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This Day in History, 1981: The First Personal Computer

Twenty-four years ago today, IBM introduced the first Personal Computer to the marketplace. They sold 136,000 units in the first year.

Today, of course, you're reading this on a computer. Who would have predicted? (Well, except for Vernor Vinge.)

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Today, of course, you're reading this on a computer. Who would have predicted? (Well, except for Vernor Vinge.)

Arthur C. Clarke, maybe? :-)
*Danny's confused*

I just posted on my LJ about remembering my dad's employer having PCs in the late 1970's--or at least, PC-sized computers on some of the desks. Or has this just become one of those ubiquitous terms like "xerox"? Business as opposed to personal? (I should have been paying better attention when I was eight, especially considering how much I wanted to play with them when he would take us to work.)
Those were computers meant for the business market, not for the home market. Remember that when IBM introduced the first Personal Computer, that's what it's trademarked name was.
OK--If I have to choose, I'd rather have forgotten the Personal Computer trademarked name than have my mental chronology screwed up!
If IBM holds "personal computer" as a trademark, they persistently forget to mention it themselves.

There was a thriving market in personal computers before IBM came out with its machine. It wasn't even particularly advanced from a technological standpoint, as the first machine used the 8-bit 8088 processor when others were using 16-bit processors. Its main significance is neither the anniverary of an alleged trademark nor the technology, but that the name "IBM" made the machines respectable in the business world, and that Bill Gates' contract for the operating system propelled him and Microsoft on the way to wealth.
Of course, back in those days, nobody was ever going to need more than 640k of RAM - ever. ;)
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