Personal Computer's 25th Anniversary
The personal computer, an invention which has changed the lives of millions of people, is 25 years old today.
Twenty-five years ago, IBM changed the world. It wasn't intentional. When Big Blue announced a microcomputer called the IBM Personal Computer on August 12, 1981, it hoped only to make a nice profit.
The company did make money--but more important, the IBM PC, also known as the Model 5150, made a significant impact on the culture. Today, for instance, we call our desktops and laptops PCs, not microcomputers. The vast majority of the ubiquitous machines scattered around our offices and homes are direct descendents of IBM's 25-year-old box.
A starter system cost $4273 and featured 64K memory, a 160KB disk drive, ran on Microsoft's Disk Operating System (DOS) and included a keyboard and monitor.Now, instead of the original 64 thousand bytes of memory, you get 256 million. Instead of a speed of 4.77 megahertz, your computer runs at 2.53 gigahertz (530 times as fast). Instead of shelling out $1,565 (about $4,000 in today’s dollars) you can pay a base price of just $299. And that includes a monitor.