PCs

IBM PC celebrates 25th anniversary

IBM Personal Computer

IBM introduced its Personal Computer to much fanfare on August 12th, 1981. The PC was developed in an astoundingly short time (under 1 year) by a "skunkworks" project at IBM's Boca Raton Florida facility.

One significant reason for the rapid development cycle was the use of "off the shelf" parts for things like disk drives, processors, memory and the like.

Another "off the shelf" component used on the PC was IBM's Operating System software - PC DOS. This product was licensed from Microsoft after the IBM development team were unable to secure a license for CP/M. The use of Microsoft's product on this machine helped catapult an already successful company into its current dominant position.

The PC pictured here is one of two in my collection. This is an original PC variant with a 64K motherboard (as opposed to the later 256K motherboards) and version 1.0 ROMs. It normally has a color graphics adaptor (CGA) and an IBM 5153 Color Monitor as well as a multi-function card and some other accessories although the Monochrome monitor (IBM 5151) and IBM Monochrome/Printer Adapter card are probably more correct for the machine. The system has a full suite of original IBM documentation including the 1.0 versions of DOS, BASIC and the IBM PC Guide to Operations.

Reprinted with permission from Vintage-Computer.com

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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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