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Thread: reliving the goold old days.... of Windows XP

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  1. #1
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    reliving the goold old days.... of Windows XP

    One of my recent purchases was an old Dell Optiplex with a clean install of Windows XP Pro 32-bit. Now, I like Windows 7 enough, but it has issues; one of which is spotty support for older games. As I have 64-bit W7 I can't install any game that uses a 16-bit installer even if the game itself is 32-bit. I've also had some odd issues with certain games- controls in Simcity 3000 were too sensitive and unworkable, Shadow Man suffered some strange physics glitches(sliding on sloped surfaces) and some enemies couldn't be killed which made the game unbeatable. I also thought I could use a second Windows PC, given the issues I've had with the Gateway which is why I went with a second PC instead of installing XP onto my Gateway.

    After some searching on eBay for what was available I settled on a refurbished Dell Optiplex 745. 80 GB HDD, 2 GB RAM, 3 GB Pentium D processor. Nothing special, but it does have SATA ports so I can at least replace the DVD-ROM or HDD easier if need be. Wonderful case design though- it's made to sit flat like an old 80s PC so I could put it above the TV, and the top panel pops off easily with a spring-loaded latch, unlike the brute force needed to get the side panel off some cases. I can upgrade if I wish, being older may mean stuff like a PSU or video card could be cheaper and I can boost the RAM for cheap, most likely.

    Right now I'm loading up and playing games I haven't been able to touch in 4 years. Shadow Man is playable without the glitches, I can run Simcity 2000 and 3000. I can install Max Payne 1 and Kiss Psycho Circus along with a pile of other old games. Not sure about a web browser- the current build of Firefox may work(it eats up about 400 MB of RAM on my Gateway PC with plugins using much of that) although I plan to take this online only if necessary.

    My total cost was $65 shipped for the PC with keyboard and mouse, plus the cost of a 3.5mm audio cable and a USB extension cable, so not a great expense- I recall back in 2002, my Compaq PC was around $700 total. I actually would advise people to own at least 2 computers given the chance of malware or hardware failure to make one inoperable- granted, a lot of people now own a PC/Mac, laptop, pad, phone, whatever, but even if you aren't it's still worth looking into something used/refurbished for cheap as a backup. Having an older OS on hand is great for retro gaming seeing as newer Windows won't handle everything and DOSbox isn't 100% reliable for those purposes, and you're likely to hate some features of a newer OS. Most people loved XP, almost everyone hated Vista and 7 was better loved than Vista but nowhere near XP's level of regard. Seems 8 is also not winning people over.

  2. #2
    Master of New Adventures!
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    In all my life, with all of my computers, XP was my most beloved O/S. It never complained, it never gave me a moment of grief, it did exactly what it promised to do and it was a workhorse.

    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    One of my recent purchases was an old Dell Optiplex with a clean install of Windows XP Pro 32-bit. Now, I like Windows 7 enough, but it has issues; one of which is spotty support for older games. As I have 64-bit W7 I can't install any game that uses a 16-bit installer even if the game itself is 32-bit. I've also had some odd issues with certain games- controls in Simcity 3000 were too sensitive and unworkable, Shadow Man suffered some strange physics glitches(sliding on sloped surfaces) and some enemies couldn't be killed which made the game unbeatable. I also thought I could use a second Windows PC, given the issues I've had with the Gateway which is why I went with a second PC instead of installing XP onto my Gateway.

    After some searching on eBay for what was available I settled on a refurbished Dell Optiplex 745. 80 GB HDD, 2 GB RAM, 3 GB Pentium D processor. Nothing special, but it does have SATA ports so I can at least replace the DVD-ROM or HDD easier if need be. Wonderful case design though- it's made to sit flat like an old 80s PC so I could put it above the TV, and the top panel pops off easily with a spring-loaded latch, unlike the brute force needed to get the side panel off some cases. I can upgrade if I wish, being older may mean stuff like a PSU or video card could be cheaper and I can boost the RAM for cheap, most likely.

    Right now I'm loading up and playing games I haven't been able to touch in 4 years. Shadow Man is playable without the glitches, I can run Simcity 2000 and 3000. I can install Max Payne 1 and Kiss Psycho Circus along with a pile of other old games. Not sure about a web browser- the current build of Firefox may work(it eats up about 400 MB of RAM on my Gateway PC with plugins using much of that) although I plan to take this online only if necessary.

    My total cost was $65 shipped for the PC with keyboard and mouse, plus the cost of a 3.5mm audio cable and a USB extension cable, so not a great expense- I recall back in 2002, my Compaq PC was around $700 total. I actually would advise people to own at least 2 computers given the chance of malware or hardware failure to make one inoperable- granted, a lot of people now own a PC/Mac, laptop, pad, phone, whatever, but even if you aren't it's still worth looking into something used/refurbished for cheap as a backup. Having an older OS on hand is great for retro gaming seeing as newer Windows won't handle everything and DOSbox isn't 100% reliable for those purposes, and you're likely to hate some features of a newer OS. Most people loved XP, almost everyone hated Vista and 7 was better loved than Vista but nowhere near XP's level of regard. Seems 8 is also not winning people over.

  3. #3
    Master of My Soul MOTU_Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diosoth View Post
    Most people loved XP, almost everyone hated Vista and 7 was better loved than Vista but nowhere near XP's level of regard. Seems 8 is also not winning people over.
    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    In all my life, with all of my computers, XP was my most beloved O/S. It never complained, it never gave me a moment of grief, it did exactly what it promised to do and it was a workhorse.
    I have previously had Windows XP and Vista, but currently have 7 on my laptop and 8 on my desktop. I can say, HANDS DOWN, that XP was by far my favorite version of windows OS.
    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  4. #4
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Which can be attested to the fact as an OS it went years beyond what was to be the expected life of it. And people still groaned when they said they were putting the nail in the coffin, it even outlasted ME and Vista which both came after it and was preferred over both. On average the other versions of Windows last about 2-3 years, NT was 4 or 5, when Windows 2k was released which then combined with the more home released models most people were aware of windows 95, and 98
    One Gum Drop to rule them all, One Gum Drop to find them,
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  5. #5
    Shivering Isles resident diosoth's Avatar
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    Well, CENSORED. Looks like the 80 GB HDD in this PC is dying, event viewer started noting bad sectors and blocks yesterday and it got worse today when I had some real issues with a BSOD and system restore points not working at all. I'm running HD Tune, it's not done yet but it's already reporting 29.4% damaged blocks. It's also running at 56 degrees C which is high- my W7 PC runs about 33 degrees and HD Tune says all blocks are good on that drive.

    Though as I just got this drive and it takes SATA, I'll probably put in the 500 GB WD drive I bought a few months back as a spare. It'll mean having more files on the PC, but I'll definitely contact the seller and see what they say. I'm not blaming them, SMART and such may have reported fine when they refurbished it since these errors began yesterday but the 80 GB drive is almost toast.

    Now to dig up a copy of XP to install with the fresh drive...

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior
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    XP FTW.

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