Here are some pictures from older magazines (mid 1984 -
thought were interesting.
|This is the first page of a twelve page advertising
booklet from IBM. It is a classic IBM personal computer
advertisement, right down to the Charlie Chaplin "Little Tramp"
character that they always used.
This advertising appeared later in the PCjr's product life - it
features the improved keyboard, the PCjr Color Monitor and mentions
memory expansion up to 512KB. By this point the base model with no
diskette drive, 64KB and no monitor was $599. The enhanced model with
128KB and a diskette drive (but still no monitor) was $999.
Looking back, if IBM had come out of the gate with this pricing and
this feature set the PCjr would have done a lot better than it did.
(Click on the image to download a PDF of the entire booklet.)
|This is a Microsoft Booster ad from PCjr
in 1985. The MS Booster added a bus mouse, a clock/calendar
and in most configurations an additional 128KB of RAM. When
it was priced at $295 for the basic version and $495 for the version
My PCjr had one of these and it was well worth
of them came with a copy of the Microsoft Flight Simulator which
well on a 128KB machine but was exceptional on a 256KB
machine. (And the mouse control was handy too.) The mouse connected
a DB9 connector, but it certainly wasn't a serial mouse.
Microsoft included a "menu maker" type program
you define actions to be taken when you used the mouse, letting you add
mouse support for applications that did not have it. The support was
crude though - I think the terminate and stay resident utility was
simulating real mouse support by "stuffing" keystrokes into the
keyboard buffer for the application program to read.
The original keyboard is shown in this picture.
||Check out the toys in this picture!
Second diskette drives were a common upgrade, but
the nicest ones. You could get the expansion unit with either
diskette drive, a second diskette drive, or even a hard
not sure if you could do two diskette drives and a hard
units had some neat panels that could show you memory accesses and
could also use them to add memory and a clock/calendar.
A more detailed description of one of the Legacy
Technologies expansion chassis can be seen here (Legacy Technologies PCjr
Expansion). (There is a video showing the "blinkenlights" in
|A quick review of the Rapport Drive Two, from
or 1985. This expansion chassis isn't as flashy as the Legacy
and doesn't have as many configuration options. It does
needed second diskette drive, memory expansion, printer port, and
that a stock PCjr doesn't have.
The "exploded" view gives you an idea of how these
were added to the PCjr. Typically a tall sidecar is used to
the expansion bus up to the expansion chassis. Sometimes the
modem slot was used for a SCSI card (to support a hard
is more than likely that the diskette controller was replaced because
the standard one did not support two diskette drives.
On this particular expansion chassis the large
used to add
a parallel port, a clock & calendar, and to bring the I/O bus
the additional memory in the expansion unit. The original
drive controller is used, but with a special cable that diverts some of
the signal lines to some more logic circuitry in the expansion
chassis. That additional logic circuitry fakes the controller into
diskette drives. The expansion chassis has its own power
and its own external transformer - it is switched on and off by
that senses when the PCjr main power supply is switched on and off.
Early models were sold by Rapport. Later on the
name changed to Racore. The same hardware was also sold by Quadram, but
with different driver software. DMA and non-DMA units were available.
It is hilarious to think of using a 512KB machine
today. In the mid 1980's it was a perfectly reasonable
and I used less of a machine into my 2nd semester of college for word
presentation graphics, and email!
When I first saw ColorPaint on a cartridge running on
my jaw just about dropped. This was an incredible piece of
and it showed the advanced features of the PCjr. According to the
author, ColorPaint was written entire in assembler which gave it the
speed and control of the hardware that was needed.
In 1984, a mouse would have been a rare
introduced that year, and it was the first machine to feature a mouse
standard equipment.) In 1984, the only other machine to have
on the display at the same time would have been a PC AT with an EGA
or a specialized machine such as the MindSet. (EGA not only
colors, but it had better screen resolution as well.) For the
market this was as good as graphics got. And it ran 1-2-3,
and other real applications.
This machine is a 128KB model ... there are no sidecars
the memory or provide other options. The mouse is probably a
mouse, plugged into the serial connector available on the back of the
machine. The keyboard is the second model (the one that replaced the
and it still is wireless.