Author Topic: What was your first PC that you played FS on?  (Read 1430 times)

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Offline deathspeed

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What was your first PC that you played FS on?
While reminiscing about how long it took me to finally finish the Freespace main campaigns (15 years!), I realized it was done on three distinct builds, with countless upgrades.  Plus, Freespace and Freespace 2 were directly responsible for my first peripheral and first upgrades ever. 

I first played on a generic Pentium II-350MHz that I bought from an infomercial in 1998 or 99.  It had 64MB SDRAM and an Intel 740 graphics card.  I wanted the Freespace games; they were the main reason I bought a PC.  I got a MS Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro the same day I bought Descent: Freespace.  (Oh, what it was like to have free time and disposable income!)  The force feedback didn't work well with the gameport on the VIA chipset motherboard, so I picked up a SoundBlaster Live! sound card from Circuit City.  Later I doubled the RAM (Crimson Skies especially loved the extra 64MB), then got a GeForce 2 MX off Ebay, and doubled the RAM again.  My first posts ever on here in 2004 I mentioned that machine and some trouble it was giving me; I was still playing Retail then and was considering FSO.  I played the snot out of both games for about 3 years; I don't know why I never finished them at that time. 

I remember using Turey's installer to get FSO on my first home-built rig (Athlon 64 X2, 1 GB DDR RAM, GeForce 6600GT), but I got married that same year and had my first kid the next, so I didn't play much.  I re-discovered FSO through an article about Diaspora in 2012, and did a manual install of FSO and a few mods on my current rig (Core 2 Duo E8500, 4Gb DDR2 RAM, and currently a GTX480).  Then when Goober's installer was released, I went straight for the "complete" installation button.

That is my story; what is yours?
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Offline Mr. Vega

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
Parents bought a Dell XPS T450 in early '99. 450Mhz Pentium III, 96MB ram, Voodoo 3 3000, and a Turtle Beach Montegro II (aka an Aureal 3D card) as the sound card that had the Game port my Logitech joystick plugged into. I'd never had a PC or a console I could play games on before. Waiting for my first gaming computer I was mainly excited about the prospect of playing Falcon 4, but once it arrived I got distracted by this OEM game bundled with it called Descent: Freespace. And the rest is history.
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Offline jr2

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
I wanna say it was a 333MHz Aptiva.  Maybe.  Only played a little bit (3D card sucked and wasn't worth crap).  First time really playing was on a dual-PIII 500 MHz Gigabyte GA-6BXD with AGP 2x slot.  Which I later tried to upgrade to a dual 1.4 GHz but unfortunately, I found out about Intel's crippling of Tualatin Celery version CPUs.  Would have had to have gotten full-blow PIII CPUs and they were prohibitively expensive at the time.  I was pretty bummed about wasting money on the 2nd Celery, though.  :nono:

 

Offline Klaustrophobia

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
Pentium III 1 ghz.  I think 128 MB ram, 18 GB hard drive (HOLY **** SO MUCH SPACE!)  Windows ME.  I'm pretty sure it was integrated graphics.  Stuttered like a sonofa*****, but I didn't really know that wasn't normal at the time.  I'd often play through the missions twice, and the second time would be mostly smooth because everything had loaded the first time through.  Not long after, my high school tech club did a thing where we built computers.  AMD athlon 2400+, 256 MB of ram, nvidia MX440 graphics, and winXP.  Not much lasting power on that build, but it played FS smoothly.  I couldn't believe how I put up with the choppy stuttering before.
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Offline LHN91

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
If I'm remembering correctly, it would have been either the 2.4Ghz Prescott Celeron D with 256 MB of ram and a Geforce FX 5500 PCI - or the 1.8 Northwood P4 with 512 MB and the FX 5500. The Celeron died and the P4 was a free replacement.

I didn't get FS until something like 2006, so that's what I had.

Later I upgraded the Northwood to 1GB of ram and an open-box AGP Radeon 2400 Pro and ran Win 7 at release in '09, but had to run ATI's "hotfix" drivers for Vista as the mainline ones wouldn't work with the AGP version of the 2400 Pro. What a pain that was.

Depressingly, the laptop I got in 2007 ran FSO better than either of those machines, despite the 2.0 Ghz Core Duo and GMA 950.

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
I played through FS1 on my dad's office laptop. I remember it didn't meet all the system requirements, but still worked well. I think it was a 166mhz P1 with 32MB memory, and no 3D support. FS1 actually looks better in software mode than D3D and Glide, so that wasn't a big loss.

