Yes, you’ve read that correctly. The title is confusing. I’m building a new old computer. Usually, something is new or old, but it can’t be both. But this time it is indeed both. It’s not directly Schrödinger’s computer, both old and new at the same time. But I think you’ll get the point.
Before we go into this topic: it has nothing to do with virtualization. Well, technically. But first things first.
Many moons ago I stumbled across some Tweets (that was before it was called X) of people gathering old hardware. Pentium III CPUs, old graphics cards like the Voodoo series, or Creative SoundBlaster sound cards. And for sure the very legacy beige computer cases. The good old stuff we all remember. The seed of building such an old computer has been planted a long time ago. And it germinated, grew, and now the young plant is blooming.
I didn’t start directly with gathering hardware and buying shedloads of old stuff. No. I first did some trial & error in my vSphere homelab. Yes. You can install Windows 98 as a virtual machine on your vSphere environment. I’m not saying you should, but it’s possible to do so. Unfortunately, you won’t have sound output, at least as far as I was able to test. So I moved on and set up a virtual machine on VMware Workstation. After installing the right sound driver, there was that iconic Windows startup sound. Oh, how I loved it!