[vcf-midatlantic] VCF East 2021: The World of IBM

jsalzman at gmail.com jsalzman at gmail.com
Fri Aug 27 13:36:45 UTC 2021

Now I wish I knew what the manufacturer of an old retail PC system was that
I once had a chance to fool around with.

My neighbor back in the 80s worked a route for the local convenience store
chain when they were also doing the video rental business in store. They
used a custom shaped metal computer box that was mostly rectangular in
shape, but with a wedged front, containing an embedded 80x20 (or 40x20)
character LCD screen.

It was designed to allow the clerk to scan video tapes using the
attached barcode wand, and then process rental transactions. My neighbor
let me play with one of the units at home for a while. It had an
attachable 3.5" floppy drive and keyboard. After using the software he gave
me, I discovered it was basically a PC running DOS, along with some custom
software for the rental business.

I didn't have much software to play with. I just tinkered with DOS, and
used the TYPE command to look at the system's data files. But it was my
first exposure, in hindsight, to what would be custom purposed PC
compatibles. It was neat, but at the time, I was rocking my Amiga 500 as my
main computer. :😎.

However, I would LOVE to have one of those units in my collection today.

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021 at 9:23 AM Adam Michlin via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> Yep. My first PC was an XT clone, but I did all my Turbo Pascal
> programming on SoftPC on my Mac IIcx. So this is a topic near and dear
> to my heart.
> What you describe with DOS Box->CP/M etc. is similar to what we're
> hoping for with the x86 on !x86 exhibit. The weirder the chain, the
> better!

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