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…

The Top 10 PC games in summary (1981-1991)

Hi all,

Due to popular demand, I was asked if I could keep the ‘Top 10’ DOS Games series going. The idea was to do the top 10 games of the first decade of the PC (’81-’91). I finished them off a few weeks ago. I’m pressing the pause button on any more for now to concentrate on other videos, however I thought it would be nice to make a summary video. So for your viewing pleasure, here’s an overview of the best games from that first decade. It also diarises how the PC platform grew up over the years, which was really interesting to see it begin to become the dominant force from shaky beginnings.

Check it out!

An interview with Ken Williams: Sierra Co-Founder

Alistair Ross interviews Ken Williams of Sierra

I met with Ken Williams for a fascinating chat about all things Sierra: From where it all began, with Ken finding a copy of a text adventure on a mainframe and Roberta being obsessed by it. To how the company was nearly bankrupt and was rescued by IBM and Tandy.

Ken talks about one of his proudest products, The Sierra Network, as well as his relationships with Al Lowe and ‘The two guys from Andromeda’ (Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe).

Ken releases a new book next month entitled ‘Not all fairy tales have happy endings’, which talks about all things Sierra, including how it really worked on the inside. The book is available next month. Check out his website: https://www.kensbook.com to register your interest in obtaining a copy.

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Star Micronics Colour Dot Matrix Printer Unboxing (dot matrix printing)

I picked up this 1989 Star Micronics NX-1000 dot matrix printer from a recent computer warehouse haul in Auckland. There’s a good chance it hasn’t seen much use in 25-ish years, but I was surprised to see that it came in its original box. During the unboxing you’ll see that its manuals and cables all present and correct, so I had hopes that this epson compatible printer might work.This lovely little printer was one I was familiar with from primary school back in the day of the BBC micro, and it was a very nice machine back in its day.

IBM PC: The first games ’81-’91 Part 9 (1989)

Whether it was because there was more money being ploughed into the games industry by 1989, the advancements in tech, or the fact that the PC was taking over from its contemporary competitors, the depth to the games in this year were much more than the shoot-em-ups, platformers and little adventure games of ’81-’88. Games in this year include Death Trak Quest For Glory Indianapolis 500 Leisure Suit Larry 3, Pipedream, Prince of Persia, Simcity and more! I hope you enjoy my videos! If you want to help keeping me going, please subscribe to my channel, and if you feel that my content is good, I’d really appreciate it if you could buy me a coffee or something on Patreon (www.patreon.com/alsgeeklab) or ko-fi (www.ko-fi.com/alsgeeklab)

10MHz V20 XT vs. a 6 MHz 286?

Here’s another quicky video! Call me dumb but I had no idea whether an XT-clone PC XT rated at 10MHz NEC V20 CPU with an 8087 co-processor, or an XT machine with a 6MHz Intel 80286 CPU and an 80287 co-processor would be faster. Surely logic would say that because 10 is bigger than 6, that’s better? Surely an 80287 would be better than an 8087? Right??? Well, the results may surprise you. Of course, the results are all 100% scientific. Legit scienciefied. The final benchmark which concludes everything is the old ‘Which one loads up Leisure Suit Larry 3’ test. Y’all know that one, right? 😉

IBM PC: The first games ’81-’91 Part 8 (1988)

I reviewed approximately 82 games for this year. The vast majority were worthy of keeping in the ‘play that again’ pile. It made for an almost impossible task of selecting just 10 #games that I’d consider the cream of the crop, so don’t hurt me too much if you don’t agree with the list! I hope you enjoy my videos! If you want to help keeping me going, please subscribe to my channel, and if you feel that my content is good, I’d really appreciate it if you could buy me a coffee or something on Patreon (www.patreon.com/alsgeeklab).

IBM PC – The first games ’81-’91: Part 7 (1987)

Wow! The #DOS games of #1987 really turned a corner! Digitized sound, colourful graphics, gameplay keeping up with the other contemporary machines of the time. This was the year when people started to notice that the boring beige box in the corner could actually be a serious games contender. From 1987 there was no stopping it! Games like Sid Meier’s #Pirates!, Defender of the crown, #Thexder, #Arkanoid and the #LucasArts premiere, Maniac Mansion showed off what the PC could do. Have a look at this trip down memory lane and see the top ten DOS games of 1987!

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