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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 @11:22AM (#46090759)
    The keyboard was horrible, yes, but that was fixed within months (I think people could swap the keyboards for free?).
    But for the money you got a lot more than the other home computers: a floppy drive, a computer that had a real
    operating system, 128K of RAM!, compatibility with most PC applications, etc. Plus this was the computer that made
    the Sierra Adventure games shine! (the enhanced graphics and sound made Leisure suit larry a lot better looking than its PC counterpart).
    The BIOS interrupt changes may have caused some problems (the keyboard was mapped to the NMI, so you couldn't
    touch it while transfering files f.i.) or compatibility issues, but that was only of minor concern at the time.
    I still don't consider the PCjr a poorly engineered machine. There were better contenders in that category (some of the Franklin PCs, for instance)
  • Fond memories (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bayoudegradeable (1003768) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:23AM (#46090769)
    Dot matrix printer, Wizardry, Ultima IV (I think?), MicroLeague Baseball, Flight Simulator. A 12 year old that didn't know better sure enjoyed his PCJr
  • by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @12:11PM (#46091177)
    I'll never understand these antagonistic replies on Slashdot. I suppose it's across the internet, but gosh darn it, why are people so *angry* all the time? Guy says, in his opinion, and with the passage of time, that maybe the device wasn't as bad as everybody makes it out to be.

    You almost treat his post as a personal attack against your mother and everything else you hold dear.

    Why?

    It's a just a guy posting some stuff on a forum that 0.1% of the general public reads. Who cares?

    Elucidate me. Why do people like you get so upset, resorting to silly replies like "Go get a job at Dell?"
  • by dj245 (732906) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @03:22PM (#46093227) Homepage

    Whats so special about 30th anniversary? Is 30 some kind of magic number?

    I believe in western culture that 25th anniversary is a special celebration for married couples, (silver) and also 50th (gold) And some cultures have special significance of 15th bithday, and/or 21st birthday

    It is roughly a generation. I've gone back in my family tree about 20 generations and 30 years is just about the average difference between parents and child. Yes, even back in medeival times.

    I suppose you could consider it special because it means that people who grew up with computers of that era are now buying pocket supercomputers for their children.

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