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The original IBM 5150 with peripherals
The original IBM 5150, the personal computer made its debut at a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on August 12, 1981. The IBM 5150 not only kicked off the PC industry, it propelled a company from nowhere to become the dominant force of the tech industry - Microsoft.
Photo by IBM
Captions by CNET News' Jay Greene and ZDNet's Andy Smith
The IBM 5150 in the office
The IBM 5150 personal computer was powered by an Intel 8088 processor and contained 40K of read-only memory and 16K of user memory. It had 5 expansion slots for extras such as memory and game paddles. Its basic setup cost $1,565 - down from the $9 million cost of a computer two decades before, according to IBM.
Surrpisingly, the personal computer had color/graphics capability. An option was a color monitor with 16 foreground and background colors and 256 characters for text applications.
Other options included a two-direction printer that could print 80 characters per minute and multiple 32K and 64K memory cards that could be plugged into the option slots to increase memory to 256K.