NEC Multispeed EL

NEC Multispeed ELWhy do I still have this computer? Why am I still able to find the DOS 3.2 boot disk? Why does it still boot? Why did I carry this computer around 25 years ago?

The NEC Multispeed EL wasn’t my first computer, but IIRC, it may have been my first portable computer. Portable in that the computer and case with the shoulder strap weighed 12 pounds (5.4 kg). I don’t remember what I was doing with it.

I just powered it on and wondered if the makers of Microsoft DOS thought anyone would ever be entering a date 25 years in the future when it asked for the current date.

NEC Multispeed EL Boot Screen

My NEC Multispeed EL has a NEC 16 bit, 9.554 MHz V30 CPU (a reverse engineered Intel 8086), 640K RAM, dual 720K 3.5 inch floppy drives, a backlight monochrome LCD display and an optional Hayes compatible 2400 bps modem (CompuServe: GO NECTECH). It booted to DOS 3.2 and had a couple of applications (Telcom, Notepad, Outliner, Filer, Dialer) that loaded into RAM from the boot floppy. The boot floppy also setup a RAMDISK as drive C:.

Unfortunately, in a few days, it will go to the electronic waste at the Monterey Regional Waste Management District.

Windows 7 – Can’t Play DVD Video

Windows Experience Index for MacbookI’ve been trying several builds of Windows 7 x64 on my Macbook that uses the Intel 945 Express Chipset. Recently, I did a clean install of Windows 7 build 7100. The display driver that is installed is a Prerelease WDDM 1.0 Driver (8.15.10.1620).

When I tried to play a DVD with Windows Media Player, I received the message “Cannot play DVD video.” Microsoft gives several possible reasons for this message:

  1. Your video card driver is out-of-date.
  2. Your computer is missing a compatible DVD decoder.
  3. Your computer hardware is not powerful enough to play DVDs.

Since build 7 is Windows 7 Ultimate, I assumed a decoder was built in to the OS. I was indignant that suggestion 3 was questioning the manhood of my Macintrash.

Then I remembered the OpenGL problem I had with one of my programs. After I installed the Intel Vista 64 bit drivers 7.14.10.1504 for the 945GM Chipset from downloadcenter.intel.com, WMP was able to play DVDs. I’m not sure why the Prerelease WDDM 1.0 Driver didn’t allow the decoding, but the released Vista driver works – just be sure to run the installer in the compatibility mode for Windows Vista.

My Windows Experience Index also went up a tad compared to build 7068; compared to build 7000, the WEI from 2.0 to 3.0. So my computer is getting faster as it ages or Microsoft is improving Windows 7.

Windows 7 Build 7068 on a Macbook

Windows Experience Index for MacbookI did an upgrade installation of Window 7 build 7068 (x64) over build 7000 that I installed in January on my Macbook (13-inch Late 2006 with an Intel Core2 Duo Mobile Processor T7200, 3GB RAM). Winver gives: 7068.0.amd64fre.winmain.090321-1322

I ran the Windows Experience Index assessment again, and the base score went up from 2.0 (build 7000 64-bit) to 2.8 (build 7068 64-bit).

With build 7000, my Macbook’s low score was because of the 2.0 subscore of the disk data transfer rate of the primary hard disk, a 120 GB Toshiba MK1234GSX. With build 7068, the subscore of disk data transfer rate of the same primary hard disk went up to 4.3.

Windows Experience Index for Macbook

With build 7000, the Processor and Memory (RAM) subscores were 5.0, while the Graphics and Gaming Graphics subscores were 3.1. With build 7068, the Processor and Memory (RAM) subscores were 4.8, while the Graphics and Gaming Graphics subscore was 3.1. The Desktop Performance for Windows Aero dropped from 3.1 (build 7000) to 2.8 (build 7068).

The main problem I’ve been experiencing with build 7000 is that Windows Explorer will get sluggish or hang after waking from sleep. Trying to switch directories or file copying, even locally, will trigger the problem. Ending the explorer.exe process and restarting the process doesn’t always solve the problem. A reboot does.

MacBook Windows 7

Windows 7 System InfoI installed Windows 7 (Build 6801) on my MacBook “Core 2 Duo” 2.0 13″ (Black) with 3GB RAM.

To manage the boot menu for my Vista and Leopard partitions, I use rEFIt instead of Boot Camp. After I made a backup disk image of the Vista partition, I booted the Windows 7 DVD, reformatted the Vista partition and began the installation. It went a lot faster than the Vista install.

The Boot Camp drivers from the Leopard DVD installed without any problems in Windows 7 – the Apple Built-in Bluetooth, the Apple Built-in iSight, the Apple Trackpad Enabler, the Apple Keyboard, the Apple IR Receiver, the Atheros AR5008X Wireless Network Adapter, the Marvell Yukon 88E8053 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller, the SigmaTel High Definition Audio Codec and the Boot Camp Control Panel. Windows 7 installed the Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family (Prerelease WDDM 1.0 Driver) for the display adapter.

Windows 7 Device Manager

I used Randy’s SharpKeys 2.1.1 (a registry hack) to remap the Apple enter key (on the bottom row) to a forward delete key so I don’t have to hold down the fn key and delete for that function. I also mapped F8 to Prtscr – another Windows key that’s missing on the MacBook keyboard.

Thankfully, my two year old MacBook still feels responsive in Windows 7 (and in Vista). I’ve never had any major problems with Vista, and so far, Windows 7 seems to be an improvement.