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Author Topic: The Generic Computer Advice Thread  (Read 229462 times)

wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3990 on: November 13, 2019, 03:08:41 am »

So... this is a rather specific question that I am unsure if others here can answer or not...

This question concerns MSDOS realmode memory management, which is a voodoo topic by today's standards.


I have this really old Fujitsu Lifebook E2010 that I got for free some years ago.
It is a PIII class machine, with 1GB of ram and a 300ish GB HDD in it.  It has ATI integrated AGP video, and an ESS Audiodrive based sound chip.


I THOUGHT this would make a decent DOS retrogaming system (Dosbox just doesn't cut it for some titles). But there's some issues.

1) Whoever designed this thing mixed an ALI/ULI northbridge with an ATI southbridge.  As such, UMBPCI does not know what to do with it (and performance in XP is... bad.)
2) It has an Option Rom at CC00-CFFF that is a PXE bios, that is totally unnecessary.
3) The PCI chipset wants to hang on to the region between D000-DFFF, for nebulously defined reasons. There is nothing in the adapter space there. I checked.
4) The VGA bios is enormous.  It occupies C000-CC00
5) The system bios is also enormous. It occupies E000-EFFF.

So, the memory map looks a bit like this. (VV= Video Bios, OO=Option Rom, BB=System Bios XX=theoretically free area held tightly by PCI chipset RR=Video RAM)

Code: [Select]
(B000)RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR(BFFF)
(C000)VVVVVVVVVVVVVVOO(CFFF)
(D000)XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX(DFFF)
(E000)BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB(EFFF)

If I include the "monochrome mode video ram area" (B7FF-BFFF), the PXE option ROM area (to forcibly unmap it, since it DOES NOTHING USEFUL!), Use the EMM386 Highscan option and forcibly remap the D000-DFFF area to make the PCI set let it go, I can get something like this (where UU=UMB, PP=Page frame, VV=Video bios, BB=System bios, and RR=video RAM)

At this moment, this is the absolute "BEST" I can squeeze out, and is so far the only way I could fit an EMS page frame in.


Code: [Select]

(B000)RRRRRRRRRRRRUUUU(BFFF)
(C000)VVVVVVVVVVVVVVUU(CFFF)
(D000)PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP(DFFF)
(E000)UUBBBBBBBBBBBBBB(EFFF)


The UMB created in the monochrome video RAM area is barely big enough to hold MSCDEX, and too small to hold OAKCDROM.SYS.
EMM386.exe is required, as the MMU has to get involved to forcibly remap the forced include areas, otherwise a pageframe cannot be created, and the option ROM cannot be disabled. It eats a shitton of conventional memory (3kb. Yes, that really is a lot when you only have 640k total.)
The OAKCDROM.SYS is a hog as well, scarfing down 25k!!
There is ~9kb of free UMB, split between 2 ~4k areas (where the option rom was disabled, and at the top of the BIOS area, freed by the highscan option.)

If I switch to JEMM386.EXE from the freedos project, I should be able to claw a bit of conventional memory back (it's smaller than EMM386), switch to SHUSCDX.EXE instead of MSCDEX I should claw back some of the UMBs created in the monochrome RAM area, and if I switch to Acer's Atapi driver, I might be able to get that to fit in the remaining contiguous UMB along with SHUSCDX.

But now the question--

Does JEMM386 support forcible remapping like EMM386 does?  Without the forced remapping, I can't get the PCI set to let go of the D000-DFFF needed to place the EMS page frame.
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Reelya

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3991 on: November 13, 2019, 05:45:26 am »

I can't help you on the specifics, but back in the day the very largest amount of free memory I ever got in DOS was from installing QEMM - I got a DOS install to have 634KB free RAM with that once. Using the Microsoft standard issue EMM386 is complete rubbish by comparison.

Hopefully JEMM is as good or better than QEMM, but the old QEMM versions were pretty awesome, and I recall that they still worked with early versions of Windows 95.

EDIT
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QEMM#QEMM_product_ranges

Quote
QEMM provides up to 635K free conventional memory (RAM under 640K), far better than pure MS-DOS EMM386, FreeDOS JEMM386, UMBPCI and many other memory manager programs. QEMM maximum RAM is 635K free conventional memory with up to 256MB XMS/256MB EMS shared.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 05:52:00 am by Reelya »
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3992 on: November 13, 2019, 06:16:41 am »

Since this is a pure dos 6.22 deploy, it might be doable...

I will investigate.

My ultimate goal with this, is to have the dos 6.22 deploy, a win98se deploy, and an XP deploy all co-existing on the thing-- using a combination of GRUB2+memdisk to load the DOS and win98se volumes (hosted on a ~600mb EXT3 volume), a ~8GB FAT volume shared between the two (where all the games are stored), and an NTFS volume hosting XP.

 
EDIT

Well, JEMM is a wash. It wont forcibly remap the area like EMM386 does.

However, I WAS able to get shsucdx and vide_cdd.sys to fit cleanly in the adapter ram area UMB, and was able to use an old memory tweaker called dosmax to load portions of the dos environment, command interpreter, and kernel into the remaining UMBs.  Ctmouse fits neatly in the small spot where the useless option rom was.

