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Thread: MS Typing Tutor for the IBM PC on... cassette?

  1. #1

    Default MS Typing Tutor for the IBM PC on... cassette?

    Check this out (emphasis mine):

    Quote Originally Posted by Infoworld, Aug. 1982
    ...Also in the series is a Microsoft program, Typing Tutor, which offers touch-typing drill and practice. Typing Tutor is one education program that is even offered on cassette, a feature common to many early Apple programs but rare on the IBM.
    I wasn't aware that any commercial PC software was ever available on tape (though IBM had a tape version of their PC Diagnostics program, if that counts). There's at least one early game that supports saving to a cassette (Galaxy from Avalon Hill) but this is the first time I read about anything that actually sold on one... needless to say, that would be quite an interesting find.

    I stumbled on this while looking for clues about IBM's Arithmetic Games Set 2, which I'm also on the lookout for... I don't s'pose there's anyone here who might be a proud owner of that? :)

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by el_VR View Post
    Check this out (emphasis mine):


    I wasn't aware that any commercial PC software was ever available on tape (though IBM had a tape version of their PC Diagnostics program, if that counts). There's at least one early game that supports saving to a cassette (Galaxy from Avalon Hill) but this is the first time I read about anything that actually sold on one... needless to say, that would be quite an interesting find.

    I stumbled on this while looking for clues about IBM's Arithmetic Games Set 2, which I'm also on the lookout for... I don't s'pose there's anyone here who might be a proud owner of that?
    That has been my general assessment as well. As far as I knew there were TWO cassette programs - both from IBM (Diagnostics and Advanced Diagnostics). There is a question if there was an introduction to the PC on cassette as well or not but an actual commercial program? Now that would be something to see. Do you have a copy of Galaxy?

    Edit: Found it. I have to try it out and see how well the save to tape works....
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  3. #3
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    If your curious, the IBM BIOS has built in routines for reading and recording data from cassette.
    I haven't played with it, just remember noticing them.

  4. #4

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    IIRC, there was a version of BASIC that fully supported the cassette interface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    IIRC, there was a version of BASIC that fully supported the cassette interface.
    Yep, it's built in to ROM and is loaded when the IBM can't boot off disk. It's a bit of a laugh when you see a PS/2 do that.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpidersWeb View Post
    Yep, it's built in to ROM and is loaded when the IBM can't boot off disk. It's a bit of a laugh when you see a PS/2 do that.
    I don't remember any of my PS/2's doing that. Either something was different, or I just don't remember.

    My 5150 PC definitely did, but when it would boot to BASIC, I would just put a different (boot) disk in.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    I don't remember any of my PS/2's doing that. Either something was different, or I just don't remember.

    My 5150 PC definitely did, but when it would boot to BASIC, I would just put a different (boot) disk in.
    All IBM Systems through the PS/2 line had ROM BASIC. ROM BASIC does allow for tape access. If you are really interested there is a very good post by Mike B. on how to use the tape interface! I am more interested though in commercial applications making use of the tape on the IBM PC. As I mentioned I only knew of the two IBM cassettes but apparently there was an MS app too. Does anyone know how long the 5150 was in production before IBM started making FDDs available? My guess has always been that very few (IF ANY) IBM 5150s were sold initially without a FDD and hence there was never a need to produce programs on tape...
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

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    AFAIK floppy drives were an option from day one, and IBM never sold a tape recorder/player? (not confirmed, just what I thought)

    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    I don't remember any of my PS/2's doing that. Either something was different, or I just don't remember.

    My 5150 PC definitely did, but when it would boot to BASIC, I would just put a different (boot) disk in.
    Last time I spotted it was either my Model 30-286 or Model 50Z - had the hard drive disconnected and it went straight in to BASIC.

  9. #9

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    I don't know about producing them before FDDs were available for them, but I have owned several 5150s that didn't come with any disk drives. I've known other people who did also, so they weren't rare. In fact, I still have pieces-parts of one that was like that.

    Usually the first thing I did with them though was put drives and controller cards in.

    Mind you, I don't recall ever seeing an IBM cassette drive, nor any cassette drive or anything else that would plug into the cassette port (besides Commodore peripherals that didn't belong plugged in there [Desperate college kids will try all kinds of stupid things when they are lacking all peripherals]).

  10. #10

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    Thinking back, it is ironic: One of the biggest derisive comments most PC users had about the Commodore 64 was that they booted to BASIC. Most of us never gave any thought to the built-in BASIC in our PCs.

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