More On UPTIME Disk Magazine

I was browsing through an old issue of inCider (November 1986) and came across this ad for UPTIME magazine. As is typical of the time, its very informative!

I’m actually tempted to write to the PO box and see if it is still owned by any of the same people who were working on this 30 years ago. I tried the phone number and it just directs me to a recording that offers a “quick 3 question survey, with select callers being given a free Caribbean cruise for answering.” I hung up before it got any further. Unfortunate, but not unexpected.

Uptime Advertisement inCider 11.86

IBM PC-DOS 6.1 Unboxing – Kind of

Or, Clever, Lazy IT People.

I got a call from a friend of mine the other day to let me know that they were cleaning out an old storage closet at his work. They had found a treasure trove of software from the early 90’s, including a couple of copies of IBM PC-DOS still in the shrink-wrap, and he was wondering if I wanted any of it. So, like any good retro-computing enthusiast, I said that I would take all of it!

He dropped it off for me the other day, and I finally got to dig in – so I present to you an IBM PC-DOS 6.1 Unboxing!

2015-11-26 20.34.51This is a very substantial box. It weighed in at 4.1 pounds – almost as much as the laptop that I’m writing this on. Let’s crack this open and see what’s inside.

2015-11-26 20.38.26First up, it looks like they included a friendly manual. (A $21.95 value!) That was nice of them! A quick flip through suggests that they’re trying to make DOS as user friendly as possible. (Well, as much as you can for DOS anyways).

2015-11-26 20.34.19The license agreement. This is a little more of what I was expecting. Very boilerplate, and surprisingly liberal. You’re even allowed to make a backup copy and transfer your license. My, how times have changed!

2015-11-26 20.34.34More detailed license info, including specs system requirements, and even the chance to win a ThinkPad! (if you registered by July 5, 1994)

2015-11-26 20.35.31Next up, the installation guide. Thin, straightforward, and surprisingly friendly (at least for a tech guy).

2015-11-26 20.35.48This one is much more reference-y. Also about an inch thick. Covers every single command built into DOS, including an exhaustively detailed explanation of the parameters and switches. Very useful, but not exactly bedtime reading.

2015-11-26 20.36.00The next one is about SuperStor/DS – an optional compression tool included with DOS. Useful for certain people, but I see why they didn’t include it in the main manual.

2015-11-26 20.36.08Another inch-thick book – this time on how to do just about anything in DOS. I’m not sure why they effectively included two users manuals in the box, but I guess that this is the more technical, in-depth one for DOS power users.

2015-11-26 20.36.19That’s it? What about the disks!?

2015-11-26 20.36.27Oh, I see.

2015-11-26 20.36.34It looks like the IT folks, being clever and lazy like IT folks are (well, we prefer the term efficient) figured out that IBM packed the disks at the bottom of the box. So, not needing the manuals, they just sliced open the box through the shrink-wrap, slid the disks out, and put the boxes in storage, not even bothering to remove the shrink wrap and open the box.

All in all, there were 3 copies of PC-DOS 6.1 – all opened in the same way, 4 Copies of Windows 3.1, and 3 Copies of Microsoft Office 4, among others. Unfortunately, it turned out to be almost all manuals. I scored a complete copy of IBM PC-DOS 4.0 and WordPerfect 5.1 upgrade, and some fun monitor tents that will be the subject of a later post, but aside from that it was a bust. But, you win some, you lose some, and at the end of the day it was all free and I’m grateful to my friend for thinking of me.

Better luck next time, I hope. For the moment, though, I’ve still got all of the manuals. Anyone interested in taking them off my hands?

Apple II Disk Images: SofTyme Volume 10 Number 6

Every time I miss a week, it turns into 2 weeks, then 3, then before you know it, 3 months have gone by. Well, better than the almost year from the last time I took a break.

So, where were we? Shortly after my last post, I had to tear down my system due to the space that I was using for it being needed for something else. But, I had gotten about two dozen disks archived by then, and they’ve just been sitting there waiting for me to upload. (And I have a large box that still needs to be imaged – just got another 100ish 3.5″ floppies the other day too). So lets start looking at disk images.

First, though, I want to show off a picture of my imaging setup!

2015-08-04-14.33.45ADTPro is running on the MacBook in the dock beside the printer, and is hooked up to the IIGS by USB to serial cable. I’ve got a wireless mouse beside the IIGS to and manage the transfers. For fun, I also hooked up the 5th monitor (I’ve got 4 normally) beside the IIGS so that I could read stuff while I was swapping out disks. Unfortunately, that desk is in use now, so I had to tear the system down.

Anyways, I’ve been promising disk images for far too long and haven’t delivered, so let’s get started with SofTyme Volume X Number 6 (Side A) (Side B)

Softyme Vol. 10 No. 6

I wasn’t able to find much information on the Internet on this one, but it looks like it was one of many disk magazines that was published in the 80’s and 90’s before the rise of the Internet.

SoftTymeWhile it may not have been all that notable, it was popular enough to run for at least 10 years. (Assuming from the volume X on the ones that I have), and may have ultimately morphed into the Apple II version UpTime Magazine around Volume 11 Issue 2 or 3.

I suspect that this is the case, as I have SofTyme Volume 11 Issue 1, and UpTime Volume 11 Issue 3, and they are incredibly similar, sharing the same cover style, layout, mailing address, and much of the staff.

UptimeAnyways, I’ll update this if I learn more.

SofTyme takes up both sides of the disk, with A cover page, editorial, and feature sections on the front side, as well as advertising information, a classifieds section, and a number of programs, with the feature program being “Home Budget”.

Softyme TOCOther programs on this disk include:

  • Jousting
  • Flying Gammits
  • Auto Program
  • Take A Tour
  • Inventory
  • Voltaire
  • French Military
  • Marooned
  • Graphix Fun

There is also “The Flip Side” which is an entry point for flipping the disk. Its back side contains additional programs, this month featuring “Paul Zelman’s Shamrocks”. Unfortunately, the disk that I have appears to have been written with side A on both sides, so I don’t have a copy of the “Flip Side” for this one.

So, that’s it for this one. Download the disk imagesĀ (Side A) (Side B), grab an emulator like Sweet 16 and try them out. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

What comes next? I’ve still got a pile of disk images, I have an SE/30 sitting on the desk beside me that needs a bit of love, and I just made what feels like a big score on eBay. I’m sure that I’ll find something to write about!