PC World (January 1993)

in #retrocomputing2 months ago (edited)

Cover of the January 1993 issue of PC World

1993 was perhaps the beginning of a golden age for the PC. Competition from other platforms was pretty much dead if not yet buried. The Internet boom was just around the corner and technology was progressing rapidly. PCs would have been running DOS or a combination of DOS and Windows 3.1. A top of the line PC in January would have been something like a 486 DX-33 with 4MB of RAM though by August I was buying a 486 DX2-66 with 16MB. Games mostly came on 3.5" disks at this point. The January 1993 issue of PC World was massive creeping up on the 400 page mark. It included:


  • Lotus: Getting the most from 1-2-3 and other Lotus Software - A huge special section on Lotus software, most known for their spreadsheet program, Lotus 1-2-3. This section also covers other software like Lotus Notes, version 3.0 of which was soon to be released.

Windows Special Issue

  • The World's Best $2500 Windows PC - A review of the best Windows PCs which here include the Wyse Decision 486sl, ATronics International ATI-486-50, Micro Express ME 486-Local Bus/DX2/50, TriStar Tri-WIN 486DX/50 ISA, and Leading Edge D4/DX2 50. Processors included two 50-MHz 486DXs, two 50-MHz 486DX2s, and 33 MHz 486DX. Those were the best buys anyway, other categories were included...for example computer awarded best performance was the Acer AcerPower 486e DX2/66 Model 5657. Included RAM was typically 4MB or 8MB with hard drives ranging from around 80MB to around 250MB.

  • Windows and DOS Speedup Tips - 75 tips on how to make DOS and Windows faster. Tips include things like adjusting virtual printer memory settings, printing direct the port in DOS, automatically launching software, optimizing config.sys, and much more.

  • The Windows Spreadsheet Challenge - A showdown between Lotus 1-2-3, Excel and Quattro Pro.

  • The Complete Guide to Scalable Fonts - In the early days, working with fonts in Windows was a nightmare compared to the Mac. It gradually got better.

  • PC World Adviser: Ramping Up to Windows - Advice on training an office staff who currently uses DOS to use Windows.

Table of Contents from the January 1993 issue of PC World

Top of the News

  • The Whole World in His Windows - Microsoft begins shipping Windows for Workgroups as part of Bill Gates' plan to get Windows into every office and home.

  • Improv: A Financial Modeling Tool - Basically a new spreadsheet program from Lotus with more features designed for multiple users.

  • Local Bus: Not Just for Video - VESA Local Bus was a predecessor to PCI and despite the title of this article, was used almost exclusively for video cards. PCI is mentioned as well but it was still a couple of years away. VLB had a pretty short life.

New Products

  • Gateway 4DX2-66V, Zeos Upgradable 486DX2-66 PCs - A look at a couple of the latest and fastest PCs. Both based on the 486DX2-66 CPU, 8MB of RAM, 340MB hard drives, local bus video and upgradeability to Pentium Overdrive chips when they become available (which took forever). The Gateway would set you back about $3000 while the Zeos was an overpriced $3500.

  • Lexmark IBM Color Jet PS 4079 printer, Frago Primera printer - An inkjet printer for $3500 and a thermal transfer printer for a bargain basement price of $995. Color printers were expensive.

  • Texel DM-3024, DM-5024 CD ROM drives - A couple of early CD-ROM drives. As single speed devices they could transfer data at about 300KB per second. Starting at $600.

  • Hewlett-Packard Vectra 486N Series PCs - A line of PCs from HP that have processors ranging from the 25 MHz 486SX up to the 486DX2-66 and are "network ready" with either preinstalled token ring or HP Ether-Twist adapters.

  • OCEAN Vista V256 magneto-optical drive - Magneto-optical drives were the early choice for removable mass storage but the drives and media were expensive. They never really gained a foothold with home users as CD-R and ZIP drive were soon to come along at a much better value.

  • AceFile 2.0, Approach 2.0 for Windows, DataEase Express for Windows - A look at three different database systems for Windows.

  • Zagat-Axxis CityGuide - Like an offline version of Google Maps.

  • Super PC-Kwik 5, PC-Kwik Power Pak 3 - Disk defragmenting software, disk cache software and more.

  • AnyTime scheduler - Basically a DOS based calendar program.

  • Freelance Graphics for Windows 2.0 - Presentation software from Lotus (similar to Power Point).

Table of Contents from the January 1993 issue of PC World (continued)

Here's How

  • Help Line - Adding signatures to faxes created with WordPerfect 5.1, AUTOEXEC.BAT versus WINSTART.BAT, Windows 3.1 file manager, adding a second hard drive, and more.

  • Spreadsheets - Exponential equations, inserting into Lotus 1-2-3, switching between Excel and Lotus 1-2-3, and more.

  • Word Processing - Using Quattro graphs in WordPerfect, choosing a WordPerfect document directory, sorting in WordPerfect, scriptwriting with WordPerfect, and more.

  • Windows - Using Windows' Recorder, removing duplicate fonts, shrinking compressed volumes with Stacker, and more.

  • Data Management - Database programs with dBase file support, printing with Paradox, creating multi-record forms in R:BASE, and more.


  • In This Issue - A summary of what's included in the current issue.

  • Letters - Alternatives to Windows, OS/2 2.0 vs. Windows 3.1 and DOS 5.0 on a 386SX, new virus threats, and more.

  • Consumer Watch - A general guide to reaching a human when you need technical support, plus help with refunds and more.

  • Real Problems, Real Solutions - One person's strategy for dealing with unexpected and/or unexplained hardware and software problems.

Back cover of the January 1993 issue of PC World

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