The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

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The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Let's start things off with this circuit board that was just made that allows you to boot from the cartridge slot using an SD card.

https://www.raphnet.net/electronique/sd ... dex_en.php

It is in my future to again possess a PCjr. Time is a flat circle. However that means springing for that board without currently having the hardware.
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread

Post by Flack »

It looks like the price on Jr's has dropped a bit. The last time I looked for one, they were bringing close to $500 (I thought?). I saw one on eBay just now for $250 for the computer and a keyboard. They you need a monitor, right?
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Yes! You would want that monitor. Those seem to be found for $129 - $250 but then you have to risk the thing getting destroyed in transit.

I dunno, that exoDOS thing you were telling me about is something. I just don't think I can transfer the files on my slow internet. The smallest version is 66 gigabytes. Actually, I am gonna try it tonight and see how far I get. I don't know if there are specifically PCjr versions of games but I'll figure that out.

A large part of it is, of course, a return to the most magicial time in my life, when I walked from my bedroom on Christmas morning in, I think, 1984. Or 1985. I should really look that up and figure that out. When did we get it? Anyway, getting out of bed and seeing that thing set up in front of the Christmas tree running a BASIC program that a neighbor wrote that was one giant GOTO statement that said to wake my parents up and not play with the machine yet was probably the transformative moment of my life and until you mentioned the exodos thing tonight I was on track to getting a physical one.
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Well, I am playing Touchdown Football, the PCjr version, on exoDOS with Launchbox and it is amazing. Thanks, Flack! I will not be buying a physical PCjr.

It only works with Xbox controllers! That's so weird! But once I plugged mine in it worked great.
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Image

It works with a gamepad.... it's amazing. I am 12 again.
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Also, coming to grips with this is what I am known for. I really have made better games since 1999, y'all.

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Re: The IBM PCjr thread

Post by bryanb »

CDJ is actually still one of my favorite Robb games. I replayed it last year and it totally held up!

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Re: The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

That is nice of you to say. Hopefully I can convince the exoDOS people to allow in one of the games.

I have found some issues with some of the games.

FaceOff! ("Face Off" in exoDOS) is a hockey game that had a Blades of Steel-style perspective that I played a lot at the end of high school and into college. You can start the game up, play it for about 20 seconds and then it freezes or crashes.

Target was a 1983 BASICA game, one of the ones my dad brought home on floppy disks from work. (Well, he brought home disks with lots of games on them and Target was one.) Everything seems to be OK but the ships don't actually move across the screen.

And then ALIEN.BAS, which I reviewed once for Trotting Krips, is a homebrew text adventure, but it has a file not found error when you start it.

I haven't tried many games. Maybe 10. I am getting therefore a 30% failure rate with the low sample. ("SMALL SAMPLE SIZE, BUT" -- every baseball writer)
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

Post by Flack »

Well, huh. 7,200 games doesn't sound like a great deal if 1/3 of them are broken.

I found FaceOff! available on abandonware sites pretty easily. I wonder if you can just download it and overwrite the files in the other directory?

I also wonder if there's a large eXoDOS feedback site where people can report non-working games.
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

Post by Tdarcos »

I don't really get the interest, in my opinion - obviously biased, of course - in the IBM PCjr, as it was considered by most to be a piece of junk, the worst kind of inadequate thought for necessary operation.

Ordinary computers became useful for individuals because they were also useful for businesses (or academia). Ordinary people are interested in the same capabilities businesses are interested in, which is why your five-year old "professional" class device is the same feature set in the "consumer" model now (at consumer prices) which is why a 4K camera can be bought, today, off Amazon, for about $120. Wanna guess what 4K cameras cost in 2015? Probably thousands of dollars.

IBM apparently didn't realize this, and released a cut-down, crippled piece of crap - worse than the "Trash 80" (the Radio Shack TRS-80 micro, which was actually a decent machine for its day) - which once people got their hands on it, knew how much of a ripoff the PCjr was, and started telling others, which meant it got to the computer magazines - the Internet was unknown then - and thus people started not buying it in droves.

Or actually I just remembered and realized IBM did know it was a cut-down, crippled machine, because they released it specifically that way for the home market, and did not want businesses using it to do their operations instead, expecting them to pay several thousand dollars more for a "real" computer like an IBM PC. One example was the use of "Chicklet"-style keys on the keyboard, which is a dead giveaway of a product's cheapness. Nobody seriously wants to use a Chicklet keyboard (for any period of time, let alone long periods of time), and making it uncomfortable to use pushes businesses away. But it also pushed consumers away, too.

But we all have our own idiosyncrasies. They say "you never forget your first love," and I suspect you never forget your first computer. For me it was the PDP-11 mini, the first computer I ever used, Basic, the first language I ever used to write programs in (but, surprisingly enough I like Pascal more), and my first mainframe, the Univac 90/60, which ran its own operating system VS/9, but used the same instruction set as the IBM 360 (and much of the software copied IBM, such as Fortran IV, RPG, and the macro assembler, which was identical. (But, again in my biased opinion, having used both IBM's OS VS/1 job control and Univac's VS/9, Univac's operating system was far superior.)

