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The IBM Electronic Composer, announced in 1975, had the ability to store about 5,000 characters in its memory.
Users were able to work on two different documents, thanks to the machine having a main and alternate storage area.
The machine had two power switches, one for the typewriter portion and the second for the memory — which, if powered down, would result in the documents being lost.
The machine was an improvement over IBM's earlier Selectric Composer as the user could have the machine retype stored documents differently justified, rather than having to manually retype them.
One of IBM's early experiments with releasing smaller computer systems was the IBM 5110 Computing System from 1978.
The 5110 was designed to be used for automating common business tasks, such as general ledger and accounts payable. It could also be reprogrammed to provide reports to help management analyse sales, schedule resources, reduce inventory cost and plan future growth.
The 5110 featured a desktop unit that housed a CPU, a keyboard and a 1,024-character display screen. The desktop system unit alone weighed 50 pounds.
It was available with between 16KB and 64KB of memory, and could store as much as 204,000 bytes of information per tape cartridge or 1.2 million bytes on a single diskette.
The Displaywriter System, announced in June 1980, introduced some of the convenience of PC word processing software at a time when documents were generally created on typewriters.
The machine could store and recall documents so they could be revised and could check the spelling of 50,000 commonly-used words.
The system was designed to allow users to produce high quality documents at "rough draft speed".
Displaywriter featured an Intel 8086 processor with 160KB, 192KB or 224KB of RAM and was available with a single or double diskette unit.
A basic system included a display with a typewriter-like keyboard, a printer and a device to read and write to diskettes, which was capable of storing more than 100 pages of text.
Two printers were available with the machine, initially the 5215, a Selectric-based printer similar to the magnetic card Selectric typewriters and later an IBM 'Daisywheel' printer.