Features that a vintage machine must have in order to spark your interest?

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Irinikus
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Re: Vintage machine features that spark your interest?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:32 am

SiliconClassics wrote:
Irinikus wrote:Confirm that the Oxygen 402 would work in my AlphaStation, as it appears to have a fairly large chip marked "digital" on it?


According to the User's Manual it should be Alpha-compatible.


Thats nice to know, but it requires Windows NT and the current firmware on my AlphaStation doesn't allow me to install windows NT, hence I'm currently running TRU64 on the machine.

If I can acquire one of these cards in the future, I will have to sort this issue out somehow, as it would be awesome to have a graphics capable AlphaStation. (Although this not a major priority at the moment, as I'm currently trying to complete my SGI collection, so that I can get on to some other interesting things, such as maybe trying to get my hands on a PIXAR Image Computer, however this would be an extremely tall order.)
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Irinikus
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Re: Features that a vintage machine must have in order to spark your interest?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Feb 04, 2018 10:01 am

Speaking of the PIXAR Image Computer, there is currently one for sale for a mere $30,000!

http://www.cyberquipment.com

This is definitely one of my holy grails when it comes to collectable graphics orientated vintage computers!
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pentium
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Re: Features that a vintage machine must have in order to spark your interest?

Unread postby pentium » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:48 pm

The thing is, 99% of the units out there are incomplete. Sure, fancy case and possibly the matching monitor, but no host machine, no cabling and especially no software.

$30000 buys you something to have repeated sexual encounters with because it was blessed by a balding douche who croaked form cancer.
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Irinikus
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Re: Features that a vintage machine must have in order to spark your interest?

Unread postby Irinikus » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:27 pm

In the past, I have seen one, which looked pretty much complete go on eBay for allot less than $30,000.

This one is just an example of what’s currently available, if you want to splash out and get one right now, which I certainly don’t want to right now, and especially not for that price.

The rarity of such a machine if it were to be fully functional makes it a “holy grail system “. Probably not something that will easily be released, if at all.

As far as the price goes, we should all know by now, that if you’re looking for something specific, at the right price, all it takes is patience, and quite a bit of it sometimes.

For example, I was able to put my AlphaStation together for a total of about $400, by buying two non-working machines, one from Germany and one from Spain. There are people asking up to $5395 for such a system on eBay! This just proves what I’m Saying about patience.

I have two PBXGB-AA POWERSTORM 3D30 GRAPHICS cards for my AlphaStation, but only one is in my machine at the moment, as you can only run the system as dual head machine with Windows NT as far as I'm aware.

The challenge is what collecting is all about! (For me anyway).
Last edited by Irinikus on Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Krokodil
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Re: Features that a vintage machine must have in order to spark your interest?

Unread postby Krokodil » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:10 pm

Has to have 24 bit graphics. A decent amount of working software and preferably a decent sound card. I prefer to be able to use them like a PC. I don't mind doing command line, as long as I'm not stuck with only that.

That's why I pretty much only have SGI's. But do have an Alpha configured as a workstation(sound and 2D graphics) and a Sun Ultra 5. The Oxygen VX1 2D accelerator works with Alphaservers and VMS.

I limit myself to UNIX mostly, but am also willing to work with VMS when I have the time.

I miss the days of the 90's, when computers had a mystique about them. Modern computers don't have that anymore and it's pretty sad.
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Shiunbird
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Re: Vintage machine features that spark your interest?

Unread postby Shiunbird » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:07 am

Irinikus wrote:I really love restoring things, it brings me both great enjoyment and satisfaction. I also get to learn allot at the same time. (More important than what you have, is what it teaches you.)


Indeed. Playing with old computers makes me a better professional. I actually became the go-to person at work for things that no one can explain, just because what we learn when we have to decompose to the smallest details to get things to work.

(the downside is that I spend too much time reading log files)
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Re: Vintage machine features that spark your interest?

Unread postby guardian452 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:02 am

SiliconClassics wrote:Same, if it can't do graphics then I'm generally not interested. SGI machines will always be my favorite vintage systems but I'll probably never own a Challenge or Origin.

That said, I'm really not interested in modern systems either. The latest NVidia cards are incredibly powerful but for some reason they just don't fascinate me as much as an old 3DLabs Wildcat or Oxygen 402. There was a period of time during the 80s and 90s when CG had a distinctive, unmistakable look all its own - smooth chrome surfaces, sharp edges, vivid colors, the kind of images from the old Mind's Eye video compilations - what the kids today call "A E S T H E T I C." The industry worked hard to overcome the technical hurdles that limited CG to that visual style, and today it's indistinguishable from reality, but I do miss that old look. It was unique to the medium, kind of like a watercolor or a charcoal drawing.

Would love to see some new animated short films produced in that old visual style.


Hey, AC popped up in my spotify for some reason and it reminded me of this video. Hadn’t seen it since it first came out (and I’m pretty sure I shared it here back then) but here you go.



There was a period of time during the 80s and 90s when CG had a distinctive, unmistakable look all its own - smooth chrome surfaces, sharp edges, vivid colors, the kind of images from the old Mind's Eye video compilations
That was also just the style back then. The only way this video could be more 90's is if they were riding in-line rollerskates:

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Re: Features that a vintage machine must have in order to spark your interest?

Unread postby theinonen » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:41 am

For me the system has to have enough features to make it worth playing with and enough limitations to make it interesting to use.

I am just old enough to have experienced 8-bit home computers and young enough to appreciate what we have now, but somehow I am not getting that excited about modern computers anymore as everything is just more of the same.


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