This website is one of the few sites that functions decently on my Pentium 3 system

Weatheronthe8s

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Yes. I am currently typing this on my Pentium 3. It does not run perfect, but it is one of the few sites I have found that is still functional on this computer besides Google. Pages take about 10 seconds to load and my typing and scrolling is a bit delayed, as even Google can be, but it works and is usable. I have to say thank you to the people who run this site for keeping it relatively easy to run on even the oldest of computers.

Here are my specs:
CPU: Pentium 3 450 MHz
GPU: GeForce4 MX440 (64 MB VRAM)
RAM: 384 MB
OS: Windows XP (mainly to test what little modern software that can run on this thing)

This computer is actually older than I am by about 2 years with the exception of the GPU which I upgraded because the original one lacked 3D support. Either way, it is certainly interesting using a computer older than I am when I was born back in 2001. I actually got this computer from work which let me have it. I love using this thing despite not having much software designed for it.
 
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JaysonTheRegressor

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I wonder why there's such a huuge connection between PC building/repairing and being abdl
It's like, strangely huge
Like I feel like I'm the only abdl who doesn't do computer repair XD
 

Weatheronthe8s

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I wonder why there's such a huuge connection between PC building/repairing and being abdl
It's like, strangely huge
Like I feel like I'm the only abdl who doesn't do computer repair XD
I'm not sure. I didn't even know there was a major connection. It's just always been something that has interested me a lot. I think I have a curious mindset which makes me like to work on computers. Strangely though, I love to work on computers and build them and things, but I have not been able to get into coding as much as I'd like to. It just seems to be too weird for my brain. There are probably a few reasons why many people here have that interest though.
 

Weatheronthe8s

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I'm guessing the major hurdle is not having an up-to-date browser? I wonder how much further you could go with Linux?
That is certainly a hurdle as the newest browser I know of that will run is Firefox 48 (I actually use Firefox 45). If it was a newer CPU, I could use something like MyPal which is a much newer version of Firefox basically, but it requires SSE2, something the Pentium 3 does not support. I notice that with a lot of software, including software that has no reason to require it. I have kinda thought about trying Linux on here. However, I am not sure if that would really help at all as SSE2 is a much bigger limitation than Windows XP is. This computer can technically run Windows 7 if I wanted it to, but I know the performance would be pretty bad considering the low end hardware.
 
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srmousse

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My first real computer had similar specs!!! Parents bought it in '96/97... I still have a clear memory when I saved up $75 and bought a 14.4kb modem! The smell of plastic and solder when pulling it from the wrapper. The excitement of unscrewing the case and popping that sucker in! The thrill of hearing the schreeching and squawking of the first connection!!! And then, two weeks later, stumbling, almost by accident, onto DPF's website! This changed my life, as it was the first moment, being 16/17, that I realized I was not alone!

Thanks for sharing these memories!

As an aside, you might consider testing out Puppy Linux. It's super light weight and designed for this kind of computer. The great news is you can run it off a cd rom, usb flash drive, or even floppy disk before you install it so that you can test it out.
 

Weatheronthe8s

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My first real computer had similar specs!!! Parents bought it in '96/97... I still have a clear memory when I saved up $75 and bought a 14.4kb modem! The smell of plastic and solder when pulling it from the wrapper. The excitement of unscrewing the case and popping that sucker in! The thrill of hearing the schreeching and squawking of the first connection!!! And then, two weeks later, stumbling, almost by accident, onto DPF's website! This changed my life, as it was the first moment, being 16/17, that I realized I was not alone!

Thanks for sharing these memories!

As an aside, you might consider testing out Puppy Linux. It's super light weight and designed for this kind of computer. The great news is you can run it off a cd rom, usb flash drive, or even floppy disk before you install it so that you can test it out.
That’s really interesting! I may test a Linux distro like that at some point.
 

winterheart01

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That’s really interesting! I may test a Linux distro like that at some point.
back in the days I ran Gentoo Linux for 14 years on older intel pc's. Newer than PIII though, but that distro was truly the least bloathed because you could install just the stuff you need and a thin UI like (fluxbox , ratpoison)
Gentoo's packaging system has gone downhill the last 6 years so I stopped using it but basicaly it survived 3 machines, I just ook a full disk image and recompiled the kernel with the livecd and my same old gentoo was up & running on a new machine :)
 

tiny

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I still have a clear memory when I saved up $75 and bought a 14.4kb modem! The smell of plastic and solder when pulling it from the wrapper. The excitement of unscrewing the case and popping that sucker in! The thrill of hearing the schreeching and squawking of the first connection!!! And then, two weeks later, stumbling, almost by accident, onto DPF's website! This changed my life, as it was the first moment, being 16/17, that I realized I was not alone!

