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I > IBM  > PC Junior


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the IBM  PC Junior computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Sunday 25th October 2020
Cuvtixo (Colorado/USA)

Yan touches on some good points, but... the first point about "incompatibilities" misses a lot about the market it cam out in. Compaq would not bring out its successful Deskpro 386 until the next year, 1986. Apple II, Comodore64, Atari, TRS-80 and other computers of the time were all incompatible and idiosyncratic. Even when they had 5.5'' disks, the formats were incompatible. In truth having IBM DOS 2 and not CP/M made them weird at the time (IBM offered CP/M for an additional price on the day the 5150 came out) But yes, they did fear PCs eating into business computers, that''s why they accepted Microsoft''s OS and left them free to licence. From the beginning they thought they could make their own later (OS/2) and crush M$. Also with PS/2 line they would put out a new MCA architecture and crush the new ISA standard their clone competitors made. Also their was a lot of criticism about the awful "chiclet" keyboard. It was so bad, PC makers avoided the style for years afterwards. Basically until Apple came out with the Magic keyboard, in the 2000s which won acclaim and is still sold at premium prices. It''s an irony many seemed not to realize. Above all, was IBM''s arrogance. Picking out the smaller faults sometimes misses this larger point.

Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Jay (Washington State USA)

Email is

Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Jay (Washington State USA)

I am looking for one of these at a cheap price, I will pay up to 100$ including shipping if I have to pay for it

Monday 2nd December 2019

with so many oddities in comparison with the standard PC is not surprise that it has failed. I don''t see the point of a company picks a successful product, make a worse version of it and expect that people will swallow it. They could simply put the very same hardware into a cheapo and more compact case and sell it for less - surely it would be a better way of hooking the home users, and, of course, work hard developing a plethora of cool games (it always was the main attractive for computer home users by that time). I believe that they thought about this but feared that the corporate customers noticed the similarity and buy the JR for office use instead the regular version. Anyway, it is only history now and we all know that it was just a matter of small time until people start buying the "big" PC to use at home! $)

Saturday 2nd February 2019
Don  (Virginia USA)

I have a PCjr for sale - original boxes, 2 keyboards, 2 joy sticks, 8 games, 10 magazines and all original books - guide to Operations, Basic book, Hands on Basic, IBMPCjr sample disk.

Sunday 2nd April 2017
dlblake (usa)

I had an IBM JR and added the racore side extension and a 20MB hard drive with 640K ram. I used it up to 1992. It worked quite well. I finally had a power problem with house 60A service and it finally died.

Thursday 15th September 2016
CharonPDX (Cascadia)

Mike from Rochester, I was gong to point out to you the somewhat recent jrIDE, then I realized who you were, well, duh, of course you know about it now, you helped make it happen!

(For those who are curious, here is the thread on Mike''s own forums detailing the creation of an ATA adapter for the PCjr:$1$t$180

Saturday 4th February 2012
computer guy

Here is a section from
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.

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

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.

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

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? :-)

Friday 22nd June 2007
Guyy (Upstate Ny)

I never got to test this, but as I rambled through some later computer junk I noticed I had some 20mb HardCards with pinsets that matched those in the PCjr. I never had a monitor so I dont know if it worked but if anyone knows what Im reffering to, could the HardCards have actually been supported by the PCjr? Just want to settle the idea in my head.

Monday 30th April 2007
william pociengel (wisconsin)

I just got rid of the monitor for mine. I still have the machine. I also (somewhere) have a case of sidecars (memory or ports I don't recall which) unopened. stock this was FASTER than a PC and you could add an 8087 by piggybacking a chip and then tying one pin (I forget which) that made it active. I still have an 8087 I bought as an extra. I also have a cartridge which provided encryption (it's marked as not for export) I believe it's identified as a munition.

I'll try to remember to get photos and such if someone reminds me ;-)

Thursday 4th January 2007
David Blake (USA)

I believe I bought the JR for around 1000.00 with a printer. I added the side card with 512K memory and a 20 mb hardrive this all put the total up to about 1500. I ran it for about 8 years with all dos and up to windows 95. It really worked well and just as good as other machines. a Power failure in home took out part of the power supply and it was replaced with P2 MOB and machine

Monday 27th November 2006
Bettina (Bay Area)

Hello, I am interested in buying a PC junior that works from someone. Please e-mail me.

Wednesday 18th December 2002
Jeffrey H. Ingber (FT. Lauderdale, FL)

The jr is still one of my favorite machines, and I still collect jr hardware and software that I happen to come across. This was one of the most interesting machines from the early PC period.

Thursday 15th August 2002
Brandon Higa (USA)

Actually, the Function keys on the PCjr worked a little differently from the Control key-combination. Function (Fn) didn't need to be held down - you pushed it once, then pushed the other key (PgUp, PgDn, Home, End were the cursor keys) to get the desired result.

A few games didn't like this, since the way Fn was handled created different Make/Break sequences from a "normal" keyboard.

If using the chiclet keyboard, the keyboard cable was a must because it ate batteries like crazy.

One cool thing was the auto Diagnostics you get from Control-Alt-Insert. If you had a 'standard' (83-key) keyboard like I did you could test that too.
Also, you could shift the entire screen left/right with Control-Alt-LeftArrow and Control-Alt-RightArrow.

Since the PCjr didn't have NMI, you couldn't enter keystrokes into the keyboard buffer while disk access was occuring. It resulted in an annoying "beep" - there were some third-party devices that you could get to avoid this. I had a cartridge which had a small buffer to "emulate" NMI, and also had keyboard status lights (CapsLock, ScrollLock, and something else I can't remember).

I don't have my PCjr anymore, but I have lots of good memories from the time. I had 768k of RAM, a 720K floppy drive (PC Enterprises), had done the Tandy graphics mod, had the "thin font" ROM modification installed, NEC V20 9.54Mhz CPU upgrade, and had the status/NMI cartridge I mentioned above.

I once wrote a small utility called JrSound that would switch one of the registers to make certain Tandy 1000 games that played without sound on the PCjr actually have sound. Unfortunately, I can't find it on the 'net anywhere... If someone happens to have this utility, I'd appreciate you sending me an email. I'm just feeling nostalgic...

Cartridge BASIC ruled... though it saved files in a strange IBM-only way unless you saved with ,A (I think that was the switch...)

I ran DOS 2.1, 3.1, 3.3, and 3.33 on my PCjr.
I had a Mouse Systems optical mouse that required a special metal mousepad that had a grid of red/blue lines on it and PCjr ColorPaint cartridge.

Had two PCjr joysticks too. The PCjr joysticks had little switches that would disengage the auto-centering for each axis.

I had some football game cartridge that used the PCjr's 3-voice sound for speech synthesis too. It'd say "It's good" or "Touchdown" and have some simulated crowd applause. It was so high-tech at the time. =)

Sunday 12th May 2002
Robert Luther (Earth)

I own 5 still working PCjr's. one was fixed up and has a external 4.3 gig hard drive and a CD-rom. it even boots from the hard drive. also the speed of this computer has been speed up to 9.54 mhz. also i have a large colection of software that runs on the jr including WINDOWS 3.0. I also have converted my 5.25 360k drive over to a 3.5 720k systemi am still aquireing old hardware for the jr and am looking for a mega board. this brings the PCjr's memory up to 1736kram ( most of the memory can be used for a ram disk)

Tuesday 5th March 2002
GriffJon (USA)

The PCjr could handle most DOS of it's era that you put on the floppy during boot. I ran 1.1, 2.1 and 3.1 on it at various stages (to support various games). It could also take an analog joystick.

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