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Micom 2000
February 9th, 2009, 07:44 PM
A recent thread brought up a question of the promo disks issued by many computer companies when you bought a computer from them. Usually called "Exploring your xxxxxx."
I know I have 3 of them and possibly a fourth. One of them is for the PS/2 8580, one for the IBM PC Jr, and another for the DEC Decmate which works on my DEC RB and basicly displays the same machine, since except for the CPU, OS and name they were identical. I might also have one for a MAC. Since I have none of these machines set up at the moment (cold room considerations in Manitoba winters) I can't test the disks.

I suspect my own memory is going, but I don't recall any of these 3 having an OS installed before working. The graphics were equivalent to a PDF page with no video enhancement.
It was as tho they had a built-in basic OS, especially inre: the DECmate disk in the Rainbow.

Whle my PS/2 had an HDD, as did my RB (but required selecting an OS partition first ordinarily), the PCjr had no HDD and I don't remember booting them in MSDos first.
Is this just a failure in my own recollecton or were these disks self-contained, including a basic OS to boot up.

Lawrence

Terry Yager
February 9th, 2009, 10:07 PM
Yes.

--T

Micom 2000
February 10th, 2009, 03:52 PM
"Yes", my own memory banks failure or "yes" they were self-contained ? Guess I have to get these beasts up to get more than an ambiguous 1 word answer.

Just checked and the "PCjr Sampler disk" had instructions on the envelope which indicated, just insert the disk and start the machine. I'd imagine that is also true of the DECMate disk which worked in my Rainbow because I didn't have RBDos or CP/M start-up disks originally for my Rainbow other than what was on the HD partition. I downloaded the PS/2 80 demo originally from the IBM BBS and my memory is now reinforced that the disk was like an "insert and play" once the PS/2 got past it's post bios start.

So THERE, Smart-Ass !!! Undermine the confidence of an old man, will you !

Lawrence


Yes.

--T

Terry Yager
February 10th, 2009, 09:10 PM
"Yes", my own memory banks failure or "yes" they were self-contained ?

Lawrence

No. "Yes", as in, yes, it is either the one or the other...unless it's sum'n else...

(I was taught a long time ago, that the correct answer to any 'or' question, is, logically, always "yes").

--T

Terry Yager
February 10th, 2009, 09:15 PM
FWIW, L, the true, complete answer is, "Yes, both...or one or the other...or neither," however, you did not offer all the possible options, hence, 'yes'.

--T

Trixter
February 10th, 2009, 09:24 PM
I suspect my own memory is going, but I don't recall any of these 3 having an OS installed before working. The graphics were equivalent to a PDF page with no video enhancement.
It was as tho they had a built-in basic OS, especially inre: the DECmate disk in the Rainbow.

Whle my PS/2 had an HDD, as did my RB (but required selecting an OS partition first ordinarily), the PCjr had no HDD and I don't remember booting them in MSDos first.
Is this just a failure in my own recollecton or were these disks self-contained, including a basic OS to boot up.


Most demo disks contained an OS and/or specialized boot loader, so that the dealer could very quickly boot the machine up right into a nice demo for customers. The IBM ones were usually written in BASIC. This wasn't necessarily laziness! BASIC on IBM machines was in ROM, so this had several advantages:


No basic interpreter on disk meant more space for demo materials
Instructions in ROM execute faster than RAM on those machines -- a RAM fetch takes 4 cycles, but a ROM fetch only takes 3
BASIC offered rapid development in a small codespace

Other clone computers did the same thing (for example, the AT&T PC 6300, Panasonic Sr. Partner, and Sperry machines' demo disks are GWBASIC programs), but it wasn't for the speed advantage, because they didn't have BASIC in ROM. The usual reason was so the demo could utilize the customized version of GWBASIC that came with the machine to show off the extended capabilities of said machine. The AT&T PC 6300 demo disk would go into 640x400 mode for a graphics demonstration. The Sperry demo disk drew a 16-color pyramid and rotated the palette to cycle colors. And so on.

barythrin
February 11th, 2009, 08:06 AM
That'd be cool to track down a few of those for different systems. The only one I have is for the Apple /// which I think is labelled as "Apple /// Demo", but it just loops showing off some of the things the system can do.

Micom 2000
February 11th, 2009, 01:42 PM
That could be quite hazardous logic if you ran across a lady of the evening dominatrix or a homicidal maniac determining how to end your days. :^) And in Boolian logic, wrong.

Lawrence


No. "Yes", as in, yes, it is either the one or the other...unless it's sum'n else...

(I was taught a long time ago, that the correct answer to any 'or' question, is, logically, always "yes").

--T

Trixter
February 11th, 2009, 01:48 PM
That'd be cool to track down a few of those for different systems. The only one I have is for the Apple /// which I think is labelled as "Apple /// Demo", but it just loops showing off some of the things the system can do.

I have ones for the AT&T PC 6300, Panasonic Sr. Partner (in storage somewhere), IBM PC, IBM PCjr, and IBM PS/2 Model 25.

It would make for a neat website (along with video of each one running). I'll add that to my 27-item todo list and hopefully someone will get to it before 2012 :-)

Terry Yager
February 11th, 2009, 05:34 PM
That could be quite hazardous logic if you ran across a lady of the evening dominatrix or a homicidal maniac determining how to end your days. :^) And in Boolian logic, wrong.

Lawrence

Boolean, schmoolean...I'm talking informal logic. (And in Boolean, it would be an XOR argument).

--T

Terry Yager
February 11th, 2009, 05:42 PM
I think I have demos for the PC, XT and AT. I also have sum'n for one of the Compaq models. Mebbe even more. And yes, they are all self booters except for the Compaq, IIRC. It has a demo prog on the 'Utilities' disk?

--T

Micom 2000
February 12th, 2009, 11:07 AM
XOR, schmexor. I'm talking about the logic of the Booli people. An allegedly cannibal tribe in the South Pacific.

L.


Boolean, schmoolean...I'm talking informal logic. (And in Boolean, it would be an XOR argument).

--T

patscc
February 12th, 2009, 12:33 PM
All you guys sound more like you're practicing fuzzy logic to me.
patscc

Micom 2000
February 12th, 2009, 01:35 PM
Finding out that IBM put out demo disks for many other of their computers and knowng I originally got my PS/2 80 one there, sent me scuttling to prairefires valuable IBMbbs mirror to see what I could find. Unfortunately it is so vast and IBM's file naming so obscure that it will take considerable mining to even discover if they are still retained there. I think I renamed my file 8580demo.xxx so I don't even have the original title to use a naming clue for the demos. I do know I was considerably impressed with the graphics and presentation.

Once I get rid of my immense backload of "to-dos" with my collection (2 years?, more?)
maybe I can get into a research mode. Or possibly I can benefit from someone else discovering their whereabouts along this dusty road. sighhh :^(

Lawrence


That'd be cool to track down a few of those for different systems. The only one I have is for the Apple /// which I think is labelled as "Apple /// Demo", but it just loops showing off some of the things the system can do.