Exploring the Sierra On-Line “Super-Junior” Computer

July 26, 2019 by 50 Comments



While diving into the Computer Reset warehouse, this oddly-configured IBM PCjr stood out from the crowd. Because Sierra Online! Yep, turns out this is the “Ken Williams Super-Junior,” used by Sierra QA in 1989.

● Download an archive of the HDD contents here:
https://archive.org/details/sierra-super-junior

● LGR links:
https://twitter.com/lazygamereviews
https://www.facebook.com/LazyGameReviews
https://www.patreon.com/LazyGameReviews

● Music courtesy of:
http://www.epidemicsound.com

#LGR #IBM #PCjr

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50 Replies to “Exploring the Sierra On-Line “Super-Junior” Computer”

  1. LGR says:

    Turns out all those ICEMANSG.* files are just savegames! I initially assumed they were something more interesting since they were ~40KB each, but I guess not haha. Seems the game just creates some pretty beefy save files. Still, it's neat to have a bunch of old saves from the Sierra QA department though.

  2. 7:24 And a mixture of delight and panic ensues.

  3. Chris Robson says:

    fascinating piece of history…..wonder if there will be youtube videos in 40 years time of someone finding an old dev computer for any of todays AAA titles somehow I doubt it anyway i wont be around to find out lol

  4. That's why you should always recap before using vintage gear… Panasonic's fm and fc and Nichicons uhw, uhe are great eletrolytics and wimas mkp4 caps are the best poly propylene capacitors.

  5. Stevie Jo says:

    It's like a time capsule, a DIGITAL time capsules

  6. I was hoping Babylon 5 was on it lol

  7. I've been thinking of building a desktop that's "top of the line" for 95 or 96 just to play old Sierra games.

  8. I really wasn't around in that era but i was around in the Windows XP era of computers, nice to see PC's older than me!

  9. AnObserver says:

    I was a tech back in the era and can tell you that the white plastic ring around the HD LED was made my MiniScribe (MiniScribble, by those in the know). That nasty hard drive sound was common in those hard drives. It also is an indicator that "disc double-ing" was used. Back then, you bought a hard drive AND a specific controller for that drive. The white ring indicates that the drive was actually a 10 Meg, but the compression chips on the controller allowed it to be formatted to double the capacity. It was trick shit back then and when a hard drive was easily $200-$500, double-ing made sense. About 2-3 years later, the tech was deemed too risky, as "natural" hard drive space became more readilly availble.

  10. That's quite the haphazard stack of PC equipment

  11. I love LGR things. Your excitement is contagious. You perfectly captured the adrenaline of putzing with a drive that coute bite it at any moment. Real edge of your seat stuff right here lol.

  12. ONormanO says:

    7:05 look at the date on the files XD

  13. Nuff Inaff says:

    Impressive that it still worked after all this time!

  14. Mike Wieland says:

    happend to me also the capacitor blow up on my Victor SIRIUS , but was able to get a new one and make it work again.

  15. Thad says:

    Dude feels like me yesterday when I got a 20 year old CD-R with so much damage on it and somehow got my duke3d level from 20 years ago off of it that I made when I was 14. Was so exciting

  16. Thad says:

    I also think there should be a retro computer museum. but you would have to be able to touch the keyboards.

  17. weust says:

    I remember Fastback. It was on a CT computer my dad brought home from work in 1990 or perhaps a year later. It had a 5.25" backup drive with cassette size takes. Think they were 20MB each.
    I played with it and even made backups on our from a 386 using a parallel port connection between the two computers.
    My first entry into the PC after the Atari 8 bit died of hardware failure.

  18. Lgr: "welcome to a lgr thing, in the middle of the night!"
    Me: …how does he know?

  19. DVCAM_NL says:

    The Ice Age of computing.

  20. Now, Iceman, wow! That brings back some memories.

  21. PrismGuy says:

    Casually swapping emails with Ken Williams, nbd

  22. Azmi Shah says:

    I’ve never seen anyone oil up a hard drive before …

  23. Faulty or warn out power supplies can catch on fire or even explode frying everything. Had this happen with a desktop in the 2000s. But that was way worse than what I'm seeing here. Was like a firecracker going off in the computer. I wasn't there. Someone else was working on my old desktop while I was away when this happened. But I remember smelling the smoke and that's the story I got before trashing it because toasted computer. Couldn't save it. It's dead, Jim. Can't remember the model but was a Gateway. Like to think Dell but no it's a Gateway.

