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From the Past


In the "olden days" of computing, computer systems cost a lot of money. The IBM XT cost $7545.00 (list price--Source: IBM Canada) . This lead to an attempt by purchasers to get as much performance out of a system as they could for as little money as they could. Many of the text files describe how they did that. Other text files reflect the method of computer-based communication of the time. There's a listing of BBS phone numbers, and a bit of a rant by a BBS sysop.

So far, all the text files here have been contributed by Walter De Groot (but not written by him.) He has added the original file date at the top of many files, so you have a reference point in history. If you need to contact him, please visit the Forums.

You can follow the link to read most files, but some files your system will try to read with an external program. To avoid this, you can bring up the link menu and select "Save this file as" and then open it in a text editor such as Notepad or SimpleText.


BBS - anything related to BBSes
Cables - cables and connectors
Communications - documents related to communication devices
Creative Stuff - files that are perhaps not computer related but fun to read none-the-less
DOS - files relating directly to MS-DOS, PC-DOS, or 4DOS
drives - files related to hard drives, floppy drives, or their controllers
File Formats - files related to file formats, such as .arc or format conversion
Hardware - general hardware hacks and upgrades (see also drives and cables)
Miscellanious - various things without specific categories
Software - the primary focus is software
System - system information such as BIOS beep codes


File name
bbs/800BBS.DOC A listing of 800 numbers for various BBSes.
bbs/800BBS.TXT A listing of 800 numbers for various BBSes.
bbs/ABUSIVE Description of the abusive behavior of BBS users by a SysOp.
bbs/BBS800.TXT A listing of 800 numbers for various BBSes.
bbs/BEASYSOP.TXT How to become a BBS SysOp... Or a view of what really goes on.
bbs/BUSTED.TXT Messages related to a BBS that was shut down for piracy.
bbs/CONFIRM.TXT A document that a BBS used to confirm you were someone who wanted access and not a troll.
bbs/DIRTYDOZ.005 A list of files that are either viruses, pirated, or hacked.
bbs/FONELIST.TXT A listing of access numbers for various BBSes.
bbs/PCTURBO.TXT This document describes the problems with a PC Turbo from the company PC's Limited.
bbs/SEA-HD wdegroot asking a question about a Seagate drive.
bbs/SOUPCAN.BBS Some ASCII art that tells you where you got the file.


File name
cables/ATPINS.DOC How to make a DB9 to DB25 cable (9-pin serial(pc) to 25-pin serial(external modem))
cables/PARALLEL.TXT Wiring Diagram for Bidirectional Parallel Cable.
cables/PARWRAP.TXT Shows how to make a parallel port wrap plug (for ast boards).
cables/PIN-CABL.TXT A description of what the pins do for various old hard drive forms. ST-506, ESDI, MFM/RLL and SCSI hard drives are referred to.
cables/SERWRAP.TXT Shows how to make a serial port wrap plug (for ast boards).
cables/WIRE.TXT How to wire a 10BaseT network
cables/XTR_NULL.DOC Shows how to build a null modem cable connection that works with XTreeLink.


File name
communication/16650.TXT What is the 16550 and how can it benefit communications?
communication/BIT-BA.TXT When is a Baud not a Bit? A data communications tutorial by James A. Walker
communication/CABLE How to make a LapLink Serial Cable (Null Modem cable)
communication/CALLWAIT.BAS This is one way to solve the problem of Call Waiting interrupting a communications session.
communication/NULLMOD.TXT Wiring diagram for various null model connections.
communication/ZEES.DOC Tells how to install ZMODEM in PROCOMM PLUS or PROCOMM 2.4.2
communication/ZHOWTO Describes how to install and use the zmodem file transfer protocol. List some files that are needed.

