Author Topic: Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006  (Read 690 times)

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« on: Sep 18, 2006, 02:07 PM »
It seems that I have killed my Quantex. Here is the long and rather stupid (but true) story. If you don't like long stupid stories, the short version is - I am a dummkopf.

My Quantex system was purchased in September 1997, with the following specifications: AT formfactor, Pentium 200MMX, 64MB EDO DRAM, 4.3 GB hdd, Diamond (the old Diamond, not the new one) ViRGE DX 4MB PCI (not PCI-E) video, MAG 17" Aperture Grill CRT, 24x CD-ROM, etc. Nobody would go near such an old hunk of junk today, but back in 1997 it was a pretty decent system, plus Quantex saved me about $400 compared to similarly configured systems from Dell, Micron, Gateway, and others. At the time of its passing, the Q was tasked as an emergency offline backup system, loaded up with Linux and minimal graphics. Lean and mean. That means it was unplugged in the bottom of the closet, ready for emergency use in case lightning takes out my other two desktops, and I also run over my notebook with my car.

The Idiocy Begins
A couple of weeks ago, I walked into the gym and noticed a memory module resting on the floor. Did I follow proper procedure, and poast "Found: 128MB memory module, name tag reads Infineon" signs all over the neighborhood? Noooooooo, the gym was empty, so the module could be mine to claim.
"Yay, free memory!", I thought. "Oh, wait a sec - PC133 SDRAM. No wonder it's just laying about."
At this point, I should have snapped it like a Kit-Kat bar and gone on to the bench press, but deep down I am soft - like a teenaged engineer with his first oscilloscope. Thus, the idiocy began -
"The Quantex has a motherboard that can take SDRAM - I upgraded it to 128MB years ago. MAY AS WELL TRY THIS ONE to upgrade to 256MB."

Idiocy at Fever Pitch
Back at Neon Central Command, I removed the Quantex from its original box, and checked it out to make sure everything was operating nominally. It fired up with no problem, and all was good, except that the time was off by 10 minutes after not being plugged in for so long. I ran a few rounds of memtest86+, just to be sure the existing PC66 module was in good health, which it was. Did I follow proper procedure, and consider whether the motherboard can take a single-sided high density 128MB module? Nooooooo -
"The worst that can happen is it won't boot, and I'll just be out a few minutes it took to find out. No harm in trying, right?"
Did I follow proper procedure, and read the fine manual to find out if the motherboard can understand or provide the correct voltage for a PC133 module that entered the market years after the mobo was manufactured? Noooooooo -
"Who has time to read anymore, just slap it in and go!"

Idiotic Denouement (dang those French and their denouements)
With the system powered down (you didn't think I was that dumb, did you?), out popped the PC66 module which was used to upgrade the Q years ago; in went the floor module. Click went the power switch.
"Yay, the case fan is spinning! (no CPU fan, it's passively cooled) Yay, the hard drive is spinning! ...
Shouldn't the monitor come on about... now? ... now?... Did I knock the monitor plug out? ... Nope... Hmmmm."
And so, after many reboots, after replacing the floor module with the PC66 module, after clearing the CMOS with its motherboard jumper, and after a couple hours of muttering obscenities, the monitor never came on. Motherboard. Doornail.
"Huuuuuuurrrgghhhhhhhhhhh. You dummkopf."

Dummkopfian Conclusion
If you find computer parts on the gym floor, do not rush home and plug them into your working computer. Your comments welcome. If you'd like to contribute to Neon's Quantex memorial fund, that is also welcome.

EDIT - moved this topic to the Poast Office

Slightly Redeeming Addendum
Incidentally, I have subsequently checked both memory modules in a more modern system, and both pass memtest86+ with no errors. Thus, it seems that the old Q mobo just couldn't handle the pressure. Or, maybe I killed it with ESD. Or with ESP.
« Last Edit: Sep 19, 2006, 04:42 PM by Neon »
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Ace

  • Full Fool Administrator
  • Mighty Jester
  • xTreme Super Poaster
  • *
  • Posts: 5904
  • Ace; he's just not that into you.
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #1 on: Sep 18, 2006, 05:07 PM »
Geez Louise Neon, if you found part of a candy bar or sandwich lying on the floor at the gym would you have it for lunch?!

I'm sure it appreciated being awakened from a sound sleep, just so you could kill it.  I bet your dog is a little skittish now around bedtime, and probably tries to keep one eye open.  And, hey, go easy on the French and German.  Kriminy.  I have enough trouble keeping up with American, without resorting to Euroisms.

You know, I'm thinking all the time at that big computer show you probably weren't even looking at the cool exhibits, but were scouring the convention hall floor for odds and ends and discarded computer bits... Probably checking out the bathroom stalls to see if someone dumped some memory in there.

Heh; that sounded even better than I thought it would.  My Q (with a kick#($ 233 mhz) was doing fine until my idiot inlaws trashed it.  And that was with my Voodoo card, which alone was way cool.  

I hope you learned your lesson, so that next time you have some ancient obsolete electronic contraption sitting around you resist the urge to immolate it in current and just leave it boxed and dormant.  I guess you could put all the pieces back in the box, and bench press that.  

Ace; huh.. that looks like a pen on the floor, and a sock (A), and maybe some lint... perchance I can insert it into my new SLI motherboard to see if I can cause something interesting to happen.  
Ring bells for service.

Offline Ace

  • Full Fool Administrator
  • Mighty Jester
  • xTreme Super Poaster
  • *
  • Posts: 5904
  • Ace; he's just not that into you.
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #2 on: Sep 19, 2006, 04:51 PM »
Judas Priest.  Again.  

