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IBM's anti-MacBook Air goes up for sale on eBay

Fancy a 5155 Portable Computer, anyone?

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Forgotten Tech Want to own a piece of portable computing history? Actually, we use the word 'portable' advisedly - we're talking an IBM 5155 here, a 30lb (13.6kg) monster that, as the eBayer offering it up to the highest bidder admits, "is not a MacBook Air".

IBM 5155 Portable Computer

IBM's 5155: carry-out computing

Up for sale from a UK seller, the 5155 is a veritable behemoth of the Osborne 1 school of portable computing: a desktop-sized box with an integrated CRT display - 9in, 80 x 25 characters, amber-on-black text, since you ask - a pair of 5.25in floppy drives and a keyboard the clips on the top.

The whole shebang is powered - if that's the word - by a 4.77MHz Intel 8088 processor backed up with 256KB of memory, upgradeable to 640KB. The 5155 runs IBM's PC-DOS 2.10.

Expansion opportunities abound, however, thanks to a parallel and serial port on the back, and four of eight 8-bit internal add-in slots - the remaining four are taken up with the port, disk and video controllers.

IBM launched the 5155 back in February 1984 - the year Apple debuted the Mac, no less - and asked punters to put up $4225 for the beast.

IBM 5155 Portable Computer

What's inside?

Alas the model on offer has no manual or disks, but you can at least start it up, but there's clearly a C: drive in the pictures, so someone' bunged in a hard drive at some point, perhaps.

You can check out the progress of the auction here.

More Forgotten Tech
The transistor turns 60
The IBM ThinkPad: 15 years old today
Apple's first handheld: the Newton MessagePad
Atari's Portfolio: the world's first palmtop
From 1981: the World's first UMPC

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