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The IBM PC turns 25

by Steve Kerrison on 11 August 2006, 13:01

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25 years ago, twelve engineers at IBM bought a bunch of components and built the first ever IBM PC, paving the way for the computers we know and love (or hate) today.

The IBM model 5150 had an Intel 8088 CPU clocked at 4.77MHz along with 16KiB of RAM. While today, your remote control might have more processing power, at the time it was a breakthrough, in part thanks to its open architecture. The one thing IBM kept under wraps was the BIOS of the system. However, the BIOS was reverse engineered by competitors, who were then able to build systems compatible with the IBM PC.

Indeed, were it not for the BIOS being reverse engineered, the rise of the PC as we know it may not have happened in quite the same way. Maybe we'd all be using Apple Macs? Still, thanks to manufacturers being able to create compatible systems without forking out for a license, plenty of competition appeared, and so the industry was driven forward.

The IBM PC compatible BIOS is still with us to this day, although extensible firmware interfaces may soon supersede it. In fact, some reckon the PC won't be with us all that much longer; certainly not in the form we know it in now. We'll just have to wait and see what's changed when the 5150 turns 50 years old...


Twenty five years of the IBM PC - BBC News.
IBM PC - Wikipedia.

HEXUS Forums :: 3 Comments

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Yep, happy Bday and thanksforthemany hours of pleasure and hair pulling.
And to think now a days they could just have IP'd the BIOS and the world wouldn't be as it is.
And did it deserve to win in the market? There were better home and office computers to be had. There still are.