It's been a long while but welcome to another OEM review! This beautiful desktop you see before you is one belonging to a Sony VAIO PCV-RX360DS. This disk finally got cracked after over a year sometime ago and now it's getting a review. This model comes with Windows ME, an Intel Pentium 3 processor clocked at 866 MHz, a 40GB HDD, 128MB of RAM, Intel 815 graphics, A 3.5" 1.44MB floppy disk drive and finally, this PC has both a CD-RW AND a DVD-ROM drive. This model is known as the VAIO Digital Studio PC and I can see why, for its time, it was quite impressive and probably pretty costly too. Without any further ado, let's dig in.
Apparently while I was away typing out in this channel, a screensaver got activated. This is a custom Sony VAIO Digital Studio screensaver and I actually find it quite nice. What a nice surprise to find when you get back to your VM right? Lol.
I guess we're starting off with this interactive screensaver??? This is one of the most intriguing screensavers I've ever seen. It's kinda bigger than the VM's display but I can fix this. Essentially it's like an overview of your computer and its features, I find that nice but Google helped me out anyways lol.
I think I know what DS means in the model name, Digital Studio, which explains why Sony named it that. There's 2 other Digital Studio VAIO's, both of them better than the one we're showcasing today. The 370DS sports a 1.30 GHz processor and a 60GB HDD, everything else is the same though. The 380DS sports a 1.50 GHz processor, an 80GB HDD and again everything else is the same. The main difference is the clock speed change, not much else changed other than the amount of storage that comes with it. Kind of cheaply if you ask me.
I just love these like early 2000's animations. You don't really see that much anymore, I miss it. Turns out though the 380DS has a lot more changes than it actually showed on that tiny list, including a Nvidia GeForce 2 MX graphics card which is quite impressive and would probably set you back a good couple hundred dollars extra. You also got a Pentium 4 processor, as opposed to 3 on this model. The network adapter is also noticeable, being 10/100 BaseT Ethernet which is quite fast for the time when dial-up was the norm. Anyways, let's move on from this portion before this review ends up being about models we aren't even reviewing.
You have a little section showing off key software of Digital Studio PC's. I do see some quite premium software in this list, including Adobe Premiere LE which is sadly not included with this model but hopefully we can find and archive it in the future. We do get some Adobe software though, that software being Adobe PhotoDeluxe which I have not heard of until now. We actually get a good amount of software, that software being McAfee VirusScan, Adobe PhotoDeluxe, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter 2000 Pro, Tomb Raider Chronicles...which I find highly intriguing that they'd bundle a game with this PC, Sony MovieShaker, DVgate, PictureGear and SmartCapture software (shameless plugging anyone???), Adaptec Easy CD Creator, Quicken (because who didn't get Quicken with their computer back then) and that's about it. A very long list and we'll be going through each software in this review so hang onto your hats because we aren't even done with this yet.
I find it highly intriguing how the last thing on that list happens to be a MovieShaker tutorial. It literally just sounds like Movie Player but by Sony (again, shameless plugging anybody???).
While I was writing that sentence, I heard a random sound, turns out it played a random ass video and it had sound. Couldn't pause it though. The video was very trippy honestly, felt like it had 90's vibes all over it even though it was Y2K. Let's just move on.
Turns out that wasn't even the full list...either that or the list was so exhaustive it actually left the display boundaries of my VM. Anyways, this is the VAIO Support Agent, looked intriguing so I decided to check it out next. You get this dialog on first run. It tells you some of its core features and what they exactly do. Honestly the Quick Fix Wizard just sounds flat out suspicious but that's just me. The Common Solutions thing sounds pretty average to me for most support applications.
There's also Support Central which literally says you can ask it a question and it'll find you the answer. If it was still alive, assuming it's dead, I'd ask it "What's the stupidest question I can ask?" and see what it'd do. It's not like Cortana or Siri or any of those AI-based things, I don't think it could help you with questions, nevertheless like 5% of the ones you have. Sony couldn't have possibly have thought of EVERY scenario. There's shittons of software out there, meaning lots of different problems could happen and being it's Windows ME and its track record in regards to drivers, there'd probably be a lot of problems it couldn't solve. Let's move on anyways before this turns into a rant lol.
You know what tells me "hey, I can trust this"? The fact that it's powered by SUPPORT.COM. I do genuinely wonder what genius came up with that domain and who the hell was running it at this time. Oddly enough, it has a version number but no build number. Moving on...
You know you're successful when you've been alive since 1997, being able to withstand the dot-com bubble burst that happened in the early 2000's. They actually only recently went defunct this year due to a buyout. Their domain and services are still alive and well though meaning until this year, they had been the exact same company for over 20 years. That's mighty impressive and actually shocked me if I'm being honest. Now I'm wondering if this old as hell VAIO support infrastructure is still online if the company is? 🤔
This is essentially the Common Solutions page, which is what shows when you click its button. I tried getting the web solutions, it does a thing, but nothing ever shows up which is intriguing.
It ends up trying to load this website on Sony's domain. Intriguing that it's Sony's given that it's contract infrastructure.
This section of the application is a glorified Microsoft BOB, just without the fancy looking interface
Moving onto the Quick Fix Wizard, it's actually literally a wizard. Let's go through it.
