* CPU: Intel 8088 4.77 MHz
* Co-Processor: Optional 8087 math coprocessor
* RAM: 64 KB (The very first ones had only 16 KB)
* ROM: 64 KB
* Text Modes: 40 or 80 char x 25 lines
* Graphic Modes: 320 x 200 / 640 x 200 (Optional CGA graphic modes)
* Colors: Monochrome / 4 among 8 in 320 x 200 CGA mode
* Sound: Tone Generator - built-in speaker
* I/O Ports: Five internal 8 bit ISA slots, monitor, Centronics, cassette (!),
* Keyboard: Full stroke 'clicky' 83 keys with 10 function keys and numeric keypad
* Built In Media: One or two 160 KB 5.25" disk-drives
* OS: MS-DOS, CP/M-86, USCD Pascal
* Built In Language: IBM BASIC (Special Microsoft BASIC-80 version in ROM)
* Peripherals: 5 expansion slots, 5, 10, 20 MB hard discs
The driver is currently under heavy rewrite. MDA, CGA, Herc graphic adapter are in good shape, and both floppy and tape support is supposed to work. On the other hand, there are still known bugs (e.g. in the hard disk emulation)
History and Trivia
The grandfather of the now common personal computer
The computer which caused the death of CP/M computers.
In the early part of 1980, IBM decided to create a microcomputer (up to this date, IBM produced only mini and mainframes). They didn't really know that they wanted and they didn't think for one second that producing microcomputer was a profitable business (who would have thought!)!
After hesitation between the Intel 8086 (16 bit) and the Motorola MC68000, they decided to use the Intel 8088 (8 - 16 bit) processor, as the two other ones were considered too powerful! Then they asked to Digital Research (the creators of CP/M) to create an operating system for their new computer, as DR was not very interested, they then asked a small company (famous for its BASIC Programming Language) to write the operating system: Microsoft.
Microsoft wasn't capable of doing it, Bill Gates bought the rights to a small, hacked OS written by a small company called Seattle Computer Products: QDOS (which reportedly stood for "Quick and Dirty Operating System", which itself bears a striking resemblance to CP/M) which became PC-DOS and then later MS-DOS! In fact, when it was launched, three operating systems could run on the IBM-PC: PC-DOS, CPM-86, but also the UCSD D-PASCAL system.
The original IBM PC wasn't very powerful (and was certainly less powerful than lot of 8 bit computers at the time). The very first PCs had only 16 KB RAM and no floppy disk units, they used cassettes to load & store programs (notice that the commands to handle the cassette drives were present in the operating system all the way up to MS-DOS 5!).
But because of the name and the fame of IBM, it became a standard and IBM ran the business computer market up to the end of the 80's. Now, we can consider that about 90% of the microcomputers are PC compatibles and run under MS-DOS or Windows (At the beginning, Windows
was just a graphic interface for MS-DOS, but that's another story).
Although the IBM PC XT was launched in 1983, IBM continued production of both units, in various configurations, for several years. The model types were followed by a xx version number, i.e. 5150-xx, where the xx represented the included options (amount of RAM, single or dual floppy disk drive, etc.).
The PC was available with either CGA or MDA (on an MPA card). The CGA adapter actually has an RCA composite output to hook it up to your TV if you did not want the CGA monitor. The output quality was PERFECT!
Another notable great feature of the PC line was the expansion base: it added additional (I think it was eight) 8-bit slots in an external enclosure.
(info from old-computers.com) Supported Systems
The following PC's and compatibles are supported by, or currently under development in MESS:
* IBM PC: Intel 8088 process with 4.77 MHz clock.
* IBM PC Junior: based on IBM PC, Special keyboard, CGA with 160x200x16, 320x200x16 and 640x200x4? colors, 3 channel sound chip
* IBM PC/XT: based on IBM PC, Intel 8086 instead of 8088, but only RAM memory data bus, Enhanced to 16 bit.
* Tandy1000 Series: IBM PC Junior compatible graphic system. Later the 640x200x16 graphic mode was also available. Later models were delivered with EGA/VGA compatible graphic system/card. IBM PC Junior compatible sound system. In later models there was also a DAC channel available. First series with own keyboard (own layout, different keys)
* Tandy1000HX: First Tandy 1000 with EEPROM memory for configuration. Delivered with 3,5 inch double density disk drive (720kb).
* Amstrad PC1512/PC1640/PC6400/PPC664?/PC2086?: Packed IBM PC/XT functionality in few custom chips. Power supply in the monitor was also used for the computer. Serial Port, Parallel Port, Real Time clock with battery buffered cmos RAM, Graphics adapter, mouse port for included mouse integrated in the motherboard. Joystick port for cpc-joystick in the keyboard.
* Amstrad PC1512 (Schneider in Germany/Austria): CGA compatible graphics system with special 640x200x16 graphics mode. 512 KB RAM on board, sockets for additional 128 kb on board. It was delivered as: PC1512SD (1 5,25 inch double density disk drive (360kb)); PC1512DD (2 5,25 inch double density disk drives); PC1512HD10 (1 5,25 inch double density disk driver, harddisk controller and 10MB harddisk); PC1512HD20 (....20 MB harddisk) (monochrome (about 16 levels grays) or color monitor)
* Amstrad PC1640 (PC6400 in the US - Schneider in Germany/Austria): EGA compatible graphics card and monitor
* Amstrad PC2086 (Schneider in Germany/Austria): VGA compatible graphics card and monitors?
* PC at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=274