Had many machines over the years, from 8086 to I7 and just about everything inbetween, but never had an 8088… Well that changes a few weeks ago when I bagged a PC10-III from eBay. It was a little beaten up, case was dirty and plastics were faded but I took a chance.
It arrived and I wanted to plug it in straight away but HOLD ON there boy! Firstly I opened the case and took a look inside, see what we have in there, is there anything obviously bad with it? Sometimes you see boards coated with battery juice, broken wires, dead bugs, all sorts really! Even found a a bit of cardboard from a box of sweets jamed into a fan to stop it turning, found out later the beards has gone and that was a quick way ot keeping it quiet!
A lovely clean motherboard with no obvious damage!
Lets have a hunt around. So the main event, so to speak, is the 8088, what all this fuss has been about:
The original 8088 CPU… Back in the day when boards did’nt need headsinks! Everyting looks ok, no damanged wires and not much dirt inside, time to re-assemble it and try a boot! By the way, one thing you should always check is that the AC voltage is correct. In the UK it is 240V ac and that matches the back of the unit:
So lets stop messing about the crank it up! <Click> <Whirr>… She boots! There are some beeps and the fan starts… Oh yeah, the fan grinds and whines, making a nasty noise but everything seems to work ok. No magic smoke, no nasty smells, looks ok. The Commodore PC10 is an XT machine so uses an XT keyboard, which I don’t have currently, more on that later.
The output of the PC10 is either a 9-pin digital or composite video RCA output. For now I will stuck with the composite video as I dont have a CGA monitor any more. Plugged in a TV/monitor and the output is all messed up. Fiddling with the dip switches on the back I selected Colour mode and vola! It works!
At this point I dont have an XT keyboard so Im going to have to figure something out to go further.