Sonic's "Museum" - a PC from each generation. Chapter 1: The IBM 5150

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by sonicthemouse, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Yo OCAU!

    So this is gonna happen over the Christmas break but I need to start prepping early :lol:

    I have, in my collection, more or less one PC from each generation of hardware.

    But they're all a bit all over the place, and I often upgraded the hardware in them with more modern bits and pieces which don't suit the original era.

    Of course, I can google/wikipedia for launch dates, but launch dates aren't really when we were all putting these parts into systems.

    I want these rigs to be a reasonable reflection of what was "common" at the time; not only in terms of hardware but also the OS and software/games they were running too.

    So, let me know what parts you had in yours, what OS you were running, what was typical, etc. Especially for the older stuff as I acquired it all a good few years after it was mainstream and it was often already upgraded.

    As we go, I will be posting up a separate WTB thread for things I'm missing, and likewise a FS/giveaway thread for stuff I don't need - one of the main reasons I want to do this is because I have boxes upon boxes of stuff that I've been saving up in case any of these systems don't work / need parts. Once they're all done, all that has to go (2 kids, no space etc) :lol:

    Without further ado, let's start right back at the start! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  2. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Some Kind Of XT Clone

    "My" first PC. We had the family PC (the 386 below) as well, but I wasn't allowed to pull that apart or mess around with it at all. This one was mine all mine (maniacal laugh)

    Interesting note: This boots from off at mains, into DOS, into me playing Paganitzu faster than my X99 rig. Mmmmm the code is so close to the hardware you can taste it!

    Spent countless hours on here playing CGA/EGA DOS games and writing stupid batch files and QBASIC programs. None of which ever did anything useful.

    CPU: Intel 8088?
    Board: ?
    RAM: 640k
    HDD: 20mb
    FDD: 5.25" 360k DD
    OS: DOS 3? with XTree Gold
    GPU: CGA Card / EGA Card (can't remember)
    Monitor: 14" CGA/EGA
    Keyboard: Mechanical, details to follow.

    Purchase Date: Mid '90s
    Purchased From: My primary school
    Original Purchase Price: Either $20 or $50. A "large" note (come on, I was like 7 years old). Mum paid and I paid her back with all the change in my money tin.

    Suggestions Needed:
    - did anyone have EGA cards in these? or would they mostly have been mono/CGA?
    - what version of DOS was common in this era?
    - if you happened to be alive and of an appropriate age when this stuff was first introduced, what games were you playing?
    - what kind of bus connection do you call this, for HDDs:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  3. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    IBM PC Model 5150

    Right. So I had one of these, or it might've been the XT Model 5160, also purchased from my primary school.

    ...but I gave it to a mate back in the mid '90s. Regrets in my life? Not many. Giving one of these away? Right up there :(

    Anyway over Christmas I managed to get one off eBay thanks to a heads up from another OCAU member - mad props to JidaiGeki

    ~$300 purchase price + ~$100 for courier later :rolleyes:

    Anyway, it arrived, and it's awesome :D - details to follow.

    CPU: Intel 8088
    Board: IBM 5150
    RAM: 256k (+384k?)
    HDD: 20mb NEC D5126 (lol NEC still have this on their website)
    FDD: 5.25" 360k DD?
    OS: "The IBM Personal Computer DOS" Version 2.10
    GPU: some kind of monochrome graphics adaptor (unknown model)
    Monitor: 12" Taxan Monochrome KX-1212A
    Keyboard: IBM 5150 Keyboard

    Purchase Date (mine): December 2016
    Purchased From: eBay
    Purchase Price: ~$400 delivered

    Now this is where it gets interesting:
    Original Purchase Date: ~22 May 1985 (date on quote)
    Purchase Price: $6400 (or maybe $7111 lol)
    (with a bit of an inflation calculation, it suggests that $1 in 1985 would've been equivalent to roughly $2.80 now, making the purchase price $18~$20k)
    Purchased From: Myer Computer and Business Centre, 246 Murray Street, Perth WA, 6000

