IBM 5150 maximum memory?
cclist at sydex.com
Fri Apr 25 03:34:06 CDT 2008
> Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 22:25:49 -0500
> From: Jim Leonard
> Wow, I can't see it being useful at launch with 16K -- the DOS 1.0 took up
> about 11K if memory serves, and command.com 5K all by itself... I guess
> that left 1.5K to run BASIC.COM and that was all she wrote...
But with the 5150, the diskette drive (160K format) was optional.
All you really needed was a CGA card to get going. You had BASIC in
ROM and a cassette tape interface. The CGA card could be hooked to a
modulator and make pretty pictures on your TV. IIRC, that's one of
the configurations described in the IBM literature.
As another poster has mentioned, it really did seem like the target
was the Apple II and TI 99/4 type of market, rather than the higher-
end "office" machines like the Morrow or Eagle. I almost bought a
NEC APC after I first saw a 5150, thinking that I'd completely
misunderstood IBM's marketing objectives.
Those "pick your poison" expansion slots are what saved that box,
which succeeded, sometimes it seems, in spit of IBM's worst efforts.
Maybe someone remembers that the US 120v 60Hz models were availble
quite a bit before the 220v 50Hz models were--and IBM charged a
premium for the 220v models. I remember going to the local sales
office on Arques and trying to place an order for a dozen of the 220v
models. "Not available yet" was the answer. So, says I, "How about
buying some US models and running them at 120v 50Hz via a
transformer?" "That would void the warranty" was the response.
Apparently IBM also refused to support US systems sent overseas to
50Hz land. It was very strange.
We bought a bunch of US 5150s and shipped them anyway. They ran fine
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