Early Personal Computers
I'd been following the development of microcomputers
through magazines like Byte etc since the introduction of
the Altair. Unfortunately the various 8-bit systems running
CP/M were mostly incompatible with each other.
IBM released the IBM PC in the USA in August 1981, based
on the Intel 8088 16-bit (internal) CPU. It almost entirely
used off-the-shelf, non-proprietary components. This,
coupled with the size and market influence of IBM, opened up
the possibility of industry standardisation.
My first - a 1982
I purchased an IBM PC-1 from Terry Smyth at
Computhink in September 1982, well before they were made
officially available in Australia in March 1983. It was a
5051 system unit with 64 Kb RAM, combination monochrome
display and printer adapter, cassette tape interface, plus
two double sided 320 Kb 5.25" floppy diskette drives.
IBM PC-DOS 1.1 was patched to support these non-standard
drives. An IBM 5151 monochrome video display and Epson
MX-100 Type III printer completed the combination. Total
I wrote an article called "My First Computer is an
IBM" which was published in the December 1982 edition
of Your Computer magazine. In 1983 I became a regular
writer the magazine, producing the "Your IBM
Computer" column each month. I also took on the
distribution of "Freeware" and public domain
software from various collections in the USA.
In my September 1983 column in Your Computer
magazine, I floated the idea of a PC user group in
Melbourne. The response was encouraging. Thus the first
meeting of what was to become the Melbourne PC Users Group
was held at the offices of Computer Power in St Kilda Road
in November 1983. I became the inaugural President and
focused on getting the group on a firm footing and starting
up the group's newsletter PC Update.
By June 1984 I'd upgraded my IBM PC so that it could
become Australia's first IBM-PC based Bulletin Board System
(BBS) operating under the name PC
Connection Australia. That PC then proceeded to run almost continuously 24
hours per day, seven days per week as a BBS until replaced
Saturday, 21 January 2006