IBM JX Information Page
IBM JX Logo
JX Boot


LAST UPDATED - 17th-May-2020 - See update log here

Introduction

The IBM JX was announced in Australia and New Zealand in Newsprint as early as September 1985 and in magazines in November 1985. See below for the original articles.

For images of a Japanese IBM JX variant, click here!

It was a completely integrated computer system that gave you the advantages of the PCjr Graphics and Sound,  100% software compatibility with the jr - including cartridges - while also giving you a good amount of compatibility with PC software with its maximum RAM capacity of 512k.

The JX Technical Reference details the differences between the JX and PCjr (p6-4) -
- PCjr shares RAM and Video RAM, JX has dedicated Video RAM
- The systems have different disk systems
- The JX has a different keyboard layout for Kanji Characters (however the AU/NZ models do not have this)
- They share the sound Sound Chips
- The JX does not come standard with a serial port

It was capable of using 2x 3.5" 720k Drives and 1x Hard Disk Drive with the relevant components. While you could technically connect a 5.25" drive at the same time as well as the hard disk (yes, that's drive A - C being floppy drives and D as the hard disk), you would have to find another way to power and extend the disk drive cable to the controller card. The Hard Disk unit had to be directly above the system unit as it relied on an interconnecting card linking the two units.

IBM claimed that this was the "First one megabit ROM used in a personal computer".

One magazine (Your Computer (Australia) December 1985) claims that IBM deployed this machine in Australia as a test market for this product - aiming it squarely at the education and home market.

According to the IBM JX users guide and this article, there were 3 models -

JX1 - Target Market - "Classroom Crowd"
JX2 - Target Market - Home and Small Business Use
JX3 - Target Market - ?
Diskless Unit
64k RAM
Two Cartridge Slots
30cm Colour Display
Compact Keyboard (76 key, no numeric keypad)

Release Price AU$2115
1x 3.5" Disk Drive
128k RAM
Two Cartridge Slots
30cm Colour Display
Full Keyboard (98 key)

Release Price AU$2861
2x 3.5" Disk Drive
256k RAM
Two Cartridge Slots
30cm Colour Display
Full Keyboard (98 key)

Release Price AU$3365

The JX could apparently be clustered together with a maximum of 64 computers built around a PC XT or AT as a host, however I have been unable to identify how this was done. An article referencing the Bendigo College of Advanced Eduction  refers to using Janet / 2 - which apparently was a cluster networking solution made by the University of Waterloo in Canada.

According to the IBM Australia brochure (top) (bottom) better scan coming soon, there were to be 5 models -

1. "Basic" - 64k RAM, No Drives attached to a Cluster Network
2. "Starter" - 128k RAM, 1x 3.5" Drive
3. "Business" - 256k RAM, 2x 3.5" Drives
4. "Power" - 512k RAM, 2x 3.5" Drive and a Clock
5. "Extended" - 512k RAM, 2x 3.5" Drive, 1x 5.25" Drive, RS232 Port & Clock

Wikipedia advises - The JX was released in Japan in Quarter 4 1984 with the target being young business professionals. In 1984, IBM sold 6000 units. In 1985, IBM sold 2000 units. Production of the IBM JX halted in Quarter 2 1985. I cannot confirm this information as dates on ROMs, Disks and Manuals contradict the production halt date. Serial numbers on my units indicate at least 10,000 units sold - see serials below.

System SpecificationsSuper JX

Microprocessor 8088
Clock Speed
4.77 Mhz
RAM
64k -> 512k
ROM
96k (BASIC in ROM, boots into 40 Column Basic if no boot device found)
I/O
1x IR Port (Keyboard)
1x RGB Video Out
1x Cassette Tape
2x Cartridge Ports
1x Keyboard
2x Joystick
1x Audio Out
1x Light Pen
1x Parallel
1x Optional RS-232
Keyboard
98 and 76 Key Keyboard Options (infra-red and fixed cable as an option) - 4 "AA" Batteries for Infra-red connection
Display
12" Colour, Non Glare. 4 to 16 Colour Modes. 80 columns, 25 rows
Graphics
PCjr Graphics Modes - 640x200 (4 colour), 320x200 (16 colour)
Sound
PCjr Audio - 8 Octave Triple Chord Generator
Disc
Initial Releases (ROM 8530K9, 8532K9) - 360k 3.5" Disk (depending on config - 0 drives to 2 drives) Matsushita JU364
Later Release (ROM 8629K1, 8732KY) - 720k 3.5" Disk (depending on config - 0 drives to 2 drives) Matsushita JU364
Optional 5.25" Drive to provide jr and PC disk compatibility
Optional 10 MB Hard Disk (Matsushita JU644)
Operating System
PC-DOS 2.1 (Initial)
PC-DOS 3.2 (Later)
ROM Versions
(downloadable)
8530K9 - Labelled IBM 84-85 - 360k 3.5" (click here to view image of ROM)
8532K9 - Labelled IBM 84-85 - 360k 3.5" (click here to view image of ROM)
8629K1 - Labelled IBM 81-86 - 720k 3.5" (click here to view image of ROM)
8732KY - Labelled IBM 81-86 - 720k 3.5" - unsure of differences to above


