IBM PC Oddities

Posted by  | Thursday, August 11, 2011

The PC Before the PC

Six years before the 5150, IBM released its first PC — a “Portable Computer,” that is. The 5100 was its first small, easy-to-use computer designed for one user at a time. That may sound a lot like a personal computer, but the 5100 sold for a whopping $8,975 to $19,975 in 1975, equivalent to $37,650 to $83,800 today. Insanely expensive.

That same year, MITS debuted its built-it-yourself Altair 8800 for $395. That price comparison should tell you why the personal computer, as a product category, became so popular — and why IBM decided to produce its own PC in 1981.

(Photos: Steven Stengel, IBM)

Slides: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

3 Comments For This Post

  1. Stilgar Says:

    What about IBM's word processing software, Display Write 1.0? It's hard to find any good information on this product on the internet. I even remember the name of the executable "dw1" 🙂

  2. Zomg Says:

    What's bizzare and dystopian about teaching people to read? I say it's utopian. Now if they subliminally taught them to only buy IBM or become chimp plant lackeys… that would be dystopian.

  3. Pheasant Under Glass Says:

    I think the author was just showing how limited his/her vocabulary is. …ah, if only they had access to one of those evil IBM enslavement machines during their youth.