God, yeah! I discovered newsgroups at university and randomly came across alt.sex.fetish.diapers, and then DPF. I didn't really visit them regularly, but just knowing they existed and I wasn't "the only one" was a revelation.

We still has an analogue telephone exchange back then. The Internet worked something like this:

 

Weatheronthe8s

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God, yeah! I discovered newsgroups at university and randomly came across alt.sex.fetish.diapers, and then DPF. I didn't really visit them regularly, but just knowing they existed and I wasn't "the only one" was a revelation.

We still has an analogue telephone exchange back then. The Internet worked something like this:

Yeah. That's pretty crazy. I'm actually too young to remember using dial up internet as a child. My mom says we had it, but I don't remember anything before broadband. I did try out free NetZero not that long ago for fun, and it was slow, but very fun. Kinda the same kind of fun I have with this computer, except the computer is quite a bit newer. This computer I have doesn't even have a modem. Only ethernet. I tried to take the one from work with the most potential to get by online, as there is also a Pentium 2 system there with a modem card. I may also take it too at some point though.
 

tiny

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That is certainly a hurdle as the newest browser I know of that will run is Firefox 48 (I actually use Firefox 45). If it was a newer CPU, I could use something like MyPal which is a much newer version of Firefox basically, but it requires SSE2, something the Pentium 3 does not support. I notice that with a lot of software, including software that has no reason to require it. I have kinda thought about trying Linux on here. However, I am not sure if that would really help at all as SSE2 is a much bigger limitation than Windows XP is. This computer can technically run Windows 7 if I wanted it to, but I know the performance would be pretty bad considering the low end hardware.
The more I come back to the specs you mentioned, the more impressed I am that XP works "acceptably"!

I've just reinstalled GNU/Linux on the netbook I bought in 2008. I tried running XP on it when it came out, but it was completely unusable. Thank god for Linux!

--------
If you're going to stick with XP, I'd definitely recommend using nLite. It lets you customise the XP installation CD/ISO, slipstream Service Packs, pre-install Windows Updates, remove unnecessary components, tweak the settings, and automate the installation. It's totally amazing.

--------
You could also go back to Windows 98 and use "98Lite" (which is vaguely similar to nLite).

--------
I'm running Arch32 (a 32-bit fork of Arch Linux) on my old netbook. It's so much faster than XP. You don't need SSE2 on either i686 or i484 architecture, although there's a bug with SSE2 on some i686 packages (see link), so you might be better off with the i486 version(?):

--------

Or... if you get bored and want to try something that will actually run quickly on such an old machine.... Have you heard of Pacman? Well... there are hundreds (thousands?) of old arcade games of a similar era (1970s to 1990s) that ran on hardware with, maybe a 12 MHz CPU and 16 kB RAM.

There are lots of ways to emulate these old games. Have a look at MAME and RetroArch, for example.

I run Batocera Linux (which is based on RecalBox), using MAME 0.78. It should run at full speed even on your old PC. (You *might* have to go back to something like MAME 0.36 if it's a bit slow.)


The tricky bit is getting the games (and getting them to work). It's legally a grey-area (depending where you live), but you can easily find torrents of MAME arcade games -- often including almost every game ever released. However, every game file will work only with a very specific and matching version of MAME. To get round this, you will need a "ROM manager" to check, validate, and convert ROM (game) images to the specific MAME version you want to use.

But, it's very rewarding to have some old useless PC running Pacman and Donkey Kong even more gracefully than it did in the arcades!

-------

Anyway, I hope you're having fun with your old PC. I remember looking at PCs with similar specs in the late 1990s, and I would have bitten your arm off for a PC as powerful as yours!
 

Weatheronthe8s

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The more I come back to the specs you mentioned, the more impressed I am that XP works "acceptably"!

