1 The PC

Ever since IBM entered the personal computer scene, it was clear that its ‘PC’ (first announced in 1981) would gain an immense following. In a specification that now seems totally inadequate, the original PC had an 8088 processor, 64–256 kilobyte (KB) of system board RAM (expandable to 640 KB with 384 KB fitted in expansion slots). It supported two 360 KB floppy disk drives, an 80 columns × 25 lines display, and 16 colours with an IBM colour graphics adapter.

The original PC was quickly followed by the PC-XT. This machine, an improved PC, with a single 5¼ in. 360 KB floppy disk drive and a 10 megabyte (MB) hard disk, was introduced in 1983. In 1984, the PC-XT was followed by a yet further enhanced machine, the PC-AT (where XT and AT ...

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