Hardware clean-out finds some gems from the 90s

In the process of tidying up some our storage locker, i came across a box of old hardware that we used over 20 years ago. Once this box was uncovered the tidying up process certainly slowed as nostalgia set in.

AMD 486 DX2-80:

AMD 486 DX-2 80mhz Motherboard

One of the early motherboards we used, the impressive part of which was the AMD 486 DX2-80 mhz CPU. Now i recall this CPU being an absolute beast, at the time when Intel held the crown in the 486 arena with the 486DX2 66mhz. I recall the AMD chip being price competitive with the Intel 486DX2 66, so quite often it was a no brainer, plus you had the bragging rights of running at 40mhz externally.

Socket 3 Motherboard:

Asus Socket 3 Motherboard

Socket 3 motherboards often brought with them the mix of RAM sockets with the newer 72pin modules starting to become popular. Also the VLB slots were often filled with a video card and IDE Controller board.

I recall the power connectors on these, being split you had to ensure you always had the correct colour in the middle else you’d be met with an unfortunate surpise on power on.

VESA Local Bus (VLB):

VLB Video Cards

VLB Video cards were a regular feature, the 1mb Cirrus Logic, and 2mb Diamond Stealth (S3 Trio 64) cards displayed here were used quite a bit in our systems. I personally had a preference for the Diamond Stealth Cards, however they were the high-end line and usually more expensive than the likes of the Cirrus Logic card.

Intel Smart Video Recorder:

Intel Smart Video Recorder

Featuring a 64-bit 25/50-MHz i750 RISC engine, the Smart Video Record was one of the early capture boards we utilised. We were able to capture up to 30fps at 320×240, with our early systems utilising the Video for Windows (VFW) framework. This board was stayed in our production systems for a number of years, only replaced by cheaper alternatives as additional systems were required.

Backup on 5 1/4″ Floppy:

5 1/4" Floppy Disk

It will be interesting to see if these disks actually still read, but it is interesting to think how we were able to take entire backups on a couple 5 1/4″ disks.

Finding this old equipment has mad me wish i hadn’t discarded a large amount of equipment over the years, as looking back at it after 20 years makes me want to see if it all still works. Alas with the amount of system upgrades we have gone through over the pas 20 years there would have been a considerable amount of ‘junk’ priceless gems to store.


About Anthony Dowling

Founder Sjones Limited, focusing on developing ID and Security Card Solutions. Long time Delphi Developer. @AntDowling
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