Sunday, August 12, 2012

Really? In only thirty years?

August 12, 1981:  IBM introduced is "new" PC (Personal Computer).
The IBM 5150 complete with monitor, printer and paper stand
  The term "personal computer" had been in use since 1972 for the Xerox PARC's Alto, but those were designed for science and research applications.  IBM now had the use of the term and PC quickly became used to describe as in IBM Compatible PC, with IBM being the standard.
  There were other 'personal computers' on the market Radio Shack has its TRC80 and Commodore had the PET, and others were around too.  All of these machines had less capacity for computing than any little hand held calculator does today, high school students use graphing calculators now that are much more powerful than any computer used to put a man on the moon.
  It was IBM that started the march for a computer (or two) in every home, even if they had no "hard drive" or storage.
  The "hard drive" (C:) became common very quickly and the 5150 also had an A: drive for the floppy disk.  The programming was in BASIC, and Bill Gates was right around the corner.
  It's hard to believe all that has happened in only 30 years, we had a Commodore with a daisy-wheel printer that was so slow I could go out in the yard and smoke two cigarettes while it printed one page.  There was no memory in that, no box popped up and asked if you wanted to 'save' your work, you couldn't.  It's thrilling now to think about all that has taken place.  I'm using an HP IQ804 that is several years behind the new stuff.  It's fast and has a small 500MB hard drive, not a Terabyte that's common now.  I have only 4 megs of memory and wish I had 6 or 8 RAM, but it's adequate, and that hard drive is only 38 percent occupied.
  I wonder what will be around 30 years from now?  IBM is no longer in the PC marketplace, having sold to rights to Lenovo of China (where else?).
The 5150 keyboard, the 'top' row is on the left, otherwise
it's not too antique.

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