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Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

Ambra Computer Corp. (Raleigh, NC)

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment

For some reason in the early 1990s, IBM decided that it needed a separate brand name to sell high-performance desktop PCs and portable PCs to the home market. In 1992, IBM created its Ambra subsidiary in Europe, and it opened shop a year later in the US. By the end of 1994, the line was replaced by the IBM Aptiva.

Ambra N100T (1994, notebook PC)
Original Retail Price: $5,299
Base Configuration: 100MHz DX4 CPU, 4MB RAM (20MB max), 1MB video RAM, 450MB hard disk drive, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 85-key keyboard, built-in trackball, 9.5-inch active matrix TFT color display, PCMCIA slot MS-DOS 6.2, Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Video: 1,024 x 768 pixels, 256 colors
Size and Weight: 6.7 lbs.

Ambra N75T-340 (1994, notebook PC)
Original Retail Price: $4,299
Base Configuration: 75MHz DX4 CPU, 4MB RAM (20MB max), 1MB video RAM, 340MB hard disk drive, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 85-key keyboard, built-in trackball, 9.5-inch active matrix TFT color display, PCMCIA slot MS-DOS 6.2, Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Video: 1,024 x 768 pixels, 256 colors
Size and Weight: 6.7 lbs.

Ambra N75D-340 (1994, notebook PC)
Original Retail Price: $3,199
Base Configuration: 75MHz DX4 CPU, 4MB RAM (20MB max), 1MB video RAM, 340MB hard disk drive, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 85-key keyboard, built-in trackball, 10.3-inch active matrix TFT color display, PCMCIA slot MS-DOS 6.2, Windows for Workgroups 3.11
Video: 1,024 x 768 pixels, 256 colors
Size and Weight: 6.7 lbs.

Categories: Company Profile Tags: ,

IBM’s Art Collection

March 13, 2010 6 comments

While going through my bookshelves recently, I came across a book called Contemporary Art of 79 Countries. What makes the book relevant to this blog is that it was produced by IBM, and it essentially is a catalog of the art collection Tom Watson put together for the 1939 New York World’s Fair. IBM commissioned one work of art for each country it operated in at the time.

After the fair, IBM displayed the collection in its headquarters and continued to add to it. When IBM hit the skids in 1995, it auctioned off the collection, which by then totaled about 300 pieces.

For the art aficionados, here is a list of the works in the book along with the countries represented. I was surprised by some of the countries where IBM had a presence in 1939. The Azores?:

