Discussion:
History q.
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Peter Percival
2017-11-03 13:12:51 UTC
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Does anyone recall when TeX was first available on IBM PCs?
--
Do, as a concession to my poor wits, Lord Darlington, just explain
to me what you really mean.
I think I had better not, Duchess. Nowadays to be intelligible is
to be found out. -- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
Robert Heller
2017-11-03 15:43:00 UTC
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Post by Peter Percival
Does anyone recall when TeX was first available on IBM PCs?
It would guess when the 80386 hit the streets and MS-DOS/MS-Windows became
32-bit capable. (I am not sure TeX would compile and run on a 16-bit system.)
I know that TeX & LaTeX were available when the 68000 was available
(partitularly for OS-9/68K, which is where I was using it, but I would guess
there would have been a MacOS version as well). Basically the original TeX
would have been available for *any* 32-bit system with a decent Pascal
compiler. All it would have taken was someone with the patientence to download
and compile it.

(I never used "PCs" before the advent of Linux.)
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Jan van den Broek
2017-11-03 19:58:33 UTC
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Post by Peter Percival
Does anyone recall when TeX was first available on IBM PCs?
I can't say what the first version was, but I started with 4TeX, which,
according to the manual began in 1991.
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Jan v/d Broek
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Dan Luecking
2017-11-07 16:56:20 UTC
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On Fri, 3 Nov 2017 19:58:33 +0000 (UTC), Jan van den Broek
Post by Jan van den Broek
Post by Peter Percival
Does anyone recall when TeX was first available on IBM PCs?
I can't say what the first version was, but I started with 4TeX, which,
according to the manual began in 1991.
4TeX was a packaging of TeX (I think it was 4DOS + emTeX plus
4DOS batch files for running things). EmTeX was already available
before I started using it in 1991. EmTeX could run on 286-based
architecture, the far superior executable tex386.exe was added
in 1990 or so.

Dan
To reply by email, change LookInSig to luecking

j***@mimuw.edu.pl
2017-11-04 06:11:52 UTC
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Post by Peter Percival
Does anyone recall when TeX was first available on IBM PCs?
What about searching early TUGBoats for advertisements?

One of the first implementation was PCTeX

https://www.pctex.com/

released in 1985 (?).

Addison-Wesley for a short time also offered an implementation, named
Micro-TeX, as a kind of companion to TeXbook.

If I remember well, both implementation worked even on XT.

Regards

Janusz
Peter Flynn
2017-11-05 00:22:16 UTC
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Post by Peter Percival
Does anyone recall when TeX was first available on IBM PCs?
I used an MS-DOS version (but I can't remember which one; there were
several) in the mid-to-late 1980s when I was hospitalised for a while.
The office had got several IBM "luggable" Portable PCs, so I had to
learn how DOS worked first (my normal machine was a VAX/VMS system). I
booted DOS from one floppy disk, then replaced it with a disk holding
PC-Write, which was my editor; and in the other drive I had TeX. Quite
workable, and I wrote a number of documents while recuperating. I can't
remember how I displayed the DVI files, but the Portable PC had a
Hercules graphics card, so there must have been a dviherc viewer
available. The other patients probably thought I was quite mad.

///Peter
j***@mimuw.edu.pl
2017-11-05 06:40:49 UTC
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Post by Peter Percival
Does anyone recall when TeX was first available on IBM PCs?
--
Do, as a concession to my poor wits, Lord Darlington, just explain
to me what you really mean.
I think I had better not, Duchess. Nowadays to be intelligible is
to be found out. -- Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan
Yes, there was a quite good viewer for the Hercules card of some strange origin (from Mexico?) named perhaps MaxView or something like that. For editing we used Sidekick (a memory resident program) which allowed quickly switching between the graphic display and the source text; later we used DesqView for switching and Norton Editor to view both the text and the log.

The ultimate solution for PC was of course free emTeX by Eberhard Mattes. It was able e.g. to distribute Metafont font generation over a Novell network :-)

Janusz
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