What is it with you people?!  Criminy, you're an administrator.  You put your OWN POAST in the wrong room, and had to move it??!!!  Like you have to police yourself?  Was it embarrassment, due to your own admission of killing your only link to our heritage?  Did you check with Chandler's site to see if he had replacement parts?  Does Scuzzy still own his Dell, and did he leave it alone?

Anyway, I figured I'd wait awhile before I'd try to dust my new Monarch, since it's still clean.  Maybe in a few months I'll try to stick dust in the memory slot and see how that goes.

I almost got whiplash trying to see where this poast went...  By tomorrow, it'll probably be in the funny zone or laptop den or the Software Desktop Networking Wi-Fi Room.

Ace; he's probably checking in the sofa cushions for a snack, about now.
Ring bells for service.

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #3 on: Sep 19, 2006, 05:08 PM »
Ace, thanks for responding in my time of mourning, even if it is evening in Indiana. Allow me to answer some of your questions and insults. And ask even more questions.

My name is not Louise or Priest, it is Neon. N - E - O - N.

This was originally in the Hardware Discussion forum, because I have some hardware to discuss, but the original poast was longer than I thought it would be, so I am waiting until now to discuss the hardware. Well, not now, but in another paragraph or so. Of course, this means that the poast is now eligible for the Hardware Discussion forum again, so it may have to be moved again. Consult your local stations for the latest forecast. If that happens, I'll be sure to poast a long explanatory note and a redirection link.

Generally, I do not eat food from the gym floor, but I haven't been on Fear Factor yet.

I have never tried to plug memory into my dog. However, I suspect that any attempt to try this would make him run faster.

Sorry about your departed Q. What became of the Voodoo?

I have not learned any lesson. That's probably ok, though, since my head is pretty hard.

A couple of years ago, when it became apparent that the Q really wan't useful anymore, I had the idea to rebuild it with a modern ATX power supply and motherboard. It might make a neat mod project. The power supply will fit, but the case is an AT minitower that can only accomodate a 9" wide mobo. It seems that all of the microATX boards that I've seen so far are 9.6" wide. Even assuming that I could cut a pathway to allow a board to overlap by 0.6", I'm not sure if the case mounting holes will line up properly. What do ya'll think?

Oh! And, what should I poast about in my next poast (#3333)?
« Last Edit: Sep 19, 2006, 05:09 PM by Neon »
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Ace

  • Full Fool Administrator
  • Mighty Jester
  • xTreme Super Poaster
  • *
  • Posts: 5904
  • Ace; he's just not that into you.
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #4 on: Sep 20, 2006, 04:26 AM »
I guess you could do a spin-off group of Twisted Sister, Molly Hatchet, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson and Judas Priest and get "Louise Priest."

Ok, I guess that explains it all.  But I bet your dog still isn't resting any easier knowing that.

I'd think a hacksaw could find it's dangit its way through the Mobo, or maybe you could try a bandsaw on the case itself.  Or cut it on the dotted line.  First, you've got to put on the dots.

That next poast sounds half-evil.  I suppose you could poast anything you want, being a Administrator and all.  Although who knows where we'll find the dang thing.  Probably stuck between one of the ads down the left side in a pale-blue bubble.

A - C - E ; high priest of humour.
« Last Edit: Sep 20, 2006, 04:27 AM by Ace »
Ring bells for service.

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #5 on: Sep 20, 2006, 05:10 PM »
NEON'S 3333-1/3 rd (5x EVIL) POAST ! 8)

If I had some metalworking skills and tools, then the bandsaw idea would be excellent. However, looking at the case, it doesn't seem as if it would be as simple as snip-snip-done. A large part of the drive cage above the main chamber would have to be trimmed.

Looking at other formfactors, there is picoATX, but there don't seem to be any AMD compatible boards. There is Via's miniITX, but they are expensive and slow.

Anyone know any magic motherboard folding techniques?  :P
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Whizbang

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4576
  • "Canna" help you?
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #6 on: Sep 20, 2006, 07:15 PM »
And to think that you ridiculed my moment of silence before my super-upgraded-from-120Mhz Pentium to 200Mhz and 16meg EDO to a hawking 128 EDO memory PBell was trashed.   At least I was gentle with mine.   ;D

Offline Neon

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 3397
    • Neon's Website
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #7 on: Sep 20, 2006, 09:08 PM »
OK, I found the thread you are talking about from almost 3 years ago:
http://www.poasters.com/forum/index.php?board=20;action=display;threadid=7916;start=0

Look, you said, "No words of consolation are needed.", so I had to go with the words of ridicule for something that out of date. Besides that, Packard Bell sucked.

And hey! I was too so gentle with Quantex. It just didn't work out. Stupid floor memory. At least it died quickly, and didn't linger.  ::)  

I would like to honor the memory of Quantex by re-using the case. Now - how to make a standard microATX board fit?
Area 64 project|Asus SK8N|nForce3 Pro 150 chipset|AMD Athlon 64 FX-51|2x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200R|eVGA GeForce 6800GT|WD Caviar SE 1200JD SATA|Plextor PX-708A 8x DVD+R|Plextor PX-116A 16x DVD-ROM|Lian Li PC-60H1S|Antec TruePower 430W ATX|WinXP x64 edition

Offline Whizbang

  • xTreme Poaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4576
  • "Canna" help you?
Re:Neon's Quantex R.I.P. 1997-2006
« Reply #8 on: Sep 20, 2006, 09:43 PM »
I should have known better than to get a professor riled and cause him to do investigative research.  I could have the best system in Texarkana for what that PBell cost back then.