LOAF Fixes a PC (or: the Story of Karga the Hero)

-danr-

Vice Admiral
This thread is quite the inspiration - and all done on a shoestring. LOAF - I must ask about that Hobbes helmet, you've probably talked about it plenty before but I've not seen it - is that the original?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
This thread is quite the inspiration - and all done on a shoestring. LOAF - I must ask about that Hobbes helmet, you've probably talked about it plenty before but I've not seen it - is that the original?

That is the original! After the film shoot it went to Origin's offices in Austin where it was taken by Prophecy and Secret Ops designer Captain Johnny Guentzel to decorate his office. When he left he made off with it and then sold it to me (along with the copy of the Wing Commander Universe bible that everyone has now read, which is actually what I was most excited about.) It's HUGE, but as I have a giant head it's the only Wing Commander helmet that goes on me. (I can cram myself into my regular Confed helmet, but it is VERY tight and looks weird.)

Anyway, I apologize for the lack of updates. We are getting near the end.

I eBay'd a still-sealed two-port OmniView PS/2 KVM that works with the Mac Adapter I picked up a while back and then installed that... only to overload my long chain of PS/2 AGAIN. Couldn't quite get power all the way through the three MasterPilots, the F-22, the KVM and the keyboard. A little bit of research revealed the surprising reason for this: the IBM Model M keyboard uses roughly *100 times* as much power as a modern keyboard. 112mA versus 1.2mA!

Luckily, the KVM came with the option for adding external power for... exactly this situation, I suppose. Unluckily, it didn't come with the AC adapter standard. You had to order it separately from Belkin. More specifically, you had to order it separately from Belkin in 1995.

Now as you are all humans who have had to use electricity at some point in your lives you know that finding the right aftermarket AC adapter is, unquestionably, the single most frustrating thing in the history of the universe. There are roughly ten zillion different combinations power output and jack size available, and 99.9% of the ones you find on Amazon are made by shady Chinese companies and have reviews like "two stars: it sort of worked but also melted and burned down my house." This is all owing to the fact that their inventor, Andrew C. Adapter, was an enormous jerk.

But: eBay to the rescue again. Searching for the specific power need revealed that for $10 shipped I could have one... attached to a noticably fancier four port OmniView! One oops-I-forgot-about-that order for an ADB cable to go from Bertha to the Mac Adapter later and I was all set! And really... no drama: everything worked great. In now that my chain is getting a boost to cover the keyboard I could probably add some more MFDs. Nah, the manual says three, I'll stick to that.

Note that I ended up using the four port adapter... for the future. WINK.

karga-omniview2.JPG


It is absolutely wonderful getting rid of the separate old one-button ball mouse for the Mac and using a modern optical mouse (which I still want to call a laser mouse even though I know one of you will say eh, actually there is a mouse made of lasers and you're not using it.) As for the keyboard it's a vast improvement over Bertha's sticky, quiet Apple model... but it also feels a little like kissing your sister to be using a big old IBM keyboard on a classic Mac.

I put the ADB keyboard and mouse it in my computer junk pile. Here is a preview of myself in 2025: I need an old mouse and a keyboard for a PC, oh here's one... what the hell is this connector? Also for future reference: on the Mac I go CPU-Thrustmaster-Adapter and on the PC I go CPU-MasterPilot-MasterPilot-Joystick-MasterPilot-KVM. Joysticks still work on both systems (and I did check the programmer.)

karga-oneboard.JPG


So... uh... I guess that's it. Thanks for reading, I'm never touching a computer again.

Just kidding. This is, I think, the end-for-now of Karga. I have no immediate plans, although I'm on the lookout for some more exotic components I'd like to add... but these are all once-a-year on eBay type things:

- A Forte VFX1. I know I can't really use most of what's cool about it but... damn it, Pix has me excited. I can't wait to see how his turns out. Adding a VFX1 would mean I need to swap the LAPC-I for an MT-32 to free up an ISA slot. And I'd need to add a graphics card with a feature connetor. Which... would be... fun.

- A 3DO Blaster. These are rarer than Mews teeth, but pretty neat. Basically a 3DO on an ISA card that lets you play 3DO games in DOS and Windows (and snap screenshots, the real appeal over my FZ-10!) They need a special CD-ROM and graphics card, though, and if I found one I'd probably put together a separate computer for it to add to the stack.

- A "Games Master." Another keyboard breakout thing that theoretically had mats for three WC games. There's a scan of an ad for it a few pages back. I've never seen one in the wild, so I'll just wait and watch eBay. But if you happen to be the guy who made these and you have a big stock of them in a warehouse somewhere, please contact me! In fact, I'll say it a few more times: KATT Keyboard and Terminal Techologies Games Master! KATT Keyboard and Terminal Techologies Games Master! KATT Keyboard and Terminal Techologies Games Master! KATT Keyboard and Terminal Techologies Games Master! KATT Keyboard and Terminal Techologies Games Master! Got it, search engine?

- I could add a PCI TV card to plug WC consoles in to Karga. That's an easy one, though, so I'll wait and see if it's needed.

- I still want to pretty up my keyboard to look like the Wing Commander Prophecy keyboard cover. But I have no artistic ability, so that will probably have to wait quite a while.

And with that...

THE END

CREDITS

LOAF, Karga and Bertha..........Themselves

Guy who fried Karga's RAM but later gave me a rad battery backup........LOAF's Friend John

Guy who gave me a Mac Thrustmaster setup, but we both forgot about it.........Dundradal

Guy who gave me the FCS and WCS I started with............Death

Woman who gave me two more MasterPilots for Christmas......LOAF's mom

Moral support.........YOU

Can breathe easy now.......everyone else on eBay bidding for old joysticks
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KARGA AND BERTHA WILL RETURN

IN

LOAF FIXES AN AMIGA

Coming soon!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Great thread, I've just read the lot and I'm pleased to announce I won't be asking for the time back. All wingnuts have toyed with the idea of putting together an old-spec system for the purpose of their obsession, but this really is the mother of all Wing Commander gaming setups. All the gear and software you've mentioned could probably start another 15 threads, and I for one have learned something today!

(I don't remember if I pointed this out already or not, but for the record: if you're getting weird sound in Privateer it's because the game secretly HATES EMM386. Run Privateer without it and the error clears up.)

This may have lead me to start a new thread in the tech support area, because I've always had weird sound issues with Privateer - on all machines, with the exception of my GoG copy in Win 7 - presumably because they've disabled EMM386.exe in that particular DOSBox setup.

That is the original! After the film shoot it went to Origin's offices in Austin where it was taken by Prophecy and Secret Ops designer Captain Johnny Guentzel to decorate his office. When he left he made off with it and then sold it to me (along with the copy of the Wing Commander Universe bible that everyone has now read, which is actually what I was most excited about.) It's HUGE, but as I have a giant head it's the only Wing Commander helmet that goes on me. (I can cram myself into my regular Confed helmet, but it is VERY tight and looks weird.)

Jealousy isn't the word.
 
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