Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars


Hi, I’m Jim Leonard.  I am a child of the early 1980s, defined by the personal computer explosion, new wave music, and post-modern artistic style of that era. Despite that upbringing, I am not a Mac lover (although I don’t hate them either). My parents made sure I was awake early in the morning to personally witness the first launch of the Space Shuttle, and also the first broadcast hour of MTV. I think that says a lot about my early influences.

My hobbies are centered on a particular pocket of the Nerd universe that includes the demoscene, MobyGames, Mindcandy DVDs, and 8088/CGA assembler programming. There is a trend there — see if you can find it in my writing.

Since 1994 I’ve been very happily married to my wonderful, giving, understanding wife Melissa, and together we have two boys, Sam (b. 1997) and Max (b. 1999). And no, before you ask, we did not name them after the game (although it was a happy coincidence).

If you need to email me personally, my contact info is listed in Contact Info at The Oldskool PC.

16 Responses to “About”

  1. Lore'e said

    thanks for letting me have a laugh today. i am 47–female and FAT two years ago I ran ONE eight minute mile–only because i could and the times went down OR UP as the case may be.–they got worse. I have moved to a town in the depths of hell in wyoming and over the past 21 months have gained 51 ounds! oh happy day. this will make you laugh–i am going to run the Boulder Boulder in 30 days! I am sure that i will mostly do walking, but I hate myself this fat and vow to not ever be here again! i have fought with fat all my life and obviously continue to do so. My typing isn’t so hot either! :O)
    anyway–i was surfing for ideas and read yours–thanks!

  2. victor said

    pay your tribute to accessing the ibm pc xt and x modem :)
    work ( 312) 9 9 4 – 9 7 3 7
    fyi … married a fellow high school alumni of the same year

  3. Trixter, great reads. Where are pictures of you and your family? Perhaps I’m blind.

    Found you through Digg, kept reading after I googled your moniker and the 8088 Corruption and found your writing interesting.

    Artist. Father of 3 loving daughters and a bouncing baby boy. Literally, my wife is Latin, and he got all the Latin genes. His ability to be decisive outstrips me, and he’s only 15mo.

  4. Paddy said

    Cheers for the oldskool site – thank you for being a guardian of this important history – in another 20 or so years, people will be regretting not keeping more of the incredibly important early computing equipment, our new collective cultural heritage :-)

  5. Alan Frazier said

    hey how are you i was looking up a search on 4 GHZ computers and with a series of error i stumbled on your page i am looking to make a computer that can reach 4 or 5 GHz and i saw the 8088 and i wanted to know how fast was it running you see im a new christan and i feel i was put here to make this christan video game its the first of its kind its a RPG and i would like to know if you can help me i know 900 dollers will not be near enoff money to get all the things i need to start making this game so i would like to ask you if you can help or introduce me to some people who can im not worried about money made from this all i care about is the quality of game play and exp that the player has and hopefully some big name will see it and like it my info is

  6. Steve C said

    You are the author of Throttle.exe? Brilliant !! I am forever in your debt.

    I didn’t need it to slow down a DOS game. This 2 GHz laptop was a doorstop, because it would freeze about every 3 minutes. Don’t know exactly why. Slowing down the hard drives by shutting off DMA helped some but didn’t solve it. But your program, Throttle, at the mildest setting solves the problem. I’m guessing it’s an issue of RAM not being able to keep pace with CPU. Maybe the L1 cache was flakey. Just one episode of a freeze in several days of use now. That’s about as good as anyone gets with a Windows machine.

    And to think, someone threw it in the trash, when a tiny piece of freeware can turn it into a kicking machine.

    Best wishes,


  7. Trixter said

    I’m not the author of throttle, Jeff Leyda is. His email and link are on the throttle page, but a lot of people think I’m the guy who wrote it. I’m just a friend :-)

  8. Brolin Empey said

    “Just one episode of a freeze in several days of use now. That’s about as good as anyone gets with a Windows machine.”

    That is completely false. I have run Windows NT and its successors for months at a time without problems. Usually I needed to reboot because a driver stopped working (the system was still running, but I needed the driver to function) or because I changed something that required a reboot to take effect. Keep in mind this is desktop usage — an NT server can run much longer between reboots.

  9. marshall said

    If a person wanted to add a GUI and some apps to a Dos base like freedos or open dos, what do I need? Can a person who is not a programmer even do it?

  10. Chris said

    Dude… http://www.studiostyle.sk/dmagic/gallery/gfxmodes.htm


    Come on… you know you are the only one with the skills…

    Use what the C64 guys have… tweaked modes…. give a modern computer a JPEG and it converts to a beautifully rendered CGA tweaked mode…

    I can see the possibilities… you had a post… made a tweaked composite mode…. interlaced 16 colors on comp monitor…

    Come on… you can do it!!!

  11. coekma said

    Waw, I want to know more about you :D and I want to learn more from you.
    Mmm, where is your picture?

  12. Trixter said

    Will this do? http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=527403306

    Then again, I don’t know facebook linking very well, so maybe it won’t…

  13. Kilian Hekhuis said

    Hey, cool, a blog by Trixter. Stumbled upon it today, after not having checked the Oldskool site for years. Great to see you still going Jim (and yes, I was shocked to seeing that double chin!).

    Kilian a.k.a. JAL / Nostalgia

  14. jace said

    i LOVE http://www.oldskool.org/

    THANKS SO MUCH for that stuff. i am an avid Tandy fan (i have three, but the most interesting is the oldest of mine, the 1000 TL/2 of course).

    i’m on a fixed income and don’t know if i can afford to buy food, let alone apps for my Apple-abandoned original iphone (dying, buggy, abandoned by next os… no money to replace) or the dram chips for my 1000 TL/2 i finally found a source for online, otherwise i’d have clicked on your donate button just now. seriously.

    computers used to be so much more interesting… things still aren’t fully user-oriented decades later, so why NOT play with old classics?? they’re easier to hack and mod.

  15. I am a child of the 60s, but I’ve just read that we had the same computers. Cool.

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