Happy B-day, PC!

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Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear PC
Happy birthday to you.

Well, the PC is 20 years old according to all those that matter. That means in just another year, it'll be legal to drink.

The IBM PC was "born" in Boca Raton, Florida when Bill Lowe convinced the top people at IBM to build computers for the end user. The computers would be composed of parts bought from other companies, which was rather odd to IBM at the time. It's also the reason you see so much open hardware standards when it comes to IBMs. There are a few IBM knock-offs to say the least. The personal computer made Intel a rather rich company.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen convinced Big Blue to use their basic formatting and operating system. The rest, as they say, is history.

The first PC, nicknamed "the acorn," contained a charging 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor. The RAM was a standard 16 kilobytes. Of course it was expandable...right up to 256k. You could have one or two 160k floppy disk drives. The monochrome monitor came standard, but one could upgrade to the amber- chrome or a color monitor.

All of this for the low, low price of around $1500. In today's prices, that's somewhere around four grand.

You can't have a birthday without a party, so the PC world threw one. Last Wednesday, those who received an invitation gathered for a wonderful PC birthday party.

Here are some of the highlights from that party:

When everyone arrived, the Apple people seemed confused proclaiming they had been around for a while wondering when everyone else would show up.

Cake was served on 5 and a quarter inch disks. Those in attendance couldn't find much else of a need for them.

Wang, Tandy, and Amiga were sat next to Jugdish, Sidney, and Mohammad.

The cake was beautiful. Everyone was surprised when a young lady jumped out. Where her bikini was supposed to be, it simply read, "data missing". It was very exciting.

The presents were given later on. They were peripherals mainly. The problem was each time the PC was given a new gift, someone else would give the same thing proclaiming his or hers was faster, or better, or something.

Some of the presents made the PC blue...at least the screen.

We all played pin the floppy on the iMAC. There wasn't anywhere else to put it, so we just pinned it on.

The one unpleasant part of the night was when a drunk 386 proclaimed Big Blue was a "big phony" and that he could beat Kasparov any day of the week.

Many at the party asked why the woman had to throw the hammer in that Super Bowl commercial, breaking the big TV and ruining such a good thing.

The desktops, laptops, and PDAs all posed for lovely family pictures.

Pentium 75s and 100s assured one another that they weren't getting obsoleter, they were getting better. They also said something about a fine wine.

One funny part of the evening was when someone taped a sign to the back of an IBM Think Pad that read, "Upgrade Me".

A lot of the PCs that attended the party were out of work so a great deal of networking was going on.

Everyone was enjoying the party until that Gates kid showed up. Man, he has to run everything.

A Gateway was hung from the ceiling while smaller computers with their monitors disconnected hit it with sticks. Everyone loved it when colorful transistors fell out everywhere.

A few 486 computers came dressed in corsets and riding on a horse and buggy saying something about it being 1901. Everyone smiled knowingly at the "inside" joke.

The party finally shut down by everyone pushing their collective START buttons.

(taken unashamedly from Joe Burns Goodies to Go newsletter #144)

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001


You are talking about the IBM PC (brand name?). But the desk-top PC as an entity was developed in the SF Bay area by Jobs, Wozniak and other home-brewers in the 70s.

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2001

Actually, Lars, it's pretty much conceeded by PeeCee Weenies that the Altair computer was the very first "personal" job. You used to see ads for it in Popular Science and Popular Electronics.

I didn't have the money to purchase one at the time; I had to make do with a TI programmable calculator (with which, I might add in shameless self-congratulatory style, I was able to do AMAZING things[g]).

(Shoot, that thing cost me $300 in and of itself!)

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2001

lars: read HUMOR more closely.

When everyone arrived, the Apple people seemed confused proclaiming they had been around for a while wondering when everyone else would show up.

Funny piece

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2001

just a PS: noticed the part on "horse-n-buggy" LOL!

THEN I happened to notice the "ID" of this thread


LOL! coincidence? or mind melters from planet mercury? where's my tin- foil hat?


-- Anonymous, August 27, 2001

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