IBM Personal System/2 Model P70 386 8573-121 At a glance: 1990
Microprocessor 80386 running at 20MHz
80387 Maths Co-Processor at 20MHz.
Memory RAM 4MB-8MB (85ns)
Integrated Display 16-gray level gas plasma high contrast dark background
Integrated Functions 128Kb permanent memory ROM, clock calendar, VGA port
display port, serial, parallel, pointing device,
keyboard and disk controller.
Operating System DOS 3.3 or 4.0 IBM Operating System/2
Storage 1.44Mb 3.5" diskette drive. 120Mb fixed disk.
Text/Graphics VGA supports 640 x 480 plus all CGA, EGA and MOGA modes.
Keyboard 101 keys including 12 function keys 3 lighted modes.
Communication support IBM 300/1200/2400 Internal Modem/A. Network adaptor.
Power Supply 85 watt
Size 305 x 465 x 126 with weight 10 bags 2lbs bags of sugar or equivalent.
Date of manufacture around March 1990 and cost over $4000.
IBM is a company that has been around since 1911 though originally
was called the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company and then
renamed as International Business Machines in 1924. Originally the
core business was the sale and or lease of scales and time recorders
in addition to meat and cheese slicers.
By 1937 the company was already producing tabulating equipment.
During World War II they built an electromechanical computer known
as the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. Fast forward to
1963 and IBM were working with NASA to track the orbital flights
of the Mercury projects. This lead to the development of the Apollo
space guidance computers.
AND THEN in 1981 the IBM PC or 5150 computer was introduced which
became the industry standard PC. Interestingly in 2005 IBM sold
their personal computer business to the Chinese company Lenovo.
In respect of the PS/2 or Personal System/2 the 'luggable' beast
is actually a mobile computer with a full size computer motherboard
inside. The PS/2 was a family of computers released in 1987 and
replaced the IBM PC, XT, AT and PC Convertible. It is credit to
this line of computers that many of its features went on to become
the industry standard for many later computers.
The original OS for the system was PC DOS 3.3 though a few months
later Windows 2.0 became available.
Anyhoo enough of the history lesson and to the point of the blog.
From my recent posts you could be mistaken to think that IBM were
using MS-DOS. In fact IBM used a DOS version called PC DOS which
carried the Microsoft trademark. You will note a sticker on this
machine that says Atlanta 1996. The point being that a year earlier
than this date the IBM personal computer disk operating system
current to the period was PC DOS 7. This was in truth the last
real version of the DOS and certainly the last before IBM moved
I personally believe that DOS was placed in its coffin in 1995
when Windows 95 was released. The lid had not been nailed down on
either MS-DOS or PC DOS but the thing was definitely being lowered
into the hole. Along with the disk operating system the whole
DOS family of computers were also being piled into their graves.
The world was changing yet again in terms of computer technology
and I for one couldn't wait to see the back of it. For my part
it was DOS that put me off ever getting a traditional PC prior
to 1995. I have never been a fan of that prompt and I certainly
never found the initiating and usage of the software anything
other than a pain in the rear. Many would have a different view
and I can appreciate that, but for me it was archaic from the
getgo and having grown up with CP/M and having moved swiftly to
the Amiga I could never see the point of using MS-DOS.
And so not only was DOS redundant to me by the time I got to
the Windows based PC, but all these earlier machines were truly
dinosaurs in the landscape of computer technology. Not something
I have ever enjoyed digging up. I have quite a number of the
early luggable computers including two of this beast, and they
all look and feel as dumb as soup. My experience of late, running
the emulator on the Amiga has the same feel. I share Dave Haynie's
view in that he didn't understand why anyone wanted to emulate
a MS-DOS based PC on an Amiga.
I have these computers for reference but rarely ever use them.
The PS/1 and PS/2 from IBM are names reserved for a more deserved
SONY product that are truly great fun to use. I have long held a
view that the workforce of these PC companies were grey people in
grey suits that took their jobs way too serious. Thank goodness
for the 'joyboard' and that bouncing ball.