    Suggestions / Advice Needed:
    - any idea what the multi-function 384k board is about?
    - there doesn't seem to be any kind of BIOS prompt / RAM count or anything like that prior to running autoexec.bat. I was pretty sure, on my old one, that it came up and said "256KB OK" or some such on boot. This one just sits with a flashing cursor for around 4-5 minutes, then runs ECHO OFF and proceeds with autoexec.bat... could this be because the monitor / GPU not displaying that RAM count, or do I need to change MODE or something?? :confused:

    This is what I was looking for in my WTB thread, my "ideal" unit:

    [​IMG]

    There was very little detail in the eBay description. A few pics showing piles of disks and various manuals, not sorted or listed in the description. This is what I got:

    [​IMG]

    The IBM 5150
    Original keyboard (couple of keys are iffy :()
    12" Taxan Monitor (was originally planning to track down a matching IBM monitor but since this is the one that was originally purchased with it, it seems fitting that I keep it)
    The original, boxed operating manual, DOS manual and BASIC manual, all pretty much untouched in ~30 years
    The operating manuals for Lotus 123, MS Multiplan, MicroPro Wordstar, and a bunch of other software
    All the original 5.25" disks for the aforementioned software
    Backup copies of all the original software in case the original disks were lost / damaged
    The original purchase documentation from Myer, including the receipt, a personalized letter to the purchaser, training they offer, all in the original leaflet holders :shock:

    oh and

    The original file system seems to be almost untouched from back then too. All the programs are in subfolders on C:, there is a nice neat menu system, and all the work files are kept in the folders with their respective programs. The average PC user in 2017 would struggle to keep a file structure this neat.

    My gut feeling from the backup copies of the program and the meticulous file structure is that the original owner had a reasonable grasp of PC mechanics - although I guess you had to be in those days, unlike now where PCs are basically disposable toys for a lot of consumers :upset:

    I could go on, but you get the idea. Pretty amazing imo, and extremely lucky. My original one never had any of this stuff :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  4. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    IBM PS/2

    This was an interesting one. By now I had a few PCs and a box or two of assorted parts and peripherals - in those days, there was an abundance of PC gear out during the hard rubbish season :D

    However, I had no keyboards that used a PS/2 connection - literally everything used 5-pin. I had basically no idea what I was on about so I carried the entire PC around to a bunch of local PC shops until somebody sold me an AT to PS/2 adaptor for $10 (Renaissance Computers in Essendon, cnr of Lincoln Rd and Buckley St, anyone remember it?)

    I was pretty cut about paying as much for the adaptor as I had for the PC, especially when I could then get it to boot (before it was just stuck on KB ERROR) and I found out it was pretty "rubbish" specs - I assumed because it had VGA that it must've at least had Windows on it :paranoid:

    CPU: ?
    Board: ?
    RAM: ?
    HDD: ?
    FDD: 3.5" 720k?
    OS: ?
    GPU: On-board VGA :eek:
    Monitor: had a 12" IBM 8513. Gave this away also :( Hoping to score this one on here!
    Keyboard: IBM Model M
    Case/PSU: PS/2

    Purchase Date: Mid-90's.
    Purchased From: A local garage sale
    Original Purchase Price: $10

    Suggestions Needed:
    - what OS did these ship with?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  5. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    The Family 386

    First computer I ever used / we ever owned. "Grafika"? by DTK Computers? Dad brought it home with him one day, super exciting. Although I didn't really know what to do with it at first - it booted straight into Windows 3.1 and only had the pre-loaded applications on it, along with "Lotus Smart Suite". Couldn't make sense of the card games or Minesweeper or anything (I was 5) - messed around making scribbles in Paintbrush and pictures of trucks in "Lotus Freelance Graphics". About a week later my older cousins came to visit, bringing with them a treasure trove of 3.5" floppy disks, loaded with wondrous games that you had to use this magic "DOS" thing to play. Including some games that they'd never even played before because their PC back home couldn't run them.

