28

It was an advantage because the IBM PC became an extensible computing platform. The most popular competitor to it previously was the Apple II, another open platform. The PC, as a platform, was popular to users because of the choices it enabled, as developers because of the foundations that it laid, and engineering firms because they could focus on what they ...


8

The IBM PC was cloned very early on, and many third parties made hardware peripherals. This required users to run an OS, install drivers, manage IRQs and hardware bus addresses, etc. Why was this a strength of the platform, instead of a weakness? A wide range of hardware devices was a strength, in that, if IBM wasn't willing to build it, or was unable ...


7

Prior to DEC's PDP-1, of 1959, there would be MIT's TX-2 of 1958 - after all, the PDP-1 and DEC at all, was a spin off of this project (and team) - although, it was only a single machine and a research project, not anything commercial available. Before that, there was the SAGE system, operational in 1958, used for RADAR surveillance. Images from this system ...


6

The hardware in PC clones was not particularly diverse, if the technical characteristics of the hardware is the distinguishing factor. Yes, there was a great diversity of manufacturers and vendors, but the diversity of features was pretty minimal. It is probably best to describe the PC clones of the 1980s as vanilla computers. And this was their real ...


5

There were two major reasons: 1: On introduction, the 6502 (at $25) was considerably cheaper than its nearest competitors; at the time, those were the 6800 ($175) and the 8080 ($179); the Z80 would not be released until the following year, and even then its initial price was $200. 2: Despite its low cost and simplicity, the 6502 was relatively fast for a ...


5

The 64KB of RAM for the 65C102 co-processor is provided by eight MB8264 64k x 1-bit chips. Each chip provides one bit of memory for every address, meaning that all eight chips are used for every memory location. In many instances, the failure of a RAM chip will affect all memory locations (including the 6502's page 0 registers), meaning that the co-processor ...


4

Unlike the Amiga, the IBM PC was always seen as mainly a business computer. Having business done on lots of small machines on desks, rather than on large central machines via terminals, meant that businesses had to provide support staff to configure machines and assist users, rather than having staff to look after the central machines. However, the total ...


4

2.9V seams like more than enough to keep it running. If you look into the data sheet you'll notice that a switch over to battery only happens below 3V. But there's a simple solution: Buy a new one. They are about 5-10 EUR (~5-15 USD) depending on the shop you order from. The DS12C887 real-time clocks is a rather new development (to replace DS1287) thus ...


4

The word "ecosystem" in your question gives a clue to the answer: hardware platforms evolve, to a greater or lesser degree, after release. It's inevitable that technology will progress to offer new capabilities after release, and one of the factors in the long-term success of a platform is how well these (often entirely unanticipated) new capabilities, such ...


3

The "Turbo XT" 4.77/8mhz clock switching first appeared on no-name clones, and was carried over into the 386 era with 16/33mhz switching.


3

Very good answers here already; I'll try to focus on direct answers to your questions. This required users to run an OS, install drivers, manage IRQs and hardware bus addresses, etc. Why was this a strength of the platform, instead of a weakness? Because configuration hassle is much more affordable than buying a new system to support your new hardware. ...


2

I think it was just a nice middle ground. Warning: anecdotal knowledge ahead. Commodore/Amiga had basically just one configuration which sold exceptionally good - C64 and A500. Revisions worked well by maintaining compatibility, but did not add any extra performance. Then came the C128, which had a C64 compatibility mode. No seamless upgrade, but rather a ...


2

One problem in designing future-proof systems is deciding what features of the system's present design should be regarded as fundamental and what aspects should be considered happenstance. If some features of a design get treated as fundamental, it will be very difficult to change them later, but features needed to accomplish tasks efficiently can't be ...


2

It depends what protocol the scanner uses. If it is SCSI you need a USB to SCSI converter. If it is parallel port you need a USB to parallel port converter, although be aware that sometimes they are not compatible with scanners.


2

That is possibly a capacitor failing. I had, possibly, a similar noise in an amp and after some time there was a "pop" and the cap exploded all over the inside... Check it or get it checked.


1

The original Apple II case was designed before the FCC started enforcing Part-15 consumer product RFI emission rules. Atari used a metal shell inside a plastic case for the 400/800 because they thought the FCC rules would be enforced more strongly. Apple instead switched to plastic with a conductive coating inside and lots of gaskets instead so the Apple ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible