Posted 09 April 2007 - 04:08 PM
The first PC I owned was a PCjr and I was very happy to have it. Why? Because lesser computers either cost more (CP/M-based computers were quite expensive then) or were far less powerful for more purposes or were not IBM compatible, which at the time was a necessity for me. The PCjr provided most of the functionality of a standard IBM PC of the era, cost as much as half that and was expandable. Plus, it offered 16 colors in a mostly green-screen, monochrome IBM world. The chiclet keyboard wasn't great, but it was easy to buy a plug-in keyboard every bit as good as that found on a PC-XT, and, anyway, for free IBM replaced the Chiclet board with another compact wireless keyboard that had standard IBM keys. I used it often and typed at up to 90 words per minute on it.I ran my PCjr into the ground but it lasted me almost a decade. Before I retired it, I had expanded it to 1 megabyte of RAM, a hard drive, an optical mouse, a voice synthesis module and other goodies. It was compact and durable. The proprietary cartrdige slots -- intended for games and applications like PCjr Paint -- were quickly hacked and third parties sold system firmware extensions on cart. I also bought an accelerator board to speed the machine up to 9 Mhz, double what a standard IBM PC then could attain.I made money using that computer and had fun usng it, too. Microsoft Flight Simulator looked good on it. I had a Touchdown Football game that included digitzed crowd noises, when anything more than a system beep was an audible novelty. I ran great software like PC-Write, Microsoft Windows, Multiplan, Nutshell database manager and other heavy duty apps. I bought GEOWorks and ran a multitasking, GUI interface. I added an Okimate 20 thermal transfer printer a few years later and was printing in color while Ronald Reagan was still president.My next computer after the PCjr was an Amiga 500, a wonderful machine that to this day is functional and reasonably powerful, as well as fun to use. I can attest that the transition was sensible and for me ideal, because I was very used to the PCjr's abiliity to handle a graphical interface and color and high end applications and, yes, even multitasking, albeit of a crude sort.By the way, I bought my PCjr at Sears a couple of months after it came out. For a sale price of $1,500 (which, for its time, was a very good deal), I got the PCjr with 256K of RAM (also big for its time), a software application suite, MS-BASIC, a couple of games, and a 13" RGB color monitor that doubled as a TV set. Not bad at all, considering that "real" IBMs cost $2500 and up at the time.