Cutting Through the Hype About 56K Modems

This article was first published in September 1997 when two different protocols for 56k throughput, X2 and K56flex, were competing. Starting in March 1998, v.90 was developed to replace these competing protocols and provide a single standard for 56k modems. v.90 was finalized in February 1999. This article was last updated at about that time, […]

LibreOffice: A Free Alternative to Microsoft Office and AppleWorks

LibreOffice is a free alternative to the not-inexpensive Microsoft Office suite. I’m using it to replace AppleWorks, which I’ve been using since ClarisWorks 1.0 shipped back in the System 7.0 era. Unfortunately, AppleWorks is incompatible with OS X 10.7 Lion and later, so I’ve had to find an alternative since installing OS X 10.9 Mavericks […]

CPUs: Intel 80486

From the 8080 through the 80386, CPUs gained most of its improved performance from greater clock speed and a wider data bus. With the next generation, released in 1989 and 1990 respectively, both Intel and Motorola (in their 680×0 family) worked on making their processors more efficient.

CPUs: Intel 80386 and 80386SX

The 80386 initially shipped at 16 MHz with sample quantities in October 1985 and release to manufacture in early 1986. At 16 MHz, it has a higher clock speed than any Intel version of the 80286. Although the ‘386 includes the same addressing modes as the 8086 and ‘286, it also included new addressing modes, including one […]

CPUs: Intel 80286

Intel’s 80286 CPU, introduced in February 1984, was the first big step forward from the 8088 CPU used in the original IBM PC and a host of PC compatibles.

CPUs: Intel 8086 and 8088

The IBM PC of August 1981 was build around Intel’s 8088 processor, a CPU released over two years earlier in June 1979. The 8088 itself was designed as a version of Intel’s 16-bit 8086, but on an 8-bit bus instead of a 16-bit bus. Although this made the 8088 a bit less efficient than the 8086, it […]

CPUs: Intel 8080 and Zilog Z-80

Although the Intel 8080 never ran MS-DOS, it is the direct predecessor of the 8086 and 8088 CPUs used in the first IBM PC. The 2 MHz 8080 was released on April 1, 1974 and formed the core of the first personal computers, the MITS Altair 8800 and the IMSAI 8080.