Videologic SonicVortex2 - Part 3
Installation

Hardware
The card, printed on a brown PCB, looked very much like the SBLive! I removed from my system. It was a mere 1 cm shorter than the Live! Card and the looks gave it an ‘expensive’ quality to it.

Coming with 1 line-in, 2 line-outs, 1 mic in and an optical S/PDIF connector, the external connection was straightforward. Internally, I was a little unsettled coz' it didn’t have a CD S/PDIF input. I had to dig into my crate of old PC stuff to find that unused analog CD audio cable.

Next I powered up my P2 and Windows 98 prompted for the drivers when it detected the SonicVortex2 Multifunction platform, PCI audio card, Gameport, and MPU-401. Easy, pop in the disc and point Windows to the files. However, upon reaching installation of the SoundBlaster Pro compatibility, the PC rebooted. And rebooted. And rebooted. All by itself - into an endless loop.

Suspecting that it was an IRQ conflict (similar to the one I encountered with my former Terasound A3D card), I went into my BIOS and specifically allocated IRQ5 for legacy ISA device. This alleviated the problem and the PC went on to boot fine.

Test System

  • Intel Pentium II 333 at 412Mhz (4 x 103)
  • Asus P2B BX motherboard with BIOS v1008a
  • LGS 128Mb PC100 SDRAM
  • IBM DS8 8.4Gb, DS16 10.1Gb HDDs
  • Asus 40X CDROM
  • Gainward Cardex Savage3D 8Mb AGP
  • Creative Voodoo 2 PCI 12Mb
  • RealMagic Netstream 1 MPEG-1 card
  • Efficient Networks ENI-25P ATM card
  • Cambridge SoundWorks SoundWorks Speakers (front)
  • Cambridge SoundWorks PCWorks Speakers (rear)
  • Sony MDR-G52 Headphones

Software
Popping in the CD when I was in Windows, automatically launched a HTML based introduction-cum-installation page for the stuffs on the disc. Included were LOTS of applications like:

    1. Jet-Audio (full)
    2. Yamaha XG Softsynth (full)
    3. Yamaha XG Studio (full)
    4. Beat2000 Demo (demo)
    5. Microsoft Netmeeting (full)
    6. Internet Phone (trial)
    7. VDOPhone (trial)

I ONLY installed Jet-Audio and the Yamaha XG Softsynth, since these were probably the only apps I intended to use. Besides the rest were mere demos!

Even though the trial games were aplenty, I’m not sure if they were just trying to fill the space on the CD! Consisting demos of outdated games, I didn’t bother installing them.

    1. Aaron Vs Ruth
    2. Destruction Derby
    3. Extreme Assault
    4. Hyperblade
    5. Incoming
    6. Interstate 76
    7. Shipwreckers!
    8. Sub Culture
    9. Terracide
    10. Tomb Raider
    11. Tiger Shake

Also found on the CD were a sleuth of cool demos which I played around with for quite a bit. More on these later! =)

 

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