IBM Portable Personal Computer (and other things)

From: Mike Allison <>
Date: Mon Jan 26 14:46:10 1998

I wouldn't know if my 3270pc is original or not, but there's no extended


> From:
> To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
> Subject: Re[2]: IBM Portable Personal Computer (and other things)
> Date: Monday, January 26, 1998 10:44 AM
> > I'm not that impressed with the 3270pc. I bought it because I wanted
> > stuff out of it, but it was all pretty much proprietary (and covered
> > in dust and old) lots of wire wrapping and jumpers, so I just left it
> > alone. Now I use it to test Linux-16.
> >
> > The REAL question is, if IBM used these as terminals which could run
> > software, what did they have in them allowing them to use the network
> > ports? I mean that was 1984, DOS might have had some hooks, but they
> > would have sold it.
> >
> > Were these running XENIX/86, CPM86, or what? Anyone know? Anyone have

> > the software...
> Um. As I recall, when you booted a 3270PC, it booted MS-DOS from the
> hard disk as usual. Early on in the boot procedure, it loaded some sort
> of 3270-terminal-operating-system which grabbed some memory somewhere,
> locked DOS out of it somehow and REBOOTED. DOS then loaded normally
> UNDERNEATH the terminal program.
> The 3270 PC had some extra keys on the keyboard - the function keys (24
> of them) were where they are on a modern PC keyboard, but there was a
> block of keys where they were on the original PC keyboard. These keys
> did things like switch between your terminal session and your PC
> session. The keyboard plugged into the terminal card as well as the
> keyboard port, BTW - I think the terminal card filtered out stuff that
> wasn't meant for the DOS session. The point was, DOS never knew about
> the terminal unless you specifically piped data through the terminal
> program.
Received on Mon Jan 26 1998 - 14:46:10 GMT

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