Xerox 820 system disks in Teledisk format?

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at
Thu May 7 13:47:18 CDT 2009

Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 7 May 2009 at 8:25, Jules Richardson wrote:
>> I keep thinking it'd be interesting to hear what folk think the IBM PC
>> *should* have been - although that could descend into utter chaos :-)
>> It does seem like the design was pretty compromised* - I'm curious as
>> to what folk think should have been done with the hardware of the time
>> whilst remaining in roughly the same price range...
> Given that there were only two real choices for floppy controllers 
> (WD 17/27 series and the NEC 765) at the time of the 5150 launch, IBM 
> didn't do too badly.

No, I suppose not. I wonder if they ever toyed with the idea of rolling their 
own - perhaps a board containing a little 8-bitter which was responsible for a 
few other useful functions (RS232, parallel maybe) too. I suppose RAM/ROM 
costs around then made it unworkable even if they had the skills readily 
on-tap (not to mention that it probably wouldn't fit in with the idea of what 
the PC was supposed to be!)

 >  I suspect they also got a good price break for
> staying with Intel (the 8272 is just the 765 by a different name).  

Hmm, that's a possibility. I wonder if they ever considered moving to a 
different CPU / support family in the very early days...

> It's not a problem with a clear answer.  

No, definitely not. I suppose I was thinking not just about floppy controller, 
but about the CPU choice, system bus, video hardware etc. too; the PC seemed a 
bit long in the tooth for the launch date - and perhaps relied more on IBM 
marketing clout than anything to achieve success. I just find it interesting 
to ponder about what other companies might have done if given IBM's resources 
(and assuming a similar target price point, of course!)



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