Creative Stuff

File name
creativestuff/ARI.TXT Abort, Retry, Ignore? A poem talking about this error message.
creativestuff/DOS-10.TXT Dos 10 commandments.
creativestuff/STAFF.BAS Music score paper program for the Epson series of printers. (Requires Microsoft Basic.)
creativestuff/TIC-TAC.ZIP A zip file containing a Tic-Tac-Toe game written using a batch file. Does not work with every system.
creativestuff/WHOS-1ST.TXT The text to "Who's on First" by Abbott and Costello.


File name
dos/4DOS.TIP Describes some changes from DOS to 4DOS as well as gives some advice on what not to do.
dos/6-2MENU.TXT How to create a boot menu on Dos 6.
dos/BDRIVE.TXT Patching MS-DOS 3.3 to allow use of DRIVPARM
dos/COLOR.TXT How to use colors from the DOS command prompt.
dos/DESCRIP.TXT The readme file concerning MS-DOS 6.22 step up program.
dos/DOS31.DOC A description of undocumented features in Dos 3.10.
dos/DOS31.PAT A note on some patches were attained from.
dos/DOS31V2.PAT Patches and descriptions for Dos 3.1 from CompuServ IBMPC SIG users group.
dos/DOS32.PAT Patches and descriptions for Dos 3.2.
dos/DOS32FU.TXT Describes problems with PC-DOS 3.2 reading MS-DOS formatted disks.
dos/DOS33.PAT Patches and descriptions for Dos 3.3.
dos/DOS33.TXT Dos 3.3 patches.
dos/DOS330.BUG Describes a bug regarding bad sectors in Dos 3.3.
dos/DOS4BUGS.TXT A list of bugs found in Dos 4. (Does not specify MS-DOS or PC-DOS.)
dos/DOS5.TEC Compatibility note from Quarterdeck about its programs and Dos 5.
dos/DOS50.DOC What will be new in Dos 5.0? An anonymous user tells the public what is being planned.
dos/DOS5CMD.TXT Dos 5 commands and what they do. (Excellent thing to print out!)
dos/DOS6HLP.TXT Dos 6 commands and what they do. (Excellent thing to print out!)
dos/DOS6MENU.HLP How to do the Dos 6 boot menus.
dos/DOS6TEC This [like dos5.tec?] was a release from Quarterdeck about Dos 6. The news is it will work.
dos/DOS6TIP.TXT Note about mirror and recover options that were removed from DOS 6.
dos/DOS6WARN.TXT A warning against using the defrag program that came with DOs 6.0.
dos/HARD-D.PAT How to convert from 4k clusers to 2k clusters.
dos/MSDOS6.TEC Quarterdeck compatibility readme for MS-DOS 6 and EMM-386.
dos/NEWFOR62.TXT Why should you step up to MS-DOS 6.22?
dos/PC869KB.TXT What is high memory, why should I care, and how do I use it?
dos/README.PLS Patches for IBM DOS 3.3 addendum.
dos/README.TXT MS-DOS 5.0 readme file.
dos/XCOPY.PAT How to make XCOPY work with all versions of DOS.

DOS Batch Files

File name


File name
drives/2072.TXT Installation guide for the ACB-2072.
drives/20MEG.FMT How to low-level format common 20 MB drives.
drives/251-WARN.TXT A warning about a potentially defective ST-251 drive.
drives/3AT-HD.TXT How to install a 3rd MFM hard drive in a computer.
drives/3MFM.TXT How to install 3 or more hard disks in a computer.
drives/4HDISKS.TXT How to install 3 or more hard disks in a computer.
drives/ADDCTLR The readme file for the PS200IO.bin file with a RLL drive controller.
drives/ATDRTABL.DOC A listing of drive types 0-23 on the AT.
drives/ATDSK.DOC How to read a Double density disk in the IBM AT's new High Density drive.
drives/ATTYPE.TXT IBM AT drive types 0-14.
drives/CONNER.DAT Conner IDE disk reference guide.
drives/DISKTIPSREADME.NOW Readme for the file below.
drives/DISKTIPS.ASC Disk Tips describes some problems with interchanging IBM XT and AT written disks.
drives/EXTRN.DRV How to hook up an external drive to an IBM PS/2.
drives/FLOPPY.MSG How to install a 3.5" floppy drive in an IBM AT.
drives/QUADRIVE.ASC How to install more than 2 floppy drives in a computer.
drives/SEAGATE.TXT Seagate drive setup reference guide.
drives/SLOW3425 A note on how a problem with a drive controller was fixed.
drives/TEAC144.TXT How to install a Teach 1.44MB drive.
drives/TWOHD.TXT A method of installing a second hard disk.
drives/XEBEC.DOC How to set up a hard drive using the XEBEC hard disk controller.
drives/XEBECTEC.DOC Installation and configuration for the XEBEC 1200 series controllers.

