Part 1

386SX - 16MHz (1991-1994)

Under Construction

The PAP DX Computer started its life in November 1991 in Birmingham as an Intel 386SX based machine running at 16MHz from DAN Technology. Its basic features then were:


Some of the software running on it at its initial stage were:

The first work done on it on its first night, was some experimentation with DrawPerfect, and the construction of an Animator movie to greet the user on boot-up (WELCOME TO THE PAP DX COMPUTER). The boot up process gradually evolved to a DOS Menu listing the available programs (divided into APPLICATIONS and GAMES) and driven by batch files. For example, PC TOOLS would be invoked by typing PCTOOLS (which would launch PCTOOLS.BAT) or 1 (which would invoke 1.BAT). Although Microsoft Windows was there there was not much use for it (apart from maybe the Calculator), especially since there was no mouse in the early days. The only external Windows application installed was a ToolBook Demo.

New hardware was added within a few days. It was a Canon BJ-10e printer. In January 1992 a Logitech 3-button mouse was to follow.

The PAP DX Computer went into storage in late May 1992, at a Lloyds Bank branch in Birmingham. It was finally moved to London in December 1992. It would stay with the same configuration for nearly a year. However there were new software additions, featuring SUPERSTOR (data compression software on both hard disks) and two games which would prove to be really popular: WINTER CHALLENGE and SUMMER CHALLENGE. Around May 1993 BOOT.SYS was added. This was software that provided a choice of different configuration during boot-up and it proved to be rather useful at that time given the computer's memory constraints (It was still running on 1 MB of RAM). The following were the choices on the first menu used with BOOT.SYS:

  1. DOS




There was no numeric co-processor on The PAP DX Computer. However, using a 387 co-processor emulator called FRANKE it was able to run AUTOCAD. FRANKE had to be loaded in CONFIG.SYS, that's why it was chosen as one of the configuration options in the BOOT.SYS menu.


To be continued...

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