PCs and clones

The first IBM PCs, released in 1981, had poor graphics capability, simple beeper and not outstanding Intel 8088 CPU. It had (usually two) 160kB floppy disk drives and could run ported CP/M or PC-DOS with their 128-640kB of RAM. What made them popular was their open architecture - the only thing manufacturer had to buy was IBM BIOS license. Later other companies started to make their own BIOS versions compatible with IBM, sometimes much more configurable than original one. In 1980s and 1990s many companies made their own IBM-compatible (or almost compatible) computers and sold under different names.
PC became popular in offices, homes and industrial systems. Its architecture oriented around ISA bus was expandable and many expansions have been developed. Early PCs were usually more or less software-compatible with IBM PC, but sometimes hardware was much different than in original.
Today (2015) PCs are still used and there is a big chance that you are reading this page using one. Unfortunately ther are not so free anymore, as proprietary, undocumented chipsets are used and simple, assembly-code BIOS (there are even open-source BIOSes for PC) has been replaced by EFI - a security problem at the hardware level. To run some operating systems on the newest PC platforms, systems must be confirmed by commercial organizations, this is called "Secure boot" (but much better name is "protection money"). PC started as open architecture, but will end as proprietary one.

Here you can see that there are many ways to build PC, and PC, PC-compatible and DOS-compatible are totally different things. You can also see interesting expansions and devices for PCs.

To know what to look for when you open an old PC, go to PC FAQ.

Personal Computers

Manufacturer Model Type
IBM PS/2 Model 30-286 Intel 286,10MHz +FPU
IBM PS/2 Model 70-486 Intel 486, 25MHz
IBM PS/1 Model 2121 AT, 386 16MHz
IBM PS/1 Model 2123 AT, 386 20MHz
IBM PS/1 Model 2168 AT, 486DX2 50MHz
Robotron A7100 XT-Like, 8086, 5MHz
Robotron A7150 (CM1910) XT-Like, 8086+87, 5MHz
Robotron EC1834 XT, 8086, 5MHz
Elwro 801AT (parts) AT 286, 8/12 MHz
Siemens PC-D XT, 80186, 8MHz
Siemens T 1200CT (CPU only) XT, 8088, 8MHz
Commodore PC-10 Model 9100-00 XT, 8088, 4.77MHz
Commodore PC-20 III XT, 8086, 9.54MHz
Tandy 1000EX XT, 8088, 7MHz
Amstrad PC1512 SD XT, 8086, 8MHz
Amstrad PC2086/30 XT, 8086, 8MHz
Schneider Euro PC II XT, 8088 9.54MHz
Vendex HeadStart Explorer XT, 8088, 8MHz?
Vendex HeadStart Plus XT, 8086, 8MHz
California Access CA286 AT, 286, 12MHz
Philips PCD 200 AT, 286, 12MHz
Optimus Optimus 286 AT, 286, 20MHz
Datavan LAN Station AT, 386/25MHz
Optimus Optimus 486 AT, 486, 50MHz
Compaq Presario CDS510 AT, 486 DX2 66MHz
ALR Proveisa AT, 486DX2/66MHz
Jumptec + Cecomm? MKS w. 4 AT, AMD 5x86, 75MHz
Commodore / Web Computers Commodore 64 Web.it AMD Elan, 66-100MHz
Adax ML 100MHz Pentium 100MHz
Siemens Scenic D6 333 Celeron 333MHz
Zenith-Bull Express5800 LS2400 Pentium II 350MHz
Neoware Capio 508 CP4A NS Geode 300MHz
Neoware Capio C50 CA15 VIA Samuel 2 400MHz
Compaq Clipper IA-1 AMd K6-2 266MHz
IBM Personal Computer 300/PL Pentium III 667MHz
Nec PowerMate ES Slimline Pentium III 800MHz
Dell PowerEdge SC1425 2x Xeon 3GHz

Other non-PC-compatible workstations

Manufacturer Model Type
Sun Ultra 1 RISC SPARC
IBM Power Series 850 PowerPC (RS/6000)

Other, non-branded PC clones


Accessories and components:


Manufacturer Model Type
Mera BÅ‚onie D-100E/PC Dot matrix printer
Epson LX-300 Dot matrix printer
Hgihscreen MP-600 Dot matrix printer
Epson FX-1170 Dot matrix printer
OKI Microline 321 Dot matrix printer
Canon BJC250 Ink jet printer
Canon BJC2000 Ink jet printer
Biernat Printer ribbon regenerator Regenerating tool


Manufacturer Model Type
Genius GeniScan GS-4500 Handheld scanner
A4Tech A4Scan AS-8000P Handheld scanner
Primax HandScanner 256 Handheld scanner
Mustek CG-8000T Handheld scanner
HP ScanJet 3200C Flatbed scanner
Linotype Saphir Ultra II Flatbed scanner
Plustek/HP/Epson OpticPro U12 and other USB scanners Flatbed scanner


            Page 1 - 1980s and early 90s, MDA, CGA, Hercules.
            Page 2 - 1990s, VGA.
            Page 3 - Late 90s and 2000s - end of CRT era.

    Input devices: Keyboards and accessories:

Manufacturer Model Type
?BT? Keyboard splitter Keyboard splitter
Logic Controls KB3000 Programmable Keyboard
Promag/Gigatek KB950 Programmable Keyboard
Preh Commander MC84 Programmable Keyboard
Compaq Server keyborad Keyboard
Senjin Small keyborad Keyboard
Microsoft, BTC, other Ergonomic keyborad Keyboard

Input devices: Mice:

            Page 1 - 1980s and early 90s
            Page 2 - mid-90s to early 2000s
            Page 3 - 2000 and onwards

Input devices: Other:

Manufacturer Model Type
Genius EasyPen Tablet
AceCAD CAD Tablet Tablet


    Connectivity: Printer switches and converters:

Manufacturer Model Type
Various Mechanical switches Printer switch
Accodata Serial printer switch Printer switch
Lindy Centronics switch Printer switch
?? Serial-parallel converter Port converter
ALMA Switch-buffer Printer buffer
Contec BU-Mini Serial port buffer

    Connectivity: KVM Switches:

Manufacturer Model Type
Various Mechanical switches KVM/KV
Maxxtro CAS-421 CPU Switch KVM
NewStar NS-231 KVM
Aten/Digitus CS-84A KVM
Aten MasterView CS-128 KVM

    Connectivity: Modems:

Manufacturer Model Type
IBM 7857-017 V.32bis modem
ZyXel Elite 2864 V.34bis modem
Siemens? CPV V.32bis V.32bis modem
ZyXel U-336E V.90 modem

    Connectivity: Other and local networks:

Manufacturer Model Type
Planet IR100 Smart IP Router LAN Router
Various Network transceivers Network modules
Pentagram FreeQall VoIP Gate


    Service/diagnostic tools:

Manufacturer Model Type
Intel Socket test tool for Pentium Service tool
Hua Tong Electronics? ISA/PCI test card Service tool


    Other devices:

Manufacturer Model Type
APC Back-UPS 400 Power supply
AITech Pocket Scan Converter PSC-1106 Video converter
GrandTech Grand Video Console Video converter


Interesting PC components


        - 386 and 486 clones
        - Evolution of Pentium form factor
        - Pentium alternatives
        - The Geode
        - Slot 1 CPUs

  Memory boards - what they are and where are they used?   

Other boards, unidentified, dedicated, controllers
Tulip 286 PC on ISA board

Video boards for ISA, VLB and PCI
Multimedia and TV boards