File Formats

File name
fileformats/ARCS&LBR.DOC Describes 4 file compression/archive formats (.arc, .zoo, .lbr, and .?Q?)
fileformats/ARCSPACE.TXT How to de-arc files that are too big to fit on one disk.
fileformats/ASC2WS.TXT How to convert from ASCII text to Word Star text.


File name
hardware/386UPGR.TXT How to turn your PC into a true multitasking 80386 machine for $500. (Upgrading from an 8088 or 80286.)
hardware/6PACK2.TXT 6Pack clone multifunction card jumpers and board layout.
hardware/8MEG.TXT How to increase the speed of the 8088 based IBM or compatible to 8 mHz.
hardware/ABSWITCH.TXT Describes the problems using a mechanical switch box and a HP LaserJet.
hardware/AST-3G Jumper Settings for the AST-3G video card.
hardware/AST3G-P Jumper Settings for the AST-3G Plus video card.
hardware/BUILDPC.TXT How to build your own PC.
hardware/CHIPLA.TXT A large (143k) listing of many chips used in computers.
hardware/CLUSTER.TXT 2K Cluster Size for 10MB Fixed Disks under DOS 3.x.
hardware/COOLING.UBC Do it yourself add-on cooling fan for the IBM PC/XT.
hardware/DIAGMEM.TXT Diagnosing Memory Problems.
hardware/PC-ROM Adapter for 2764 EPROM to 24 pin socket for PC/XT roms.
hardware/PCJRTOPC.TXT Instructions to convert an IBM PCjr Color monitor to a Standard DB9 connector.
hardware/PCXT.TXT Converting a 256k IBM PC/XT motherboard to 640k.
hardware/PERSYST Layout of PERSYST memory card for IBM PC/XT.
hardware/RAMERROR.TXT How to diagnose and find bad RAM chips.
hardware/SURGE.DOC How to build a surge supressor. (Naturally, you do this at your own risk.)
hardware/SURPRISE.TXT A description of the Surprise! accellerator card which doubles your speed to 9.54 mHz from 4.77 mHz.
hardware/UPGRADE.TXT How to upgrade your 8088 to a 80386. (See also hardware/386upgr.txt)
hardware/XTMB640K.MOD Another method to upgrade your PC/XT's 256k motherboard to 640k.


File name
misc/ANSI-SC.SCR Unknown--Looks like machine code.
misc/AST A work order for a person's computer.
misc/BCLINTON.TXT A biography of Bill Clinton circa 1996.
misc/BUGTEST.COM A program that's likely to test for bugs in another.
misc/CID.BAS A program to calculate the C.I.D. in engines
misc/COMP-50.SCR Unknown--Looks like machine code.
misc/COMP-BEP.SCR Unknown--Looks like machine code.
misc/DISCARD.TXT In introduction to a site advocating building a computer from unwanted parts.
misc/FIND-HD.SCR Unknown--Looks like machine code.
misc/OFF-ECHO.SCR Unknown--Looks like machine code.
misc/PD0321T.TXT How to remove non-dos partitions with DEBUG
misc/PRINT.SCR Unknown--Looks like machine code.
misc/READBAS.BAS A program to read programs that have not been saved in ASCII format.
misc/TOSHZENI.TXT Comparison of Toshiba 3100 and Zenith SupersPort 286 Laptop Computers


