Hello from a noobish and obsessive PCjr addict and stuff.

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Hello from a noobish and obsessive PCjr addict and stuff.

Postby Eric » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:51 pm

Hey PCjr users,
I
I'm Eric. I'm a person with a PCjr and I want to use it for my primary computing tasks. Things like word processing, spreadsheets, BBS and occasional gameplay.

I didn't grow up with the old peanut, though it would have been nice to. I've always had an interest in the older PCs for some reason. Especially the IBM PCs. These machines were already obsolete by the time I was born and the first computer my family brought into the home had a Pentium CPU, I believe. I know it had a 1GB. HDD 0_0 (Being raised on Windows without learning basic is almost a form of damnation. I hate when things are too easy to use.)

Anyway, I've heard about the PCjr and it's lack of expandability and the simple modifications that would require some soldering. In 2009, I was finally able to own one of these gems. I haven't done much with it due to the lack of a DSDD drive in another PC. (Though I do own over 60 fresh 360k disks)


All I've done so far is copy a few basic programs line by line and some modifications.
The Exploring the IBM PCjr disk, cartridge basic and DOS 3.3 is the software I have so far. I also have the thermal compact printer which I'm sure will see a good deal of use.


I'm sure it will be an awesome experience to finally become involved with this board.

Image
A picture of my JR running
I have a basic JR Hotshot (Non RTC model) installed, which expands the systems RAM to 640kb installed and I've done the LPT2 (might as well) and Bidirectional mod to a Parallel Port Sidecar. Oh! And an NEC V20 has made its home in this board, too.

I've also done the Tandy modification to a spare motherboard I have, but will do it to the main mobo soon.


--
There are a few other things I plan on doing.
That is the Tandy mod on my main mobo, the modification in speedup.txt, adding a 1216E, doing the floppy drive modification from Home Computer Magazine and a few other things. I'll have to find a way to get software into the jr without breaking down and installing a floppy emulator.

If I ever came across them, I would definitely install the Thin Font Mod and the PC Enterprises internal modem for sure. I'm not a big fan of sidecars, I think the two I'd mainly use are the Parallel Port (duh) and the speech attachment. I really like the small footprint of this system and adding an inch per expansion just doesn't appeal to me.
Last edited by Eric on Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Greetings from a noob.

Postby Eric » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:07 pm

Edit:
Last edited by Eric on Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Posts: 126
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Re: Hello from a noobish and obsessive PCjr addict and stuff

Postby balsino » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:48 pm

Great to hear you are having fun with your PCjr. Sorry to hear about your power supply problems. I have never fried a PCjr power supply, but they definitely do go bad. Let us know if you are able to fix it or not. PCjr users started buying second PCjrs by the very late 1980s early 1990s just for spare parts, so you are definitely on the right track in your thinking as to the best way to get another power supply.

You have the right upgrades for your jr but really need to think about increasing memory. I know that would require using sidecars which you prefer not to do. The other alternative is to find a Racore or other PCjr second level that has the 512 KB memory card internal. It will still keep the PCjr compact, though it does add 1 sidecar.

There is a lot you can do with PCjr from spreadsheets, databases, and games in DOS to keep on using it.

Mike probably has invented the best way to expand your PCjr and still keep the aesthetic compact nature of the unit that you like. Look for his post on his new BIOS and hard drive.

I posted pictures on my PCjr in the General hardware discussion last week. PCjr expansion definitely is messy!

Excellent to meet another PCjr afficianado!
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Re: Hello from a noobish and obsessive PCjr addict and stuff

Postby Eric » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:20 pm

balsino wrote:You have the right upgrades for your jr but really need to think about increasing memory. I know that would require using sidecars which you prefer not to do. The other alternative is to find a Racore or other PCjr second level that has the 512 KB memory card internal. It will still keep the PCjr compact, though it does add 1 sidecar.

Actually, the first modification I have done is install the JR Hotshot, which is a device that mounts between the cpu and the socket and adds 512 kb to the system. It's a very nice thing to have. A multi version is available, which adds an RTC and an alternate floppy controller, but I have the basic model. It doesn't seem too difficult to solder in the missing ICs, as they do share the same pcb, but I've decided to add the DS1216E instead.


balsino wrote:There is a lot you can do with PCjr from spreadsheets, databases, and games in DOS to keep on using it.


I'll try to use her for all of my basic tasks, like keeping records, writing letters and such, and coding a few things in basic. And as I've said, I'd like to dial into a few of the world's remaining BBSs with it. If I ever get my hands on an internal modem by PC Enterprises, would this be decent enough for this?

balsino wrote:Mike probably has invented the best way to expand your PCjr and still keep the aesthetic compact nature of the unit that you like. Look for his post on his new BIOS and hard drive.

I'm actually very interested in this. Btw, you've said he's modified the BIOS for Junior, do you have any links to this? I haven't been able to find the thread. :oops:


balsino wrote:I posted pictures on my PCjr in the General hardware discussion last week. PCjr expansion definitely is messy!

I'll check it out and say what I think.

balsino wrote: Excellent to meet another PCjr afficianado!

[/quote]
It's good to be one and really is excellent to meet PCjr afficianados. I hope to talk with you some more and I'll keep you all up to date with the progress of my PC.
PCjr:
Eric
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: Hello from a noobish and obsessive PCjr addict and stuff

Postby balsino » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:40 pm

You can find Mike's jr IDE BIOS link under the PCjr Hardware topic in the Forum, check out jr-IDE BIOS updates
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Re: Hello from a noobish and obsessive PCjr addict and stuff

Postby balsino » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:45 pm

Oh and I forgot. I have gotten up to 9600 baud with an external modem on a plain PCjr, so I wouldn't worry about waiting for a PC Enterprises 2400 baud internal modem. Heck, with all the PC Enterprises PCjr gear I have, even I have never seen that fabled internal 2400 baud modem. And back in 1993 I used to visit PC Enterprises a lot on Friday afternoons/evenings when I was waiting to pick up my daughter for the weekends down at the New Jersey Shore. That's how I got most of that gear in the first place.
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