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CED in the History of Media Technology


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1981: The IBM Personal Computer is Introduced

The IBM PC model 5150 was announced at a press conference in New York on August 12, 1981 and became available for purchase in early Fall 1981. This is the computer that as manufactured by IBM and in clone form became the de facto standard for business use for the remainder of the decade and beyond. The base model retailed for $2880 and included 64 kilobytes of RAM and a single-sided 160K 5.25" floppy drive. Adding a hard drive or increasing the memory could drive the price up considerably. The IBM PC was powered by a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 processor.

Although the IBM PC Model 5150 was the company's first popular personal computer, it was not really the first PC from IBM. That distinction goes to the earlier Model 5100 from 1975. At an average price of $15,000 this little-known model was way too expensive to compete with the homebrew or kit computers of that time.


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