Old PC stuff

I have a bunch of old DOS-based computers. They're fun.

Why bother? I don't know, why do people bother with old cars when newer ones are faster, better looking and more fuel efficient? There's something satisfying about getting an old piece of tech and making it chug along just right. And I also couldn't afford any of this shit when I was growing up in the 90s. Doom on a 386SX-20 is brutal in the most unfun way.


Built to handle everything from 1994-1998ish. Might upgrade the CPU so I can play Mechwarrior 2 at a better frame rate. Has a spiffy little 233MHz CPU. Runs everything else flawlessly, including resource-intensive games like Quake and TIE Fighter.

AOpen Generic ATX case & PSU
Octek Rhino 20+ ATX Socket 7 motherboard
Intel Pentium-S P54C 100MHz Socket 5 CPU
Intel Pentium P55C 233MHz Socket 7 CPU
32mb PC66 SDRAM
512k L2 cache
Startech CF-to-IDE adapter
4gb Transcend 133x CF card

Generic SD card to IDE bracket adapter
4gb SD card storage
Teac 5.25" 1.2mb floppy drive
Mitsumi 3.5" 1.44mb floppy drive
AOpen 52x IDE CD-ROM drive
Diamond Stealth 3D Pro 2000 (S3 Virge DX 4mb PCI) video card
Creative Labs CT 1740 Sound Blaster 16 ISA sound card
3Com 3C905 10/100 PCI ethernet card
FreeDOS 1.2
Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Generic serial mouse
Dell 17" CRT monitor (shared with Zeos 386SX)
Zeos Mechanical AT/XT Switchable keyboard (shared with Zeos 386SX)


Partially inspired by the "386 with modern parts" build by Phil's Computer Lab. I had a bunch of spare parts and wanted something that would run Wing Commander flawlessly. It's also a great box for Sierra/Lucasarts adventure games and EGA/VGA platformers. Runs most games from 1988-1993 perfectly.

Generic black ATX case with left side window & 430w PSU
ATX-to-AT power adapter
Custom power switch, turbo switch & turbo LED
Biostar MB1333 AEQ-K motherboard
ULSI 387DX-40 Math Co-Processor
8mb 70ns 30-pin SIMM RAM
Syba CF-to-IDE adapter
Generic 1gb CF card
Generic SD card to IDE bracket adapter
4gb SD card storage
Teac 5.25" 1.2mb floppy drive, black bezel
Teac 3.5" 1.44mb floppy drive, black bezel
Lite-On IDE DVDRW/CDRW drive
STB/Cirrus Logic 5436 1mb ISA video card
Aztech Sound Galaxy BXII 8-bit sound card
3Com Etherlink III 3C509-B ISA 10mbps ethernet card
Systemax wireless serial mouse
IBM Model M PS/2 mechanical keyboard
MS-DOS 6.22
Microsoft Windows 3.1

Zeos 386SX-20

The first computer my family ever owned, a hand-me-down from my aunt. Was literally in pieces for years until I restored it to its former glory a year or two ago. The CPU and video card are pretty anemic, but otherwise the system had some pretty impressive specs for the time. I still have the original manuals & boxes for almost everything.

Intel 386SX-20 CPU
Intel 387SX-20 Math Co-Processor
8mb RAM
120mb Seagate HD
40mb Seagate HD
120mb Colorado Jumbo QIC-40 tape backup drive
Teac 5.25" 1.2mb floppy drive
Teac 3.5" 1.44mb floppy drive
Paradise 8-bit 256k RAM VGA card
Creative Labs CT1600 Sound Blaster Pro 2.0 sound card
Logitech Scanman 16 greyscale handheld scanner with ISA interface card
Z-Nix Super Mouse II
MS-DOS 5.0
Microsoft Windows 3.1

Turbo XT

Some of the first PC experiences I ever had were on my cousin's old XT clone PC. I think the hard drive and cards in the machine got shuffled around into newer machines over the years, but eventually ended up in a Samsung S330 XT clone. That machine acted funny in the last couple years of use (my uncle was STILL using this thing to do taxes up until 1998 or so) and when they finally upgraded to a 486DX2/66 machine they gave me this thing.

Unfortunately the system gave up the ghost not too long after that in multiple ways. First the Seagate MFM hard drive died. Thankfully I salvaged some personal family files from the disk before it completely failed. Next the CMOS battery exploded, corroding a huge section of the mainboard. Upon closer inspection, somebody had previously attempted to disable onboard video/peripheral components by physically clipping the SMD components on the board. Needless to say, the system was mostly toast. Somehow, the board still POSTs, but it cannot detect a keyboard.

I removed the remaining good components (EGA card, floppy controller, I/O board/MFM controller) and threw them into a generic Turbo XT computer I got from eBay along with a NOS MFM hard drive I got from someone selling them on the Vintage Computer forum. The machine runs very well now and can handle DOS games and programs from 1980-1992ish.

AMD 8088-10 CPU
640k RAM
40mb MFM HD
1.2mb 5.25" floppy drive
360k 5.25" floppy drive
Everex EGA card
Tandy serial mouse
IBM Model "F" mechanical XT keyboard
Samsung EGA monitor
MS-DOS 5.0


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