Documentation, Ads and Articles


Articles/Reviews/Press Releases
Advertisements
IBM JX Documentation
IBM moves to Japan - Australian Personal Computer, January 1985
IBM Single page - blue writing ad found in Bits and Bytes (New Zealand) October 1985 IBM JX Guide to Operations
Byte Japan : A Sampler - Byte, March 1985
IBM Double spread - found in Your Computer (Australia) November 1985 IBM JX Technical Reference
IBM Australia Shifts into Top Gear - Australian PC World, July 1985

IBM JX Logic Diagrams
IBM announces new JX range - The Canberra Times, 23 September 1985
IBM Single page - red writing ad found in Bits and Bytes (New Zealand) November 1985

JX PC DOS Version 2.10 Users Guide
IBM releases the JX - Electronics Australia, November 1985

Microsoft Products for JX - Ad in Your Computer (Australia) - December 1985 Hints and Tips for the IBM Personal Computer JX
IBM announces JX - Your Computer (Australia), November 1985
IBM JX TV Commercial - 1986

The IBM PC JX - Reaching for a new IBM market - Bits and Bytes (New Zealand), November 1985


IBM tackles low-end market with JX release - Australian Electronics Monthly - November 1985
The Computer Supply Store - JX2 $2300, JX3 $2765 - PC Australia, January 1987
JX Software Price List - Dec 1986
IBM's School Tie - Your Computer (Australia), December 1985
Computerland Ad - JX $1295 - The Canberra Times, December 1 1987 JX Parts Price List - Dec 1986
Bendigo CAE Installs the JX - Your Computer (Australia), December 1985 Computerland Ad - JX + Printer $1990 - Tharunka, 6th June 1988 JX Price List - Dec 1986
JX Software Serious - Bits and Bytes (New Zealand), December 1985 Computerland Ad - JX $995 - The Canberra Times, 17th December 1988
The Low End of IBM - Personal Computer Games, December/January 1986


New Goodies from IBM - Direct Helper, Attache Business Pack and Typequick, Accounting One, Word Worm, Saltbush Series - PC Australia, March 1986


PC battle for straitened school market - Canberra Times, December 29, 1986


Lotus 1-2-3 Available - The Canberra Times, 14th April 1986

Microsoft releases JX titles - The Canberra Times, November 11, 1985

IBM JX Plus Beta Testing in Australias Outback - Infoworld, 26th May 1986


IBMs down on the farm - The Canberra Times, 11 May 1987


Publishing? Just bounce on to the Springboard - The Canberra Times, 7th September 1987

Programs of Choice - The Canberra Times, 16th November 1987








Known IBM JX Software - Released or Planned
(over 100 software packages are already available!)

Product Name
Vendor
ID
Screen Shot
Announced/Discovered from
Download Link (restore using a Super Card Pro) Download Link (IMG)
(extract using this program)
Documentation Link
IBM PC DOS 2.10 (JX) (cover) (disk image)
IBM


1985

JX PC DOS 2.10
Users Guide
Quick Guide

Technical Reference
IBM PC DOS 3.2 (JX)
IBM


unknown
JX PC DOS 3.2 JX PC DOS 3.2
coming soon
Writing Assistant (cover) (disk image)
IBM
5601-SAQ
Start Screen
Running
1985
IBM Writing Assistant Program 1.01
IBM Writing Assistant Sampler 1.01
Copy protected. Use SCP image
Quick Guide
Manual
Your IBM JX Sampler (disk image)
IBM


1985
Your IBM JX Sampler Your IBM JX Sampler
Manual
Janet 2 Networking System
Waterloo


1985
Bendigo CAE Installs the JX
Janet is a LAN System from University Of Waterloo



Microsoft Word
Microsoft


1985 - Ad in Your Computer (Australia) - December 1985



Microsoft Chart
Microsoft


1985 - Ad in Your Computer (Australia) - December 1985


Microsoft Project
Microsoft


1985 - Ad in Your Computer (Australia) - December 1985


Microsoft Multiplan 1.1
Microsoft
5601-SDG

1985 - Ad in Your Computer (Australia) - December 1985


Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft


1985 - Ad in Your Computer (Australia) - December 1985


Lotus 1-2-3 on JX Cartridge
Lotus


JX Version released 14 April 1986



Picture Play
IBM


1985 - Bits and Bytes (New Zealand) - December 1985


Earth Science Series
IBM


1985 - Bits and Bytes (New Zealand) - December 1985


IBM Filing Assistant
IBM
5601-SAK





IBM Reporting Assistant
IBM
5601-SAL





IBM Graphing Assistant
IBM
5601-SAN





IBM Assistant Series Quick Looks (cover) (disk images)
IBM

Start Screen
Graph


Planning Assistant - Quick Look
Writing Assistant - Quick Look
Filing Assistant - Quick Look
Graphing Assistant - Quick Look
Manual
IBM Planning Assistant (cover) (disk image)
IBM
5601-SAP
Start Screen
Running

