In order to be a well rounded person, you have to have some kind of recreation or hobbies. I’ve dabbled in many things including automotive (had a really cool Ford Thunderbird at one time), Amature Radio, cell phones, website building and all things technology both old and new. LAN Parties and games from the 90’s into the mid 2000’s has always been a favorite of mine.
Going back to the 90’s, we used to lug our computers to friend’s basement to play well into the night. We had CRT monitors, which means it took a lot of effort and care lugging the equipment around. I usually brought over some kind of OEM build that was upgraded with a better video card, an IBM Model M keyboard (another passion of mine!) and the very first gaming mice that were nothing more than a fancy standard mouse.
Before the pandemic, my brothers and I were wanting to start the LAN parties again. The games we decided to focus on is Windows XP and late Windows 98 titles but we knew playing them on modern hardware and operating systems was going to be hard. While thinking of a way around that problem, I realized that there could be another layer of the LAN party experience on the hardware side. While watching a YouTube video of a demolition derby car race, I came up with an idea where the computers are repurposed, cleaned up, upgraded and loaded with Windows XP to be a dedicated XP gaming PC.
After talking it over with my brothers, we agreed that computers had to be Intel Core 2 Duo or below (or AMD counterpart), Hard Drives (no SSDs unless they are Pentium 4 machines) and any AMD/ATI or Nvidia card that has Windows XP drivers. We started gathering machines, some from family, trash picked or abandoned at different businesses. Most of the computer OEMs are represented, many of the models still have drivers that could be downloaded. Over a short amount of time, we had a good grouping of PCs gathered without spending a lot of money.
During the pandemic, we had our activities in the garage, which has been a mainstay. We have added a central file server, DHCP/DNS and added to the ambiance with lights, posters and other things. We continue to come up with new ideas and short cuts on setting up and taking down. It used to take us 2 or 3 hours to setup, now we are down to an hour. Other people who love these games have joined us to add to the fun.
Why put this on a professional page? First of all, it’s cool! Secondly, it shows that I can think outside of the box when a problem is presented. My experience in I.T. and the constant thinking of efficiencies can be a plus for any organization. I’ve had puzzles like this presented to me often and have come up with solutions that people are happy with. Anything from helping a customer get the most from their computer to setting up technology for a conference, it is tasks I have worked with. Let me know how I can help you.