Computer Closet Collection

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See below for specifications and information on this system.

Specifications and information

Key Dates: Announced October 1983
Ships March 1984
Original Price: $1300 with 64K and one floppy drive, no monitor
CPU: Intel 8088, 4.77 MHz
Memory: 64K expandable to 256K
Operating System: IBM PC-DOS (Microsoft MS-DOS)
Input/Output: Cassette port; joystick port; RGB monitor port; composite video output; wired keyboard port; infrared keyboard receptor
Bus: PCjr bus (one RAM slot, one modem slot)
Other Items in Collection: Deluxe keyboard; Tecmar jrCaptain memory/IO expander sidecar; BASIC cartridge, pair of joysticks

The IBM 4860 PCjr is remembered as a rather spectacular failure. In the home market, it wasn't much cheaper than an IBM PC clone, and lacked PC compatible expansion slots. In the educational market, the infrared keyboard was a disaster. In a classroom, all little Jimmy had to do to cause havoc was point his keyboard at Sally's machine and start typing. The stock "chiclet" keyboard essentially prevented touch-typing, although IBM shortly made available a replacement keyboard (as shown in the photo above) with real keys.

The only way to expand a PCjr is via snap-on "sidecars" which contain things like expansion RAM, additional I/O ports, etc. There are two internal "expansion slots"; one is dedicated to a memory/display card, and the other is dedicated to a modem. They can't be used for any other purpose. There is also a slot for the floppy disk controller, but virtually all PCjr machines were sold with a floppy disk drive. This was the 1980s, and cassette data storage was behind the times!

Another failing of the PCjr was its host of non-standard interface connectors. None of the connectors were the same as the PC.

This is a PCjr with a third-party second floppy disk drive expansion chassis, along with the original box from IBM:

Here are some rare PCjr boxed accessories, including a joystick, the Serial Adapter Cable (which allowed the use of standard serial devices instead of those built for the PCjr's bizarre cable pinout scheme), the IBM Color Display Adapter Cable (ditto), and the PCjr Television Adapter (RF modulator).

IBMPCjrAccess.jpg (30099 bytes)

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Last modified: April 17, 2003