Feeds

IBM PC celebrates silver anniversary

Misty eyed hack remembers when....beer was 60p a pint

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Nostalgia The IBM compatible PC turns 25 this weekend.

Yes, a quarter of a century ago IBM interrupted the start of the grouse shooting season to launch its first green screen little counting machine.

The first PC was a mere snip at around $1,500. To put that in perspective a pint of lager back then would have set you back around 60 pence. The IBM PC ran something called MS-DOS on a 4.7MHz processor made by an up and coming Silicon Valley firm called Intel.

Don’t remember the big day? Can’t say we blame you. Kraftwerk may have been in the charts with Computerlove, but lets face it, they were a bunch of very strange Germans. In fact you were probably still recovering from the street parties accompanying the marriage of Charles and Diana. Or perhaps you were puzzling over the launch of this thing called MTV? Or lets face it, you probably hadn’t been born yet.

Even if you were lucky enough to have one of these things on your desk back then, windows were something you opened in the summer cos you didn‘t have air conditioning. The Internet was something to do with a football club in Italy, applications were something you wrote by hand when you wanted a new job, and a CD drive meant a late night taxi ride through Soho.

By 1985, only 13 per cent of homes in the UK had home PCs, according to government stats. And few of those were likely to have been IBM Compatibles.

But as virtually everyone knows, IBM boffins patched the thing together from odds and sods and standard parts and never got round to patenting the design. Which meant that within a couple of years lots of bright sparks started putting together their own “IBM compatibles”. Next thing you know, Microsoft launched Windows and half the world was introduced to the joy of watching a little hour glass flip up and down while you waited for something to happen.

Thankfully someone went ahead and invented broadband, while Intel, and others, eventually produced chips fast enough to allow you to do something a bit more interesting that run spread sheets. By 2002 over half of UK homes had PCs.

Still, if beer was still 60p a pint, we'd all be doing something a bit more fun than relying on a grey/beige box for our entertainment.®

Bootnote

PCWorld has one of the original IBM PCs on display at its store at Staples Corner in North London.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.