Friday, August 12, 2011

IBM 5150 Personal Computer (aka the PC)

IBM (International Business Machines) PC Model 5150 launched 30 years ago on 12 Aug 1981.  The computer featured an Intel 8088 4.77 MHz CPU, 40K Internal ROM Memory, standard user memory 16Kb, keyboard, built in speakers, cassette player jack. 

A TV set could be used as the display, alternatively a monitor could be connected to one of the 5 memory/display slots. The PC came loaded with Microsoft BASIC Interpreter, Disk Operating System (DOS) 1.0and these sotware programs  VisiCalc™, General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Easy Writer, Microsoft Adventure Role Playing Game and communications software.

The basic model retailed at $1,565 (Approximately $4,000 today). The computer was sold through ComputerLand and Sears, Roebuck & Co stores.

Add ons: 
Monitor, bi directional dot matrix printer, additional 5 1/4" disk drive, joystick, light pen, game and software modules, extra user memory (up to a maximum of 256kb). 

IBM Archives: Product Fact Sheet

The IBM 5150 PC established itself as the industry standard with software, programs and hardware being created to be IBM compatible. IBM software and computers become an integral part the Space Shuttles first orbital flight.  

The PC found it's way into more and more homes, so much so, that today we also want computing capabilities on our mobile phones which isn't bad for a futuristic gadget that many people could not see being useful outside the office.

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