StarCat
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Why do PCs boot in 720x400 resolution?
Accepted answer
93 votes

This is historically not uncommon at all. Before starting an Operating System and initializing a graphics mode, your PC operates in the simplest display mode available, 80×25 text mode. The original ...

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Was Windows 95 really released in 1995?
18 votes

For a long time (starting late 1992/ early 1993), what was to become Windows 95 went under the name of "Chicago". Only in september 1994 (beta 1.4 / build 189), did it become Windows 95. ...

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Getting data from Seagate ST-238R drive
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18 votes

The ST-238R shown in the image is an RLL (Run Length Limited) drive and will not work correctly with a standard MFM controller, although it has the same ST506 electrical interface and cabling. To read ...

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How did the Altair ensure that the −5 V supply was the first connected and last disconnected?
5 votes

It looks like the Altair 8800 didn’t have any provisions to ensure -5V was available first (but see @Spektre’s answer and the note below). I found a schematic of the Altair 8800 CPU board power supply ...

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Macintosh II ROM Replacement
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5 votes

I'm not very familiar with Macintosh, so my answer is based on my general knowledge of the Motorola 68K architecture (like the 68020 that the Mac-II is based on). ROM content In the Repair and Upgrade ...

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What really is a sound card driver in MS-DOS?
4 votes

Like any hardware, the hardware of a sound card needs to be “prepared for operation” after having powered up in an unconfigured state. Usually this consists of writing certain values to certain ...

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Which part of a computer does the conversion between binary to hexadecimal?
4 votes

Data does not generally need to be converted from binary to hexadecimal except in some cases where hexadecimal human-readable (ASCII) output or a specific file output format is needed. In most cases ...

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Can I change laptop's RTC and backup battery with generic Ni-MH?
4 votes

These NiMH batteries usually have very simple charging circuitry and replacing them with generic 3 or 6 x 1.2V NiMH cells in series will almost certainly be fine. I remember there were even (3.6V) ...

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IBM PC 5150 motherboard labelling
2 votes

AFAIK there is just one 14.318MHz crystal (not an oscillator) on the 5150 motherboard, right next to the 8284. It’s a flat metal component with two leads coming out of it from one side, probably ...

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