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?

  • 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
  • 1
    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
  • 1
    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

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 http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/20841.

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

This is not a full screen digital clock but is pretty cool: http://sourceforge.net/projects/lcars24/

  • That looks awesome. – eckza Apr 5 '11 at 17:04
  • 1
    You mean, "This is not only a full screen digital clock.." – Saiboogu Aug 11 '11 at 20:21

Perhaps DOS Clock would work: http://www.thangorodrim.de/software/dos_clock/index.html

  • I tried that already... it exploded. Everywhere. Not sure why or how. Thanks, though. – eckza 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...


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).

  • 1
    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, although Windows 98 or below may run much faster on that system. So you can just run any Windows clock apps (like some clock screensavers)

You can also install a Linux distro and play with it without worrying of breaking something. There are tons of clock apps on Linux. 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 an 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 many boot CDs that support loading another OS from USB

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.