issues some games were having.

The OS was also upgraded to Windows 98 SE as it's more in keeping with the time period. Oh and I also fixed the sticky power/reset buttons on the case.

Danger of Death

This machine is now assembled and fully operational, except for an appropriate CD/DVD drive, it got a fresh install of Windows XP Professional and is fully upgraded to SP3. I've had some minor issues with it not wanting to POST every single time, it warrants further investigation, it could be a failing capacitor or a perhaps some RAM is acting up. Either way, it's earmarked for some bench time.

Cold Fusion

Since the last news post in Dec 2022, CF is now fully operational and has an installation of Kubuntu Intrepid Ibex (2006). It's mostly working fine, there's clearly some work to be done around the NVidia drivers and the X screen configuration as it always starts X with the wrong resolution and refresh rate, which is more an irritation than a problem. I'm sure I can get it working eventually.

That is, however, on the backburner for the time being as I've recently purchased another new Windows 7 Professional and I plan to install it on CF. I feel that without Windows, CF would be missing out on some fantastic titles that it could easily run with the specifications that it has.


With the final addition of some 120mm fans to the front and rear to improve flow, this machine is all done.

And to celebrate, my Daughter and I sat down and played some Minecraft 1.0 on it, getting a buttery smooth 56 fps at 1920x1080.

It's amazing to see how much stress a game with such a simple concept was able to put on a top-spec machine in 2012 and it still couldn't achieve a perfect frame to refresh rate ratio. I'm glad Mojang was eventually able to optimise the game loop and rendering.

Newest arrivals

Items marked with a "+" are "brand new, in box"




Graphics cards

Sound cards



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