Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

AdLib Sound Card: The PC finds its voice

Early IBM PC games were like bad silent movies.

Most PC clones shipped with a monochrome display card or a dismal CGA graphics card that generated four hideous pastel shades. When it came to generating sound, the PC was limited to pathetic bleeps from a tinny internal speaker. There was no comparison to "gaming" machines like the Commodore 64, which offered a custom graphics chip and programmable three-channel analog audio synthesizer.

Unbelievably, the silent era continued until the late 1980s. Everything changed when Martin Prevel, a university professor in Quebec, created a low cost ISA card featuring a 9-voice Yamaha YM3812 FM synthesis sound chip in 1987. Suddenly, the PC could sing. The only problem was that no one was at all interested.

Everything changed when Sierra Online began adding AdLib support to their titles, which included the Massively popular King's Quest (over 3 million copies sold). Within a year, the AdLib card was everywhere. Unfortunately, its success was short lived. A tiny Singapore-based company called Creative quickly supplanted AdLib by releasing the SoundBlaster, which offered an 11-voice FM synth chip along with a single PCM sample playback channel to generate "real" sounds. AdLib was forced into bankruptcy in 1992 when their upgraded AdLib Gold card failed to grab market share.

Check out AdLib's 1990 catalog


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...