the very first PC magazine i read and IBM PS/2 model 50 and windows 3.0

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the very first PC magazine i read and IBM PS/2 model 50 and windows 3.0

Post by redpill on Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:54 pm

Fri Aug 10, 2018

i told my parents i'd like a computer like all the other kids, when i was in junior high.
i knew several kids including relatives that had a pc and they played games.
at school and at the local library i actually did play oregon trail and where in the world is carmen san diego on an apple 2e

they asked me how much will it cost, what kind, and where to buy it

so when i went to the book store and i saw this specific issue of pc magazine



that was the very first time i saw an in print computer magazine, in my life. i had never seen one before

i started reading it and i had no idea what it was talking about.

the idea of mail order was unheard of

but i saw this colorful ad



the original 24 page ad for this new thing called a ps/2

in my local area there was a radio shack and a computerland retailer.

neither carried apple 2e or 2c. several of my neighbor's kids had apple 2e and 2c but i have no idea where they bought it.

the computerland retailer, the employees salesman wore business suits.

it was, ironically enough, in close proxmity to toy's r us. in the local mall was a radio shack.

those were the only places i knew actually sold computers in my time. it was close enough that even though i was a young kid, i could actually bicycle there.

they had Compaq

i actually purchased that pc magazine, that particular issue, and i asked him about this revolutionary new computer called the ps/2

i was somewhat please that here i am a kid and was dressed in kid's summer clothing and i got there on a bicycle, and the salesman there wearing a business suit and tie was talking me as though i was a serious customer. he didn't blow me off as a kid.

he told me he did, in fact it just arrived.

he showed to me the very first time the ibm ps/2 model 50. they also had the ibm ps/2 model 60.

he told me IBM had highest quality, it created the pc and support.


i saw the ps/2 model 50 for the very first time, and it had a color monitor, the ibm one, and color graphics and i was blown away by how incredibly sharp it was.

going from apple 2e and commodore 64 and tandy color computer trs-80 and atari 2600 graphics to IBM ps/2 VGA graphics was jaw dropping.

so, i asked him how much.

he told me the base unit is $3500 which comes with keyboard. The monitor is $600.

he told me it needs DOS which was another $150. and since it only had 3.5" disk drive but all the disks i knew my friends had was 5 1/4 floppy, i needed that drive for another $500.

so we're looking at something on the order of $4700, in 1987 dollars. he told me the ps/2 model 60 was something like $7000.

pale

i thanked him, he wrote down the prices and actually gave me a business card, and i told my parents

they of course said No

NOPE. not for that kind of money.

i thought the vga graphics were awesome and i could only imagine the games that would be created with VGA graphics.

a couple of years later in high school i saw that banks had ibm ps/2, and the bank tellers were all dressed in business suits.

so i figure that the reason to buy computers was "educational". spending $4700 on a ibm ps/2 was an investment because that is the future.

in high school i saw with my own eyes grown ups wearing business suits, using IBM computers at banks.
where there's smoke there's fire so there's gotta be something there.

i eventually became friends with a kid in high school who owned an ibm ps/2 model 50. he wouldn't let me touch it, but i got a much better look at it than the macintosh SE.

i asked him if he really spent $5000 and he said his family did. cause it was an investment of the future.
he also had the 5 1/4 floppy drive i had, plus he had an ibm printer.

computers were the future. everyone will be using IBM ps/2 computers in the future. with VGA graphics.

his parents felt he was getting a head start in the world, by learning how IBM ps/2 work.

it had DOS, and my tandy 1000sx had dos, but the performance of that 10mhz 286 completely blew me away, it was fast. he had a 286 and a hard drive, my tandy didn't have a hard drive, just floppy disks.

i did give him games and it actually LOOKED WORSE on an ibm ps/2 than a tandy 1000sx.

what happens is that games like sierra's black couldron and kings quest supported tandy enhanced 16 color graphics and tandy 3-voice sound.

when they loaded on an ibm ps/2 they only loaded regular 4- color cga graphics and no enhanced sound, just standard beeps and boops.

so this guy family spent all that money $5000 on an ibm ps/2 model 50 and got for the most part a far worse gaming experience than what i enjoyed on my tandy 1000sx !

he only used DOS but it was much faster on his computer. DOS is very slow on a 8088.

2 years later he was excited and talked about this thing he just got and wanted to show me.

the first thing he showed me was that he got a modem which he had attached to his serial port. he then showed me that he dialed and pulled up a bbs.

it was extremely slow, the modem was like 1200 baud, because 2400 baud wasn't introduced yet and was faster than 300 baud but still slow.

that was the very first time in my life i saw someone use a modem, then connnect to what the internet was in the 1980s, a bbs system. it consisted of text that loaded very slowly.

it was slow. it didn't have any impression on me. but he told me that using modem to connect to a server and access bulletin boards was the future. i asked him if he can hack the school computer to change grades like Ferris Bewer's day off he said he couldn't.

i didn't have any interest or desire to buy a modem at that time.

the second thing he later showed me was he told me he bought then installed windows 3.0. he installed it using something like 10 floppy disks. he spent a long time to do it.

he then booted it for me. it took like 10 minutes to load, it was slow.

while the ibm ps/2 model 50 was fast with DOS it was slow with windows 3.0

but when i saw it i thought, hey it's like the macintosh SE. for the second time in my life i saw mouse icons and pull down menus. he also at this time bout a ps/2 mouse

this what i witness for the very first time in my life on his computer i think it was 1990




he told me windows was the future. that's why his parents spent $5000 to learn the future.

like a psychic with a crystal ball.

but the experience was rather limited and slow, the only programs were like a text notepad and calculator i think it had solitaire and that bomb program and a paint program. but he didn't have any windows program like word for windows or excel, and he didn't have any games on it. to run games he had to exit and load DOS then play DOS games.



i wasn't impressed.

in retrospect, his family in 1987 spent $5000 on his IBM ps/2 model 50, which he did install both a modem and windows 3.0

i spent around $2000 for the tandy 1000sx, but i did not originally have a modem and could not install windows 3.0

so he did get a head start on what would be the future of computing. at the price of $5000

but i had fun playing Tandy 1000 enhanced games like Sierra's leisure suit larry thexder space quest king's quest, arkanoid tetris, with tandy graphics and sound.

my tandy didn't have windows 3.0

but i was able to get PC tools and norton utilities and DOS 5.0 to get drop down menus

essentially DOS Shells



one thing i learned was to manage memory on 640k

in college i finally got a modem a 28 k baud modem and i was able to dial in to the college dial in to access PINE for email and bbs all on a tandy 1000sx

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