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  1. #1

    Should I rebuild it, old hardware inside.

    Well I recently aquired a Packard Bell computer, model: A950-TWR. I haven't booted it up yet, but it should have a Pentium 166 cpu, 16MB (simm) memory, and a 1.6GB Maxtor hard drive. It's the typical Packard Bell machine using a NLX form factor. I know I could fix it, and clean it up, and have a brand new looking Packard Bell 166Mhz computer. However, I have absolutely no use for it. I hate to throw it away, and even if I did fix it, I don't know what one would use it for besides maybe a linux based router. The question, should I rebuild this machine? Does anyone on these forums have a use for such a machine. Can anyone on these forums think of any uses for this machine. Next up is a Pentium 2/3 machine. That comes later.

    - Jim

  2. #2
    Senior Member stool's Avatar
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    Dec 2000
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    You talking the low style desktop? Boat anchor. You have to realize that even though you can duff it up, there's actually no reason to do so. Only possible thing I'd do with it is see if anyone on eBay wants it for parts.

  3. #3
    Very similar to the desktop case variant. It's the tower version though. Fat bottom that meets a skinny top. I appreciate your comments. I completely understand that it's not really a useful machine by todays standards. Just seeing if anyone can think of a use for it. Such a shame to be honest. I do so well at keeping things from the garbage (notice the machines in my signature, the majority of those are all throwaways. I'm half tempted to fix it, put it outside in the trash with a note on it, and see if someone would take it to tinker with. Unfortunately Windows 3.1/ms-dos/etc. aren't really in use much anymore. I think I'm going to put it back together and at least let it boot once and see what it's running at the moment. It does meet the requirements to play Grand Theft Auto 1 (just loaded it on my K6-2 500 for some some old GTA fun. I truly wish I could go back in time and sell some of this stuff when it was in it's prime . Any other comments?

    - Jim

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gnufsh's Avatar
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    June Lake, California
    Fix it up, put linux with a lightweight wm on it and use it to surf the net (maybe add some more ram, I bet you can find it).
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  5. #5
    Member castroman's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Cortland, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePCGuy
    Well I recently aquired a Packard Bell computer, model: A950-TWR. I haven't booted it up yet, but it should have a Pentium 166 cpu, 16MB (simm) memory, and a 1.6GB Maxtor hard drive. It's the typical Packard Bell machine using a NLX form factor. I know I could fix it, and clean it up, and have a brand new looking Packard Bell 166Mhz computer. However, I have absolutely no use for it. I hate to throw it away, and even if I did fix it, I don't know what one would use it for besides maybe a linux based router. The question, should I rebuild this machine? Does anyone on these forums have a use for such a machine. Can anyone on these forums think of any uses for this machine. Next up is a Pentium 2/3 machine. That comes later.

    - Jim

    I would say take it and turn it into a nifty little dedicated FTP server for yourself.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Gnufsh
    Fix it up, put linux with a lightweight wm on it and use it to surf the net (maybe add some more ram, I bet you can find it).
    Have a recommendation on a particualr distro of linux? Also, the machine came stock with 16MB of Simm memory. However there are two more PNY chips that I'm unsure of the size at the present time. I'm guessing more 8MB chips, so 32MB total. Also, I've decided to at least put it back together (was going to strip it) and see if she boots. I'm also using it for experimental dishwasher washing . The board is awfully pretty, not sure if it'll boot anymore, if it does, success . The onboard bios battery is shot though, standard 2032. I've got a call to run (laptop to deliver, internet access problem to troubleshoot) so when I return I'll begin putting it all back together. First time I've completely dis-assembled a NLX form factor system. I'll snap a few pictures later on to show everyone for old time's sake. Take care guys/girls.

    - Jim

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gnufsh's Avatar
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    I'd reccomend something debian-based. You should see if you can dig up more memory, that's what's really goint to limit you, I think.
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  8. #8
    Well, I have good news, and bad news . Good news first. Motherboards come out real pretty when they've been sent through the dishwasher (make sure to remove the cmos battery). And guess what, the board works. I even sent a few of the plastics from the machine through, and they came out sparkling clean. I re-assembled and it booted just fine. I did however run into some snags while installing a basic win98se install to test it out. Bad news, I decided to put it back in the trash. It was fun playing with it, but I've already got so many machines that this one would just sit in the corner. The bios was pretty advanced for the time. I haven't played around with one of those old packard bell machines in a long time. One other neat thing about it is that it's running a Intel overdrive cpu. Looks kind of like a madmax intel cpu.

    Pictures: Room is a mess, but it's because of the 3 computers I recently aquired.

    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC140001.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC140002.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC140003.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC140004.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC140015.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC140016.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC140017.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC150018.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC150019.JPG
    http://thepcguy.myvnc.com/pictures/p...l/PC150020.JPG

    - Jim

  9. #9
    Master of teh Ghetto Mods ghettocomp's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
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    Choosing between two evils, I might pick the one I've never tried before.
    Love the dishwasher trick, do it all the time. Steel frame case, might be great for modding later down the road.
    I find that most people are like Slinkies.. They are not really good for anything, but can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs. :P

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