Deschutes class, 1999

Current Status of unit: Inactive

Orion [a giant huntsman in Greek mythology] was constructed as a 3rd and final piece to the three-system active network envisioned by the entity that was about to become VerTecX21. Mr. M. Twomey and Mr. J. Meade advised on it's design and construction was completed by PCPRO distribution through PFH Computers on 8th Feb 1999.

As it was built very closely in time to Magnus it featured little by way of technical advancements over the earlier systems. Orion had a faster processor from the same Pentium II "Deschutes" class that was in Magnus and was coupled with a 440BX "Seattle" chipset which was from the same family as Magnus'. It's major advancements were twice the SDRAM and a 16Mb Voodoo Banshee GPU now using the superior AGP interface.

To this end, Orion assumed duties as a 'Primary Gamestation' and Video Editing Workstation from Feb '99 to Aug '00 when it was replaced in those duties by Prometheus. Orion also began serving from Oct '99 as the Internet Workstation until Mar '02 whereupon it was replaced in that duty again with Prometheus. Orion replaced Magnus as Video Capturing Unit in Mar '02 but was infrequently called into service for that purpose.

After some component changes in Aug '07 after a phenomenal 8.5 years of continuous service it was listed as Inactive but amazingly remains fully functional should it's "retro" services be required.

Specification for Orion, Finalised: February 18th 1999

CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT: Intel "Deschutes" Pentium II 450MHz, Socket 1, with L2 Cache - 512kB



GRAPHICS PROCESSING UNIT: Creative Labs Voodoo Banshee 16MB AGP

AUDIO PROCESSING UNIT: Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! Value PCI

HARD DISK DRIVES: Western Digital 8.4GB Hard Drive



CASING: PCPRO OEM Midi Tower (1999)

OPERATING SYSTEM: Microsoft Windows '98 2nd Edition

Peripheral Devices

DISPLAY: ADI Microscan 5P 17" CRT [002]

Significant changes to original specification:

01/10/99 - Installed HP DeskJet 660C "Centurion"

01/06/00 - Installed HP DeskJet 710C "Paladin" [Parallell Interface] [Printer Replacement]

01/03/02 - Installed 2x Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 AT 6.4GB Hard Discs [Storage Capacity Upgrade]

01/03/02 - Installed HP 7200i CD-RW Drive [Optical Disc Upgrade]

01/03/02 - Installed3dfx Voodoo3 3500 TV AGP [GPU Upgrade]

01/03/02 - Installed Creative Labs AWE64 ISA [Soundcard Downgrade]

01/03/02 - Installed Realtek RTL8029 ISA NIC [Network Card Upgrade]

01/03/02 - Uninstalled Generic 36K Internal Modem [Redundant]

01/03/02 - Upgraded from Midi-Tower (1999) to Full-Tower casing.

01/08/07 - Downgraded from Full Tower to Midi-Tower (1999) casing,

01/08/07 - Reinstalled Creative Labs Voodoo Banshee 16MB AGP [GPU Downgrade]

01/08/07 - Installed 10.2GB Hard Disk [Storage Capacity Downgrade]

01/08/07 - Reinstalled Creative Labs Soundblaster Live! Value PCI [Soundcard Upgrade]

Current status of parts:

Kingston ISA NIC: Unknown, Presumed Disposed

ADI 17" CRT: Disposed

Generic 36K Internal Modem: Disposed

Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 AT 6.4GB Hard Disc: Destroyed

Quantum Fireball EX 6.4 AT 6.4GB Hard Disc: Retained for VerTecX21 Museum

Creative Labs AWE64 ISA: Destroyed after Malfunction

HP 7200i CD-RW Drive: Disposed

HP DeskJet 660C "Centurion": Disposed XX/06/00

HP DeskJet 710C "Paladin": Installed on Prometheus 01/03/02

PCPro OEM Full Tower casing: Disposed


The total cost of all initial components for the Orion system was IE£1529.00 (€1941.43) (UK£1333.96) (US$20180.61) [Exchange rate as of 18/02/99]