Total conventional memory used: 17k.  That's not shabby at all.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 10:44:35 am by wierd »
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3993 on: November 27, 2019, 01:10:10 am »

Does anyone know how to make windows 10 **STOP** recinding my purposefully set "limit memory" advanced boot option?

This is the 4th time i have fixed the "no sound!" problem on my cousin's win 10 laptop.

the connexant audio codec has a known need for virtual addresses above 3gb in the memory space and if ram is there it does not work.  Windows keeps forgetting that i limited it to a 3gb memory space and did so for a fucking reason.  This is getting old. Is there a more forceful way to assert this restriction?
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King Zultan

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3994 on: November 28, 2019, 03:19:47 am »

Does any one know how to completely disable HTML5 on Firefox, that doesn't involve downloading any programs?
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3995 on: November 28, 2019, 03:54:11 am »

https://superuser.com/questions/670214/how-can-i-disable-html5-content-in-popular-browsers-like-firefox-and-chrome

??


Basically, a combination of setting an advanced option in about:config, and some noscript rules?
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King Zultan

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3996 on: November 28, 2019, 05:44:07 am »

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helmacon

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3997 on: November 30, 2019, 10:30:50 pm »

Not sure if this is a good thread for it or if there is a more specific thread for coding questions, but here goes.

Novice programmer,

I am trying to pull random samples from a Weibull distribution with multiple (3) parameters. numpy already has a function for sampling weibull distributions but only seems to support one parameter.
I need to do this with 3 different parameters; shape, scale, and location.

The numpy page does give an equation that would seem to support the second parameter.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
but this still leaves out the third.

I'm not very familiar with weibull distributions in the first place, and I haven't had much luck trying to find examples of how to do this through google. I am unsure how to proceed.



Edit:
Lmao, of course I look for an hour before asking, and then find it 10 min after I ask.
scipy.stats.weibull_min (or max) supports distributions with 3 parameters, so I can just use that to pull my samples.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 10:50:19 pm by helmacon »
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King Zultan

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3998 on: December 01, 2019, 02:03:58 am »

Not sure if this is a good thread for it or if there is a more specific thread for coding questions, but here goes.

I don't know much about coding but there is a thread for it Coding thread.
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Akura

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #3999 on: December 01, 2019, 02:12:37 pm »

Just how bad is Windows 10? All I'm seeing is fairly consistent rants that it will EMP your hardware while stealing all your personal information and the souls of your unborn children.


I would go for it, but apparently the above rants are most likely to occur when upgrading an existing installation rather than a clean install. And it also apparently nukes the previous version of Windows with the upgrade. I still do have the original install disk+key for Windows 7.
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wierd

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4000 on: December 01, 2019, 02:30:54 pm »

How desperately do you NEED windows?

That's the question you should be asking yourself, right along with

Am I comfortable with losing control over when and how my computer installs updates?
Am I comfortable with Microsoft monitoring what programs are running, how much memory they consume, how much hard disk activity they generate, and how much network data traffic they produce? (Because that is all stuff that's in the telemetry data MS collects.)
Am I comfortable with MS removing windows components and features on a whim, with the assurance of "We replaced it with something better!" as the only consolation?
Am I comfortable with MS uninstalling my software and installing other software they think I will like better behind my back?"

If you decide that "No, I can use WINE to satisfy my windows-only software requirements" and "No, I am not comfortable with one or all of those things." then windows 10 is not really what you want. Go for a consumer Linux distro. There are many out there, and they are rising in popularity.

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BigD145

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4001 on: December 01, 2019, 05:52:27 pm »

The other question:

Can I run DirectX "1x" software on Windows 7 or am I limited to Windows 10?
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Iduno

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4002 on: December 01, 2019, 09:28:24 pm »

Just how bad is Windows 10? All I'm seeing is fairly consistent rants that it will EMP your hardware while stealing all your personal information and the souls of your unborn children.

Nah, your hardware will be fine.

It looks like there are some concerns if you're on limited bandwidth, and sometimes compatibility issues. Windows 7 is still good, but they're stopping support for it eventually. Spying aside (which, if you've got Steam, Epic, a smartphone, facebook, etc.), it's mostly just that stuff got moved around like when people got upgraded to office 2010 and they made it tougher to find what you want to do. Make sure you have copies of all of the most up-to-date drivers, and make sure they're compatible before you upgrade.

If you've got your copy of Windows 7 still, you could also consider putting off upgrading until you have to.
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Reelya

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Re: The Generic Computer Advice Thread
« Reply #4003 on: December 02, 2019, 04:36:37 am »

The other question:

Can I run DirectX "1x" software on Windows 7 or am I limited to Windows 10?


Windows 7 is supposed to be compatible up to DirectX version 11.1 (Dx11.0 with raw Windows 7, and Dx11.1 with Windows 7 sp1). As long as the game supports those versions of Dx and you have compatible video card it's worth a shot.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/179113/how-to-install-the-latest-version-of-directx

there's some talk of a back-ported Dx12 for Windows 7, however what this actually means is patches for specific games to allow them to work with Windows 7. So they're really just bodging-together a handful of Dx12 games to work with the version of Dx in Windows 7.
https://www.pcgamer.com/au/microsoft-finally-ports-directx-12-to-windows-7-but-only-for-certain-games/
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 04:40:42 am by Reelya »
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