IBM's anti-MacBook Air goes up for sale on eBay
Fancy a 5155 Portable Computer, anyone?
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'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.
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.
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Good old fleabay...
Removed because it mentioned the word Mac... While I agree with their policy in principle, it was hardly trying to pass it's self off as a Mac... Anyone interested, it's been relisted here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/IBM-5155-Portable-Vintage-Computer_W0QQitemZ160202646582QQihZ006QQcategoryZ4193QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Let's all drink to a guy that figured out they should put the screen on the top of the lid, not squeezed in next to the hinge (see photo)
Remember using it as a 3270 emulator
Many fond memories of the $200 taxi ride home from Sydney to the Blue Mountains as we were not allowed to take the damned thing on the train.
Ah the fond memories trying to dial in to the mainframe, squinting at the screen, trying to debug production JCL & PL/1 code gone bad at 2am.
It WAS a huge improvment on jumping in the car & driving 2 hours to work (& once there just stayed as there was no point going home again as you would have had to have left before you got there).