Gadgets and More
Gadgets and More

1981 — First IBM

38 years ago IBM came out with the IBM 5150 and it was not what we are used.

IBM 5100

The CPU was from Intel, which is the leader in the CPU chips and the operating system was from Microsoft. Microsoft licensed it to IBM as PC-DOS. They sold for about $1,565 and was the simplest configuration had only 16k onboard RAM and it used what was called an audio cassette to save data.

If you wanted a floppy drive that was an optional choice and hard drive. They didn’t know what a hard drive was.

Home system

If you wanted a computer for your home or school it would run about $3,000 and it would typically come with

  • 64K  bytes
  • Single diskette drive
  • Own display

You can expand the system with color graphics and two diskette drive and a printer and that would run over $4,000

Motherboard

On this motherboard it came with 5, yes 5, ISA expansion slots you could add additional memory but you need one for a video card. It also had an option for a modem card. Yes, a modem card to help in dialing into things.

No not like in Wargames where he dialed into mainframe for the military and almost cause a nuclear war.

Rip-offs

Yes, this did happen, I know you were thinking that this would never happen. But, Compaq and other companies found a loophole, it was a legal, but a very dishonest way of copying the BIOS which was protected by law. So basically they clone the IBM laptop and sold it for cheaper.

Wintel

Are you thinking that I just mistyped that, no I didn’t mistype that? What it means is that partnership between Windows + Intel (Wintel) and it became what the systems use around the world.

My opinion

These were around when I was about 7 years old and no I didn’t have one growing up. I didn’t see a computer until later on in life.  But, if I was able to use a computer back then I would have jumped on this one.


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