02 December 2005

Retro-Computing on an NEC Powermate 2

So, , while I was at home I turned on my NEC Powermate 2+ (which was purchased in 1987 and has an Intel 80286 processor running at 10 Mhz) It runs WordPerfect 5.1, and used to be able to run Windows 3.1 The reason I say "used to" is because of a fire inside the computer which killed the extended memory card.
The story is:
I was looking up the stairs in my house, and noticed my cat staring upstairs into my room, which was unusual. I decided it might be worth investigating, and walked upstairs to discover a cloud of smoke coming from the computer, along with a strong smell of burnt electronics. The extended memory card had shorted and caught fire. That was the end of the extended memory card, and the end of Windows 3.1 on that computer (which requires extended memory to run). Now it runs DOS 5.0.
Anyway, I played some retro games on the computer, including Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego, and a game called Intel Memory Hog Hunter. Intel Memory Hog Hunter is essentially like Pac-Man, only Pac-Man is an Intel circuit board, and the ghosts are hogs. The object is to try to catch the hogs and keep them away from the memory chips, you "win" software, it's neat to see the ancient designs for Software (Windows 286, WordPerfect, Lotus 123, etc.) Eventually the game starts to get very slooowwww because it can't handle moving all the hogs around.

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