    Not sure if I spent more hours gaming on this than hours I spent at school :paranoid:

    Think Commander Keen, Hocus Pocus, every other Apogee title, all kinds of shareware titles you could get from book shops / The Reject Shop etc at the time.

    CPU: AMD 386 40?
    Board: ?
    RAM: 4mb iirc
    HDD: 120mb :shock:
    FDD: 3.5" 1.44mb, 5.25" 1.2mb HD
    OS: Windows 3.1 / DOS 6.22?
    GPU: 256k VGA
    Monitor: 14" VGA
    Keyboard: DTK-branded mechanical, details to follow
    Case/PSU: Generic beige AT box with AT PSU

    Purchase Date: Must've been 1993, maybe 1994.
    Purchased From: Dunno, will ask the old man
    Original Purchase Price: Again will ask the old man - I imagine it was quite expensive.

    Suggestions Needed:
    - the CMOS battery is dead, and I feel like an idiot, but for the life of me I can't actually find the battery on the motherboard :confused:
    - most of the 486 rigs I worked on had the 4-pin 2-wire connection off to the battery that would be velcro'd randomly inside the case, but this came before that.
    - most of the other 386 boards I've seen had a funny kind of "wavy" cylindrical battery near the keyboard connector, usually well cooked by now. Not on this board. Pics to follow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  6. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    sonicthemouse Member

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  14. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Oh I love this.......you have my attention :wired:
     
  15. power

    power Member

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    Gotta have an A Bit BP6 with dual celly's. Might not have been common, but very iconic.
     
  16. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Add ga-5ax rev 5.2 & K6-3+ overclocked 600mhz
    Epox anything " not 478 :p "
     
  17. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    You interrupted my reserved post space :lol:

    Yeah it should be good, you might learn something or I might even post a few things to you along the way, especially if you haven't gone pre-socket 7 yet.

    Gotta hit up some Socket 3 and Socket 5 action for those sick DIP switch / jumper position overclocks!

    Guys we are still years away from that kind of gear hitting the market :p

    Oh also all the pics are coming... it's not just going to be a wall of text :lol: :thumbup:

    OH SHIT I forgot to leave space for the laptops/portables... Ah well they'll have to come later anyway. They don't take up so much physical space so they can stay in storage for a while :lol:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2016
  18. shane41

    shane41 Member

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    Well it's like a good .com < you can repurchase I don't mind > :tongue:
     
  19. Cannula

    Cannula Member

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    The board probably has a Dallas or similar RTC chip with a battery inside it. You can buy replacements or do a battery mod to them.
     
  20. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    1. Very much dependent on when the XT was manufactured. Early IBM/XT Clones your looking at CGA/Mono, later they moved to EGA. With the Atari PC's for example (PC1, PC2, PC3 - all 8088), they were built between 87-89 and all had EGA onboard graphics. However I should point out early released models generally came with EGA mono CRT's, later with EGA colour CRT's.

    2. Really difficult to say which DOS was common as the XT's were around since the original IBM XT in the early 80's and finished in the late 80's with the last XT clones. That's quite a few DOS revisions in between! Later clones (which yours would be I assume) would of used MS-DOS 3.21 or 3.30. FYI go with 3.30 as it's generally accepted to be best version to use with XT's as it uses the least conventional memory and is the most reliable. MS-DOS 4 (buggy), MS-DOS 5,6 (RAM hog, has features an 8088 can't use) aren't worth it.

    3. First games I played on my Atari PC3 around 1989 were Sopwith, Alley Cat and some more early one's which I'm drawing a mental blank on! May come back to that another time. Later games Test Drive, California Games, Sim City, F15 Strike Eagle, Their Finest Hour (first game I actually owned and still have to this day), Journey, Silent Service, Monkey Island, Loom etc. God damn what an era, some absolute classics there...

    4. That's an 8 bit MFM Controller and MFM HDD. The Seagate ST-225 was apparently one of most common and reliable drives around that period. I have one of those drives in my Atari PC2 but on a RLL controller. Good read to explain the differences: MFM and RLL.
     

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