hobbs
  • Member for 5 years, 8 months
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Does "Disk Operating System" imply that there was a "non-disk" Operating System?
75 votes

It doesn't imply that it's the disk operating system so much as it implies that it's the disk-operating system. You could boot an Apple II from ROM, enter and run BASIC programs, load programs from ...

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What register size did early computers use?
Accepted answer
40 votes

It varied immensely, and many early computers have unique architectures that might make answering the question difficult. However the common practice in the earliest days seems to have been large word ...

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How is it possible that they used to type "Mb" when they meant "MB" in printed computer magazines in the 1990s?
37 votes

Was not the "B = byte, b = bit" standard established even back in the day, in the 1970s/early 1980s? Not really. It existed (I think at least as far back as 1979's JEP100, but I don't have good ...

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What was the technical reason behind the octal digits used for CompuServe User IDs?
Accepted answer
32 votes

It appears to be a legacy from TOPS-10. The easy part: octal was more popular in the 60s and 70s in general, but especially at DEC, which produced a number of 18-bit machines; the 3 bits per symbol ...

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Was "One-Winged Angel" an actual CD track, or generated by the PlayStation's sound chip with a few samples (SFX) added on top?
28 votes

suppose it's possible that the PlayStation audio format does have the required instruments, and then they added the few repeated audio samples on top of that in the game engine There are no ...

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Hardware assisted Graphical User Interface?
23 votes

In the early 1990s, with the rise in popularity of Windows 3, the PC world got a number of "Windows Accelerator" video cards. These were 2D fixed-function GPUs with command-sets that ...

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Can I run Windows 98 and games from the same era on an AMD Duron CPU?
20 votes

A Duron of this era is a cut-down version of a Thunderbird Athlon, and is broadly comparable to a Coppermine (Pentium III) Celeron. Paired with the right audio/video hardware, it's absolutely capable ...

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Mind-Controller User Input from the late 90s
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19 votes

The device was called the MindDrive, from a company called "The Other 90%". It had a few games available including MindSkier, which was a downhill slalom game. Nothing in particular ever happened to ...

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Was there a technical advantage to such tall PC tower cases?
17 votes

A "full-length" ISA card could be over 13" from the mounting bracket to the end of the card: This case gives you enough room to have a full complement of full-length cards on the ...

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Which communication protocol is used in AdLib sound card?
14 votes

As another answer has said, the OPL2/3 chip on the AdLib is driven by directly writing the registers that control the pitch, volume, and tone of each channel. But how does a game (or other music ...

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Why are NES cartridges grey while Famicom are rather colourful?
10 votes

The story I have always heard (I will try to find and add sources later) is that in the wake of the 1983 video game crash, which primarily affected the US, Nintendo decided to re-evaluate their North ...

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QEMU emulating MS-DOS cannot access CD-ROM
Accepted answer
9 votes

There's reason to believe that this is a qemu bug (actually a problem caused by the configuration of SeaBIOS in qemu 3.0 and 3.1). If this is the case, the CD driver will work fine in qemu 2.12.1 or ...

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Could early nineties PCs access raw CD bitstream?
7 votes

I think your premise is a bit off. Compression (lossy or otherwise) makes media much more susceptible to errors, not less. If you flip one bit in an uncompressed image, the probable result is that one ...

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Did the Apollo Guidance Computer or other multi-ROM machines subdivide code between ROM chips/modules to facilitate partial updates?
6 votes

The AGC, at least, didn't employ any such indirection. Calls to subroutines in other banks were performed via the BANKCALL routine (TC BANKCALL followed by a CADR pseudo-instruction containing the ...

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How can I understand numerical precision of values in Microsoft BASIC (on the Dragon 32)?
5 votes

As far as I can see, any Microsoft BASIC at that time should have used Microsoft Binary Format for floating-point numbers. Since you found out that numbers are occupying five bytes, that should mean ...

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How was the real-time clock implemented in the original IBM PC and PC/XT?
4 votes

If the latter, was it common to lose clock accuracy if the timer rate was changed by a running program? It was certainly possible, yes; it's hard to say how common this kind of distortion was, but it ...

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Is there any persistent storage in a NEC MobilePro PocketPC?
4 votes

The RAM is the means of (relatively) persistent storage. Even when the device is "turned off", the contents of RAM are maintained using battery power. Power to the RAM is provided by the main battery, ...

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Were there any computers that did not support virtual memory?
3 votes

Were there any computers that did not support virtual memory? Yes, a great many. if yes, were these computers able to run multiple processes at the same time? Yes, if the operating system was ...

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Is the IBM 5153 color display compatible with the Tandy 1000 16 color modes?
Accepted answer
3 votes

CGA 40-column text mode is 320x200 16-colors and 80-column text mode is 640x200 16 colors. Those are a completely standard feature of CGA and therefore a completely normal thing for a CGA monitor to ...

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Which LCD technology was used in Game and Watch?
2 votes

Your assumptions are reasonable, TN is most likely. DSM appears never to have been mainstream. TN LCDs provided better visual quality at lower power and took over pretty much as soon as they were on ...

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How could/can there exist NTSC->PAL converters for SNES and other classic game consoles?
1 votes

The hardware is different, but not so different as to prevent most games from playing. Yes, they ran slower because of the frame rate difference. That was par for the course, and quite a few ...

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Where can I find Windows 98 drivers for VIA sound card VT8237A/VT8251?
1 votes

I get a feeling it's not going to work. The VIA 8237 had AC'97 audio, but the 8237A has HD Audio (the successor standard to AC'97, which was published in 2004). To the best of my knowledge, there are ...

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Reusing original Palm memory cards
1 votes

Assorted sources on the internet indicate that the Palm / Pilot models before the Palm III used "PSRAM", or "pseudo-static RAM" for the replaceable onboard memory. This means a device that contains a ...

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