Author Topic: Should I go for it or better not?  (Read 731 times)

Mathias

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Should I go for it or better not?
« on: July 26, 2019, 11:20:42 pm »
:D - Found  an article on ebay: Pentium 90... would be perfect for a retro machine running OS/2 Warp 4.x, I thought.
(First I only saw the computer case.. wich I also have a 486er machine of, but then I investigated further, as the guy selling the thing gave no infos at all about that thing..)

The case says Intel Pentium, and the back says Model 90.. so chances are that this is a P90... might be even with a P90 fdiv bug.. :o
But I love this ultra rare case.. and want it! :D - It is a Highscreen Sky Tower 500.

The case also includes a Colorado 250 tape drive, a SCSI ISA card, PCI graphics card, an ISA sound card, 3.5 inch and 5 1/4 inch floppy drive, numerous software (not specified, just pictures of floppy disks), and a CRT monitor.

I wrote this seller.. as I wanted to know, atleast, which CPU this is, how much RAM is installed, mainboard type, etc
And he appears to have no clue.. he offered me to take more pictures from inside the case and for me to visit by. (too far away from me unfortunately)

Appears like he does not know what he has there.
But pricing is a bit hard, imho...

Bidding starts at 300 EUR (333,80 Dolar), (immediate buy at 450 EUR (500,70 Dollar)), no bids yet.

Since this is kind of buying a cat in a sack, I do not know... whats your opinion?
And what is this fdiv P90 bug? I heard about it back then. And all I remember, is that a specific calculation always gives a wrong value. But how badly does that impact usability of that machine/CPU, if at all?

Sean Casey

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Re: Should I go for it or better not?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2019, 12:36:28 am »
I believe you are referring to the Pentium's floating point division bug.  This impacted certain calculations requiring precision at the fourth decimal place.  In '94 I was working in Ernst & Young's National accounting group and had issued a global audit advisory as the bug impacted actuarial and investment company net asset value calculations (SEC 270.22c-1) that could be material to financial reporting.

ivan

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Re: Should I go for it or better not?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2019, 12:44:06 am »
Much too expensive unless the case is gold plated.

I just gave away a couple of my older machines (AMD processors) of about the same vintage a week ago.

Let me know what you are looking for as I still have several motherboards, video cards as well as network cards (all motherboards have AMS processors).  All of these ran either warp 3 connect or warp 4.

I also have several IDE hard disks that may,or may not, have warp 4 on them. 

André Heldoorn

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Re: Should I go for it or better not?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2019, 01:07:38 pm »
Much too expensive unless the case is gold plated.
A shared opinion. About 5-100 times too expensive, if it works and if it's usable (e.g. 32 MiB+ RAM and "einwandfrei").

Low advertising costs and a lack of competition may explain why it's that expensive. For example, an expensive working (and still unsold) IBM ThinkPad 760XL is about 5 times cheaper.

The entertainment value may be disappointing. It'll be slow, and it'll show what was important back then. I'd recommend $10-$20 "Windows 95"-hardware. Or, even better, newer Pentium II "Windows 98"-hardware. If you've got other hardware to actually be able to use the old hardware, like 3.5" floppies.

I'd only consider to buy old Mhz-hardware if I wanted to write a book without using my faster eCS 1.x GHz-hardware, and you may have to buy at least 2 to hope to end up with one acceptable computer.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Should I go for it or better not?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2019, 02:18:58 pm »
Hi Matias

It is too expensive. But I don't know how hard to find is the "Highscreen Sky Tower 500". The mainboard and rest of the components should cost almost nothing in working condition, and currently we don't know if it works or not.

Keep checking and see if someones bids for it, if there are no bids maybe you can bargain with the seller and offer them a value when you feel more comfortable.

At the end "the heart wants what the heart wants", it is up to you on how much you want it, and how often does these ones becomes for sale on your area.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
OS2World NewsMaster
... just share the dream.

Mathias

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Re: Should I go for it or better not?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2019, 12:53:45 am »
Yes, I do agree. It is indeed quite pricy. But this was (up until now) the only complete find of this machine case. In the very end I am only interested in that case. The hardware itself (needs to be an AT board) can be ebay'ed for a couple of EUR.

I did find ONE other offer a while ago, selling a SkyTower 400, but that one was incomplete (case foot was missing, side panel was bended.. etc)


Anyway! Big thanks for your opinions. I value them a lot! - Not going to bid on this offer.
I already asked him if we could leave away the CRT screen, as I don't need it, just the case and the software. - He replied, yes, this is possible, but he can't change the price anymore, he wrote.
Well.. I suspect if this is true, he cannot sell it cheaper anymore, until he ends this auction.

Ivan, this is a very interesting question. IF I am able to get such a Highscreen SkyTower 400 or 500, I'd need an appropriate hardware to put into that casing. I'd favour an AMD 486er (as I already have such a machine with a SkyTower 400 (was my very first PC in 1992)). If possible, I'd contact you for appropriate hardware. : )

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: Should I go for it or better not?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 11:03:16 pm »
I believe you are referring to the Pentium's floating point division bug.  This impacted certain calculations requiring precision at the fourth decimal place.

Minor historical nitpicking vis a vis the OP's question, the Pentium FP bug only affected the first generation of 60 and 66 MHz processors, the Socket 5 processors like the P90 are not affected.

Dennis Smith

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Re: Should I go for it or better not?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2019, 11:39:11 pm »

Minor historical nitpicking vis a vis the OP's question, the Pentium FP bug only affected the first generation of 60 and 66 MHz processors, the Socket 5 processors like the P90 are not affected.

The FP bug also affected early production Pentium 75-100MHz processors.   I had some Pentium 90MHz IBM servers that needed to have the CPU replaced under the recall back in the 1990's.