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Fastest 8086 PC ever: NEC PC-98DO+ (not an AT nor 386, but with 16MHz) 
Sunday, March 10, 2019, 05:06 PM
Posted by Administrator
Not well known in Europe, but in Japan: The fastest 8086 PC ever is a NEC PC-98DO+ (one of the later models of the PC-9801 series), build around 1990.
The PC has a NEC V33A CPU running at 16 MHz, which is something between a 8086 and a 80186, but not an AT compatible (or higher). It has an EGA graphics card, a YM2608 (OPNA) sound chip/card, and of course already using a HDD, too.

The design looks like the later EPSON PC clone design, but we know, NEC build their PCs a bit before EPSON did it, too.
Unfortunately the V33A CPU is *not* pin compatible with the standard 8086, instead, it has a separate address and data bus, but has the same instruction set as the NEC V30 (which is pin compatible with the 8086). May be it is possible to build a CPU adapter for it, but it's far too late to have still a high demand for this ;-)

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New project using GWBASIC and a nice web site with interesting vintage computer advertisments 
Sunday, February 17, 2019, 06:15 PM
Posted by Administrator
Still have no time to finish my modular text adventure game in plain GWBASIC. I am still struggeling with the complexity to have something like a evaluable map with items, story elements and terrain details. At the moment, only the command interpreter is finished, and a basic mechanism for going around and looking the items you can see or get, beside some debugging infos.


But while surfing through the world wide web, I found a really nice archive of vintage computer advertisments mainly from the late seventies/early eighties.
E.g. Cromenco's Z-2 system, which is a really nice S-100 bus computer, but meanwhile hard to find. It's named as "Low cost harddisk system", which may sound unbelievable, also because this system wasn't cheap at all (below $10000 ... wow isn't it worth the price :facepalm:).
It's running CDOS 2.x (Cromenco Disk Operating System, which can run CP/M programs, too) or Cromix. The Z-2H was the hard disk version, the Z-2D the diskette version.
Further infos can be found at >http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/crom/index.htm<

For the URL of the advertisment site, see "related link" below.

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The real first IBM PC: The (almost portable) IBM 5100 ! 
Monday, January 21, 2019, 11:11 PM
Posted by Administrator
Most of us can't remember this "PC" (no, not an Intel PC, of course).
But it even has elements (parts) which are similar to the first IBM PC (e.g. the power switch).
In 1973, a prototype for programming APL was build, named SCAMP.
IBM developed it further to the Model 5100 (followed by 5110, 5120).
It already had a 16bit "CPU" (in fact, the CPU is a module with more than one IC), which addressed 64KB RAM, and had also a kind of bank switching for accessing memory (like the later CP/M 3.0 computer).
I am fascinated about it's mass storage (a QIC magnetic tape) and it's professional finish (... what else do you expect from IBM in 1975 ?). Beside APL, it can be programmed in machine language and of course in BASIC (not Microsoft BASIC !).

This is an advertisment which praise the systems versatily and obvious portability (24Kg) ;-)
Interestingly, the first IBM PC got the model number 5150... also not by accident.

Last but not least, a popular japanese anime series and movie and also a well known video game for several game consoles named "Steins;Gate" has also an IBN 5100 (sounds similar, eh) as a guest star. See here:

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Merry XMAS and a happy new year 2019 ! 
Tuesday, December 25, 2018, 02:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year 2019 !

Btw. There is an Amiga demo existing, which contains digitalized singing ("Leise rieselt der Schnee", means "silenty is falling the snow") and a colorful picture showing a lot of Santa's ... but it's an unusual demo, hard rock inspired a bit, and the gestures are unusual, too ....

There are other Amiga demos which shows 3D effects and more, but not really XMAS related.

Also, I've found an improved version of CPMLS (running on Windows).
Take a look at http://www.sydneysmith.com/wordpress/2251/cpmfs-2-00/ to get more infos.
Really useful.

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Very interesting... an authentic conversion of the Taito Invaders in QBASIC ! 
Friday, December 14, 2018, 03:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
It is crazy what can be done with QBASIC (for DOS).
Even the "original" Taito Invaders game, having a *real authentic* look, can be implemented in QBASIC. While looking for GWBASIC samples, I found also some QBASIC samples.
This one was the best one I ever found. It runs with any VGA (screen mode 13).
It was the result of a competition in mid-1996 for retro arcade games written in any version of BASIC. You can download it from the referenced page (related link at the bottom).

It can be easily played by using

Left - Left CTRL
Right - Left ALT
Fire - Right SHIFT
Stop program - Esc

A screenshot of the running game (unmodified):


Meanwhile I have slightly modified the program so a highscore is temporarily saved also, because then it's possible to compare your skill with others (if played on the same computer). The modified version includes also the QBASIC source, just download it from >here<. It looks of course similar:


Take also a look at the other programs James Eibisch published on the referenced "related link" page.

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