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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 7:31 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Had one of these back in the day and got rid of it when I upgraded to a 486 around 1995.

It was neat design. All of the memory was held on a proprietary expansion card that could be configured, via dip switches, for extended or expanded or a combination of extended/expanded memory. The computer came with a memory manager (REXX.SYS) that allowed programs to utilize the memory as they would on a 386 or higher with QEMM. So you could actually run multiple programs concurrently under DesqView which was not possible on most 286 boxes. I believe that the motherboard was built around the Chips and Technologies set and this helped with the memory management.

I had mine "souped up" with two fASTram cards for a total of 4MB of memory. The cards talked directly to the CPU at 10MHz, 0 wait states. I put in an Adaptec SCSI card and a Diamond Speedstar SVGA and had it running Windows 3.1 in 800x600 at an acceptable speed. Ran Word for Windows that way for a couple of years. It sometimes took a minute or longer to prepare a document for printing but editing wasn't too bad and it displayed all of the true type fonts on the screen.

Just for grins I would like to find another one. I have found parts here and there but can't find a complete system. If anyone has one of these, or knows where I can find one, please let me know.
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ryan



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 261
Location: WisConSin

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 3:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=AST+Premium+286&btnG=Google+Search

Off topic but man do I hate google.

I always liked AST systems and owned a Adventure 466d, too bad they went into decline late 90's

Ah well.
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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yeah, I am not sure what happened to AST. I think they didn't realize that clones were becoming low priced commodities by the mid 90s. Their systems were pretty cool from an engineering point of view, but many components were proprietary and the computers were expensive.

What happened to Compaq? Are they still making desktops? I haven't seen the name plate on a computer in at least five years.
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Unknown_K



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 264
Location: Ohio/USA

PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 9:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

HP and Compaq merged you know.

I miss the old Northgate, ZEOS, Everex , Gateway designs from the 90's. All those companies died or were swallowed up by bigger fish.
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z2024



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've never owned an AST but might buy one some day. I know they bought Tandy somewhere around '93 or '94 and there were a few PCs sold under both brands (for example, I think the Tandy MMPC-10 was also marketed as an AST Advantage model). As far as I know, the ASTs were designed and manufactured well. But lower-cost, lower-quality PCs probably sold better...
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 579
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

AST's were pretty decent. Ran a 486-DX66 (Bravo 466d) for several years. P/S finally went out. Had 2 HDD's & a CD in it (wasn't really designed for 2 HDD's - had to tape one down inside the case). Ran Win95A on it pretty flawlessly. They did several TI machines (after TI started contracting out their machines - giving up on the TIPC & Business Pro)
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ryan



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 261
Location: WisConSin

PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Actually in early 95 when we bought our Adventure advantage 466d it was the least expensive (in store) computer at that time with the features it had. (comparitively) $999 with W311, Works, Money, a bunch of random freeby crapola (clipart, sounds,games,whatnot) Creative SB16 vibra, 4x cd 8mb ram, monitor, 14.4 faxmodem (which I never used for internet because internet was just too damn expensive, I did actually send & recieve digital faxes).

The business software we wanted required a 486 and 8mb ram to run (albeit rather slowly from what I remember)

Most of the clones I could buy at that time ended up costing more because the internet and mail order catalogs were a foreign thing to me then.

AST was competitively priced compared to most name brands at that time but the features became rather outdated, I still remember the $500 486 windows 95 boxes at walland with 8mb ram. Basically the same box as mine except the monitor and pc were separate instead of integrated.

Cheers
Ryan
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