Algeria: Paysage de Sidi-bou-Said, by Lucien Mainssieux
Australia: A Bathing Party, Sydney Harbor, by Fred Leist
Azores: Prayers, by Domingos Rebelo
Bahamas: St. Ames Church, Nassau, by Helena Stutevant
Belgian Congo: The Market of Matadi, by Alfred Bastien
Belgium: Blast Furnaces at Charleroi, by Pierre Paulus
Bermuda: Flowers in Color, by May Middleton
Bolivia: Indian Dance, by Victor Cuevas Pabon
Brazil: Pontao da Bandeira, by Funchal Garcia
British India: Village Kali Puja by P. Karmokar
British Malaya: Malayan Chieftain in the Jungle, by Franciscus Hermanus van Haelen
Bulgaria: Tirnovo, by Boris Deneff
Canada: Canada’s Regional Northland, by Alexander Young Jackson
Ceylon: Portrait of the Poet Tagore, by Mudaliyar A.C.G.S. Amarasekara
Chile: Sunset in the Cajon de Maipo, by Luis Strozzi
China: Flowers, by Shang Sheng-Po
Colombia: El Poeta Del Campo, by Ignacio Gomez Jaramillo
Costa Rica: Coffee Picker, by Esmeralda Lorin de Povedano
Cuba: Summer Squall, by Antonio Rodriguez Morey
Czechoslovakia: Prague in the Spring, by Vincenc Benes
Denmark: Autumn Morning, by Niels Bjerre
Dominican Republic: At the Market, by Jorge O. Morel
Ecuador: The Funeral, by Antonio Bellolio
Egypt: Happy Life of the Egyptian Peasant, by H. Banani
England: The White Cliffs of Dover, by Frank Graham Bell
Estonia: Estonian Landscape, by Alexander Kulkoff
Finland: Cutter’s Hat, by Tyko K. Sallinen
France: Church of St. Aigman at Chartres, by Maurice Utrillo
French Indo-China: The Tonkinese Delta, by Joseph Marie Inguimberty
Germany: Thuringian Glass Blower, by Rudolf G. Werner
Greece: Peasant Woman, by Demetre Vitsoris
Guatemala: Projections of a Hunt, by Carlos Merida
Haiti: Market on the Hill, by Petion Savain
Hawaii: Island of Oahu, Hawaii, by Henry Bernard Christian
Honduras: Quincho, by Maximiliano Euceda
Hungary: Harvest, by Istvan Szonyi
Ireland: A Flower Girl in Dublin, by Jack Butler Yeats
Italy: Romanticism, by Guiseppe Amisani
Jamaica: A Landscape, by John Dunkley
Japan: Twilight, by Shunzan Yagioka
Kenya: In Kikuyu, by Carrie Solomon
Latvia: Landscape in Latvia, by Ary Skride
Libya: Tomb of the Caramanlis, by Domenico de Bernardi
Luxemburg: Castle of Clervaux, by Joseph Kutter
Mexico: Spring Begins, by Doctor Atl
Morocco: Ben Djeloud Gate, Fez, by Emile Bouneau
Netherland India, Javanese Landscape, by Ernest Dezentje
Netherlands: Winter Landscape, by Hendrik Chabot
Netherlands West Indies: Hooiberg Aruba, by J.C. Pietersz
Newfoundland: Drying Cod, by Robert W. Pilot
New Zealand: On the Shores of Kawhia Harbour, by Edith M. Collier
Nigeria: Umu Ahia College Dining Hall, by B.C. Enwonwu
Northern Ireland: Irish Horse Parade, by William Conor
Norway: Summer Scene off the Oslofjord, by Per Deberitz
Palestine: In the Midst of Jerusalem, by Joseph Budko
Panama: Anayansi’s Dance of Love, by Roberto Lewis
Peru: The Flute Player, by Julia Codesido
Philippine Islands: After the Day’s Toil, by Vicente Alvarez Dizon
Poland: Fete of St. John, by Sophie Stryjenska
Portugal: View of Lisbon, by Carlos Botelho
Puerto Rico: Man of the Mountain, by Miguel Pou
Rumania: Carpet Seller, by Francis Sirato
Scotland: Isobel, by Robert Sivell
Siam: Siamese Women Preparing Flowers Before Worship, by Georges Barriere
Southern Rhodesia: The Crocodile Zareba, by Colonel A. Essex Capell
Spain: Enigmatic Elements in Landscape, by Salvador Dali
Sweden: Spring Day at Orretorp, by Rolf Mellstrom
Switzerland: Sunshine on the Swiss Alps, by Paul Emil Wyss
Trinidad: The Moulder and His Patterns, by Alice Pashley
Turkey: Return from the Market, by Mehmet Seref Akdik
Union of South Africa: Portrait of the Right Reverend Bishop Henneman of Capetown, by Edward Roworth
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: At the Horse Pond, by Alexander Grigorievitch Tyshler
United States of America: Central Park, by Robert Philipp
Uruguay: Typical Uruguayan Landscape, by Cesar A. Pesce Castro
Venezuela: Vista del Avila, by Manuel Cabre
Wales: Welsh Coast and Hills, by Morland Lewis
Yugoslavia: Scene Near Belgrade, by Milo Milunovic

Categories: Computer History Tags: ,

Company Profile: International Business Machines (IBM) (Boca Raton, Fla.)

March 6, 2010 Leave a comment

To many people, the terms “IBM” and “computer” are synonymous. Before micros appeared, IBM owned the mainframe market, but was feeling competitive pressure from companies like Digital Equipment and Data General. Their minicomputers were stealing sales away from IBM. By the late 1970s, it was clear that IBM would have to expand its product line into small systems.