File name
misc/recipies/BROWNIES Brownies.
misc/recipies/COKE Coca-cola. (Perhaps not the recipie they use, but it claims to be Coca-cola.)
misc/recipies/COOKIES.TXT Authentic Mrs. Field's cookies


File name
programs/DE-JET.EXE A program to take the game "JET" and put it in a normal DOS executable.
programs/DE-JET.TXT The documentation for the de-jet program, above.
programs/DEFRAG.BAS A program to defragment your hard drive.
programs/DEFRAG.DOC The documentation for the above defragmentation program.
programs/DOBAT.BAS It's unclear what this does. There's no comments in the code and no accompanying documentation.
programs/DOBAT.DOC A short personal message implying that dobat.bas came from a magazine.
misc/UNDOBAT.BAS A compliment to the dobat.bas above.
programs/MFORMAT.BAT A batch file to format a floppy disk (Providing standard options of size.)
programs/QFORMAT.BAT A batch file to quick format a floppy disk (Providing standard options of size.)
programs/README.NOW The documentation for mformat.bat, qformat.bat, sformat.bat and uformat.bat.
programs/SFORMAT.BAT A batch file to format a floppy disk as a system disk (Provides standard options of size.)
programs/SNIFF.COM A program used by the ?format.bat files
programs/UFORMAT.BAT A batch file that performs an unconditional format on a disk.
programs/ZP.BAT A batch file used to test the speed of a drive.


File name
software/123R3UNP.TXT Unprotect to Lotus 1-2-3 Release 3.
software/2304.TXT Addresses issues between stacker and MS-DOS 6.0.
software/AMIBIOS.PAT Explains why QEMM gives an error with an AMI 3.0 BIOS.
software/APIQUEST.TEC The 10 most commonly asked questions about the DESQview API.
software/BASCOMM.BAS Takes input from the serial port and outputs it to screen.
software/BATS.TXT Introduction to batch file programming.
software/BOGUS.TXT An alert of a trojan horse in PC Write 2.7.
software/BOOKPT.TXT Using Word Perfect to print a book or pamphlet
software/BUGW55.ASC WordStar 5.5 problem reports.
software/CHNAME.TXT The documentation for CHNAME, a file moving/name changing program.
software/CMD320.BAT Patches for Command.com version 3.2
software/COMPAT.DOC Word Perfect 5.1 file compatibility and other answers.
software/CREPORT A Spin-rite report.
software/DBLSPACE.TXT Double Space or Double Trouble? Discusses the use of Double Space drive compression software.
software/MSLOGO.TXT How to remove the Windows logo at start of Windows 3.0.
software/PKXARC.BUG Describes a bug in PKXARC.
software/PRCMBAD.TXT Describes a problem with Procomm and a space in the filename.
software/PRM242.PAT Describes how to fix a stack overflow error in DOS 3.2.
software/STAC62.EXE Stac62 prepares your stacker-compressed disk for an upgrade to MS-DOS 6.2.
software/STAC62.TXT This describes how to use STAC62.
software/UNPCTOOL.LTR Describes an undocumented (and probably unwanted) use of PC-TOOLs.
software/USEANSI.TXT How to use the ansi.sys driver.
software/VIRUS_MY.THS An explanation of viruses and some of the myths around them.
software/WARD.BAS War games auto-dialer for the PC-jr.
software/WARNING.TXT Tells of a false version of PKZIP that was being distributed.
software/WPEV Evaluation of several shareware word processors.
software/WSBUGS.DOC Describes a few bugs in Wordstar 4.0


File name
system/DIAGCODE.DOC Listing of IBM PC Diagnostic Error Codes
system/PHOENIX.TXT List of Phoenix AT ROM BIOS messages.
system/ROMBEEP.DOC ROM beep codes and messages for a Pheonix BIOS.
system/UMB.TXT How to optimise memory with UMBs. (Upper Memory Blocks.)

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