Intro

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Intro

Postby afeldman » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:59 am

I came across this site a few years back as it is one of the few outposts of PCJr info still left (oldskool's PCjr shrine aside). My first computer was a PCjr. I remember spending every dollar and dime I had saved from summers of toil to buy one as a middle schooler. It served me well into high school and despite its challenges, taught me a lot.
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Re: Intro

Postby Brutman » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:41 am

Our experiences are similar ... I think I saved my paperboy earnings for two years before buying a PCjr; I was early enough to have to wait for it and to pay full price for it. (A year later they would be significantly discounted.) I was also in middle school at the time (8th grade), and I used it heavily until my second year of college when I finally upgraded to a used AT with a 20MB hard drive. In 1989 that was still a reasonable machine, given how many students did not have any sort of PC at all.

Working around the deficiencies of the Jr taught me a little assembler (for patching programs), to keep backup copies of everything (because floppies get read errors), how to work/program in a highly constrained enviroment (256KB on a PCjr is basically equivalent to 128KB on a PC), and how to program effectively on a slow machine. This is why all of my mTCP programs still target the PCjr today - if I can make something work acceptably on a PCjr, it will be fine on any other machine.
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Re: Intro

Postby afeldman » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:18 pm

Indeed. To own a PCjr meant one got very handy with DOS and utilities like DEBUG for patching stuff. I eventually upgraded to an Atari ST a couple of years later but my brother kept the junior and it soldiered on for some years.
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Re: Intro

Postby afeldman » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:24 pm

I never got my hands on the IBM PCjr Tech Reference manual (found a copy via Internet Archive) but recall a couple of awesome books by SAMS: IBM PCjr Assembly Language and a graphics programming book authored by none other than Michael Abrash (of Quake fame) that really helped develop a passion for figuring out how the PCjr worked.
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