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A Sound Card Before Its Time | OS/2 Museum

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Original source (www.os2museum.com)
Tags: hardware audio ibm 1985 1988 soundcard ahead-of-its-time
Clipped on: 2018-08-16
OS/2, vintage PC computing, and random musings
Image (Asset 1/6) alt= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmseZSm8KEs

It’s not mentioned by name, but could give some context:
http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/speechreco/breakthroughs/

Curiously the IBM Voice Communication Adapter was supported in “IBM 3270 Personal Computer AT” and “IBM 3270 PC (5271)” now I wonder what would one do with such configuration.

In a site that was mentioned in a comment before there is a “IBM Voice Communications Adaptor AT Diagnostic Disk”, you could at least try that.

Could be interesting make a driver for that card. Probably every time that a sound is played every other thing stops.

  • Image (Asset 2/6) alt= https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=23772&start=20#p284517

    Regarding this though:

    “…the 1986 Covox Speech Thing, which was the first widespread PC digital audio accessory.”

    Wikipedia gets an “F” for this oft-cited bit of Internet-era misattribution.

    The Speech Thing was released in “late 1987,” according to Covox:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/message/raw?msg=comp.sys.ibm.pc.soundcard/M2T95v7EgsI/ibrbO4-KcGQJ

    Which can be further narrowed down to December 18, 1987, given the Covox-provided, first-use-in-commerce date:
    http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn73714260&docId=ORC20051215212743

    I should probably update the Wikipedia article or something…

  • Michal Necasek says:

    In 1989, the VCA was quite old so I’m not surprised it compared poorly to competitors. And yes, telephony appears to have been the first widespread usage for hardware that was later called sound cards. I assume that the term “sound card” came into use with hardware designed (or at least sold) primarily for games, but I don’t know that.

  • Michal Necasek says:

    I fixed the date in the article, thanks for the correction. Yeah, it’s Wikipedia… if there’s no citation, it’s probably an error or a lie.

    So the Speech Thing came out at more or less exactly the same time as AdLib. One for music, one for digital audio. The IBM VCA is much older but also a much more advanced design. Which it had to be when it needed to do something useful on an 8088-based PC.

  • Michal Necasek says:

    About the NEC SAR-10, those were the days. Not just the card but all the complex chips were designed and manufactured by NEC.

  • pdw says:

    There are VCA diagnostic disks on Vetusware.

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