Category Archives: PC history

Top of the Class 478

So I have that old Intel D865PERL board, which is a Socket 478/AGP board. There’s a 3.2 GHz Northwood in it but of course I was wondering, what’s the fastest CPU this board supports? And it turns out to be a … Continue reading

Posted in Intel, PC hardware, PC history, Pentium 4 | 3 Comments

Gravis Ultras

While researching 1990s sound cards with wavetable synths, I came across an interesting resource called Rich Heimlich’s Patch Set Overview, namely issue #5 from July 1995. When I tried to unearth older issues of same, I stumbled upon a curious … Continue reading

Posted in Creative Labs, Internet, PC history, Sound | 5 Comments

Deskpro 386 at 30

30 years ago, in September 1986, Compaq announced the Deskpro 386, a PC as revolutionary as it was conservative. Compaq decided to forge its own path and not wait for IBM to introduce a 386-based PC. At the same time, Compaq … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Compaq, IBM, PC history, PC press | 17 Comments

Intel OverDrive Part II: Pentium OverDrive

The Pentium OverDrive is notable for supporting three physically different sockets (that’s not counting the Pentium II OverDrive). The Pentium OverDrive product was sold in variants suitable for Socket 2/3 (486 systems), Socket 4 (early Pentium systems), and Socket 5/7 … Continue reading

Posted in 486, Intel, PC history, Pentium | 21 Comments

Children of the Bus Wars

In the late 1980s and the early 1990s, the so-called Bus Wars raged. A few years after the PC/AT was released, it became clear that the ISA bus could not keep pace with faster CPUs and peripherals, especially graphics cards … Continue reading

Posted in ATi, EISA, MCA, PC history, PCI, VLB | 8 Comments

Playing Football

The Super Bowl is long over and it’s time to look at different kind of football. In Winter 1986/1987, Microsoft initiated a small skunkworks project called “Football”. The objective was to take “Sizzle”, a development branch of proto-OS/2 that would eventually … Continue reading

Posted in 386, IBM, Microsoft, OS/2, PC history | 16 Comments

Before OS/2 Was OS/2

After almost 30 years, several disks with ancient builds of OS/2 surfaced. In this context, “ancient” means older than the May 1987 release of the first MS OS/2 SDK. In fact these disks are so old that the one thing … Continue reading

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, OS/2, PC history, Undocumented | 36 Comments

Lies, Damn Lies, and Wikipedia

While researching the history of 486s for a previous article, I came across a fascinating Wikipedia entry and its associated talk page. It’s a nice showcase of inmates running the asylum, and a reminder that Wikipedia can’t be considered an authoritative … Continue reading

Posted in 486, Intel, PC history | 25 Comments

Intel OverDrive Part I: 486 OverDrive

Intel had a long history of offering retail processor upgrades for PCs. The last and by far the best known of those were the Intel OverDrive processors. But let’s start with the earlier history. In 1987, Intel released the Inboard 386/AT, … Continue reading

Posted in 486, Intel, PC history | 3 Comments

Intel 486 Errata?

There don’t seem to be any specification updates or errata lists for any Intel 486 CPU anywhere. It’s odd because there are specification updates for 386s (and of course Pentiums) from Intel, and because the embedded 486s continued to be … Continue reading

Posted in 486, Intel, PC history | 18 Comments