IBM PC Application Demos

Below are selected PCx86 demos of classic IBM PC applications. In many cases, we’ve had to create our own “Demo Disks”, because copies of the original distribution disks are difficult to find, and in some cases (e.g., Executive Suite), the original disks were copy-protected, so we’ve been forced to use a “cracked” copy of the software instead.

A list of all the software available to PCx86 machines can be found in the IBM PC Disk Library.









Creating IBM PC Application Demos

Demos in our Application Archives combine Software Application Manifests with Machine Configurations.

We’ll use the VisiCalc Demo as an example. First, we choose a machine configuration. For VisiCalc, we chose a Model 5150 machine with a Monochrome Display, and then inserted a link to that machine in the demo’s manifest:

<machine href="/devices/pcx86/machine/5150/mda/64kb/machine.xml"/>

Next, the manifest requires a disk image containing the VisiCalc program (VC.COM). We used the DiskDump module to create that disk image:

cd apps/pcx86/1981/visicalc
node ../../../../modules/diskdump/bin/diskdump --dir=archive/visicalc.81 --format=json --output=VISICALC1981.json --manifest

The DiskDump command creates a disk image named VISICALC1981.json containing the files the archive/visicalc.81 subdirectory (ie, VC.COM) and automatically added that disk image to the demo’s manifest:

<disk id="disk01" chs="40:1:8" dir="archive/visicalc.81" href="/apps/pcx86/1981/visicalc/VISICALC1981.json" md5="5b77efdfb86aa747edb49811db75021d" md5json="b1a45cb769cf04daa259263a92bacf16">
	<name>VisiCalc (1981)</name>
	<file size="27520" time="1981-12-16 23:00:00" attr="0x20" md5="28997dfedb2440c6054d8be835be8634">VC.COM</file>
	<link href="">VisiCalc License</link>

Now that the manifest contains a disk image, we were able to add the manifest to our set of Sample Disks:

<manifest ref="/apps/pcx86/1981/visicalc/manifest.xml"/>

Next, we started a version of our chosen machine that’s also configured to use the Debugger, by loading the following machine.xml into a web browser (it’s assumed the Node web server is already running on port 8088):


Then we booted DOS, loaded the VisiCalc disk, ran VisiCalc, pressed the Debugger’s “Halt” button, pressed “Clear” to clear the Debugger’s output window, and typed the following Debugger command:

d state

We copied-and-pasted the entire contents of the Debugger’s output window into a file named “state.json”, and then updated the <machine> entry in the manifest:

<machine href="/devices/pcx86/machine/5150/mda/64kb/machine.xml" state="/apps/pcx86/1981/visicalc/state.json"/>

It’s important to use a state file only with the machine configuration it was created with; in this case, we’re OK, because the only difference between the two chosen Model 5150 machines is the addition of the Debugger.