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The AOA Computer Museum - 1981 - IBM 5150, The IBM PC
Hardware
Written by danrok   
Sunday, 03 April 2005 11:07
Article Index
The AOA Computer Museum
1975 - Altair 8800
1975 - IBM 5100
1976 - Apple I
1977 - Apple II
1977 - Commodore Pet 2001
1981 - Osborne 1
1981 - IBM 5150, The IBM PC
1982 - ZX Spectrum 16K/48K
1982 - Commodore 64
1983 - Oric 1
1984 - Amstrad CPC 464
1986 - Compaq Portable 286
1986 - Amstrad PC 1640 / PC 6400
1989 - Acorn Archimedes 3000
1991 - Dubna 48K (Soviet)
1992 - Commodore Amiga 1200
1992 - Dell Precision 386SX/25
1993 - HP 9000 Model 712 workstation
1998 - Dell Precision WorkStation 410
2000 - Compaq DeskPro PIII EXD
All Pages

IBM 5150 

In 1981 the desktop PC we know today was born, the IBM 5150. Quite similar in appearance to a modern PC, but with a green monochrome CRT display and glorious beige case. The keyboard layout is quite close to that used today and was not fixed to the main system unit.

Either one or two 360 KB floppy disk drives were used for storage, there was no hard disk inside at this time. The main processor was an Intel 8088 CPU running at 4.77 MHz and the BASIC programming language was there on ROM chip. Maximum amount of installed memory was 256 KB.

This was the first affordable computer, at $1,565, from IBM which was designed to contend with Apple's offerings. IBM did not predict its success because they believed that mainframe computers would continue to dominate in the business world.

The porting of VisiCalc spreadsheet to this platform helped ensure the IBM PC's success in the office environment. Accountants and middle managers soon favoured them.

ibm_5150.jpg
The IBM PC with Intel 8088 CPU.

ibm_5150_display.jpg
Close-up of the PC's display.



 

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