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I > IBM  > PC JX   


IBM
PC JX

IBM JX was what the PCjr should have been. It was first released in Japan with dual English/Kanji features, but has not been a big succes in that market dominated by Japanese companies.

The Kanji features were then removed and the system was introduced in Australia. It was first submitted to the Victorian Education Department then released for general dealer sales in September 1985.

The JX was thus an enhanced version of the IBM PC Junior (which had no great success) with which it was compatible. Its enhanced features were :
- the RAM could be extended up to 512 KB instead of 128 KB,
- it had two 3.5" floppy drives instead of only one 360 KB 5.25" one
- it had a high graphic resolution (750 x 512 instead of 640 x 200)
- and the keyboard was a true one (contrary to the early PC Jr which has a poor one).

It used version 2.1 of MS-DOS and functioned exactly the same as an original PC model. However the inside of the computer was vastly different from an IBM PC. The expansion slots were limited and not compatible with IBM-PC slots. Several options were available: Extended 98-key keyboard, joysticks, cassette recorder, light pen, asynchronous communications and additional expansion slots.

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I have three of these, and they''re awesome little machines but a lot more trouble than many people might suspect.

Good:
- keyboard is fantastic
- floppy interface is standard 34 pin
- stylish
- jr graphics and audio
- IBM did sell a cluster option that let you network them off an XT/AT system, but I''ve never seen one in person.

Bad:
- 3.5" drives (unless you get the 86/87 model) are double stepped by the BIOS - providing 360KB but being incompatible with any standard computer
- 3.5" drives are slightly taller than modern 3.5" drives making it hard to source replacements that look nice
- expansion is very limited, a small range of IBM cards available and once you add memory+serial you''re out of slots and need to buy an expansion unit. No sidecars. 512KB RAM max.
- high resolution mode and Kanji support was only available on the Japanese model. Wont fit on AU/NZ model as PSU is in the way.
- still boots up in 40 col mode for some reason
- clips that hold the case together just fall apart with age when you look at them

Actually quite a bit of work dealing with these, but I love mine nonetheless.

          
Wednesday 4th May 2016
SpidersWeb (New Zealand)
Baudband Twitter

I have OS, software, but the price this guy is giving is a joke!!!

          
Wednesday 15th February 2012
Liliana (Australia)

I have OS, software, but the price this guy is giving is a joke!!!

          
Wednesday 15th February 2012
Liliana (Australia)

 

NAME  PC JX
MANUFACTURER  IBM
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  October 1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Advanced BASIC (Same as PCjr)
KEYBOARD  Full stroke 79-key with 10 function-key and arrow keys
CPU  Intel 8088
SPEED  4.77 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  No 8087 socket
RAM  JX :64k (up to 512k)
JX2 : 128k
VRAM  JX : 16k
JX2 : 32k
ROM  128k
TEXT MODES  40 or 80 chars. x 25 lines in 8 colors
GRAPHIC MODES  320 x 200 / 640 x 200 (16 colors) / 720 x 512 (2 colors)
COLORS  16
SOUND  3 channels, 8 octaves
I/O PORTS  2 cartridge ports (64 KB each), Centronics (optional), RS232, Joystick, Light Pen
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 3.5'' disk-drives
OS  MS DOS 2.1
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  Expansion unit - Houses a 5.25'' FDD and 5 expansion slots
PRICE  JX2 : 270000 yens (Japan 84)
From A$2115 to A$3365 (Australia 1985)


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