  24. It's the middle of the night here too 😂

  25. the fact you cannot sleep is you loved your childhood … How lovely bro i would not sleep too

  26. Anyone else noticed programmed by Carlos Escobar at 16:33 lol

  27. spacenetwork says:

    It's always worth it to backup these old hard disks because it could contain stuff like early Windows pre-releases, like DR5. Especially when it sounds like its at the brink of death, haha.

  28. IMagine finding something insane on a old hard drive like this like some Deep state secrets, that was the vibe I got when you were getting all gitty about copy old files off that hard drive.

  29. As its a dev version It could be running slow because its unoptimized.

  30. 1DwtEaUn says:

    I had that same HD, let's just say stiction with the heads was an issue

  31. CLINT "STRAFEMASTER" "ICEMAN QA TESTER" LGR

  32. Super-Junior? Sounded like those South Korean boyband that my friend talked about back in the day…

  33. don't bink says:

    Finally found an address, rode my bike up and the location is a used tire shop now.

  34. Mark Dymek says:

    i have never heard of this game and i thought i had played all of sierra's games. looking through the screenshots on abandonware it does look familar i may have played it at a very young age.

    cool find.

  35. Mark Dymek says:

    have you tried to confirm if this was Ken Williams machine? if you could you have a great piece of history and something that could probably set you up for a very comfortable retirement.

  36. I've been to Oakhurst a billion times. It's beautiful.

  37. Derek Witt says:

    Ah, Exploding RIFA caps! It blew its guts as soon as you mentioned Adrian’s name.. 😂 those things seem to blow just like clockwork.

  38. Johnny John says:

    My dad used to say that I was weirdly put together and dense.

  39. Wkterr says:

    Should do a low-level imaging of the drive and see if there's any deleted files that can be recovered.

  40. Glad to know other people stay up till 4:30am playing on the computer also.

  41. Note to self: Never buy anything from these PC junkyards without testing it first.

  42. Sorry, but in 0:57 the order filled out by Robert Fisher, possibly the famous chess grandmaster? Nice video!

  43. Pete Nielsen says:

    THING is a technical term from 2 years after I graduated high school of course.

  44. Maybe Scotty could fix it. 😀

  45. neeneko says:

    huh. I could have swore MFM drives did not generally work when moving between controllers, and had to be re low level formatted if you did such a switch.

  46. Teto Kasane says:

    Microsoft's growl ようくださいう夢見た
    Sierra's growl, grunt and guttural
    眠りさあgiftでよく寝さあgiftで

  47. Hello LGR I see you making a lot of repairs I'm wondering if you got any ideas how I can fix my power Mac g5 I used some software that gets rid of readme files and other languages that I don't read when I boot it up the Mac it wouldn't let me do anything with the mouse and down in the Dock nothing would work when I clicked on it.
    Do you have any ideas how I can restore the power Mac g5?
    it's running leopard software.
    thank you for your time

  48. Dillyn says:

    I’d love to see more videos like this. Like found footage version of a computer fixing video. It’s great

  49. The hard disk in the Legacy box is a Tandon MFM/RLL drive attached to a custom interface board specific to this configuration, which is why the drive is a 3.5" form mounted in a 5.25" package. Without removing the drive from the custom Legacy interface board, it won't work in another computer at all. Also, as mentioned in other comments, most MFM drives mate with their specific controller boards and can't be used with a different one without a reformat to pair the devices, though if it was originally RLL formatted it may work without a reformat.
    Drives of that vintage typically used steppers and it was generally a bad idea to rotate the motor shaft because in doing so you were dragging the heads over the platters. However sometimes this was unavoidable because after 30 years or so the heads may have developed stiction and/or the lube in the stepper motor and/or the spindle motor has dried up and it needs a bit of help to get started. Many of the very early and especially the very large (5.25") drives also use spindle brakes of some sort, some requiring periodic adjustment so that they didn't drag (in the same manner of really old cars with drum brakes).