The PC turns 29 todayBy Johan Keyter 12 August 2010 | Categories: news
A remarkable 29 years ago to the day, IBM launched the IBM Personal Computer Model 5150, the computer that introduced the world to the concept of home computing.
The PC featured state-of-the-art components for its time including a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 CPU (note the ‘M’), 16 kb of RAM (expandable to 256 kb), 40 kb of ROM and a 5.25” floppy drive. It retailed for an astounding $1565 (R11 392).
As a comparison, look at these specs for a recently released HP notebook. It sports an Intel Core i3-350M 2.27 GHz CPU, 3 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 300 GB HDD and a combo DVD writer and can be yours for only R7299.
A fully loaded version together with colour graphics was also available for the unbelievable price of $6000, which really puts our modern price whining in perspective.
As far as software goes, users had access to programs such as PC-DOS 1.0, Microsoft BASIC, VisiCalc, UCSD Pascal, Easywriter 1.0 and the very first version of the venerable Microsoft Word.
It was renowned especially for its high quality construction, great compatibility and the fact that IBM released the full technical specifications and source code for the BIOS.
The model proved to be an unexpected success for IBM, and paved the way for their domination of the PC market until the end of the 1980’s.
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