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Unread 03-14-2019, 10:16 PM   #1
sheepherder
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Default A Note Re: Old PCs w/Obsolete CPUs

In the past month or so I've found I couldn't properly access a site that I've had no problem ordering books from [www.thriftbooks.com]. During a 'chat' session with their tech guy, he told me that they had just upgraded their software. I could access the site but not Search or order books any more. But Tethering my laptop to my S7 phone allowed me to Search and order.

I also found I couldn't access another site [www.automag.com] at all. I got the error message attached below. Members of that site's support forum told me that the site owner was just finished upgrading his site. And of course I could access it with my Tethered laptop.

With a bit of Google Searching I found that my problem was due to my having an obsolete PC with a Pentium III CPU, the Intel Tualatin-S 1.4gHz CPU. This CPU does not support the SSE2 Instruction Set, which many web sites now require. Including the two I couldn't access/order from.

I'm now transferring all my programs to a laptop running an Intel Core 2 CPU which does support SSE2 Instruction Set. Same browsers & O/S's and I now have access again.

I don't know if John D's upgrade here was to SSE2 required software but perhaps that is why some of us with old PCs and CPUs that don't support the instruction set are experiencing strange problems we didn't have before.

The Pentium 4 was the first Intel CPU that supported SSE2, so anything prior to that won't work on some sites and presumably their forums. I don't know the Athlon equivalent but SSE2 affects them as well.

No easy fix if your PC is like mine, which I built around 2000 and have upgraded as needed. But it's a Slot 1 motherboard and even with a SlotKit I can't put anything more current than the Tualatin-S in it. So I'm hooking this laptop up to a port replicator and migrating all my affairs to it.

And now I can access my favorite sites again. But I hate this laptop keyboard.
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Unread 03-15-2019, 05:23 AM   #2
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Plug in a USB keyboard in your Laptop.
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Unread 03-15-2019, 07:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vlim View Post
Plug in a USB keyboard in your Laptop.
I do have one and I will take your advice.

But I am old fashioned, and I really like the old mechanical IBM keyboards.
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Unread 03-15-2019, 08:53 AM   #4
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They were great. Refurbished lots of them years ago.
There are PS/2 to USB converters, so it should be possible to hook one up. Even with PC to PS2 to USB
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Unread 03-15-2019, 01:50 PM   #5
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I prefer the feel of a mechanical keyboard as well. I have a top of the line Lenovo laptop I run Solidworks on and I use an older corded USB Dell keyboard. Some companies still make them. If you have a Frys Electronics nearby, you might stop by to see what they carry and try some out.
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Unread 04-02-2019, 12:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ben M. View Post
this guy went ole school all the way
http://www.oldbobsoldtypewriters.com...uter-keyboard/
Some people have way too much time on their hands!
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Unread 04-03-2019, 09:35 AM   #7
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For several years, I have been buying used "obsolete" computers from our local University's surplus property office. These are often desktop or laptop machines that are around 7 years old.

Right now they are routinely selling Intel Core i5 based Thinkpad laptops for little money. They must remove the harddrives before selling them, so with purchase of a 128GB SSD and installation of a Linux distribution like Fedora 29, you end up with a very fast and high capacity modern laptop machine. A typical completed machine runs $125 or less.

If you live near large government organizations or school institutions keep on the lookout for such sources. You can also routinely buy very capable machines as "Refurb" lease returns from a number of sellers.

I recently got some workstation class Xeon based Lenovo E20 machines for $75 each. That's what I'm using for a server at home now.

BTW, Lenovo makes a very nice external keyboard.
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Unread 04-05-2019, 01:30 PM   #8
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I have had problems of one sort or another with keyboards ever since IBM introduced that abortion they called the "PC" in 1981. IBM had the best keyboard in the world at that time, on their Selectric typewriter - instead we got a flat thing that clicked.

Then about 1984, some idiot moved the control key from its time honored place next to 'A' and put it down in a awkward, uncomfortable, and useless position at the bottom of the keyboard. And now, Apple has reintroduced "Chicklet" keyboards which I thought the Commodore VIC=20 had forced out of existence for all time! What's next Apple? Membrane keyboards again?
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Unread 04-05-2019, 01:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben M. View Post
this guy went ole school all the way
http://www.oldbobsoldtypewriters.com...uter-keyboard/
I've been tempted once or twice - at least these have some slope to them, unlike the flat crap I've had to contend with since the early 80s. The clicking though would drive me nuts!
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Unread 04-05-2019, 01:37 PM   #10
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I like them, but these can't keep up with my typing.
Telex machines in the army had the same problem. Those could not handle more than 250 strikes per minute.
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