Category Archives: PC history

Windows 3.x VDDVGA

While working on my Windows 3.x display driver, I ran into a vexing problem. In Windows 3.1 running in Enhanced 386 mode, I could start a DOS session and switch it to a window. But an attempt to set a … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Development, Documentation, Graphics, PC history, Windows | 29 Comments

Learn Something Old Every Day, Part VII: 8087 Intricacies

The other day I investigated a report that a C runtime library modification causes programs to hang on a classic IBM 5150 PC with no math coprocessor. The runtime originally contained two separate routines, one to detect the presence of … Continue reading

Posted in 8086/8088, Development, IBM, Intel, PC history, x87 | 9 Comments

PC Disk Sector Sizes and Booting

Everyone knows that the IBM PC established 512-byte sectors on floppies and hard disks as the standard, which survived for several decades until the advent of “native” 4K-sector drives. Of course what “everyone knows” is not necessarily the whole story. … Continue reading

Posted in BIOS, DOS, IBM, PC history, Storage | 13 Comments

Slovenian OS/2 Warp 4

This is a guest post written by Marko Ć tamcar from the Slovenian Computer Museum in Ljubljana. Additional context and commentary from the OS/2 Museum can be found at the end of the article. Slovenia being a tiny country with a … Continue reading

Posted in IBM, OS/2, PC history | 14 Comments

WordSet: Stolen Without Compensation

A kind reader from a land formerly beyond the Iron Curtain recently supplied the OS/2 Museum with a curious word processor that calls itself WordSet. The files unfortunately lost their original timestamps quite some time ago, but it is apparent … Continue reading

Posted in Editors, I18N, PC history, WordStar | 29 Comments

Compaq EGA Technical Reference Guide

A rater nice Compaq EGA Tech Ref recently turned up on archive.org, under the title COMPAQ Enhanced Color Graphics Board Technical Reference Guide. It’s from December 1986, relatively late in EGA’s life (given that it was about to be obsoleted … Continue reading

Posted in Compaq, Documentation, PC history | Leave a comment

IDENTIFY ESDI DRIVE

As previously mentioned on this site, the IDENTIFY DRIVE command in the ATA specification almost certainly first appeared in ESDI controllers supplied to Compaq by Western Digital. Since I have now finally secured a working ESDI hard disk, I could … Continue reading

Posted in ESDI, IDE, PC hardware, PC history, Western Digital | 19 Comments

1989 Networking: OS/2 NetWare Requester 1.1

When I wrote about the pre-release NetWare Requester for OS/2, the oldest archived officially released NetWare OS/2 Requester was version 1.2 from 1990. In the meantime, version 1.1 of the requester showed up, although I only became aware of that … Continue reading

Posted in NetWare, Networking, OS/2, PC history, Virtualization | 9 Comments

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