Retrocomputing Stack Exchange by Kiwix

Q&A for vintage-computer hobbyists interested in restoring, preserving, and using the classic computer and gaming systems of yesteryear

Most popular questions

404 Why did moving the mouse cursor cause Windows 95 to run more quickly? 2019-07-01T06:45:31.650

167 What algorithm did Microsoft use to dither colour in early versions of Windows? 2016-12-08T00:34:45.623

124 It's now safe to turn off your computer 2018-06-20T07:19:12.160

118 Why is the keyboard and cellphone / telephone numbers in a different order? 2020-07-13T11:22:36.660

116 How did Commodore's anti-Microsoft Easter Egg work? 2017-08-02T16:45:40.330

104 Was there ever any reason to wait 30 seconds to restart a c.1995 PC? 2018-02-05T08:56:50.713

98 How can tilting a N64 cartridge cause such subtle glitches? 2016-11-01T15:41:45.140

98 Does "Disk Operating System" imply that there was a "non-disk" Operating System? 2017-03-05T01:50:56.133

92 How was early randomness generated? 2017-02-05T10:22:30.750

92 Were there 8086 coprocessors other than the 8087? 2017-03-06T13:36:23.223

92 Why did MS-DOS applications built using Turbo Pascal fail to start with a division by zero error on faster systems? 2019-08-21T11:22:16.083

91 How did people use ed? 2018-01-03T22:11:55.383

90 Why would a NES game use an undocumented 1-byte or 2-byte NOP in production? 2016-12-04T04:21:22.730

87 Have programming languages driven hardware development? 2019-01-21T22:53:07.017

86 What key factor led to the sudden commercial success of MS Windows with v3.0? 2017-03-02T21:26:51.780

83 Why was BASIC built into so many operating systems? 2016-05-11T20:20:20.267

82 Why do C to Z80 compilers produce poor code? 2018-03-28T11:42:00.260

81 Why did modems have speakers? 2019-07-22T16:30:21.903

80 Is there any code in Firefox (as of 2020) that comes from Netscape Navigator? 2020-03-27T11:45:04.367

78 Why were CLIs typically light text on dark background, whereas GUIs typically use(d) dark text on light background? 2018-09-14T20:23:16.437

77 Why does the Minus World exist? 2016-11-06T19:31:09.187

77 Why does part of the Windows 98 Setup program look older than the rest? 2020-05-24T13:13:23.477

76 How did Windows 3.1 implement multitasking? 2016-06-07T23:25:40.107

75 Back in the late 1980s, how was commercial software for 8-bit home computers developed? 2019-01-30T07:20:47.560

75 Exactly what color was the text on monochrome terminals with green-on-black and amber-on-black screens? 2019-11-21T04:26:46.270

73 Did any 8-bit computer system / OS have concepts for concurrency and multitasking like we know from today? 2017-08-22T17:27:58.983

70 How were the first ZX Spectrum games written? 2017-07-16T14:01:31.373

70 What technological factors drove the rise of "high-speed" modems in the early 1990s? 2017-11-22T15:25:40.757

70 What made Windows ME so crash-prone? 2019-07-14T08:21:28.693

70 Why is the processor instruction called "move", not "copy"? 2019-12-05T23:34:06.217

69 Why did Unix use slash as the directory separator? 2018-07-12T17:07:43.983

69 Why wasn't ASCII designed with a contiguous alphanumeric character order? 2019-06-26T01:18:16.677

68 Why did IBM make the PC BIOS source code public? 2019-08-13T13:27:39.190

68 How much better was DEC Alpha than contemporary x86? 2020-02-06T13:44:22.230

66 Did Apple not originally allow anyone to develop software for the Macintosh? 2017-03-21T00:13:55.943

65 What character is the MS-DOS cursor? 2018-01-31T19:15:23.403

65 How was C ported to architectures that had no hardware stack? 2018-08-06T12:24:39.133

64 Where did the popularity of the `i` variable come from? 2016-11-30T23:54:12.170

63 Is it safe to turn on a 40-year old TRS-80? 2018-01-17T12:53:10.207

63 Back in 1984 I wrote some games for Spectrum - Will they still be playable? 2020-08-16T18:51:06.343

62 Why did some early CPUs use external math chips? 2018-04-04T08:15:41.130

61 What's the story behind the name "X11"? 2017-06-07T08:25:19.567

61 How was copying prevented when the first CD-ROM games were introduced? 2018-11-30T15:25:16.283

60 Why did DOS use dollar-terminated strings? 2018-09-19T17:19:27.563

60 What makes accurate emulation of old systems a difficult task? 2019-04-25T06:53:41.167

59 Why are a lot of monochrome computer monitors green? 2016-06-01T23:40:22.113

59 How exactly does Sonic & Knuckles' 'Lock-On Technology' work? 2016-09-26T13:38:28.773

59 Why did F1 become the Help Key? 2018-06-14T14:05:51.330

59 Were later MS-DOS versions still implemented in x86 assembly? 2018-10-07T09:16:19.353

59 Why did C use the -> operator instead of reusing the . operator? 2019-04-24T15:44:54.880


  All tags