You have 3 options for diagnostics. You can either pick the software and when it last worked (like you can actually remember the exact time it last worked lol), just have it check for problems in certain areas or have it undo previous fixes. We'll go with the 2nd one and check all the boxes.
Nice little interface you got. It diagnoses your problems and actually checks if something's working or not. How it knows if it is or isn't working is a fair question, it doesn't really tell you that part.
A possible problem with networking settings, makes sense since it's a VM
Very intriguing thing we got here. We're not going to go through with it obviously but still a nice thing to check out. We're gonna close out of this and move onto the final portion of this application.
Sadly we can't checkout Support Central as it's just a dead website so we're gonna move onto another application.
Here's something unique, BROADBAND DEMOS. Gone are the days of ISP trials being bundled with your computer, now it's all about the demos. In all seriousness though, have never seen an OEM offer this until now. This one specifically is a Sony-designed one as seen by the URL. It even tells you how to order and everything. It's animated too with sound and video.
That's like an actual ISP client, kinda cool not gonna lie
This is the other broadband demo that came with this PC. This isn't so much a demo moreso than a child's MSPaint drawing that a scammer would use to steal your money.
ImageStation apparently is just a Flash animation. Quite unique.
Not to mention just flat out adware. Let's move on!
So this is ArcSoft's Photo Printer 2000. It literally does what it says, it takes a picture and prints it out in like a photo form and you can kinda modify it too if you want. We're gonna try it out with one of the default pictures.
Really intriguing program, you can even create frames for the pictures. And before you ask, it apparently came with some sample pictures which I didn't know beforehand. It has a lot of templates like for Kodak and a lot of other modes and styling options. I like it. Pretty customizable.
I find it funny how these calendars look kinda similar to the ones from the Acer Ferrari that was reviewed very long ago. I wonder if they used this same software 🤔. That picture positioning is just AWFUL though.
Finally, covering the editing capabilities, it's QUITE NICE. I haven't ever seen editing capabilities this nice in a 9x application. I give Sony props for bundling this software and ArcSoft for creating it in the first place. Let's move on now.
I'll admit, this has to be the first time I've ever seen paid Adobe software bundled with a PC. Again, never heard of it until now. Seems kinda similar to ArcSoft's Photo Printer 2000 with maybe a bigger focus towards editing and maybe slightly more capabilities. It also has its own sample pictures.
I've been playing around with this and honestly...REALLY impressive. I have never seen software this impressive. This is like Photoshop before Photoshop became a thing. Adobe always did have good products, from day one. Let's move on though shall we?
You know...it isn't an OEM review without a mention of McAfee isn't it? Well...here ya go! This comes with McAfee Office apparently which includes McAfee VirusScan (now for enterprises only) version 5.13 and McAfee Safe & Sound which apparently is like an automatic backup thing.
Out of all the things I've seen bundled with computers in my lifetime, I never thought I'd see a memory stick formatter. Like what in the fuck is this??? When I hear memory stick, I think of like a PS2, it is Sony so it'd kind of make sense but this is essentially the application. It's pretty barebones, it is a Sony application and really, it looks like it's saying memory stick as in like a flash drive but to be honest, I've never heard a flash drive called a memory stick before...not until now at least. It's quite intriguing but I wont be using it of course, don't want to format my install after all (or my recovery partition it made).
Here's a cool VAIO-only thing. I believe this is an application for hotkey setup among other things, which is pretty cool, if only I actually had a VAIO keyboard to use it with lol.
You have Adaptec software bundled on here, including DirectCD version 3.01d
You also have Easy CD Creator 4, version 1.02d
You get ripoff clippy as a free bonus
You get QuickTime pre-loaded on here because some things, like that @home broadband demo, require its technology
I tried to load up AIM (was gonna show Netscape off too) and apparently it decided "I'm a real PC so I'm gonna go bork now" lol
Going away from that unplanned message, Netscape Navigator is on here, probably a similar or the same version as seen on others given the version of AIM is 3.0N
I LOVE THE ADWARE ON FIRST RUN. YES!
Nothing too exciting, Quicken is so normal on these older computers that it should be named Microsoft Quicken lmfao
Now this is unique, RealProducer comes with this computer. Apparently it's some sort of recorder or something like that. You get 3 options when starting a new session.
In case you're curious, it's version 6.1.0153
You also have RealPlayer of course. Version 22.214.171.124. Oddly enough, the licensed name is firstname.lastname@example.org lmfao...nice choice Sony.
Anybody like more exclusive Sony software? Well this is OpenMG Jukebox version 2.0.00.11300. Looks more modern than Windows ME or just as modern tbh. At least it doesn't look like a 90's application lol.
Finally, looking at wallpapers and screensavers, the only other wallpapers are those of different sizes and bits. No other OEM screensavers either. In fact, that OEM screensaver happened to be the VAIO tour. Seems like something that would be running 99% of the time on demo units at a store so quite interesting. You can see clicking settings on it got us this quite interesting prompt regarding branding. Apparently they decided to not brand their thing so that's quite funny.
Well that's it for this OEM review! I did have some other applications I wanted to show but they had BIOS locks so until they're reverse engineered, they wont be shown. Once they're reverse engineered, they'll be posted here as bonuses. Thanks for reading this very special OEM review and I'll see you in the next one!