It was 30 years ago today…


IBM released the PC onto the world.


For the occasion here is 86-DOS fished out from  This is what was sold to Microsoft as the basis for MS-DOS.

You too can behold this ancient gem here.

Maybe I should do something about the various versions and hunt out something capable of running MS-DOS 1.25..  I’m sure Peter has something for the  occasion!

Oh and I have to add this bit from

“Out of today’s mail:  Electronics, June 16, 1981:Under the heading (pg. 33) “Xerox to market personal computer…”
with the announcement of the 820 which most of you may have seen already, is “… with IBM to follow suit” Called Chess, it is an 8088-based system priced between $3-4K, and includes two DSDD 5-1/4 Tandon floppy drives, a detachable keyboard.  An OS “similar to CP/M” from Microsoft (IBM Personal Computer DOS), from 64K to 256K RAM, and a “600-by-400-line” B&W display and able to handle eight colors with a resolution of 400×200 pixels or four colors at 800×400.  Look for it to be announced next month and check out Sears, Computerland, and maybe J.C. Penney.”

The first mention of the IBM PC on usenet…

4 thoughts on “It was 30 years ago today…

  1. Actually, I had a bit of a shocker yesterday. I downloaded the 86-DOS file archive on my Windows machine (32-bit Windows 2003 Server) just to see what’s in there. There were a few .COM executables and some assembly sources. Now, the shocking part is that the 86-DOS executables actually run on Windows 2003! I did not expect that. The executables can’t be used easily because they only understand floppies, but it’s a good proof that MS-DOS is indeed 86-DOS (not that there was any doubt).

  2. Talk about backwards compatibility!

    I also like how MS-DOS 1.25 from the same archive booting on the 8086 monitor also has about 1MB free ram. It must be the infamous machine that was the only one that could link the linker as 640kb of ram just wasn’t enough… Well not until they went all DPMI.

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