Technology and retro computer blog

IBM 5150 PC

This is my IBM 5150 PC.  The 5150 was the first model of IBM pc, first released in 1981.  This one is dated 1983 and has the dual 360k 5.25" floppy drives.  The first model 5150 had 160k 5.25" floppy drives.  I bought the computer untested, I gave it a good clean and fired it up, everything worked.  I've installed an XT IDE compact flash hard disk card in the machine.  The CF card I've used is 32 meg which is plenty for a machine this age.  The power supply in the 5150 is not powerful enough to power a typical hard disk from this era.  The first hard disk model IBM PC was the XT which had a bigger power supply.


1983 IBM 5150 with PS2 vga monitor and Microsoft Green Eye mouse Microsoft Green Eye mouse dated 1985


  IBM 5150 PC specifications

Manufacturer    IBM
Release date 12th August 1981
CPU Intel 8088, 16 bit
Speed 4.77MHz
Ram 16k to 256k
Rom 40k
Storage two 5.25" 160k internal floppy disks  
Expansion 4 expansion slots
Ports Cassette, optional serial, parallel
OS IBM Rom Basic, PCDos 1.0



The mouse attached to the 5150 is the original Microsoft "Green Eye" mouse.  It was introduced with the first version of Windows in 1985.  This particular one has a DB25 connector and works with the generic CuteMouse serial mouse driver.


I've installed MS DOS 6.22 as the base operating system and I've also installed Windows 2.0.  I've also got some DOS games installed like Galaxian and Pacman.  The software gives you a good idea of what this pc was capable. of.


This machine has a Video 7 VEGA graphics card installed which has both 15 pin VGA and 9 pin CGA/EGA outputs.  The card can be jumpered from the rear of the machine to switch between the two outputs.


Microsoft Green Eye mouse top


XTIDE card and compact flash hard drive

In the last two slots seen above is a compact flash IDE card (left), attached to the the XTIDE card (right).  This allows the IBM5150 to use more modern IDE hard drives.  As my machine has the original 60 watt power supply I believe it wouldn't be enough to run an original IBM hard drive.  This is a good solution as the comact flash card is very low power and it can be removed and connected to a modern pc for copying software over to the 5150.  It also allows the 5150 to return to it's original dual floppy and no hard drive configuration simply by removing these two cards.


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