What are you using your machine for?

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Re: What are you using your machine for?

Postby Trixter » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:16 am

MattCarp wrote:
Trixter wrote:While I have a "superjr" (7.16 Mhz NEC V20, 640KB without use of sidecar, Tandy mod) a


Hi Jim, you may recall I was the guy who sold you an XT motherboard from eBay (I think it was eBay) in the 2003-2004 timeframe. I stopped by to deliver it and you showed me your 4.77 video demo!

What components are you using to achieve 7.16MHz and the memory expansion?


Well hi there!! Yes, I tested your board and so far it is at the top of my list in terms of replacement parts (although I think I already have a dead XT that I need it put it into.) I forgot about the video demo, you saw http://www.oldskool.org/pc/8088_Corruption before I had even gone to the party where it won a prize, I think. Hope all is well with you.

The 7.16MHz NEC V20 mod is courtesy of a daughterboard that is installed in my 8088's socket, which I believe is a PC Enterprises jrExcellerator. Which means, it's not really 7.16Mhz but 9.54 MHz. I don't have it set up at the moment so I can't tell you for sure.

One of the things I'm going to build into my upcoming benchmarking program is a comprehensive system/cpu/speed detection unit that can hopefully answer questions like this without needing to crack the hardware physically open.
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Re: What are you using your machine for?

Postby Trixter » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:25 am

deathshadow60 wrote:In a lot of ways back then every little thing you did felt like a huge accomplishment -- While I like having my big bad ge560Ti i7 870 rig with 16 gigs of RAM, it's "too easy" now to just order something bigger or to have the IDE and/or RAD do all the work for you; making it feel like no matter what you do you haven't really done anything... special... Or even challenging.


One of the things I miss about the early days of personal computing was that nearly everyone you met who liked computers -- on BBSes, in computer and software stores, etc. -- were also pretty good at using them. Early personal computing meant you couldn't be a total idiot and still use a computer, unlike today. So if you met someone who used computers enough and liked doing so, chances are they were not an idiot. The overall caliber of people in the hobby were higher.

I think it's amazing how much of a commodity personal computers have become. My 2-yr-old nephew can navigate an ipad without any help, and my 11-yr-old son has a typical smartphone (iphone 3) which means he can send voice, data, images to anyone in the entire world no matter where he is -- that's stuff I used to watch on Star Trek and now it's reality! That's both pretty damn scary and pretty awesome. But what's missing is the element of human discovery, of natural intellectual curiosity, trying to figure out what the machine can do, why and how it does what it does, and how to push it farther. That's what I miss about the early days, and that's why I have 27 old computers stuffed into my crawlspace (with 1 or 2 in regular use or circulation).
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Re: What are you using your machine for?

Postby jmetal88 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:21 pm

That's why I'm glad my dad started me out by bringing home an old XT clone from the office when I was in kindergarten. Learning to use DOS before learning to use Windows was a critical component in my understanding of computing systems. In addition, I did a lot of messing around with GW-BASIC at the time, which is the only reason I have even a basic concept of how to program today.
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Re: What are you using your machine for?

Postby Tyrop » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:35 am

I'm using my PCjr primarily for 2 things. 1) I wrote a BBS when I was a feshman in college in 1984-85 which was a challenge to me at the time and I like to see it running again once in a while on the real hardware. While it was definitely not of commercial quality, I do like to browse the old messages people left in 1985, and to fix or add features that I could have done better. I know that there is no practical use to resurrect an old BBS (especially written in Basic and run on a 300 baud modem). This is purely to bring back memories of, to me, what were the most exciting days of computing.

2) I always wanted to learn 8088 assembly language and this was the computer I started to learn on. At the time, I promised myself I would do everything I could to learn the machine and become one of those programmers that writes articles for the magazines. Alas, it was a hobby that I lost the time for. I got too involved with schoolwork, and before I knew it, I was in law school and had no more time to learn how to program. I saw the programming world change - started to get into C with Microsoft Quick C, but the programming world changed to fast, and I did not have the time to keep up. So now, learning assembly language feels like unfinished business and I want to go back and try to learn it. Unfortunaterly, I still don't have the amount of time I need, so it is going to be slow learning.
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Re: What are you using your machine for?

Postby Lutiana » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:29 am

Trixter wrote:While I have a "superjr" (7.16 Mhz NEC V20, 640KB without use of sidecar, Tandy mod) and a regular stock Jr with a 512K sidecar, I mostly use mine to play Jr-specific games and run Jr-specific programs.


What is the Tandy Mod?
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Re: What are you using your machine for?

Postby Trixter » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:58 pm

Lutiana wrote:
Trixter wrote:While I have a "superjr" (7.16 Mhz NEC V20, 640KB without use of sidecar, Tandy mod) and a regular stock Jr with a 512K sidecar, I mostly use mine to play Jr-specific games and run Jr-specific programs.


What is the Tandy Mod?


This thread has more info: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=97
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