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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 6th Jan 2019, 5:37 pm   #21
Oldcodger
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Runs quite well and smooth, but my dongles need more memory. With a 10GB HD in it, I think , I may well just save it as somewhere to store data.
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 2:21 pm   #22
Paul Stenning
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Yes I was going to suggest Windows 2000, along with an older version of Microsoft Office (such as Office 95, 98 or 2000) would at least allow it to do something useful with the 128MB RAM. These also predate Microsoft activation which makes installing easier.

However it is not suitable for using online and you are unlikely to get any sort of antivirus that will run on it now.
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 9:17 pm   #23
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

The specs show it originally came with Windows 95, 98 or NT4.

I'd lean towards NT4. Windows 2000 will run adequately on 128 MB, but NT4 will be smoother with that amount of memory. It'll still run Office 97. I'd avoid Office 95, simply because you'll find users of modern versions will have to change security settings to open any files you create in the old 95 format.

You could use it online, but only behind a firewall with gateway antivirus (say a WatchGuard Firebox T10 for ADSL, T35 for fibre). I think the chance of encountering an exploit for NT4 in the wild in 2019 isn't huge.

As others have indicated, 128 MB may be the minimum stated for XP RTM but it's unusable with that much memory. You really needed 256 MB for decent performance running very simple applications (say Word 2000 on its own), or 512 MB for full Office. With SP3 you need 2 GB.
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 10:27 pm   #24
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

There was a big improvement in usability with W2K though, and I don't remember it being significantly slower than NT4 when machines were upgraded. W2K also gives access to (slightly) more recent applications.

W2K was NT5 within Microsoft, XP NT5.1. I think Vista was NT6, then MS reverted to version numbers with 7 (6.1 internally), 8(6.2) 8.1 (6.3) and 10 (6.4)(not sure what happened to 9). Presumably the minor version number has been increasing with each W10 feature update.
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 10:47 pm   #25
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

My understanding is, the designation "Windows 9" was avoided on purpose, in case some software thought that was enough to be the beginning of "Windows 95" or "Windows 98" and refused to run, or tried to use some sort of compatibility mode.
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Old 8th Jan 2019, 11:35 pm   #26
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

That's certainly one of the suggestions, but I don't think anybody really knows. Maybe '10' tested better in the marketing focus groups.
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Old 9th Jan 2019, 10:50 pm   #27
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
I don't remember it being significantly slower than NT4 when machines were upgraded.
NT4 ran adequately on 64 MB of memory, while 128 MB was really a starting point with Win2k.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julie_m View Post
My understanding is, the designation "Windows 9" was avoided on purpose, in case some software thought that was enough to be the beginning of "Windows 95" or "Windows 98" and refused to run, or tried to use some sort of compatibility mode.
That was always incredibly unlikely. The API calls for version return the actual Windows version number - 4.0 for 95, 4.1 for 98 and 4.9 for ME.

Skipping 9 was mainly marketing.
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 1:34 am   #28
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Just spotted this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
MS reverted to version numbers with 7 (6.1 internally), 8(6.2) 8.1 (6.3) and 10 (6.4)
Windows 10 is reported as version 10, not 6.4, as long as the application is manifested for newer versions of Windows. Older applications will see 6.2 for Windows 8, 8.1 or 10.

See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-nz/win...system-version

Attached are the versions returned for 7 (in a VM) and 10.
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 12:27 am   #29
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Stenning View Post
Yes I was going to suggest Windows 2000, along with an older version of Microsoft Office (such as Office 95, 98 or 2000) would at least allow it to do something useful with the 128MB RAM. These also predate Microsoft activation which makes installing easier.

However it is not suitable for using online and you are unlikely to get any sort of antivirus that will run on it now.

Many thanks, Paul. I've now got the modem card, which looks like an old ethernet card, but with something similar to a slim line version of USB. I might try the laptop with one of the office versions I've got ,possibly 2000. It's a pity as this laptop has a DVD drive as opossed to CD drives fitted to machines of similar age.
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 3:08 pm   #30
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

If you want to play DVDs on it then an older version of VLC will probably do the job.

If you have my service data DVD-ROM then you could install an older version of Acrobat Reader and use it for accessing service data in the workshop perhaps? Acrobat Reader 5.1 is on the DVD-ROM and will work fine on Windows 2000.
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Old 11th Jan 2019, 6:35 pm   #31
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Wasn't this machine from the era when PCs were shipped with DVD decoder cards because the CPUs weren't adequate to decode DVD and render the graphics on the fly?

I recall a friends PC had one of these cards, which quickly became obsolete as CPUs improved. Seemed an amazing novelty at the time, even being able to play DVD on a computer, which was then a new format
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Old 12th Jan 2019, 10:47 pm   #32
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

No it's actually got a DVD player. One option is to see if my daughter has my old WiFi dongle that I know will run on ancient laptops and see if I can access the wifi printer over the house WiFi. Thanks, again Paul, but ( possible like most on here), I'm a bit of a hoarder, and with a 320 GB data store I seldom junk old programs. And I've possibly got even older software on my collection of old motherboard CDs.
The modem ( should anyone recognise it) is a XIRCOM Credit card Ethernet + Modem 33.6, with unusual edge type connectors. I'd suspect it's an old 33.6 KB data moden, but how to connect /
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 1:09 pm   #33
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Hi Codger,
I was under the impression generally DVD Players could also read CD's.
Is this true of yours?
Regards - Mike.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 9:01 pm   #34
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldcodger View Post
No it's actually got a DVD player. One option is to see if my daughter has my old WiFi dongle that I know will run on ancient laptops and see if I can access the wifi printer over the house WiFi.
Remember that you'll need something that has drivers for the OS you choose to use, and you'll probably be limited to WET encryption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldcodger View Post
The modem ( should anyone recognise it) is a XIRCOM Credit card Ethernet + Modem 33.6, with unusual edge type connectors. I'd suspect it's an old 33.6 KB data moden, but how to connect /
Xircom were big players in the PCMCIA/CardBus communications card market. It'll either have pop-out connectors for Ethernet (8P8C) and phone line (6P4C), or you'll need the matching dongle.
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 11:03 pm   #35
Oldcodger
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

Mike- yes.
arjoll I had the drivers for the old dongle ( and I remember they were available on net) which worked well on W2K.
Modem has three connectors, one on other side being slimline -possibly an edge type connector and a very small two hole type connector in the middle.
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Old 14th Jan 2019, 10:13 pm   #36
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Default Re: Dell CPi 233ST laptop

I might even have one of those Xircom modems with the odd plug in phone line adaptor. I am another junk hoarder.
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