Daily Almanac for Friday, August 12, 2022

On this date in 1981, The IBM PC was introduced. IBM Personal Computer On display at the Musée Bolo, EPFL, Lausanne in 1981. By Rama & Musée Bolo, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https commons.wikimedia.org


The IBM Personal Computer (model 5150, commonly known as the IBM PC) is the first microcomputer released in the IBM PC model line and the basis for the IBM PC compatible de facto standard. Released on August 12, 1981, it was created by a team of engineers and designers directed by Don Estridge in Boca Raton, Florida.

The machine was based on open architecture and third-party peripherals. Over time, expansion cards and software technology increased to support it.

The PC had a substantial influence on the personal computer market. The specifications of the IBM PC became one of the most popular computer design standards in the world. The only significant competition it faced from a non-compatible platform throughout the 1980s was from the Apple Macintosh product line. The majority of modern personal computers are distant descendants of the IBM PC.


The IBM PC debuted on August 12, 1981 after a twelve-month development. Pricing started at $1,565 for a configuration with 16 KB RAM, Color Graphics Adapter, and no disk drives. The price was designed to compete with comparable machines in the market. For comparison, the Datamaster, announced two weeks earlier as IBM’s least expensive computer, cost $10,000.

IBM’s marketing campaign licensed the likeness of Charlie Chaplin‘s character “The Little Tramp” for a series of advertisements based on Chaplin’s movies, played by Billy Scudder.

The PC was IBM’s first attempt to sell a computer through retail channels rather than directly to customers. Because IBM did not have retail experience, they partnered with the retail chains ComputerLand and Sears Roebuck, who provided important knowledge of the marketplace and became the main outlets for the PC. More than 190 ComputerLand stores already existed, while Sears was in the process of creating a handful of in-store computer centers for sale of the new product.

Reception was overwhelmingly positive, with sales estimates from analysts suggesting billions of dollars in sales over the next few years, and the IBM PC immediately became the talk of the entire computing industry. Dealers were overwhelmed with orders, including customers offering pre-payment for machines with no guaranteed delivery date. By the time the machine was shipping, the term “PC” was becoming a household name.


For low cost and a quick design turnaround time, the hardware design of the IBM PC used entirely “off-the-shelf” parts from third party manufacturers, rather than unique hardware designed by IBM.[50]

The PC is housed in a wide, short steel chassis intended to support the weight of a CRT monitor. The front panel is made of plastic, with an opening where one or two disk drives can be installed. The back panel houses a power inlet and switch, a keyboard connector, a cassette connector and a series of tall vertical slots with blank metal panels which can be removed in order to install expansion cards.

Internally, the chassis is dominated by a motherboard which houses the CPU, built-in RAM, expansion RAM sockets, and slots for expansion cards.

The IBM PC was highly expandable and upgradeable, but the base factory configuration included:


Question of the Day

I want to plant bulbs this fall, but rodents always manage to find them. How can I keep the critters away?

You can try using soup-size cans with both ends removed. Punch several holes in the cans for drainage, then push each one down into the ground so that it forms a cylinder around a bulb.

Advice of the Day

To avoid dying, never shave at night.

Home Hint of the Day

To clean leather, rub on a solution of equal parts white vinegar and boiled linseed oil. Wipe off any excess with a clean rag.

Word of the Day


An instrument used for measuring the water vapor content of the air.

Puzzle of the Day

The Centennial State.(Name the U.S. state!)



  • William Blake (poet) – 1827
  • The Viscount Willingdon (Canadian Governor General 1926-1931) – 1941
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. (oldest child of Rose and Joseph P. Kennedy; brother of President John F. Kennedy) – 1944
  • Ian Fleming (writer, creator of Agent 007 James Bond) – 1964
  • Henry Fonda (actor) – 1982
  • Loretta Young (actress) – 2000
  • Enos Country” Slaughter” (baseball player) – 2002
  • Ed Headrick (designed the frisbee) – 2002
  • Merv Griffin (entertainer) – 2007
  • Lauren Bacall (actress) – 2014


  • Christy Mathewson (baseball hall-of-famer) – 1880
  • Cecil B. DeMille (director) – 1881
  • Cantinflas (aka Mario Moreno Reyes [actor]) – 1911
  • George Hamilton (actor) – 1939
  • Ann M. Martin (author) – 1955
  • Bruce Greenwood (actor) – 1956
  • Peter Krause (actor) – 1965
  • Michael Ian Black (comedian & actor) – 1971
  • Pete Sampras (tennis player) – 1971
  • Matt Clement (baseball player) – 1974
  • Casey Affleck (actor) – 1975
  • Cindy Klassen (Olympic speed skater; only Canadian Olympian to win five medals in a single Olympic games) – 1979


  • Philip, chief of the Wampanog tribe, was killed by a renegade Indian of his own tribe, bringing to an end the first and bloodiest war between American Indians and white settlers of New England, a war that had raged for nearly two years and was known as King Philip’s War– 1676
  • Isaac Singer received a patent for the continuous-stitch sewing machine– 1851
  • Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph– 1877
  • Marjorie Gestring, at age 13, won an Olympic gold medal for springboard diving– 1936
  • Actor William Shatner married Gloria Rand– 1956
  • The first successful communications satellite, Echo I, was launched– 1960
  • Space shuttle Enterprise completed its first free-flight test– 1977
  • The IBM PC was introduced– 1981
  • Patent issued for therapeutic horseshoe– 1986
  • Cathy Gerring won the Stratton Mountain LPGA Golf Classic, in Vermont– 1990
  • Fossil hunter Susan Hendrickson found Tyrannosaurus rex bones near Faith, South Dakota– 1990
  • 232-day baseball strike began, causing World Series to be canceled– 1994


  • A Rhode Island hurricane prevented a major British-French sea battle– 1778
  • 1.8 inches of rain fell in San Diego, California– 1873
  • Record temperature of 120 degrees F, Seymour, Texas– 1936

COURTESY www.almanac.com


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