Hey everyone! I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving Holiday! Mine was filled with getting fat and Christmas songs butchered by Michael Buble.
So, as many of you have already figured out, I love computers. I had been scouting sites like Craig’s List and eBay for older computers that ran earlier versions of Dos, that still functioned properly. Preferably, I wanted a system I could play my old floppy diskettes on, and legitimately play Dos games and maybe incorporate the system into my videos. After much scouring, I found that these systems tend to be very expensive. It makes sense, finding an older system in mint condition is no easy task. In some ways, finding old systems like computers from the early 80s is more difficult than game console collecting. Consoles like Nintendo, Atari..you can still find those if you really wanted one. Finding an old computer that someone hasn’t scrapped proved to be a challenge for me, especially since I am usually on a tight financial rope, so to speak.
And then, a miracle happened!
Completely by fluke, I found this gem in my room mate’s grandpa’s house. It was just sitting there like an old relic, in absolutely beautiful condition. Meet BILL, the old, crotchety IBM-PC!
Beautiful, right? The guy who gave it to me seemed to be surprised that I wanted it. Bill works perfectly, and is in pristine condition. Bill is an IBM-PC 5150 with a 8088 processor. He has two 5.25 inch floppy drives, A and B. There is no hard drive. It runs Dos 3.1, and runs at 4MHz. I am unsure on the ram at the moment, but it is somewhere between 64k and 256K.
This system is quite historic! IBM asked a small company named Microsoft to write the OS for this system. Bill Gates bought the rights to QDos (Quick and Dirty Operating System, you may recall hearing about this in my DosBox video) and modified it to create PC-Dos (later, MS-Dos) for this model. It also came with a higher end monitor which displays CGA graphics. This system was made in 1981, making Bill 30 years old. Originally, this model, when it came out, would have ran someone $3005. Which by today’s standards, is about $7200. If you search for this system, it still runs about 700-800 dollars. I am very lucky to have gotten mine for free, otherwise Bill would have been sent to the scrap yard. I named him after my late father, even though my father wasn’t very crotchety. Bill, I assume, is up there in years and is very grumpy. His floppy disk drive makes distinctively cranky noises.
I don’t have many 5.25 floppies hanging around, however, I plan to invest on getting it a 3.5 inch floppy drive so I can write some of my old games onto 5.25 floppies, and run them. I did happen to have Reader Rabbit lying around, so I popped that into the B drive, and it worked perfectly. Oh, the CGA glory! How I love thee, purple, cyan, white and black!
If anyone has any 5.25 inch floppy disks they might want to get rid of, please let me know and I will gladly take them off your hands!
Bill is a wonderful find and I couldn’t be more excited. The best way to find old systems is to ask older family members if they had a system and kept one. Look around, and you might be able to score one for free!
More information on Bill as me and my room mate mess around with him. Hopefully, I will be able to run King’s Quest 3 on it and relive my childhood.