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I > IBM  > PC Junior     


IBM
PC Junior

After launching the IBM PC (and its great success), IBM tried to stand out a standard for home computers, it created then the PC junior, which itself is a "light" version of the PC especially designed for home activities.

Despite its qualities, the PC jr had few success and never managed to replace the established home computers like Commodore 64, Apple II or Atari 800.

Two IBM PC junior models were available: a basic one and a enhanced one (supplied with 128k, 30 programs, a 5.25" floppy disk drive [360 KB] and its controller).

Contrary to the IBM PC, the power supply is not integrated to the case, but is external. The keyboard is linked by infra-red to the CPU, though there was a RJ11 (standard phone jack) plug that could be used instead to save batteries. It is impossible to connect a 8087 math co-processor.

The RS232 connector is not a standard one. To use a standard RS232 device, the user has to buy a special adapter ("Berg" style connector breakout -> D25 connector).

The PC Jr runs under MSDOS 2.1 (the same version as the PC) and handles a hard disk when it is not possible to connect hard disk on the PC Jr (go figure)! There was an internal modem available that ran at 300 bps sold by IBM. Third party modems were also available at 1200bps.

A cartridge containing enhanced basic (with special graphics instructions) was also available. To get a 80 column text display, the extra 64k RAM expansion is needed.

Many IBM PC programs would not originally run on the PCjr because it did not include a DMA controller. This was available through a memory side-car add-on from Tecmar Systems. Many people were able to then run the PCjr as a competent business type of system as well.



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Here is a section from computerhope.com:
In 1822, Charles Babbage purposed and began developing the Difference Engine, considered to be the first automatic computing engine that was capable of computing several sets of numbers and making a hard copies of the results. Unfortunately, because of funding he was never able to complete a full-scale functional version of this machine. However, in June of 1991 the London Science Museum completed the Difference Engine No 2 for the bicentennial year of Babbage''s birth and later completed the printing mechanism in 2000.

And, the first electrical computer was the Z1, built by Konrad Zuse from 1936 to 1938.

          
Saturday 4th February 2012
computer guy

My mom uses our PCjr to save cooking recipes at least up till the past few years. I don''t know how well the disks are holding up though. I''ll ask her next time I see her.

          
Sunday 4th December 2011
Dan (Minnesota)
Land of Machines

Hardcard in a Jr? Probably not ... People did graft hard drives onto the machines in many different ways so I wouldn't rule it out, but no company did a HardCard type of solution for a PCjr.

Now, grafting an MFM controller from an XT onto a Jr, that we can help you with. ;-) Or maybe SCSI instead? :-)

          
Wednesday 8th August 2007
Mike (Rochester, MN)
Mike's PCjr Page

 

NAME  PC Junior
MANUFACTURER  IBM
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  November 1983
END OF PRODUCTION  March 1985
KEYBOARD  Chicklet keyboard (full stroke keyboard was available later)
CPU  Intel 8088
SPEED  4.77 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  Texas Instrument sn76496 n (sound)
RAM  64k (up to 640 KB)
Extended model : 128k
VRAM  from 2k to 128k (use the conventional RAM)
ROM  24 KB
TEXT MODES  40 x 25 / 80 x 25
GRAPHIC MODES  160 x 200 (16 colors), 320 x 200, 640 x 200
COLOrsc  16
SOUND  three channels
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  2 cartridges ports (64 KB each), Centronics (optional), RS232, Joystick, Light Pen, video out (RCA plug)
BUILT IN MEDIA  one 5.25'' disk drive
OS  MS DOS
POWER SUPPLY  External PSU
PRICE  Unknown





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