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Initial "Fun" with VersaVideo, and the "Fading Interest" thread...


Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2005
Reno, NV
Initial "Fun" with VersaVideo, and the "Fading Interest" thread...

So I picked up this goofey thing off E-bay, New-In-Box, for quite cheap. NEC VersaVideo - aka a Nogatech LLZ NV256 (IIRC) PCMCIA Video Card...here's my assessment of this so far....

- Drivers install for Windows 3.11 For Workgroups but UDH.DLL did not copy over, was able to purloin this from another driver install later on
- This card seems very particular - all of the 1st Gen Versa Models are the only options for install (Ultralite Versa, E, M, V. P) - so defiantly supported
- README.WRI has some good documentation on what the installer does, so good on NEC for that one, Config.Sys, System.ini, and some card service INI file is edited
- Needed to install CardSoft Card Services to see the card
- Seems the instructions are written for Phoenix Card Services, odd since ALL the NEC Versa laptops of the time use CardSoft for a Cirrus chip set
- Despite being installed in Windows for Workgroups 3.11, PDV.EXE (VersaVideo app) says my version of Windows is too old and I need to upgrade, strange, since it's (c) 1994, the year that came out
- Finding replacement drivers or updated drivers for this thing is a real PITA apparently, surprising considering how many Nogatech POSTS I find
- Windows 95 let's the program run but won't display the overlay of the input for some reason, can't find Win95 drivers for it
- When loading card services correctly, the "FullTV" program for DOS shows a full screen with "No Signal", so I guess the card is working, but it won't pick up what's attached when I plug something in....go figure, screen changed to white later on, card was a bit hot at that point as well as it had been running for awhile

Either way, a lot on my plate for late 2021/early 2022 right now

- VersaDock needs 2 230 Ohm high wattage resistors replaced in the PSU (that's how it died, they burned up somehow)
- Versa 40EC needs new screen, may get the one from the V/50 if it keeps ignoring it's HDD
- Versa M/75 has a digitizer picked out, I just need to buy it
- Versa P/75 needs some kind of stability fix for batteries and the cards
- Versa V/50 is not finding hard drives now, all of a sudden
- VersaVideo card not working
- Setup FitPC Slim for Windows XP (Tried 98SE, no drivers)

Still watching the new PCMCIA sound card thread on Vogons.

- Tandy 1000 - V20 + 8087

Selling/Auctioning (eventually)
- Lots of ISA Cards
- Some PCMCIA Cards
- Some extra SCSI Parts from the 286
- Maybe the 286 itself (I just don't need it, my 486 and Tandy covers everything)
- NEC Ready 9522 Tower (needs CMOS repair, Dallas Clock)
- Dell Dimension 3000 (just don't need)
- Maybe some of my other modern machines that I don't use as much anymore....I have quite a few modern ones

The Fading Interest Thread had me thinking a little.....

As I'm nearing 40, I just don't have the time to mess with this stuff all the time anymore, especially after a bunch of personal stuff that's come to light in recent years. Just too much. I've been finding my 486 Desktop, NEC Versa M/75, and Tandy 1000 seem to fit the bill as my favorite machines, and I rarely, if ever, need to mess around with them much anymore beyond the occasional replacement part or slight tweak that gains performance or allows some doodad to work with it. I'm really wanting to get my wife going on some of this stuff as well. The NEC always works even if the case starts coming apart. The 486 Desktop is happy as long as I run it once in awhile, the Tandy 1000 does what Tandy 1000's do - always run without much bother.

I think a lot of it is also that I'm getting tired of exploring. I've been doing this for over 20 years now, I'm practically an expert. I dive into Motherboards with very little electronics knowledge compared to say, an NEC Engineer, and tend to fix things with very little effort like some kind of 6th sense. I find old hardware and software and more often than not, manage to get it working in a modern context with little to no fuss when I actually take the time to think it out. The nostalgia is fun, but I do spend a lot of time messing with new things on these and playing games to pass the time. When I do hit a wall, it's just because the internet has moved on and finding apropriate drivers is hard.

Honestly, if I'm to continue pushing anything, I'm thinking the future should find me actually learning to program or something else I have not done. I'm already diving into network infrastructures at work and so on, Cisco and stuff like that, but on the vintage side, I think that's the next move, actually do something with these machines besides to play games, like actually make a game, and finish making it, or actually program something cool....like a DV Capture program for DOS using the VersaVideo card, or maybe a DOS MultiTrack recorder program for 486's with large HDD. I dunno. Maybe a new E-mail client that works like Links browser and has TLS 1.2 and modern SSL capabilities. I've got Turbo PASCAL and Turbo C++.....I just really need to dig into them and get started rather than look at internet tutorials and quit after "Hello World".

Just some thoughts....

Gary C

Veteran Member
May 26, 2018
Lancashire, UK
Ha !

Wait until your in your 50's and contemplating retirement with all those free days to play as often as you want with your collection, and then grandchildren turn up and it all vanishes again :)

But yes, its the journey that's important. I spent hours writing Z80 assembler to test some memory and loved it. Rediscovering old skills, learning new ones.

Keeps you young in the head.