IBM PC Oddities

Posted by  | Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tape Time

IBM saw two main roles for its system: as a low-cost home PC, and as a powerful business machine. On the low end, it shipped a bare-bones system with no cards and 16K RAM for $1,265 (equivalent to $3,140 today). Owners of this model used its ROM BASIC as their operating environment and an audio cassette recorder for storage.

In 1981, a 5.25″ floppy drive and its card cost $790 (equivalent to $1,960 today). In contrast, a typical cassette recorder cost $19.95. Few used it, though: the PC’s strength lay in business apps, and for serious work, you needed a floppy. The 1983 PC XT also had a cassette port, but it disappeared in 1984’s AT.

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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.