Reply To: Episode Structure

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I suggested this idea to you a couple of times in the past and had it dismissed. So I’m delighted to see you’re going forward with it now 🙂

A few ideas:

– CPU episode. Look at the different generations of x86, and discuss what they each brought new to the table and why it mattered. 60vs66MHz bus speed and clock multipliers. Example comparison of a 133 and 150MHz pentium. Also look at the cheaper alternatives to the market leader intel with amd/cyrix/overdrive. Intel’s first real competition – their affordability and relative advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps go as far as looking at mmx and the celeron/duron variants. Look at how fast the industry moved back then – 18 months and your £1200 PC was out of date and couldn’t run some of the latest games. socket A, super 7, pentium II slot. dual cpu mobos. cache sockets. Upgrade paths with different choices of mobos.

– Voodoo card episode. I know you touched on the voodoo cards in your FMB videos, but I’d like to hear a more in-depth discussion of them: the CPU-era each belonged to, comparing their power/features, how they are installed, what they made possible in games and how they worked.

– Ram evolution episode. Like there’s SRAM and DRAM. Soldered and socketed. What was FPM/EDO in the pentium era? How memory was super expensive in the mid 90s. Memory layouts with upper/lower banks. conventional/extended/expanded memory. Why were dimms installed in pairs? Early sdram for pentiums. I feel there’s lots of stuff to explain here.

– A chipset episode. Explain what chipsets were for and how they worked. Then go through each x86 generation. You know there was the FX and VX and TX in the pentium era, and the highly successful 440BX later on. What were these variations all about, why were some more desirable than others, and did it make much of a difference? Explain all this stuff –>

– A sound card evolution episode. I’ve had others already express interest in this. You have the YM chips of the 1980s, and clever ways to make the PC speaker do more than beep. The Adlib and OPL era. The Soundblaster/multimedia era where cards had game ports, and sometimes IDE headers and CD drives would plug into the card. MIDI synthesis. PCM and sound buffers. And the setup in DOS with IRQ/PORT/DMA and what does that all mean?