The smaller, less-capable cousin to the original IBM PC, first marketed in 1984. Had several innovations, like enhanced sound and graphics, and even a wireless keyboard, but eventually was a dismal failure and discontinued in 1985. has a PCjr shrine with lots of pretty pictures and information on this white elephant of the PC industry.

A computer built by IBM that was not 100% IBM compatible. Most games that advertised themselves as "IBM compatible" would fail miserably on a PCjr.

Optional peripherals included a real (non-chiclet style) keyboard, 5.25" floppy drives, a tape drive (they provided the cable, you have to provide a tape player), a CGA color monitor, and a memory sidecar. The PCjr also had slots for ROM cartridges. Some games, a BASIC interpreter, and BIOS hacks (a new system font, caps lock indicator lights, etc) came on cartridges instead of disks. PCjr peripheral ports were non-standard (read: only IBM accessories would plug in), so newer hardware couldn't connect to a PCjr without an expensive adapter. The power supply was half in the case, and half in a black brick-sized transformer that sat on the floor behind the desk. Adding a second floppy drive required adding on an expansion chassis on top of the original case, complete with its own power supply, cord, and brick transformer.

I have one of these beasts, stuffed in the back of a closet somewhere. It still works, chugging along at a glacial 4.77MHz, with a whopping 512kB of RAM. (That's upgraded from the original 128kB.)

Update: 04/11/01:
Perhaps I've been too harsh on the old PCjr. It was an amazing leap forward from the original IBM PC and PC-AT. The thing that really set it apart from newer computers I've had was the sound. The PCjr had a 3 voice synth, that could do square, sine, or sawtooth (triangle) waveforms or white noise. The BASIC cartridge included "play" and "noise" statements that used all 3 channels. One of my first forays into programming was teaching that machine to play Minuet in G. Somewhere in my piles of old 5.25" floppy disks, I have a basic program that plays the entire 3rd movement of the Moonlight sonata. Whoever programmed that must have had the patience of a saint. I should haul mine out of storage sometime, just to play Beethoven on it. I know there are emulators, but they just don't sound the same as the old analog oscillators in that synth chip.

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