IBM JX, happy 30th birthday my first PC

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by Bullus, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Bullus

    Bullus Member

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    so my dad passed last december :upset: and my siblings and I where cleaning up some of his stuff a few months ago and i discovered in some ratty plastic bags my first pc, an IBM JX. Initially i never even considered it would still fire after having sat in my parent's garage in plastic bags for what must be over 20 years and i was considering what would be sacrilege to many of you and modding it out to be case for modern PC, but after having it sit on one of my desks for a few weeks i decided to put some power through it just to see what happened. (had my fire extinguisher on hand just incase any thing went wrong) and to my utter amazement it fired up first time, got to a date screen saying it was 1/01/80 so didn't wanna explode it with the y2k's telling it is was 2014 :Paranoid:. will post some vids and pics later if people want, but mostly wanted to ask for some help locating software /games as all i have currently for it is official ibm dos 3.21 on 3 &1/2 and hangman on 5 & 1/4 and not even sure either of those disk actually work.
     
  2. mr626

    mr626 Member

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    Awesome stuff- I love finding old tech and discovering it still works. A video would be interesting to see, if you have a chance.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Bullus

    Bullus Member

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    tried to do one on my phone but lighting was terrible, will work on that and try another one (though totally dark room and just screen firing and loud arse sound of disk drive is pretty cool).... was looking through ya keyboard thread.... any idea where i should start looking to find a replacement down arrow for the keyboard for the JX
     
  4. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    What specs does it have? I've got the software on my thinkpad, but that's running pcdos 6-something. How much more advanced is that from your os? Would anything work on yours, or is it too antiquated?
     
  5. mr626

    mr626 Member

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    Depends on the keyboard- I'm not familiar with the JX system myself. If you can take a photo of the keyboard and a close up of what is missing, I may be able to point you in the right direction.
     
  6. dacow

    dacow Member

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    You should be able to play any games designed for the IBM XT. Stuff like Alley Cat, Janitor Joe, and my fav Space Wars!
     
  7. callan

    callan Member

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    Awesome!.
    I'd love some pics, if that's not too much trouble...

    Callan
     
  8. Agg

    Agg Lord of the Pings

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    They had JX's at school when I was a kid, before the move to Apple IIGSs. From memory the JXs use a weird low refresh monitor and can blow up normal monitors or something.. it's been 25 years or more so I can't remember the details, but something to bear in mind. :)
     
  9. OP
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    Bullus

    Bullus Member

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    omg omg omg..... Agg replied to one of my threads, this is almost as good as when i was on front page (i swear i will finish that mod build one day) but onto topic at hand, don't worry Agg i have the original 16 color IBM monitor :p remember reading on one of the pages while researching that they where initially introduced to Australia through education Victoria first (my dad was a teacher in Victoria back then) and all pages say they where only made for Australian and Japanese markets. (edit: reference site for department of education claim here )

    [​IMG]


    direct link to crappy vid shot on my phone

    http://vid726.photobucket.com/albums/ww266/Bullstalker/CAM00085_zpswzhkspiz.mp4


    and as to what OS it runs, quote from the wiki here

    "The system operated PC DOS 2.11 as well as, Microsoft Disk BASIC and Microsoft Advanced BASIC. Like the IBM PC, if the system was left to boot without inserting a diskette into one of the drives the Microsoft Cassette BASIC interpreter would be loaded, which was compatible with IBM PCjr BASIC, including Cartridge BASIC. PC DOS 2.11 could only use half of the tracks of a 3.5" drive, however, since it didn't really understand what a 3.5" drive even was. The PCjx's BIOS could only address the first 40 tracks like a 5.25" drive.

    The PCjx later had a BIOS upgrade chip, sold together with PC DOS 3.21, which could use the full 720 KB capacity of the diskette drives. Some popular options for the PCjx were a 10 MB external hard disk (as a stackable unit the same size as the JX itself) and a joystick. IBM never released a 3270 emulation adapter for the PCjx in order to steer enterprise customers to more expensive IBM PCs and XTs."

    but this was in one of the 3.5"
    [​IMG]
    editted out the s/n and p/n in case i am not meant to have this :Paranoid: but guessing that means is is one of the later or upgraded ones? date of copyright is 86 on disk, should really go look for some s/n p/n or stickers on the computer


    (addressing keyboard)

    this is what the keyboard should look like http://computers.popcorn.cx/ibm/jx/ibm-jx-09.jpg (top one, but looks like missing arrow key would work from either)
    (from this site which has great pics of internals (only just found site through looking for intact keyboard images)

    and missing key on mine

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
  10. mr626

    mr626 Member

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    Thanks for the pics, very interesting looking machine :thumbup:

    Unfortunately I can't help you with the keys for the keyboard- its entirely different to what a 'normal' Model M uses.
     