IBM Planning Assistant 1.0
Copy protected - use SCP image
Quick Guide
Manual
IBM Assistant Solutions
IBM


IBM Assistant Series Quick Looks Manual (January 1986)



Private Tutor
IBM


Museums Victoria



Typing Tutor
IBM


Museums Victoria



Bank Street Writer



Programs of Choice - The Canberra Times, 16th November 1987


Color Paint JX (cart) (running)
IBM
5601-SBD





Cluster Program
IBM
5601-SBC

Seen in JX Software Directory



Display Write 1
IBM
5601-SBP

Seen in JX Software Directory


Display Write 2
IBM
5601-SBQ

Seen in JX Software Directory


Display Write 3
IBM
5601-SBR

Seen in JX Software Directory


IBM Assistant Accounting Solutions
IBM
5601-SAR

Seen in JX Software Directory


IBM Assistant Executive Solutions
IBM
5601-SAS

Seen in JX Software Directory


Mainframe Communications Assistant
IBM
5601-SFY

Seen in JX Software Directory


Member Services
IBM
5601-SBD

Seen in JX Software Directory


Personal Communications Manager
IBM
5601-SDQ

Seen in JX Software Directory


Project Planning and Scheduling
IBM
5601-SEK

Seen in JX Software Directory


DB/Editor/Writer
IBM
5601-SBK

Seen in JX Software Directory


Diskette Librarian
IBM
5601-SBN

Seen in JX Software Directory


Document Retrieval
IBM
5601-SGD

Seen in JX Software Directory


IBM Assistant Home Solutions
IBM
5601-SAT

Seen in JX Software Directory


Filecommand II
IBM
5601-SCJ

Seen in JX Software Directory


Fixed Disk Organizer
IBM
5601-SGQ

Seen in JX Software Directory


PC Storyboard
IBM


Seen in JX Software Directory




Known IBM JX Hardware with Part Numbers
(click here for parts list, 3rd Dec 1986)

Description
IBM Part Number
Part Number
Serial #s known
IBM JX System Unit (front with 5.25" on top) (rear with HD on Top)
5511

99-01576
99-10384
99-08101
99-07058
99-07411
99-04945
99-08510
99-08714
IBM JX Expanion Unit (eg 5.25" or HD Unit share #)
55191E1
5519
99-00082
IBM 5.25" Disk Expansion Unit (front) (inside) (how it connects) 55191E1

99-01267
99-02048
IBM 10 MB Hard Disk Expansion Unit (front) (rear) (inside) (how it connects) 55191E1

99-A0217
IBM JX Color Monitor
5515

9908008
9909278
9910495
IBM JX RS-232C Adaptor
6454437
6342614
IBM JX MFM Controller (expansion view) (1) (2)
unknown


IBM JX 256k + Clock Card
6454428
6454032A
IBM JX 256k + Clock Card 6454428 6454032B
IBM JX 256k + Clock Card 6454428 6454033A
IBM JX External RAM 128k
6454427
6342612
IBM JX External RAM 64k
6454426
6342611
IBM JX Kanji Extension ???
6342613


IBM JX External Slot Adapter
6343677

IBM JX 98 Key Keyboard (front) (rear) 55162E1
6454042 99A4804
99A3916
99A4158
IBM JX 76 Key Keyboard (front) (rear)
55161E1
6454011 9900166
9905347

IBM JX Japanese Keyboard (link to other website)
6343690


IBM JX External Slot Expansion (for External Module)
6454443
6454149
IBM JX Disk Drive Controller
6342632


IBM JX System Board
6454008


IBM JX 256K + Cluster Card
6454422


IBM JX Carrying Case
6343996


IBM JX Display Pedestal
6454441


IBM JX Keyboard Cable
6454442


IBM JX Joystick
6343658


IBM JX Cluster Adaptor (front) (back)

6454038A

External Links worthy of a visit for JX Information

Japanese Wikipedia for IBM JX - https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_JX
Nerdy Pleasures Blog - IBM JX - http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/2015/03/ibm-jx-pcjr-20.html?m=1
Mike Brutmans PCjr Page - https://www.brutman.com/PCjr/pcjr.html


Any comments or can provide more information? Please email abeckett@mac.com.
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