Category Archives: PC press

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

The Phantom Intel GM47 Chipset

I spent a bit of time recently putting together technical documentation for Intel’s 4-series chipsets, partly motivated by research into Intel’s support of 4 GB DDR2 memory modules, partly driven by idle curiosity about one of Intel’s many hyped up … Continue reading

Posted in Intel, PC history, PC press | 7 Comments

It’s In Style Now

Retrocomputing has now made it to the Style section of the New York Times. There is nothing particularly new about the article, except where it appeared. I guess people have noticed that retrocomputing is a thing, and that old gear … Continue reading

Posted in PC history, PC press | 10 Comments

The Danger of Datasheets

A few days age I came across an article about the 8237 DMA controller in an old German computing magazine (DOS Extra, issue 1 ’87/88, page 123, Schnelle Speicherverwaltung mit dem DMA-Controller, or Fast memory management with the DMA controller). … Continue reading

Posted in Corrections, PC hardware, PC press | 29 Comments

How Not to Buy a Computer

The following is an unauthorized translation of an article by Jiří Franěk, published in the Czechoslovak computer magazine List sometime in early 1989. Some readers probably remember those times, others have forgotten. As for the rest—consider yourselves lucky. The number … Continue reading

Posted in PC history, PC press | 27 Comments

Would You Believe It?

The following article was printed in Computer Shopper, June 1992 issue (page 152). Commentary follows. The Big Squeeze Compression Scheme Shatters Storage Logjam Todd Daniel believes he has found a way to revolutionize data storage as we know it. DataFiles/16, … Continue reading

Posted in PC history, PC press | 65 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 | 19 Comments

PC Tech Journal

One of the better PC magazines back in the day (that is, in the 1980s) was PC Tech Journal (or PCTJ for short), a sister periodical of PC Magazine published by Ziff-Davis. While PC Magazine was targeted at the general computer-buying … Continue reading

Posted in PC history, PC press | 4 Comments

DOS 4.0, bum rap, and mismatched expectations

While researching the history of DOS extenders, I came across an article written in 1991 and explaining why OS/2 2.0 was going to be horribly incompatible with Windows 3.x. To support the argument, the following statement was used: “When IBM … Continue reading

Posted in IBM, PC press | 13 Comments