PC Booter

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The IBM 5150 was a boot loader.

PC Booter or Boot Loader is a general term for software that runs on early IBM PCs that require you to boot directly into the program rather than first booting into the operating system. This practice was employed in order to have access to precious computer resources that would otherwise be used by the OS. Many games produced for IBM platforms in the early 1980s were PC booters.

Although many non-IBM platforms also supported booting from a disk (e.g., Apple II, Commodore 64, etc.), this was the expected behavior for those platforms, so a special term is not needed to distinguish software on those platforms.

My family's first computer ran MS-DOS 5 and Windows 3, so I never owned a PC where boot loading was commonplace, but I have used computers that do, and all the pre-Windows NT PCs that I used continued to support boot loading for memory intensive games.

Games

See all PC Booter Games.

Sadly, the early IBM PC was a terrible platform for gaming. Graphically, you had access to black and white or a CGA card, and audio topped out at the PC speaker. Because of these limitations, few games were built for the early PC, and of those that were released, few were any good. Most of the good games of the early 1980s were released on the Commodore 64 or Apple II.

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