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IBM Hardware

IBM's PC Junior Turns 30, Too 178

Posted by timothy
from the which-path-did-you-follow? dept.
McGruber writes "Like the Mac, the IBM PC Junior first went on sale in late January 1984. That is where the similarities end — the PC Junior became the biggest PC dud of all time. Back on May 17, 1984, the NY Times reported that the PC Junior 'is too expensive for casual home users, but, at the same time, is not nearly powerful enough for serious computer users who can afford a more capable machine.' The article also quoted Peter Norton, then still a human programmer who had not yet morphed into a Brand, who said that the PC Junior 'may well be targeted at a gray area in the market that just does not exist.'' IBM cancelled the machine in March 1985, after only selling 270,000 of them. While it was a commercial flop, the machine is still liked by some. Michael Brutman's PCJr page attempts to preserve the history and technical information of the IBM PCjr and YouTube has a video of a PC Junior running a demo."
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IBM's PC Junior Turns 30, Too

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  • by billcarson (2438218) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:34AM (#46090859)
    DOS was more than just some FAT routines. There was a program loader, driver model (albeit a very naive one), system services (I/O, etc.), basic system tools (format, debug, command.com, etc.).
    For what PCs were at that time, it was probably the best you could whish for.
  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:52AM (#46091011) Journal

    The PCjr has the distinction of the first IBM PC to be able to use more than 640k, due to the weirdness of the Video BIOS location. The anomaly is also the reason why people had to buy programs that said "PCjr Compatible". If I recall, my Dad's PCjr could address nearly 768k, without a Memory Manager doing funky stuff to jam TSR's into the space between 640k and 1mb.

    AHhhhh good times!

  • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @12:46PM (#46091553)

    Didn't IBM basically consider the entire PC product a commercial flop? Was it ever considered a success (ie profitable)?

    By the end of 1982 IBM was selling a PC every minute of the business day. Although the PC only provided 2-3% of sales. IBM found that it had underestimated demand by as much as 800%, and because its prices were based on forecasts of much lower volume, the PC became very profitable. By 1983 the IBU had 4,000 employees and became the Entry Systems Division based in Boca Raton, and the PC surpassed the Apple II as the best-selling personal computer.

    By 1984 IBM had $4 billion in annual PC revenue, more than twice that of Apple and as much as the sales of Apple, Commodore, HP, and Sperry combined. A Fortune survey found that 56% of American companies with personal computers used IBM PCs, compared to Apple's 16%.

    IBM Personal Computer [wikipedia.org]

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