I still have fondness for them, even if the rest of the world has moved on to other things, or "the next new thing". And I suppose people can have (perhaps irrational) fondness for something that, at the time it was released, was known to be inferior. But, as Willy Wonka sang, "A little madness now-and-then, is relished by the wisest men."
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Tdarcos wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:17 am I don't really get the interest, in my opinion - obviously biased, of course - in the IBM PCjr, as it was considered by most to be a piece of junk, the worst kind of inadequate thought for necessary operation.
That's because it was an early precursor for shitrag gaming media, the likes of which are in FULL BLOOM right now. The computer magazines weren't heavily tilted toward IBM and so they jumped on any reason, real or imagined, to give the Jr a hard time. This is further multiplied by the fact that there were real "platform wars" back then. Compute! was a Commodore mag, they had an interest in seeing Commodores prosper, of course they had an ultra-critical eye towards anything that would upset the status quo. And they keyboard, an ENTIRELY REPLACEABLE PERIPHERAL, did suck. If only it were entirety replaceable.
IBM apparently didn't realize this, and released a cut-down, crippled piece of crap
It was not "cut down." I realize this is not your fault because you have no real experience with this and you just saw the term "PCjr" and started doing the standard brain dump thing you heard because you don't have first hand experience with anything. The most beautiful game in the world on home computers in 1984 was King's Quest, specifically the version for the Jr with the 320x200x16 which the IBM PC could not do. It supported two joysticks out of the box, which the PC (5150) didn't do. The chief negative of the PCjr was the lack of direct memory addressing, which I am sure you will address in your post shortly.
worse than the "Trash 80" (the Radio Shack TRS-80 micro, which was actually a decent machine for its day)
There is not a single advantage that the TRS-80 had or has over the PCjr, and the TRS-80 was a perfectly fine home computer for its time.
which once people got their hands on it, knew how much of a ripoff the PCjr was, and started telling others, which meant it got to the computer magazines - the Internet was unknown then - and thus people started not buying it in droves.
It was the best-selling computer for Christmas of 1984, but I don't expect you to know what you're talking about.
Or actually I just remembered and realized IBM did know it was a cut-down, crippled machine, because they released it specifically that way for the home market, and did not want businesses using it to do their operations instead, expecting them to pay several thousand dollars more for a "real" computer like an IBM PC. One example was the use of "Chicklet"-style keys on the keyboard, which is a dead giveaway of a product's cheapness. Nobody seriously wants to use a Chicklet keyboard (for any period of time, let alone long periods of time), and making it uncomfortable to use pushes businesses away. But it also pushed consumers away, too.
The chiclet or "chicklet," as you put it, was shipped for less than three months and IBM offered everyone that bought a PCjr with one a free replacement. So no, it didn't push anyone away. IBM tried to make things right with that, at least. IBM had a serious price cut on the PCjr a few months in and offered a rebate so people could get the monitor for free. It was a fine computer. And I mean, Christ, it won, we aren't all computing on devices that trace back to the Atari 800.

The only real non-hardware issues that the PCjr had was that Apple, Atari and Commodore had a library of thousands of great games before the first Jr hit the shelves and the Amiga came out in the middle of 1985 and was fucking amazing, the most incredible computer ever invented by light years when it shipped.
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Re: The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

Post by TSummary »

Tdarcos wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:17 am I don't really get the interest, in my opinion - obviously biased, of course - in the IBM PCjr, as it was considered by most to be a piece of junk, the worst kind of inadequate thought for necessary operation.

Ordinary computers became useful for individuals because they were also useful for businesses (or academia). Ordinary people are interested in the same capabilities businesses are interested in, which is why your five-year old "professional" class device is the same feature set in the "consumer" model now (at consumer prices) which is why a 4K camera can be bought, today, off Amazon, for about $120. Wanna guess what 4K cameras cost in 2015? Probably thousands of dollars.

IBM apparently didn't realize this, and released a cut-down, crippled piece of crap - worse than the "Trash 80" (the Radio Shack TRS-80 micro, which was actually a decent machine for its day) - which once people got their hands on it, knew how much of a ripoff the PCjr was, and started telling others, which meant it got to the computer magazines - the Internet was unknown then - and thus people started not buying it in droves.

Or actually I just remembered and realized IBM did know it was a cut-down, crippled machine, because they released it specifically that way for the home market, and did not want businesses using it to do their operations instead, expecting them to pay several thousand dollars more for a "real" computer like an IBM PC. One example was the use of "Chicklet"-style keys on the keyboard, which is a dead giveaway of a product's cheapness. Nobody seriously wants to use a Chicklet keyboard (for any period of time, let alone long periods of time), and making it uncomfortable to use pushes businesses away. But it also pushed consumers away, too.

But we all have our own idiosyncrasies. They say "you never forget your first love," and I suspect you never forget your first computer. For me it was the PDP-11 mini, the first computer I ever used, Basic, the first language I ever used to write programs in (but, surprisingly enough I like Pascal more), and my first mainframe, the Univac 90/60, which ran its own operating system VS/9, but used the same instruction set as the IBM 360 (and much of the software copied IBM, such as Fortran IV, RPG, and the macro assembler, which was identical. (But, again in my biased opinion, having used both IBM's OS VS/1 job control and Univac's VS/9, Univac's operating system was far superior.)

I still have fondness for them, even if the rest of the world has moved on to other things, or "the next new thing". And I suppose people can have (perhaps irrational) fondness for something that, at the time it was released, was known to be inferior. But, as Willy Wonka sang, "A little madness now-and-then, is relished by the wisest men."
In this thread, Tdarcos fails to understand Ice Cream Jonsey's nostalgic feelings for the PCjr before expressing his own nostalgic feelings for the PDP-11 mini. He proceeds to refer to the PCjr as a "cut-down, crippled machine" before praising machines that used cards for input, paper for output, and possessed less processing power than the average microwave.

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Re: The IBM PCjr thread which became the exoDOS Thread

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Back to the PCjr thread with a link!

https://trixter.oldskool.org/2021/04/25 ... al-project
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