Each system had a 4.77 Mhz 8088 processor, 16 KB of memory, one single-sided 5 1/4-inch floppy diskette drive, a green screen, and a keyboard that produced a very noticeable click with each key depression. To do anything with one of these beasts (for example, run Wordstar, Visicalc, or dBase II), meant engaging in a never-ending swapfest with the diskettes. Can you imagine begging to get access to that?! But, compared to what I was used to -- handing an operator a stack of a few hundred punch cards and waiting an hour to get a ten-pound printout only to learn that I left a parenthesis out of a picture statement in the working storage section of my COBOL program -- being able to get instant feedback from the system after coding up some dBase routine was a dream come true. I was able write and debug far more useful programs in far less time. Visicalc was liberating. It was the experience in that lab -- with the first IBM PC -- that set me on the course to where I am today.
An era -- not just for me -- but for millions of other individuals and businesses was born. Dramatic improvements came next -- dual-sided floppies, eventually the Winchester hard drive, amber displays