Columbia University Computing History
The IBM PC
Date: 1981. Intel 4.77MHz 8088 processor (16 bit segmented addressing,
8-bit data paths). Two 5.25" 160K floppy diskette drives. Basic in ROM.
Boots DOS 1.0 from diskette. 16-64K RAM. Cassette recorder interface.
Green 12"-diameter screen capable of monochrome graphics. No hard drive
(adding hard drives to the PC would be a cottage industry until the IBM
PC/XT was announced). This extremely modest machine and its successors
would dominate the desktop market for decades to come.
Columbia University ordered 20 of them sight-unseen on the day it was
announced and presented them to high-ranking professors and administrators.
Initially there was no way for the PC to communicate with our central
mainframes (including, ironically, big IBM machines), and this was a major
impetus to the Kermit