The Origins of DOS

Fred Cisin cisin at
Tue Oct 31 14:34:26 CST 2006

> > > * In 1982 IBM PCs were advertised at "from 2,800 pounds" (at about 2 dollars
> > > to the pound, I think) for a dual floppy machine with monitor.
> > Hmm, I have two, an original PC and an XT. *one* of those cost around 4000
> > pounds circa 1984, but unfortunately I don't know which.

On Mon, 30 Oct 2006, Stan Barr wrote:
> I was quoting from an advert in "Practical Computing", April 1982.
> I well remember the sharp intakes of breath at IBMs prices at the time,
> but I imagine they dropped sharply if you bought enough machines.
> They were certainly cheaper a year or so later when our firm bought
> their first few.
> For comparison, a 48K Apple II cost 650 pounds, a double floppy 550
> pounds and a monitor 99 pounds - 1299 pounds total, plus the dreaded VAT.
> A 128K ACT Sirius with CP/M86 or MSDOS was 2395 pounds + VAT, so IBMs
> prices weren't really _that_ outrageous.

IFF you bought a fully expanded machine from IBM, THEN the prices were
high.  Our college negotiated a "great deal", but even with deep
discounts, by the time that you added in all the other CRAP that was
included (including many software packages), the price was terrible.

>From the time that it was introduced (August 1981), the IBM PC 5150 was
also available bare for about $1360 (USD).  If you put in your own Tandon
TM100 drives at ~$150 each, instead of IBM's at ~$500 each, put in your
own RAM at ~$75 per 16K v IBM's at $300 per 16K, added a serial card for
~$150?, added an FDC board for ~$300, a video board for ~$300, and your
own monitor for ~$100 v IBM's at ~$600, etc. you ended up with a machine
at comparable prices to an Apple ][.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

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