Retro-computing with modern hardware, no emulation required

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The x86 processor family is currently the most popular type of processor in the PC world since the 1980s when the IBM PC entered the scene. Emulating these older devices is pretty easy if you want to play an older LucasArts game or experience Windows 3.1 again, but the real experience is on the original hardware. And, thanks to the compatibility needs of industrial equipment, you can build a brand new 486 machine with new hardware that will run that retro software as if it were new itself.

[The Rasteri] has designed this version reminiscent of the classic NES and other nostalgic reissues of the console. It is based on the PC / 104 standard which was introduced in the early 90s, primarily for industrial control applications. The platform is remarkably small and the card chosen for this version houses a 486 processor clocked at 300 MHz. He has a built-in VGA compatible graphics card but no Sound Blaster card, so he designed and built his own ISA compatible sound card that fits into the available expansion port of the PC / 104.

After adding a few small peripherals to the build and installing it in a custom enclosure, [The Rasteri] has a working DOS machine on new 486 bare-metal hardware that can play DOOM as originally intended. It can also run early versions of Windows to play Microsoft Entertainment Pack games if you feel like getting eaten by a snow monster while skiing. [The Rasteri] No stranger to intense retro computing like this either, as he’s the one who made DOOM run on original NES hardware.


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