Retro PC Project update

So the Toshiba Satellite Pro 4200 (SP4270) I ordered was the one with the DSTN screen, which explained why there was so much ghosting on the screen when I checked it out, as well as the contrast dial on the right side of the screen! It’s still a decently powerful laptop, but in terms of a more powerful retro gaming laptop, it’s essentially a bit of a bust, because any sort of STN screen sucks on a laptop used for gaming, as it can’t handle fast-moving stuff, as in stuff that happens with games! However, it should still work well as some sort of retro gaming server as servers don’t have anything that moves fast. However, I did spot another two SP laptops that might be good candidates to be used instead.

One that I just found (for 30 quid) that is in decent cosmetic condition (but has no Windows 98 sticker), and is complete, but there’s no charger, so it’s not known if it fully works, plus it’s missing a few keys and another that is known to work but is missing a door over the battery bay, but other than that, the cosmetic condition is what I’d call more than good! this one costs about 47 quid including postage but has no charger either! I’m hoping that one of them will work out for me, but as of yet, I have no idea what the other model numbers in the 4200 Series correspond to as of yet, but I’ll need to learn this information for future research, I think, as well as putting into a wiki of some sort!

In any case, the laptop I have currently can either be used as spare parts for a better 4200 (or even 4300 as they share the same parts) Series laptop, although I’m not overly keen on that idea, but the laptop isn’t really of use to me for any project outside of being parts or a server of some description. In terms of specs of the 4200/4300 Series, just to gloss over them, they’re all laptops with a Pentium III CPU, be that a Celeron or full one; all of them have an S3 Savage/IX GPU with 8MB of VRAM, and all of them actually have a DOS-compatible sound crd, which would be great for more demanding DOS games!

Lastly, all of the models apart from one (which again is the one that I have) have a TFT screen, which is what you want for a gaming laptop, as anything else is a deal-breaker. Like I said though, the DSTN version can either be used for parts for the better models, or used as a local game server, which I think I might actually do for this one, as I can just hook up a cheap keyboard and mouse to use with it… I might also do a dual-boot setup on it too, so I can run both Windows XP and DOS/Win98 SE stuff on it for using with the other laptops, especially given it means the screen isn’t being used, as well as also not having to worry about using the keyboard on the laptop.

My current plan really is to have pairs of laptops in order to facilitate null modem play via some games, but I do also have plans to set up a LAN for some retro PC laptops in order to facilitate gaming, as well as running other things too, but one step at a time. Ultimately though, I now know which model number (as far as I know) has the DSTN screen, and avoid it unless I need it for parts, although I will do some tests with it in order to see how the hardware (apart from the screen) will perform in the ways I’d want to use the better models for, so at least in terms of additional uses, I can do that with it as well!

But yeah, I’m rambling a bit now, so I’m going to call it here for now. As always, I’ll keep you all up to date with what’s going on, and eventually I’ll provide information on a website/wiki to make it easier for people to judge what they need to be able to play on DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, and XP, and if any tweaks or extra hardware is needed to do that, as it’s definitely getting harder to find the right information for certain laptops over others. But that’s me for now. Expect an IsaacStorm video later tonight at 23:00 on YouTube, with social media getting announced at 00:00 universally, as I’m going back to manual scheduling patterns.

Until then though, take care and I'll see you all later on.

Posted via | The City of Neoxian