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(re: Building Old Computers For Sierra Gaming)

Here’s what I have.

Sierra games from 1979-1983 go onto an old IBM PC from 1982 I found in a neighbor’s trash. He threw the monitor away, too. It has a 8086 processor, two 1.2 MB floppy drives (seems like a waste), one external 720 KB floppy drive, a 15 MB hard disk, an old mouse, an AdLib card, and a high-res (640 x 480) EGA card. The cache and RAM slots (with the old push-in RAM modules, not the nice chips we have today) are all filled to the max, giving me a whopping 960 KB of RAM. It even has an old modem which is too slow for anything. I play really old, boot-from-disk (Flopper) games on this dinosaur. My neighbor left Window 1.5 on it and it’s useless.

I have a Tandy 1800 DLX for DOS Sierra games from 1984-1995. Amazingly, only Police Quest 4 and SWAT 1 doesn’t run on this. The RAM is maxxed to 8 MB (with those risky RAM expanders that allow more chips to fit onto the extra slots), it has a 2x Creative CD-ROM, two large 520 MB hard disks, an external 1.2 MB floppy drive, and two 2.88 MB floppy drives (the format that never made it). I also stuck Windows 3.5 on it, and I replaced the modem with a 56kbps and a broadband card. Have Internet Explorer 5.1 for Win3.1 on it, though the Cirrus Logic card has no problems ever displaying graphics. I use the on-board Tandy 3-Voice for both music and digitzed sound. And a PBTV for watching TV (in 64 colors) through Windows. DOS 2000 in the main OS. It’s great for a good many of games that require 4 MB of RAM. The processor is much too slow, though, for the Police Quest games, and a few others that started coming out from 1993 onwards. I have no problem with Larry 7, strangely enough, nor with Larry 6, and the early Sierra CD games.

My last old PC in a PowerLeap’d AT&T Pentium 150. It has a PCI SoundBlaster Live!, am AMD K6 550, 1024 MB RAM, a PCI TV card, WinXP Home, 240 GB total internal HD space, a PCI broadband/FireWire/USB 2.0 card, two DVD-/+RWs internal and such. I run, using Virtual PC if needs be, all my old games made since 2002 on this machine, unless the game needs a Pentium III and up, which then I’m using the PC I’m using to type this.

I also have a Power Macintosh 7800/180 PowerPC for Sierra games I have on the Mac. Under System 7.5.5, the Mac ran everything great. Under 9.2.2, it’s very choosy. So I hacked OS X Panther onto it (lost my warranty according to Apple) and it plays nothing old! Luckily, I have the old LC III and an Apple IIe Platium, which I still send to Apple and upgrade to a Apple IIgs instead.

Then, of course, it my gaming consoles: TurboGrafx-16 w/ CD-ROM, Sega Master System, PC Engine Turbo Duo, FamiCom Titler, Super NES II, Genesis CDX w/ 32X, PlayStation with MOD chip, Japanese PS2, for those region 2 movies and adult games only found in Japan, an old NES, Atari Jaguar, 5200, 7800, Super Arcade II and Lynx, a ColecoVision, a Sega Saturn with super MOD chip, a 3DO FZ-10, a Dreamcast, Super Famicom, Nintendo64 with a Japanese Disk Drive (works, but I don’t know what to do), a Memorex CD-i w/ MPEG, a Goldstar CD-i/DVD combo, a Pioneer LaserActive, GameCube with Game Boy Player, Game Gear, Sega Nomad, Game Boy Advance, and, finally a NUON DVD player. Total games: 2500, 60% on PC alone. I also still have, but not hooked up: VIC-20, Apple 1 (pain in the butt), TRS-80 monochrome, TI-99 w/ tape drive (tapes were high tech!), and a Bandai Playdia with no games. In other words, if there’s a game I want to play, I’ll play it not matter what!