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Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:28 pm
by Meknapp
There is currently an ebay auction for a PCjr "with accessories". It doesn't mention it by name in the description, but from one of the screenshots, I'm pretty sure it comes with the Electric Desk cartridge. I've always been fascinated with PCjr cartridge software. Partly because it is the only PC ever to have cartridge ports, and partly because back in the day the only cart I had was Cartridge BASIC. (If anyone is interested in the auction, I can paste a "seen" link to it in the Sell/Trade section)

My real question is does anyone here have any experience with this cartridge? Is it any good?

--- Troff (Mike K.)

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:11 am
by Trixter
I've always wanted one; I think Mike Brutman has a complete set. I don't believe the cartridge ROM(s) have been dumped.

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:45 pm
by Brutman
I have a complete set that I haven't used yet - it's on the todo list.

Quite honestly I'm not jumping up and down to try it out because there is a practical limit to what you can stuff into a cartridge; I have very low expectations for an office suite that somebody tried to stuff into 64KB of ROM space. There are some diskettes with it too so maybe it is not terrible, but I'm sure it's not going to be a great office suite either.

There were two versions - early versions I think had a LEFT and RIGHT cartridge, while later versions only used one cartridge. The difference is probably that they were able to figure out how to get all of the code into one cartridge, which would have been cheaper than using two.

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:58 pm
by alanh
Is the complete collection of carts on an abandoned-ware archive somewhere?

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:01 pm
by Trixter
All the game carts, yes. Most of the application software too, but not Electric Desk. Not sure how Mike feels about posting links on his forum, but you can contact me via email if you want them.

Hargle compiled most (but not all) of the game ROMs onto a bootable disk so you can pick'n'choose which ones you want; that one is mentioned and available on a separate thread on this forum.

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:15 am
by Hargle
My family had the 2 cart version of ED, so I can confirm it existed. Other than that, I don't really recall anything about it- if there was a word processor in that application, we most certainly didn't use it. IBM's Writing Assistant was way superior. Sadly, I'm sure our copy is long gone by now. Probably sold off with our last (of 3!) PCjrs in the mid 90s.

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:19 am
by Tempest
I have the two cart version as well as the disks and manual. I think there are two (maybe three?) disks, but I've never messed around with it.

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:20 pm
by Trixter
Well, if anyone ever wants to unload the 2-cart version, PM me :-)

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:34 pm
by Tempest
My bad, there are five disks:

1. Installation Disk
2. System Disk
3. Dictionary
4. Thesaurus
5. This one isn't labeled and has a blue label instead of silver

I can't get it to boot, but the cartridge port on my PCjr is really flaky so that's not a surprise. I can bring it along to the next VCF Midwest if you want.

Re: Electric Desk cart

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:11 pm
by MikeModified