IBM PC Turns 20
Happy birthday to you!
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A PC Birthdayby Dave Murphy
On August 12, 1981 IBM introduced its first PC. In a few days we'll celebrate the 20th anniversary of the machine and software that transformed electronic data collection. The original PC was powered by an Intel 8088 microprocessor running at 4.77 MHz. It included PC-DOS 1.0, and it cost more than most people, even small businesses, could afford.
Dave's OpinionI fondly remember my first PC. I had a PC portable with two 5.25" 360Kb disk drives. It even came with a CGA color monitor. I used it that summer to complete the 120 pages of typing that was required in my Hopkins writing seminar. I was glad to put aside my state-of-the-art electric typewriter in favor of the sleek and quiet PC with it's glowing screen.
I soon received an IBM XT with a whopping 10MB hard disk. My soon-to-be father-in-law said we'd never have enough data to fill it. When I purchased an IBM Model 70 with an i386 (20MHz) processor and 4MB of RAM I was amazed at how fast it ran through my documents and spreadsheets. I told my wife, Peggy, "that this would be the last PC we'd ever buy. I couldn't imagine ever needing anything faster."
I'm eating my words now. Today I've got speed measured in GigaHertz, a half Gigabyte of RAM, dozens of Gigabytes of storage space, and multiple servers to store my work; and I still feel cramped. I can't wait for my next upgrade. What I thought was the end of the world was only the start of an addiction.
You've given me a great career: happy birthday, PC.
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