Trivia Minute August 12, 2015

151: IBM Personal Computer

by Marcus Michelson
"Ibm pc 5150" by Ruben de Rijcke - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ibm_pc_5150.jpg#/media/File:Ibm_pc_5150.jpg
The IBM 5150 Personal Computer (Photo by Ruben de Rijcke via Wikimedia Commons)

Today is the 34th anniversary of the release of the IBM Personal Computer.

Here are some things you might not have known about the machines.

First, a base model original IBM PC cost $1,565 and had 16 kilobytes of RAM and no disk drives and no monitor. The model with 64 kilobytes of RAM, a 5 1/4-inch floppy drive and a monitor sold for $3,005, roughly $7,800 today. The next model, introduced two years later featured a 10-megabyte hard drive. It shipped with an Intel CPU and Microsoft’s Disk Operating System.

Second, The inclusion of products by Intel and Microsoft set the stage for these two companies to dominate personal computing for the next three decades. PC Clones began appearing in 1982, with the Compaq Portable. Eventually as the clones began to increase market share, the fact that a machine was “IBM compatible” became less important that whether it ran on “Wintel,” a portmanteau of Microsoft’s Windows and Intel.

Third, IBM sold its personal computer business to the Chinese company Lenovo in 2005. The original IBM PCs are collectable and can sell for as much as $4,500.

Our question, what year did Microsoft Windows debut?

Today is also: International Youth Day, World Elephant Day. In the U.S. it is National julienne Fries Day, National Vinyl Records Day and National Middle Child Day. It’s the birthday of filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille, musician Buck Owens and tennis great Pete Sampras.

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