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I came across a Dolch L-Pac 586 a few months ago. My boss was going to throw it out, but I managed to convince him to let me give it a home. Since then, I've been wracking my brains, trying to think of a clever use for it. I have been thinking that it would be really awesome to get some sort of fullscreen digital clock program and just use it for a timekeeping device / conversational piece. (It's got an extremely sharp 9" screen - absolutely zero LCD rot.)

Anybody have any idea what I could use?

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+1 for cool idea. (And for unicorn) – Shinrai Apr 1 '11 at 22:54
If this was 14 years ago I could have written you one in C no problems! Alas, it's not. – Josh Comley Apr 1 '11 at 23:33
One of the first major programs I wrote was a fancy, analog/digital clock for DOS. It had “3D graphics”, colors and transition effects, optional tick-tock sound, silly-fun fast-motion capability, and so on. I’ll have to find a copy of my QuickBasic source tonight. – Synetech Jul 20 '12 at 15:03
Amusing idea, but also a colossal waste of electricity. A wall-clock can run on a single AA battery for a year; even an alarm-clock connected to the mains draws next to nothing. This however would suck a lot of electricity (especially since it is old and not as power-efficient as more recent laptops) for little benefit. – Synetech Jul 20 '12 at 15:04
up vote 4 down vote accepted

An old school PC needs old school tools. Borland Turbo C was a popular early C development package. The tools have been re-released as freeware. You can download it from the Embarcadero site at

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I think I'd like to go this route - thanks a lot! – kivetros Apr 5 '11 at 17:05

This is not a full screen digital clock but is pretty cool:

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That looks awesome. – kivetros Apr 5 '11 at 17:04
You mean, "This is not only a full screen digital clock.." – Saiboogu Aug 11 '11 at 20:21

Perhaps DOS Clock would work:

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I tried that already... it exploded. Everywhere. Not sure why or how. Thanks, though. – kivetros Apr 5 '11 at 17:04

That 586 should be able to run DSL. Just write the clock in HTML & JavaScript and run in a webbrowser...

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SIMTEL's DOS utils archive to the rescue! there´s even a whole section dedicated to DOS-based "clock utils" - one of them is a full screen, text mode clock (ANSI) ... that I have run successfully under a Windows 7 DOS box!

The one I´m using is called BCLK.ZIP (Binary Clock).

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If you could give a non obfuscated link - that is to say, one that's not on tinyurl, someone will probably end up editing in the link for you neatly. – Journeyman Geek Feb 24 '13 at 11:31

233MHz and 128MB RAM, exactly the minimum requirements for windows XP. But windows 98 or below may run much faster.

You can also install a Linux distro and do some discover without worrying of breaking something. I've seen a tutorial that instructed how to install Ubuntu component-by-component manually, and it needs only 24-32MB RAM and a about 50-80MB of HDD. You can run it as a live CD, no need for a HDD.

Or you can boot Linux, windows PE, MS-DOS or whatever OSes from USB. Of course that ancient PC may not support booting from USB but there are some boot CD that support loading another OS from USB

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