IBM 5150 maximum memory?

Fred Cisin cisin at
Thu Apr 24 18:31:11 CDT 2008

On Thu, 24 Apr 2008, Jules Richardson wrote:
> Why they didn't do a lot of things when it came to the PC's design is beyond
> me (even down to the choice of CPU - wasn't the m68k generally available by
> the 1981 launch of the 5150?)

THAT was a deliberate decision.
Although it was "obvious"  that 68000 was a "better" processor, there was
software for intel line.  Programs such as Wordstar and SuperCalc were
running on it in weeks.  'course the documentation alwasy takes months.
When Apple made the same decision for the Lisa, they followed your view,
and it bit them in the ass.  There was NO software for the Lisa for a long

> Some of the choices seem to have been typical revenue maximisation, but there
> appears to have been some real boneheaded design decisions in there too (even
> in a "the PC was supposed to just be an intelligent terminal" context, let
> alone as a standalone desktop machine)

Their initial target seemed to be as a "home" computer, sitting on the
living room rug with the kids playing with it.

> > I was happy to retire my 5150 and get a genuine Taiwanese clone mobo
> > with 256K and 8 slots.

Yeah, but that was a 5160 copy, NOT a copy of the 5150.

> Yeah, I acquired a clone from Comcen somewhere along the line, and that was
> more reasonable in terms of abilities - but in terms of vintage computer
> enthusiasm (rather than serious development machine) I'd still like to get
> hold of another genuine 5160 I think.
There are a few cubic yards of stuff on top of my 5150.  I wonder if I'll
ever get around to digging it out.

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