Documentary: How and why IBM made the first PC

IBM released the IBM PC 5150 in 1981. Internally, IBM went through massive hurdles to get a personal computer to the market to compete with the other microcomputers of the time. This documentary shows all of the happenings organisationally as well as the trade-offs and decisions that led up to IBM choosing the sluggish 8088 CPU.

Some of the main reference material: BYTE Magazine, September 1990: https://archive.org/stream/byte-magaz… “Bill Gates, Microsoft and the IBM Personal Computer” – Infoworld Newsweekly, August 23rd 1982: https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=V… “Microsoft Announces 8086 Basic” – The Intelligent Machines Journal, Summer 1979: https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=F… IBM Exhibits: https://www.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhib…

ST506 Drive ‘Find’

I recently took ownership of a banged-up old #IBM PC XT. The motherboard was toast, the case was all banged up, so I decided it wasn’t worth repairing after many hours wasted with a multimeter and desoldering.. I put a new old 10MHz Turbo XT clone board in and it complained about some boot issues. So whilst I was debugging the issue, I thought I’d put the #ST506 hard drive in from the old machine. I didn’t expect it to work, but I thought just having a controller in there might help the issue. What I didn’t expect is that the 25+ year old drive would actually work. To my amazement, it (almost) worked first time. And here’s the treasure trove on it. Always find it amazing just seeing what people leave behind on their computers. It’s like a time capsule. Apologies for the really rough video, I shot it on my phone with no mic or anything, I just recorded it live as it was happening as I didn’t know if the disk was going to crap out on me. Didn’t have time to prep

Cleaning Retro Kit

Well, I got a mouse today. A lovely little original serial port #Microsoft mouse. It was pretty grubby, so I decided to give it a good old clean up.

Here is a video of the process and materials of what I use to clean up my retro stuff. I hope you find it entertaining and educational. I certainly found doing it a little more entertaining than it should be (thanks, Cussons!).

Please subscribe to my channel if you like the stuff I do. I really do love it when you subscribe! If you also feel particularly generous, you could flip me a buck or two at Patreon and donate to spurn me on to make more videos. Cheers a bucket-load! https://www.patreon.com/alsgeeklab).

How to set up a retro DOS PC to use the web, IRC chat, email, twitter, connect to BBS’s and more!

In this video I show you how to set up networking using a packet driver and mTCP. After that it’s over to showcasing some of the ways to get apps such as telnetd on a Linux box to give you email, twitter, reddit, rss, video and more. Then there’s the native mTCP apps such as IRC; an FTP server, an FTP client, a telnet client (for you to connect to your Linux box with) and more. Finally, there’s a harkening back to the days pre-internet with BBS’s. I’ll show you how to connect to BBS’s via telnet.

How to play music modules on an old PC (MOD/S3M/XM)

Up until now, listening to digitised music on a retro PC has been pretty much impossible. In this quick video, I’ll show you how you can play MOD / S3M / XM modules on a PC with as little as a 4.77MHz CPU. This is using brand new software (March 2020), which is still in beta so YMMV!

Links to the material shown in this video: Forum page with link to beta 16 of ModMaster XT: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?… Download MODs etc from here: https://modarchive.org Galaxy Music Player (GLX) (1994) download: http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=7… Original version of ModMaster 2.3 (1997): http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=8…

MS DOS Shell & Task Swapping Review

Many people didn’t even know that a utility called MS-DOS Shell shipped with the extras disk of MS-DOS versions 5 & 6. It was a handy file manager which looked and operated similarly to File Manager in Windows. One of it’s most interesting features was its ability to ‘swap tasks’. I’ll show you how to enable task swapping, and how it works, as well as give you a brief overview of the use of Dosshell overall.

How to get more than 640K RAM in a PC or XT

For years, I thought that it was impossible to access any more than 640K ‘Conventional’ RAM on my PC or XT. I was wrong. This time on Al’s Geek Lab, we see why and how the PC only addressed 640K, as well as how to take it up to 1MB without any major work.

MicroRAM card from Monotech Vintage PCs: https://monotech.fwscart.com DOSMAX / SHELLMAX Utility: https://www.pcorner.com/list/UTILITY/… USE!UMBS: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread…