View Full Version : The IBM PC Turns 30

09-08-11, 11:54
Thirty years ago this month, IBM released its first PC -- the IBM Personal Computer Model 5150. It was a $1,265 beige box without a monitor, serial or parallel ports or even a hard disk. The IBM PC arrived years after revolutionary microcomputers like the Apple II (1977), the Commodore Pet (1977) or the Atari 800 (1979) hit hobbyists and small business.

But the IBM PC changed everything.

Created by a 12-engineer team in Boca Raton, FL – and developed under the radar of a then-crippling IBM bureaucracy -- IBM’s original PC Model 5150 was a top-secret rush project code-named “Project Chess.” IBM conceived it, IBM PC original team member Dave Bradley told me, in response to growing business use of the Apple II and other systems.

FWIW my first PC (IBM-compatible, not personal computer) was a 386DX with a meg of ram and a 120meg hard drive - great stuff. I used that all throughout college - Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Civ, X-Com, Dune 2, Ultima: Underworld...

10-08-11, 12:24
I wish I had started that late, the first one I ever had ... was playing a crap Hangman game that was typed up out of a magazine on a Sanyo green screen, dual 5.25 XT. :P No starting off with C64's and Apples then moving on to a PC here, that's all I've ever had (with the exception of some outdated Macs heh).

10-08-11, 02:31
My mom had an 8086-based clone with one 3 1/2-inch drive I used a little bit (I tried to help her use it), but I think I already had an Amiga by that time so using it for a game machine was kind of a moot point. It was one of those "buy a sofa and get a free PC" deals at a big box store.

Sort of related, I was watching an episode of Computer Chronicles a little while back and they were talking about a new batch of PC clones with cool built-in or bundled/proprietary software. It was sort of an attempt to compete w/ the Mac/Amiga/ST GUIs. Tandy had one that had DOS in ROM. There were several attempts at preloaded, prioprietary GUIs. Probably not great in the grand scheme, but I always dug the ASCII-art attempts at GUIs. Borland did an awesome job with that in their Turbo Pascal, C and assembler packages. I don't know what this has to do with the IBM PC's 30th birthday, but the history of PC clones and their million variations is pretty interesting. In some ways they were kind of boring machines compared to the 8- and 16-bit competition, but in other ways lots of PC makers tried to differentiate themselves in weird ways which led to some cool - if not necessarily commercially successful - stuff.

11-08-11, 03:00
First PC I ever owned was a 286. Seemed screaming fast at the time, but I could only compare it to a friend's XT. ;-)

11-08-11, 03:22
Somewhat related, here's a good thread about the best DOS freeware games. Might have to check out some of them on DOSBox: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/186122-best-dos-freewareshareware-games/