IBM sold systems that could be considered microcomputers as early as 1975 with the 5100. Definitely not a hobbyist machine at the price, the 5100 was aimed at industrial, commercial, and professional markets. Although sold as a transportable, it was anything but at 50 pounds. IBM did not sell the Problem Solver Library, but rented it at $500. Later versions used floppy drives in place of the tape storage unit. The IBM 5100 is a rare and desirable collectible today. The 5120 and Datamaster systems followed the 5100.

The company didn’t put its full weight behind a microcomputer product until it launched the IBM PC in August 1981. Some computer industry watchers of the time thought that the new IBM PC was doomed to failure. After all, it didn’t run the leading microcomputer business operating system of the day, CP/M. IBM later offered CP/M as an option, but it hardly mattered. The IBM PC changed the microcomputer world by establishing a standard that almost every manufacturer eventually would adopt. IBM briefly offered a PC1 version of the Model 5150 that came standard with only 16K of RAM, expandable to 64K. PC1 examples are rare and command a 20 to 50 percent premium over PC2 values, depending on condition and completeness.

More expansion bus slots and greater mass storage capabilities were the most significant improvements that the PC XT (for Extended Technology) made over the PC. IBM offered a version of the PC XT that would run its mainframe applications. The Personal Computer XT/370 used the Virtual Machine/Personal Computer (VM/PC) control program that provided compatibility with the Virtual Machine/Conversational Monitor System (VM/CMS) mainframe program. IBM developed the Portable PC in response to the popularity of other vendors’ PC-compatible transportables. Its innards were based on the PC XT.

The PC AT was at the time the most significant upgrade from the original PC. Third-party tests showed that it was 2.5 times faster than the PC, and the PC AT could be expanded to 3MB of memory by using one of its expansion slots. IBM later added a PC AT Model 339, which came with 512K of RAM, a 30MB hard disk drive, and the IBM Enhanced Personal Computer Keyboard. Eventually, an 8MHz 80286 replaced the slower 6MHz version. The PC AT sold in great numbers, but finding one today that isn’t scarred from years of use is uncommon.

When word got out that IBM was about the enter the home PC market with a computer code-named Peanut, sales of many existing home systems dropped as consumers anticipated the launch. The PCjr formally launched with great fanfare. However, the PCjr was not the success IBM had hoped for. The original keyboard was a mushy Chiclet style (later replaced with a more conventional keyboard). The PCjr was not compatible with many applications written for the PC, and PCjr cartridge-based software was slow to be released. IBM designed an infrared keyboard interface (a keyboard cable was optional) so that families could use the TV as the monitor and type from anywhere in the living room, but the technology proved problematic. In a school setting, for example, kids soon learned that they could point the keyboard at and control systems other than their own. The PCjr was sold in Japan as the IBM Personal Computer JX.

IBM also missed the mark with its first laptop, the PC Convertible. It was bigger, heavier, and more expensive than some of its competitors’ models. Items found standard on other systems, such as serial and parallel interfaces, were options on the Convertible. Consequently, the Convertible did not sell well. It was IBM’s first laptop computer, and as such is collectible. The Convertible’s LCD is detachable so that users could set a CRT display atop the computer; some surviving examples might be separated from their LCDs as a result.

In 1987, IBM introduced a new line of systems, the Personal System/2 (PS/2). Models ranges from the entry-level 25 to the 80 tower system for power users. The higher end models used IBM’s new Micro Channel system bus for higher performance and optionally the new OS/2 operating system.

IBM sold a Personal Typing System based on the PS/2 Model 30 and IBM printer through its typewriter dealers. The Model 80 could be used as a high-end personal computer or as a network server. Its tower cabinet–the same used for the Model 60–allowed for a great deal of expandability.

IBM 5100 (Sept. 1975, early micro)
Original Retail Price: $8,975 to $19,975
Base Configuration: ROM-based proprietary operating system, 16K RAM (64K max), internal magnetic tape unit, integral monochrome CRT display, integral keyboard/keypad, BASIC or APL in ROM
Video: 16-line x 64-column text
Size/Weight: 50 lbs.
Important Options: TV, communications, and I/O interfaces; Problem Solver Library software; Model 5103 printer, Model 1506 auxiliary tape unit

IBM 5120 (1980, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $9,160
Base Configuration: 5110 Model 3 CPU, ROS, 64K RAM, integral 9-inch monochrome CRT, keyboard/keypad, BASIC, APL
Video: 16-line x 64-column text

