[CLUG-chat] [OT] Be nostalgic about your first PC

Uri Zalk uri at ant.co.za
Wed Oct 2 11:23:56 SAST 2002

IBM PC, 4.77mz, 2 x 320kb floppies, 64 kb ram, PC-DOS 1.10,
Mono Screen + CGA adapter and screen, Basic Interpreter, 
Macro Assembler, Basic Compiler, dBaseII, Lotus 123 ver 1.0a
Visword + Visispell, (No Visicalc), later upgraded to 320 kb
and 576 kb RAM. RS232 Interface (serial card) added to enable
dial-up connection to the Wits Mainframe using private (then
illegal) 110 baud modem and IBM's Async Comms Software
running on the Basic Interpreter. Borland Turbo Pascal ver
2.0 directly imported for about R38-50 (About US $49.95).
8087 Co-processor added wich required programming, but Assembler
did not support 8087 op-codes. Copied 8087 macros from
magazine but had problems; imported 8087 commercial macro
assembler library, but still problems so had to program own
macro library which actually worked . . . terribly slowly.
Ultimately wrote 8087 op-codes directly into source, then
used edlin search and replace to replace the 8087 op-codes
with the 8088 instructions needed to talk to to it.

Upgraded to NEC v20 processor and installed early Seagate
10mb hdd and an MFM controller. Ultimately upgraded to
dual Seagate (half height) 32mb RLL drive and RLL controller
so that the box could run (tri-boot) DOS, NetWare 86 and
Xenix using DOS adn Xenix fdisk and batch / script and
redirection in order to change active boot partition and

(Execute Assembler JMP F000:E05B would jump to cold
reboot routine in the BIOS).

BTW: Turbo Pascal complete compiler, including a built-in
WordStar 2 like editor was only about 35 kb. Lotus 123 
loaded using only about 89 kb.


On Wed, 2 Oct 2002, Andre Truter wrote:

> Hi all,
> I just found a site that shows some details on the computer that I first 
> started to program on (Epson HX-20).  I nearly got tears in my eyes.  :-)
> Maybe somebody else can also get nostalgic about the early days of 
> computers.
> Some wonderful machines there from the era when programmers were still 
> programmers.  :-)
> http://www.geocities.com/~compcloset/index.html
> // getting up from rocking chair to start preparing for afternoon nap

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