On August 12, 1981
IBM announced their entry into the PC market. It wasn't the first
PC, there were already a large number of players in the personal
computer market including Apple and Radio Shack, events like the
West Coast Computer Fair were active and participation was high. One
could argue that it wasn't the best PC but it made a powerful
statement; a major computer company was throwing their weight into
the concept of a personal computer.
like to take a look at a scan of the original announcement click
For those of us in the corporate
world is was a great sign, we could probably get company funding for
personal computers if it came from a company like IBM. After all in
those days the catch phrase in the data processing business was
"nobody ever got fired for buying IBM".
Ah, the "good old days" but were they? While it's
true that computers were reasonably simple and easily programmed
they were indeed crude and expensive by today's standards.
If you'd like to take a look at a scan of the 1981
price list click
Things weren't cheap at all. Keep in mind we're
talking a machine with no hard drive, a 4.77Mhz processor and a
minimal amount of memory. Here was my dream machine:
64k Memory & 2 160Kb disk drives $3,045
Monochrome display 345
Dot matrix printer
Yikes! And that's with no software and no
discounts. In fact many dealers were able to charge a premium
because of demand.
So perhaps when we think back to the good old days
they weren't really so good at all. Software was scarce, the
original PC launched with very little software available, a word
processor, a spreadsheet, an Accounting suite and a single game for
the rich guys that could afford graphics.
But just think what the little box launched.
Happy Birthday PC.
Until next time best in computing.