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Machine Memories: IBM PC

On 02/05/2023 at 09:47 AM by KnightDriver

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My aunt and uncle had an IBM PC in 1981, which I got to experience when we visited them on holidays. I was 14. 


It ran Dos 1.0 and had an Intell 8088 processor running at 4.77 MHz. It had 16 KB of RAM expandable to 256 KB . For comparison, I got my first PC from Dell in 2000 with a Pentium 4 processor, 1.3 GHz, and 512 MB RAM. It came with two 5 ¼ inch floppy drives at 160K each, 320K if double-sided, hard drive optional. It had 7 I/O slots and optional serial and parallel ports. The system was very expandable and soon had lots of software. 

I remember being in awe of it because it was a pricey extravagance, $4500 in today’s money. I got to play Zork, a text-based adventure game, for the first time on this machine. I didn’t get very far in it, but I enjoyed it.  

TV Time: 1981 IBM PC Commercial




02/05/2023 at 11:49 AM

I had a PC in the 1980s, with CGA (later EGA) graphics. The PC Speaker was an audio abomination unto God and video games. It drilled into your eardrums, and the PC was very poor at playing action games, with a few exceptions (there was a surprisingly good version of Dig-Dug on PC). Still, there were a few goodies to be had. My dad had a subscription to Big Blue Magazine that always had a few games like Kingdom of Kroz on it. My favorite PC game of the 1980s was Starflight, from EA and Binary Systems. 800 procedurally generated planets and an actual storyline to follow. Nowadays I really enjoy No Man's Sky, which is its spiritual successor. It's too bad I could never find a copy of Elite back in the day. The Ultima games were a gold standard for computer games back in the day, but I definitely enjoyed Ultima III more on the NES than the PC.


02/06/2023 at 02:05 PM

There are so many PC games I'd like to play from that time. At some point I'll get back on Steam and see what's there of the old stuff. 

Cary Woodham

02/05/2023 at 09:06 PM

My first 'gaming' PC was the aforementioned Apple ][+.  After that I was a fully fledged console gamer.  But I did dabble with certain PC games from time to time.  Point and click adventures like Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.  Around high school age I was really into Lemmings on PC.  In college I played a lot of Pro Pinball on the PC, as well as Jazz Jackrabbit 2 and classic emulation.  Most recently, i would play TellTale's point and click adventures like Sam & Max.  But other than that, I've been mostly a console gamer.


02/06/2023 at 02:17 PM

I'd say I was a PC gamer from '83 to about '93 and then it was hybrid PC/Console until around '05 and then it was all console. I've only recently started phone gaming, so that's new. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/17/2023 at 10:52 AM

I don't know enought about this computer but seeing Charlie Chaplin reminds me I need to watch The Dictator. 


02/17/2023 at 10:54 AM

Classic stuff The Dictator. Now he's doing commercials. Go figure. 

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