Computer Closet Collection

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IBM PC 5150

See below for specifications and information on this system.

Specifications and information

Key Dates: September 1980 - The IBM PC "Dirty Dozen" design team is formed in IBM's obscure Boca Raton location. Some say this is for secrecy. The project is code name "Acorn" -- as in, from a tiny acorn grows...
August 1981 - IBM announces the PC
September 1981 - the IBM PC ships -- early!
Original Price: $3000 with 64K and one floppy drive
CPU: Intel 8088, 4.77 MHz
Memory: 16K, expandable to 64K on system board, up to 640K via add-in boards (later models had 256K RAM capacity on the system board)
Operating System: IBM PC-DOS (Microsoft MS-DOS)
Input/Output: Cassette port; optional internal 5 1/4" single-sided 160K floppy disk drives (later double-sided 360K)
Bus: IBM PC bus
Other Items in Collection: IBM PC Display in box; IBM PC Keyboard in box

The original IBM PC is the grandfather of today's most popular computers, which until recently were known as "IBM Compatibles" (now more frequently referred to as "x86 architecture" or "Windows PCs"). A modern Pentium II machine will still run programs written for the IBM PC more than 16 years ago. In fact, while the IBM PC bus is gradually being replaced with PCI (Peripheral Connection Interface), most modern PCs still accept ancient IBM expansion cards. Today, the original IBM PC bus is known as the "ISA", or Industry Standard Architecture, bus.

This photo shows the Computer Closet's complete IBM PC system, including the system unit (bottom), monochrome display (middle), and keyboard (top). All are in the original IBM boxes.

The IBM PC rapidly dominated the personal computing industry, despite some wacky marketing decisions by IBM such as licensing the Charlie Chaplin "Little Tramp" character as their advertising mascot, and the disastrous introduction of the PC's "little brother", the IBM PCjr.

Evolution of the IBM PC Architecture

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Last modified: April 17, 2003