I've just reinstalled GNU/Linux on the netbook I bought in 2008. I tried running XP on it when it came out, but it was completely unusable. Thank god for Linux!

--------
If you're going to stick with XP, I'd definitely recommend using nLite. It lets you customise the XP installation CD/ISO, slipstream Service Packs, pre-install Windows Updates, remove unnecessary components, tweak the settings, and automate the installation. It's totally amazing.

--------
You could also go back to Windows 98 and use "98Lite" (which is vaguely similar to nLite).

--------
I'm running Arch32 (a 32-bit fork of Arch Linux) on my old netbook. It's so much faster than XP. You don't need SSE2 on either i686 or i484 architecture, although there's a bug with SSE2 on some i686 packages (see link), so you might be better off with the i486 version(?):

--------

Or... if you get bored and want to try something that will actually run quickly on such an old machine.... Have you heard of Pacman? Well... there are hundreds (thousands?) of old arcade games of a similar era (1970s to 1990s) that ran on hardware with, maybe a 12 MHz CPU and 16 kB RAM.

There are lots of ways to emulate these old games. Have a look at MAME and RetroArch, for example.

I run Batocera Linux (which is based on RecalBox), using MAME 0.78. It should run at full speed even on your old PC. (You *might* have to go back to something like MAME 0.36 if it's a bit slow.)


The tricky bit is getting the games (and getting them to work). It's legally a grey-area (depending where you live), but you can easily find torrents of MAME arcade games -- often including almost every game ever released. However, every game file will work only with a very specific and matching version of MAME. To get round this, you will need a "ROM manager" to check, validate, and convert ROM (game) images to the specific MAME version you want to use.

But, it's very rewarding to have some old useless PC running Pacman and Donkey Kong even more gracefully than it did in the arcades!

-------

Anyway, I hope you're having fun with your old PC. I remember looking at PCs with similar specs in the late 1990s, and I would have bitten your arm off for a PC as powerful as yours!
Yeah. I love this thing. Ironically, XP actually runs decent on this thing. I think it's because it doesn't have any bloatware like most computers had back then. I primarily use it because it's an OS I know really well and for the support of some modern programs. I may try something else at some point though. The ISO I use has all the updates up to November 2013 and comes pre activated with basically no bloat features. It works aweseome. I have tried emulation, but it can only seem to run up to Super Nintendo at full speed, and only after I put a better GPU in it. Linux could be an interesting experiment though as well as Windows 98 since I didn't grow up with that.
 

Weatheronthe8s

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I thought I'd give an update on the state of this system. It no longer works at all. I turn it on and nothing happens. The fans will spin up and things, but no POST sadly. I'm not sure what's wrong with it. I also just got a Pentium 2 system yesterday. It does the exact same thing. I'm sorta hoping that the problem lies somewhere where I can swap components from one system to the other, but I'm not sure since they do the same thing.
 

depends4me

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Could the power supply be bad? I haven't troubleshooted anything like that in a long time, but that's all I can think of for no POST. Remove all cards (temporary including video and RAM) and see if you can force a POST response.
 

Weatheronthe8s

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Could the power supply be bad? I haven't troubleshooted anything like that in a long time, but that's all I can think of for no POST. Remove all cards (temporary including video and RAM) and see if you can force a POST response.
I removed everything from the system except for the CPU (which actually is also a card). I also unplugged all of the extra power cables apart from the ones going to the motherboard. Still nothing. I don't know what's wrong with it.
 

depends4me

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The RAM is on the CPU board, isn't it? I would remove the CPU card then, too. At this point it can't make things worse. If that doesn't elicit a POST response, I would try to find a known good power supply or test your PSU with a similar board. Given the age of the motherboard, anything could happen (capacitors fail all the time), so it's got to be one or the other.
 

KitsuneFox

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Intel Celeron M ( 370 socket ) would be a great way to upgrade your PC for under $12 :)
 

Weatheronthe8s

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The RAM is on the CPU board, isn't it? I would remove the CPU card then, too. At this point it can't make things worse. If that doesn't elicit a POST response, I would try to find a known good power supply or test your PSU with a similar board. Given the age of the motherboard, anything could happen (capacitors fail all the time), so it's got to be one or the other.
Yeah. That's true. Who knows. It's just hard to do when I have no good working system from the time period.
 
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