Category Archives: PC hardware

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

First Dual-Channel IDE?

The OS/2 Museum recently came into possession of what may be the first adapter with support for two IDE channels… sort of: The adapter was made by Plus Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the disk maker Quantum. This particular specimen … Continue reading

Posted in IDE, PC hardware, PC history, Quantum | 29 Comments

The Dual-Drive IDE Hell

I have perhaps inaccurate but very strong memories from my PC-building days (in the early to mid-1990s) that one of the most failure-prone and frustrating endeavors was trying to get two IDE drives working together on a single cable as … Continue reading

Posted in IDE, PC hardware, PC history | 19 Comments

How Not to Erase Data

From past blog posts it is fairly obvious that the OS/2 Museum occasionally purchases used hard disks. Most of the time, the disks are either completely erased (overwritten with zeros) or don’t have anything very interesting on them. But sometimes … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, PC hardware, Storage | 17 Comments

The IBM PC, 41 Years Ago

No, the OS/2 Museum does not have either a time machine or difficulty doing basic math. As of this writing, it is August 2021 and the IBM PC was announced in August 1981, 40 years ago. But in August 1980, … Continue reading

Posted in 8086/8088, BIOS, DOS, IBM, Intel, PC hardware, PC history | 60 Comments

IDENTIFY Ancient DRIVE

This article will attempt to collect IDENTIFY DRIVE dumps from antique IDE drives, with running commentary. For the purposes of this list, “antique” is defined as a drive model released in 1990 or earlier, typically with the drive itself also … Continue reading

Posted in IDE, PC hardware, PC history, Storage | 9 Comments

Learn Something Old Every Day, Part II

The ultimate reason why I pulled out the old Seagate ST-225 drive was because I wanted to try connecting it to the Western Digital WD1003-IWH board that I recently acquired. The WD1003-IWH is a curious evolutionary half-step between ST506 interface … Continue reading

Posted in IDE, PC hardware, PC history, Storage | 10 Comments

Learn Something Old Every Day

More or less by accident I found myself writing a very basic DOS utility to read data off of an IDE drive. It started out by just issuing the IDENTIFY DRIVE command and capturing the data, but adding the ability … Continue reading

Posted in Documentation, PC hardware, PC history, Seagate, Storage | 3 Comments

Centaur Close-ups

Readers have expressed interest in seeing what exactly a Western Digital ‘Centaur’ drive looked like. I took a few photos of a WD95044-A drive, the larger capacity (40 MB) and newer variant of the WD Centaur family. Some photos were … Continue reading

Posted in PC hardware, PC history, Storage, Western Digital | 3 Comments

Whence IDENTIFY DRIVE?

As most everyone knows, the AT Attachment standard (informally known as IDE) started by literally bolting the previously standalone AT disk controller onto a MFM drive with a ST506 interface and connecting the assembly to the host system with a … Continue reading

Posted in Compaq, Documentation, IDE, PC hardware, PC history, Storage | 33 Comments