- Type: Personal Computer
- Released: 1994
- Model: AST Bravo LC 4/66d
- CPU: Intel i486DX2@66 MHz
- Graphics: VGA (1 MB DRAM)
- Memory: 8 MB (expandable to 64 MB)
- Storage: 404 MB IDE hard drive
- Sound: PC speaker 1 bit mono
- Price: 2263 USD (list price desember 1994)
Released 1994: The Bravo LC 4/66d is a PC compatible desktop from AST Research. Based on the 80486 processor. The Bravo line from AST Research addressed two business market tiers. Bravo LC for those wanting a basic system and the Bravo MS series was directed toward people who need more than a bare-bones PC but don’t require the high performance levels of the top-tier AST Premmia line.
AST Research, Inc. was a personal computer manufacturer, founded in Irvine, California, in 1980. In the 1980’s AST designed add-on expansion cards, before shifting to a major personal computer manufacturer towards the 1990’s. AST computer’s reliability was considered close to that of quality leaders COMPAQ, Gateway and IBM. AST managed to gain a decent market share of the PC market, however, it never came close to overtaking COMPAQ and Dell. AST’s fortunes shrunk due to the strategy of offering premium models in an increasingly competitive personal computer market, while COMPAQ and other top-tier manufacturers slashed prices to go head-to-head with the cheapest clones.
My AST Bravo LC 4/66d
I found two of these in decent appearance in the electrical waste container at my work place. I kept one and gave one away to a friend who I knew was looking for a vintage PC with ISA card slots. I did the normal cleanup and tested that the machines worked and that I got a boot screen.
CMOS battery: I replaced the CMOS battery, it uses a “three sprong” type coin cell battery that I got from a local electronic shop. After config the hard drive in CMOS the computer would boot with the original hard drive, but the hard drive was a bit noisy.
Replace Hard drive: I replaced the hard drive by a CF card adapter and prepared a 4 GB CF memory card as HDD, setup as 504 MB (maximum size to be supported in BIOS setup).
Adding a sound card: I bought a cheap Sound Blaster clone sound card for it. It was a bit trouble some as I first had to use a special setup program and config the card before it would work in games.