286 vs 386SX

286 vs 386SX

The Intel 386 SX CPU quickly replaced the 286 CPU in the early 1990s. For a time, it was a very popular CPU, especially for people who were wanting to run Microsoft Windows. Yet the two CPUs run at nearly identical speed. So what was the big deal? The 286 vs 386SX argument could be confusing in 1991, and it’s not much clearer today.
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Refurbish a vintage ball mouse

I wanted a mouse for my IBM 5170 and my 386DX-33 systems, but both of them need a serial mouse. I mean old school RS-232 serial, not USB. Finding a serial optical mouse isn’t easy. Plus I wanted something that would look the part. I got an early 90s Microsoft mouse that matches the end of the 286/386 era, but it worked badly. So I had to learn again how to refurbish a vintage ball mouse.

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What was MR BIOS?

What was MR BIOS?

In the summer of 2021, Youtuber Adrian Black was restoring an IBM 5170. And he lamented that he wasn’t able to get all of the original parts working together and have a machine that would do what he wanted. It wasn’t a pure IBM 5170 anymore. One of the things he did was put a Phoenix BIOS in it, which received mixed reactions. But that brought to mind another option someone who needed to soup up a 5170 in the late 80s could have used: MR BIOS. What was MR BIOS?

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