  11. dacow

    dacow Member

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    That video of that machine is awesome. I didn't realise it only had 128kb RAM! :shock::shock:
     
  12. OP
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    Bullus

    Bullus Member

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    yeah lol I am posting this on my i7 980x @ 4ghz with 24gb of ram and the jx was running Intel 8088 @ 4.77MHz with 128kb, and also my apologies for having to suffer through the poor quality of the vid :)

    and yet nothing will ever replace the memories of gaming on that ancient beast of a grey box
     
  13. dacow

    dacow Member

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    And it has colour!!! I only ever had memories of the green screen on an original IBM PC XT! JX would have been an upgrade!
     
  14. drgtr

    drgtr Member

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    I had one. Hated it. 384kb of ram back in 1989.
    No hard drive. I had the extra unit on top which gave 5 1/4 floppies and that extra memory.

    CGA graphics.

    I had to use a dos floppy to boot. Foever playing with config.sys to adjust the memory and files so some games barely ran on it.

    I remember my mum telling me she was buying a pc for for primary school.
    I got so excited until she bought home this crap box. lol

    while my friends had 286 and 386.

    lol tough times.



    I remember playing "Alley cat, sopwith, test drive, digger, etc"

    Basic CGA graphics.
     
  15. Sektor

    Sektor Member

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    The first time I ever saw an IBM JX was at a swap meet in the 90's. The same seller brought it in for many months but no one was interested in paying $100 for it at the time. I assume it eventually sold.

    Also in the 90's, my dad brought home a weird IBM joystick from work. I had no idea what system it was for until a few years ago. It was an IBM JX joystick. The only pictures of that joystick on the internet seem to be the ones that I posted. I sold it on ebay to a JX collector.

    Here's an IBM JX advertisement from one of my old computer magazines: http://i.imgur.com/u6ne4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  16. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    lol tough times indeed. :) I think everyone has a story like that.

    I guess I was living in luxury in comparison with my XT with 640k of RAM, EGA graphics and a 30MB HDD. :D Around about the same time, 1990 I think? Played a lot of CGA games early on too.

    My mate at the time had an Amiga 500 which shat all over it in every aspect. Later he got a 386 as well just to kick the boot in! Needless to say I spent a lot of time at his place.

    Can't imagine anything less than 640K. I had a hard enough time getting games to run later on in it's life as games got bigger.
     
  17. 2_stroke

    2_stroke Member

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    My first was a amstrad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC1512 lol had a 20 meg hdd, always wanted a ega or vga. Went to my IBM aptiva 486 dx2 about 3-4yrs later, it was the king at the time with 8meg of ram and a 540meg hd. Lol wish i kept some jx's after the school i was at binned them. First pc i used was a microbee back in grade 3. oh the memories :upset:
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Bullus

    Bullus Member

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    ok that's just mean dude, ya can't say that without links on a forum like this :p
     
  19. Sektor

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  20. Ayni!

    Ayni! Member

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    The JX was my first PC too! Though we had it second hand, but was still in the 80's. Even then the software available at the time was rarely compatible, though not certain now if that was because of a proprietary thing, or just it being a bit slow or otherwise outdated. Still, it was fantastic as a kid and still my favourite item in my collection.

    It had some interesting features, like remote keyboard and cartridge slots. Mine had the two 3.5 720 diskette drives. Though the one I bought later had the 5.25 addon unit. You could actually buy a 10mb harddrive for it, but even though they're not particular expensive, they're hard to find so I'm still looking!

    You could also get a light pen, but i've never seen one.

    I bought a maintenance kit for it not too long ago, which is the only cart I have for it, but haven't tried it yet.

    Anyway, kind of crappy overall I suppose, but I spent a lot of time making silly programs in basic with it. And the best games ever! :)
     

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