Hello my name is Bart and this is my
first full-blown modding project. This is the hardware I’m gonna use. I’ve got
the motherboard taken from an HP thin client and I’m at least the
third owner of it. As you can see it’s sustained some damage. Luckily all the
pins inside the PCI slot are intact I had to replace that capacitor because
it’s been squashed so I’ve fitted a new one. It’s going to be a portable mini
retro PC. The board is based on Transmeta Crusoe system-on-chip.
It’s got a 733 MHz cpu built in very long instruction word architecture,
so it isn’t a native x86. It’s got a proprietary instruction set but it loads
up 16 mega byte code morphing software to RAM when it’ss booting which is
effectively an x86 emulator. It’s got an integrated Northbridge with ddr sdram
controller and it supports maximum of 512 megabytes DDR memory. We’ve got a VIA
chipset with integrated AC’97 audio, network controller and USB. What I really
like is that integrated graphics is a separate chip and it’s an Ati Rage XL
which is the last incarnation of a the Rage GPU architecture with I think 8
megabytes memory and with some modded drivers I should be able to run their
early proprietary 3D API I’m not sure how to pronounce it but the
shortcut is CIF and it’s gonna be exciting. As you can see the board is so
small that there’s not enough clearance for any card to go into the PCI slot so I’ve
got a PCI extension cable that I’m gonna use And another star of the show is STB
Blackmagic 3d Voodoo 2 accelerator that will provide Glide support and
hopefully pretty decent 3d performance ’cause that processor I expect should
perform about as well as a Pentium 2 but we will see because they real performance is a mystery to me. I’ve never used Transmeta Crusoe’s before. It’s very energy efficient as you can see it doesn’t even feature active cooling and
that’s because the thermal design power is just 5 watts with maximum of 7 watt
output and it’s powered through a laptop power supply with just 12 volt 3.33 amps output. Now the case. I’ve already done my work on it. It might not
look very nice but as I mentioned before it’s my first project ever and I haven’t got
dremel. Oh yeah and those are the tools I have been using mostly so see it’s not
much. Actually if someone asked you what’s the Valentine’s Day got to do with
retro PC – well, my wife gave me a that tin which originally contained 6 bath
bombs and my first thought would be ‘That’s an excellent case for something!’
So here it goes For storage I’ll be using an IDE to CompactFlash adapter with 16 gigabyte Kingston electro card and I added also
some active cooling because the Voodoo may run a little hot and it should – it
will definitely extend the longativity of the device
I 3D printed a few bits Time to fire it up I had to unplug the Voodoo to install
Windows, because for some reason plugging in the card
resulted in disabling the keyboard in DOS But once the Windows is
running all goes smoothly that’s it for now stay tuned for part
two if more comprehensive testing

Robinson’s Crate Part 1 – the build – mini retro PC based on Transmeta Crusoe + Voodoo 2
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3 thoughts on “Robinson’s Crate Part 1 – the build – mini retro PC based on Transmeta Crusoe + Voodoo 2

  • April 23, 2018 at 9:32 pm
    Permalink

    When do you start mass production and selling? 😀 I want to sign up as the first client! Please make me a golden box with your signature 😛

    Reply
  • May 9, 2018 at 1:33 pm
    Permalink

    Very nice, I really miss transmeta and 3dfx

    Reply
  • April 19, 2019 at 3:40 am
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    Brand thin client?

    Reply

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