Mixsonian Larry



In August IBM released the first Personal Computer and the computer industry was forever changed. What was “home computers” and was largely for hobbyist, entered into the business world and became the “Personal Computer” and then later just “PC”.  Starting at $1,565 (equivalent to $5,038 in 2022) it was expensive. Although the CP/M-86 operation system that I ran on my IMSAI computer was an option, but IBM released a Disk Operating System, PC DOS 1.0 which was based on CP/M and marginally better.   The specifications:


Processor: Intel 8088 microprocessor, (my IMSAI had the first 8080 microprocessor)

Memory:    Base of 16 KB (yes that is kilo), expandable to 256 KB

Storage:   One 5.25 inch 320 KB floppy disk. Optional 2nd floppy disk

Sound:     Programmable built in speaker

Display:   Standard 12 inch, green CRT, 720x350 pixel resolution (80 characters by 25 lines). An “high resolution” 640x200 resolution color CRT was also available capable of 16 colors.

What made the IBM PC popular was its five “open architecture” expansion slots.  All minicomputers sold by IBM and other large computer manufactures at the time had proprietary, closed architectures which only allowed the same companies’ expansion modules.  What surprised everyone, much like the Altair and my IMSAI, the IBM PC was open, meaning that any company could design expansion modules that could plug into it.  Within a year there were dozens of companies making all sorts of compatible cards.


Rosalie’s Diary

August 28, 1981

Last week I had Roosevelt mow the grass on both garden spots and he promised to come turn it with the turn plow and then cut it later. I do want to plant a few rows of mustard and turnips this fall and next Spring plant more some corn? mabe. Today is cloudy & misting rain.

Updated: 06-04-2023