IBM System/23 Datamaster (1981, desktop)
Original Retail Price: $3,300 to $10,000
Base Configuration: 5322 CPU, ROS, 64K RAM (128K max), two 8-inch floppy disk drives, integral 12-inch monochrome CRT, integral keyboard/keypad, RS-232C port, BASIC
Video: 24-line x 80-column text
Important Options: printer

IBM Personal Computer (Aug. 1981, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $1,565 to $4,425
Base Configuration: 4.77MHz 8088 CPU, PC-DOS 1.1, five ISA slots, 64K RAM (640K max), 40K ROM, keyboard/keypad, RS-232C and cassette ports, BASIC
Video: 25-line x 80-column text, 640 x 200 graphics, four colors
Size/Weight: 20 x 16 x 5.5 inches, 21 lbs.
Important Options: CP/M-86; Model 001 Expansion Unit; one or two 5.25-inch floppy disk drives; Color Display, Enhanced Color Display, or Monochrome Display monitor; EGA or CGA card; PC Color, PC Compact, or Graphics Printer

IBM Personal Computer XT (PC XT) Model 5160 (March 1983, destkop PC)
Original Retail Price: $4,995
Base Configuration: 4.77MHz 8088 CPU, PC-DOS 2.0, eight ISA slots, 128K RAM (640K max), 40K ROM, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, keyboard/keypad, RS-232C port, BASIC, operations manual
Video: 25-line x 80-column text, 640 x 200 graphics
Size/Weight: 20 x 16 x 6 inches, 32 lbs.
Important Options: Model 002 Expansion Unit; second 5.25-inch floppy disk drive; 10MB hard disk drive; Color Display, Enhanced Color Display, or Monochrome Display monitor; EGA or CGA card; game port; PC Color, PC Compact, or Graphics Printer; technical reference; hardware maintenance and service manual

IBM Personal Computer XT 286 (PC XT 286) (Sept. 1986, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $3,995
Base Configuration: 6MHz 80286 CPU, PC-DOS 3.2, eight ISA slots, 640K RAM, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, 20MB hard disk drive, keyboard/keypad, serial and parallel ports
Video: CGA
Size/Weight: 19.6 x 16.1 x 5.5 inches, 28 lbs.
Important Options: Xenix 2.0; second 5.25-inch floppy disk drive; external 3.5-inch floppy disk drive; Enhanced Color Display, Color Display, or Monochrome Display monitor; mouse; PC Color, PC Compact, or Graphics Printer

IBM Personal Computer AT (PC AT) (Aug. 1984, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $3,995 to $5,795
Base Configuration: 6MHz 80286 CPU, PC-DOS 3.0, eight ISA slots, 256K RAM (512K max), 64K ROM, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, keyboard/keypad, technical reference manual
Video: CGA
Size/Weight: 21.3 x 17.3 x 6.4 inches, 37 lbs.
Important Options: PC Xenix; second 5.25-inch floppy disk drive; 20MB hard disk drive; Enhanced Color Display, Color Display, or Monochrome Display monitor; EGA or CGA card; serial and parallel interfaces; PC Color, PC Compact, or Graphics printer

IBM PCjr (Nov. 1983, home PC)
Original Retail Price: $669 to $1,269
Base Configuration: 4.77MHz 8088, PC-DOS 2.1, two ROM cartridge and two expansion slots, 64K RAM (640K max), 64K ROM, TV adapter, keyboard, serial port, BASIC, tutorial software
Video: 40-column text, 640 x 200 graphics
Size/Weight: 13.9 x 11.4 x 3.8 inches, 12 lbs.
Important Options: 5.25-inch floppy disk drive; PCjr Color Display, Color Display, or Monochrome Display monitor; 80-column display; parallel port and two game ports; Graphics or PC Compact Printer; internal modem; joysticks; carrying case

