Category Archives: PC history

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 | 11 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 | 5 Comments

Page Too Big

The other day I was able to look at an IBM OS/2 pre-release CD-ROM from early 1992. The CD-ROM appears to have been produced by IBM UK under the DAP (Developer Assistance Program) umbrella. The CD-ROM contains about 250 MB … Continue reading

Posted in Documentation, IBM, OS/2, PC history | 4 Comments

Xenix 2.2 vs. VGA

The other day I started wondering why certain old versions of 286 and 386 XENIX look a bit weird in emulation: The characters are cut off, because XENIX sets up an EGA text mode with 8×14 character matrix but uses … Continue reading

Posted in 286, 386, PC architecture, PC history, VGA, Xenix | 14 Comments

Vague Standards are Trouble

Through the course of time I’ve been going over the IDENTIFY data of various old IDE hard disks. Today I happened to come across a Conner CP30254H drive, apparently made in June 1993 or so. This is a circa 250 … Continue reading

Posted in Conner, IBM, IDE, PC history | 4 Comments

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 | 16 Comments

Reconstructing the EGA BIOS

A few weeks ago I had a sudden need to understand certain finer points of the operation of EGA/VGA BIOS. I found common reference materials to be inadequate—they tend to do a good job of documenting the data structures the … Continue reading

Posted in BIOS, Development, Documentation, Graphics, IBM, PC history | 32 Comments

Learn Something Old Every Day, Part IV: Ctrl+Scroll Lock is Ctrl+Break

The other day I tried running NSNIPES, a multiplayer networked game that came with old versions of NetWare. The game worked fine, but I couldn’t get out of it. Esc did nothing, any “usual” combinations like Alt+X, Alt+Q or similar … Continue reading

Posted in NetWare, PC architecture, PC history | 3 Comments