Something New Every Day…

Apparently in 1990, Intel still sold complete systems, and they were PC compatible at that point. And perhaps not surprisingly, Intel also OEMed MS OS/2 1.21:

Intel OEM OS/2 1.21 Boot

And there was this cute ASCII-art logo:

Intel OEM OS/2 1.21 Installer Logo

There very little customization that Intel did, the biggest difference from standard MS OS/2 1.21 was that Intel shipped additional DISK01.SYS driver which was in fact standard Adaptec ASW-1420 driver for 154x HBAs (actually 1x4x, presumably also covering EISA if not MCA). That supported the Adaptec 1542 SCSI controller used in the Intel 303 (386/33) tower system that these MS OS/2 disks came with.

Big thanks to a helpful reader.

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14 Responses to Something New Every Day…

  1. Yuhong Bao says:

    I wonder if they did OS/2 1.0/1.1, given the LOADALL problems.

  2. I wasn’t aware Intel actually made systems directly for retail.

  3. zeurkous says:

    Weren’t they meant for internal use, and just ‘available’ for the aware outsider to purchase?

  4. Michal Necasek says:

    What problems? On a 386, MS OS/2 never used LOADALL. (IBM OS/2 is a different story.)

  5. Michal Necasek says:

    They weren’t for retail exactly I think, but in the 1970s and early 1980s Intel sold a lot of development systems, as well as systems for industrial/commercial use.

    Even now Intel ships quite a lot of PCs but I don’t think you can buy them, they are Intel’s “Software Development Platform” sent directly to qualified developers.

  6. Paul Jankura says:

    I own an Intel LP-486 Professional Workstation I found at a thrift store. It’s a pizza box style EISA workstation from about 1993. Reading the documentation on it, it seems to be Intel’s idea of a reference EISA PC platform:

    Interestingly, it’s on the Windows NT 3.1 Hardware Compatibility List.

  7. GL1zdA says:

    Intel manfuactured (or more like OEMem) quite a number of PCs which were described in their handbooks. You can find them in the “OEM Boards and Systems Handbook”, later renamed to “Microcomputer Boards and Systems Handbook” and finally to “Microcomputer Products”. All have the Part number 280407. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any version later than 1989 of them.

  8. techfury90 says:

    Interestingly, the diagnostics diskette for my Unisys B28 (rebadged Convergent NGEN 286) is dated October 1986, and it has a LOADALL instruction test as part of the CPU diagnostics.

    I think that pre-dates the known PC uses of LODALL.

  9. MiaM says:

    I have had an Intel PC with dual socket 5 pentium CPU:s. IIRC it was some rare 200MHz version or more likely the previous owner had overclocked it.

    It had both EISA and PCI iirc. It was a beige (mini?)tower box, with the typical server look (i.e. the vents look like a transistor radio from the 60’s).

    It had rs232 remote control of the bootup process and iirc also text mode screen from any running OS.

  10. Michal Necasek says:

    I have dual/quad Pentium motherboard that was part of Intel’s “Medusa” platform. Giant thing, ISA/EISA/PCI, custom power supply. FOUR 133 or 166 MHz Pentiums! Up to 768 MB RAM! It even runs Windows NT 🙂

    Not sure if Intel still does it but not too long ago they were still selling server boards as well as complete server systems with chassis and everything.

  11. heto says:

    Intel sells complete systems nowadays, too: their own NUC systems, and Compute Sticks, at least. Well, Intel’s NUCs lack memory and mass storage, so I suppose you could count those as kits, but other than that they are full computers with chassis and all.

  12. I love the ASCII Intel logo. Kind of a shame that such branding didn’t exist in the MS-DOS side of the world. I would imagine there should be something similar for Compaq, NCR, and maybe Epson?

  13. Christian says:

    Does the Desktop Manager’s About screen show an Intel copyright message in addition to MS’?

  14. Michal Necasek says:

    It does not. From what I can tell OEMs were given OS2LDR and maybe OS2KRNL to modify, but not the Presentation Manager. I imagine Microsoft and IBM intentionally wanted to keep the PM unified and free of OEM interference.

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