Of historical interest, anyway

This cute little darb is the IBM 5100 Portable Computer, unleashed on the world in 1975, six years before the machine normally called the IBM PC. The base version, with 16 KB of actual RAM, could be had for about $10,000; fortified with a whole 64 KB, it was about twice as much. I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed with that QIC tape backup.

IBM Model 5100 computer

What’s it worth today? Ask this guy: How to go on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter on a 1977 IBM-5100?

I don’t think I have the heart to tell him. After all, it’s a ten-grand (or more) machine.


  1. McGehee »

    27 June 2019 · 9:47 pm

    A.: “In super slo-mo.”

  2. fillyjonk »

    27 June 2019 · 10:05 pm

    I vaguely remember using something similar, on a class-enrichment grade school trip to the computer lab at University of Akron. Would have been mid-late 70s. I think we got to play Hangman on them? Not sure what it was enrichment for, now.

  3. CGHill »

    28 June 2019 · 5:34 pm

    And that era’s definition of “portable” sharply differs from today’s.

  4. Jay »

    29 June 2019 · 11:00 am

    IIRC, they were called ‘luggables’

  5. CGHill »

    29 June 2019 · 1:17 pm

    Indeed. I had a brace of Osborne 1s, which didn’t weigh a ton, exactly, but even Popeye the Sailor with his oversized forearms would have had to call for assistance — spinach souffl&eacute, maybe.

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