IBM Portable Personal Computer (PC) Model 5155 (March 1984, transportable PC)
Original Retail Price: $2,795
Base Configuration: 4.77MHz 8088, PC-DOS 2.1, five ISA slots, 256K RAM (512K max), 40K ROM, 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, integral 9-inch monochrome CRT, keyboard/keypad, carrying case
Video: 25-line x 80-column text, CGA
Size/Weight: 20 x 17 x 8 inches, 30 lbs.
Important Options: Model 001 Expansion Unit; second 5.25-inch floppy disk drive; Color Display or Monochrome Display monitor; EGA card; serial, parallel, and game ports; Graphics or PC Compact Printer

IBM PC Convertible (April 1986, laptop PC)
Original Retail Price: $1,995
Base Configuration: 4.77MHz 80C86 CPU, PC-DOS 3.2, 256K RAM (512K max), 64K ROM, two 3.5-inch floppy disk drives, monochrome LCD, keyboard, battery pack, AC adapter
Video: 80-column text, 640 x 200 graphics
Size/Weight: 14.72 x 12.28 x 2.64 inches, 12.2 lbs.
Important Options: nine-inch monochrome or 12-inch color CRT display, CRT display adapter, RS-232C and parallel ports, personal productivity software suite, carrying case, PC Convertible printer, internal modem

IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) Model 25 (1987, desktop PC)
Base Configuration: 8MHz 8086 CPU, PC-DOS 3.3, two ISA slots, 512K RAM (640K max), 40K ROM (64K max), 3.5-inch floppy disk drive
Video: MCGA
Important Options: 20MB hard disk drive

IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) Model 30 (April 1987, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $1,695 to $2,295
Base Configuration: 8MHz 8086 CPU, PC-DOS 3.3, three ISA slots, 640K RAM, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, keyboard/keypad, serial and parallel ports
Video: MCGA
Size/Weight: 15.6 x 16 x 4, 17 lbs.
Important Options: OS/2, second 3.5-inch floppy disk drive; 20MB hard disk drive; 8503 monochrome or 8512, 8513, or 8514 color monitor; mouse, ProPrinter II

IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) Model 50 (April 1987, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $3,595
Base Configuration: 10MHz 80286 CPU, PC-DOS 3.3, three MCA slots, 1MB RAM (7MB max), 128K ROM, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 20MB hard disk drive, keyboard/keypad
Video: VGA
Size/Weight: 16.5 x 14.1 x 5.5 inches, 23 lbs.
Important Options: OS/2; 8503 monochrome or 8512, 8513, or 8514 color monitor; mouse, ProPrinter II

IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) Model 60 (April 1987, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $5,295 to $6,295
Base Configuration: 10MHz 80286 CPU, PC-DOS 3.3, seven MCA slots, 1MB RAM (15MB max), 128K ROM, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 44MB hard disk drive, keyboard/keypad
Video: VGA
Size/Weight: 19 x 6.5 x 23.5, 52 lbs.
Important Options: OS/2; 70- or 115MB hard disk drive; 8503 monochrome or 8512, 8513, or 8514 color monitor, mouse, ProPrinter II

IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) Model 80 (April 1987, desktop PC)
Original Retail Price: $6,995 to $10,995
Base Configuration: 16- or 20MHz 80386 CPU, PC-DOS 3.3, seven MCA slots, 1MB RAM (4MB max), 128K ROM, 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, 44MB hard disk drive, keyboard/keypad, serial and parallel ports
Video: VGA
Size/Weight: 19 x 6.5 x 23.5 inches, 52 lbs.
Important Options: OS/2; 44- to 115MB hard disk drive; 8503 monochrome or 8512, 8513, or 8514 color monitor; mouse; ProPrinter II

IBM PS/2 P70 (transportable PC)
Base Configuration: 16MHz 80386 CPU; two MCA slots; up to 8MB RAM; 3.5-inch floppy disk drive; 30MB hard disk drive; monochrome gas plasma display; keyboard/keypad; serial, parallel, and mouse ports
Video: VGA
Important Options: OS/2, 60- or 120MB hard disk drive, mouse

IBM PS/2 L40SX (March 1991, laptop PC)
Base Configuration: 20MHz 80386SX CPU, ISA bus, 2MB RAM (16MB max), 60MB hard disk drive, monochrome LCD, integral keyboard/keypad
Video: VGA
Important Options: OS/2, 80MB hard disk drive

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