By the time FS2 came out, I had a 450mhz P2 with a Voodoo 3 3000 (which I had gotten for Descent 3 earlier that year) and Vortex 1 sound card, and could crank up all the settings.

 

Offline NeonShivan

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
When I got Freespace 2 it was a shortened version of the game (An OEM or something I don't quite remember what it was exactly) for it only had the missions up to the Repulse and it cut off there. It was funny too cause it came with the computer my grandparents got which was an Windows 98(?) IBM computer.

They told me they found the discs in the computer or something which was interesting. As for the specifications and when they got it I don't remember, all I remember is that they got it when I was like 4 or something cause they got the IBM in 2000.
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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
I started out on some ****ty Acer laptop with an intelgrated card which should have been able to run a barebones MediaVPs setup but couldn't due to driver issues, leading to my first experiences with mods being full of bitter disappointment.
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Offline 666maslo666

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
I played Freespace 1 with my twin on our first PC, back in the year 2000. The CD was displayed in this kiosk and caught our attention on way back from school. It was AMD K6-2 450 MHz, 32 MB RAM later upgraded to 160, with S3 Trio3D 4MB graphic card, and we had no speakers for the first year or so, lol. We took turns with one playing on the mouse and the other manning the keyboard. It ran well except where lots of particle effects appeared, like capital ship explosions, then it slowed to a slideshow. I only played Freespace 2 around 2005 when we finally got an internet connection, by then I had a new computer with Athlon 2800 and Radeon 9600 256mb. This was a smooth experience.
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Offline Mad Bomber

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
I played FS1 on a random laptop that my dad's boss's nephew had. He gave the discs to me thereafter since I enjoyed it so much, and I played it on my dad's 166mhz Pentium-I for a while. (It's still sitting in my closet, for that matter -- all it needs is a working HD.)
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Offline jr2

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Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
Should be able to pick one of those up on ebay for like $20 if you wanted.  (a 166-MHz is going to need a PATA drive, not a SATA one).

You also need to watch for the HD size limits, back then if you had over a certain size, you needed a special translation bootsector to make the rest of the drive available.  (I forget the sizes, there were several of those limits that had to be patched).  One of them was 137GB, .. wait, here:

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Large-Disk-HOWTO-4.html

Limits were 528MB, 2.1GB, 3.2GB, 4.2GB, 7.9GB, 8.4GB, 8.5GB, 33.8GB, 137GB, and 2TB   All for various reasons and affecting various technologies involved (e.g., BIOS, filesystems, bootloaders, what-have-you).

You're probably looking at the 33.8 GB limit with a P-1 166  Possibly even the 7.9 or 8.4 GB limit.  There is software to get around that though, like I said.  MaxBlast for Maxtor and EZ-Drive for Western Digital.  You sometimes had to set a jumper in the back of the HD to limit what the BIOS saw, and then use the MaxBlast or whatever to reenable it on boot.  (MaxBlast would chainload the normal bootloader afterwards.)

/blast from the past

tl;dr Make sure you ge and IDE drive and that it is relatively small.  I would think 20GB would do, or perhaps shoot for 6GB, depending on your cpomputer.  You could also see if you can get a BIOS update (ha! back then they were rather rare, most BIOSes could not be re-written without a UV light if at all).  Might be better off getting a Maxtor or Western Digital just to be sure you can use the software workaround if necessary.

 
Re: What was your first PC that you played FS on?
IBM Aptiva, Pentium II 400 Mhz, I doubt i'll ever forget that. I was about 10 or 11 at the time, around 1998-1999. The full OEM version of Descent: Freespace The Great War came on CD with the computer as part of a software bundle together with the also excellent BattleZone.
I remember also losing the original CD multiple times throughout those years and only being able to play the levels I already finished in the meantimes, oftentimes up until the Lucifer stealth mission. It's when I first discovered FRED because I couldn't continue the campaign, and where I made my first creations.

The original Freespace and it's music in particular thus hold a massive nostalgic value for me, whenever I relisten to the soundtrack or play the original campaign.

As for FS2, I found it in about the year 2005 I think, when my original FS1 CD popped up from hiding for at least the fourth time, seemingly unscathed and finally having (A)DSL internet (very old home) I finally investigated. The FS2 demo truly sold me on it and I found I could just download the entire game for free. (Interestingly my memory of this is far more fuzzy than that of FS1) Still took me ages to get, heh.

EDIT on specs: According to IBM's page, the PC came with 64 MB RAM and a  ATI RAGE PRO graphics card. It's incredible that such an amazing game could even run (and very smoothly too in my memory) on such minimal hardware.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 05:16:57 am by JCDNWarrior »
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