Category Archives: IBM

Learn Something Old Every Day, Part V: Early IBM PS/2 Hard Disks

So I have been (again) trying to properly archive old MS OS/2 SDKs. The version 1.02 SDK from December 1987 (corresponding to OS/2 1.0) turned out to be a bit of a poser. The SDK came on both 3.5″ and … Continue reading

Posted in ESDI, IBM, PC history, PS/2 | 16 Comments

OS/2 6.304: Finally Complete

Some time ago, I lamented that even though the OS/2 Museum had a good number of disks of the final OS/2 2.0 beta, level 6.304, there wasn’t enough to install the OS, let alone any of the development tools or … Continue reading

Posted in CD-ROM, IBM, OS/2, PC history, Pre-release | 3 Comments

Page Too Big

The other day I was able to look at an IBM OS/2 pre-release CD-ROM from early 1992. The CD-ROM appears to have been produced by IBM UK under the DAP (Developer Assistance Program) umbrella. The CD-ROM contains about 250 MB … Continue reading

Posted in Documentation, IBM, OS/2, PC history | 4 Comments

Vague Standards are Trouble

Through the course of time I’ve been going over the IDENTIFY data of various old IDE hard disks. Today I happened to come across a Conner CP30254H drive, apparently made in June 1993 or so. This is a circa 250 … Continue reading

Posted in Conner, IBM, IDE, PC history | 2 Comments

FantasyLand on VGA

In 1984, Joel Gould of IBM Cambridge (that is Cambridge, Massachusetts rather than Cambridge, UK) Scientific Center wrote a demo program named FantasyLand. This demo was meant to show off the capabilities of IBM’s brand new Enhanced Graphics Adapter, or … Continue reading

Posted in IBM, PC hardware, PC history, VGA | 11 Comments

Reconstructing the EGA BIOS

A few weeks ago I had a sudden need to understand certain finer points of the operation of EGA/VGA BIOS. I found common reference materials to be inadequate—they tend to do a good job of documenting the data structures the … Continue reading

Posted in BIOS, Development, Documentation, Graphics, IBM, PC history | 26 Comments


After writing about the likely origins of IBM code page 852, I thought I should revisit the homegrown Czech alternative solution, the Kamenick√Ĺ brothers encoding and their keyboard driver. Its existence is well documented, and the so-called (somewhat misnamed) KEYBCS2 … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, I18N, IBM, x86 | 29 Comments

Where Did CP852 Come From?

In the 1990s, a lot of my documents were written in code page 852 (CP852), also known as PC Latin 2. This code page is sometimes called “Eastern European”, which is a bit misleading, given that it does not cover … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, I18N, IBM, Microsoft, OS/2, PC history | 47 Comments

Weird Tales

While researching various aspects of the history of computing, sometimes I come across what can best be described as “weird tales” — unsourced claims that sound interesting but are either provably wrong or there’s no evidence to support them. In … Continue reading

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, PC history, PC press | 22 Comments


A number of years ago, an 8″ disk containing Seattle Computer Products (SCP) 86-DOS 1.0 was successfully imaged. The newest files on the disk are dated April 30, 1981, making the disk the oldest complete release of what was soon … Continue reading

Posted in Development, DOS, IBM, PC history | 11 Comments