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What to do with the oldest computer in the world...


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#1
Will_00

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I recently recieved an extremely old computer. It was custom built about 17 years ago (somewhere around there) and runs Windows 95. The mouse input is more like a monitor cable then anything, and the keyboard input is approximately twice the normal size. The mouse does not even work, though, as it is a Packard Bell and is only remotely shaped like a normal mouse. The computer does not even have any USB ports.

I was wondering what anyone would do with this? I could make it into a serious firewall, as well using it as spare parts does not seem to be of the strongest possibility. I was looking for an extremely old Linux operating system and found some, but of course it would not boot from CD. I may be able to put it on a floppy - but does anyone know of any that would work correctly, or anyway to get an extremely old mouse that would funtion?
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#2
trnstar

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if it was truly the oldest computer in the world you could sell it on ebay, but since its only 17 years old... I would take it outside with a shotgun and start blowing holes in it :)
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#3
Tyger

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You can make it boot from the CD by installing something called Smart Boot Manager to a floppy disk. Boot from the floppy, put you CD in the drive and choose the CDROM option. Google will be your friend here.
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#4
SRX660

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I have a Compaq Pentium 90 desktop computer still running. I doubt that it could even run Win 95 with its 330 MB hard drive and 8 MB ram, but it still runs and runs Windows 3.11 quite well. I use it to show people how far computers have come. When the computer fails to boot someday i will throw it away since there is no hardware in it worth saving.

SRX660
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#5
Patrick Wilmes

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I would recommend turning it into a firewall and using a program called Smoothwall. BUT you need two NIC cards for this firewall to work. One NIC going to the router. Other NIC going out to the internet. My friend has this and it helps his internet. It sounds unwanted things such as malware and keyloggers from entering. :)
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#6
Neil Jones

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Booting from CD was unheard of 17 years ago. It was either floppies or hard drive booting only. Computers couldn't do it any other way.

A PC can boot from a CD-Rom if the PCs BIOS supports the El Torito Bootable CD-ROM Format Specification v1.0.
This specification provides a way of getting to the location on the CD that will provide the boot information, while maintaining ISO-9660 compatibility.

The El Torito Bootable CD Specification is an extension to the ISO 9660 CD-ROM specification. It is designed to allow a computer to boot from a CD-ROM. It was announced in November 1994 and first issued in January 1995 as a joint proposal by IBM and BIOS manufacturer Phoenix Technologies.

A modern PC BIOS will search for boot code on a ISO 9660 CD according to the El Torito specification. If the CD contains bootable code, the BIOS will assign a BIOS drive number to the CD drive. The drive number assigned is either 80 (hard disk emulation), 00 (floppy disk emulation) or an arbitrary number if the BIOS should not provide emulation.

Emulation allows older operating systems to be booted from a CD, by making it appear to them as if they were booted from a hard or floppy disk. Newer operating systems do not require emulation to boot; all that is needed is an appropriate boot loader

According to legend, the El Torito CD/DVD extension to ISO 9660 gained its name because its design originated in an El Torito restaurant in Irvine, California.
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