by January 12, 1999 0 comments

IBM introduced the first PC in 1981. Its specs were the 8088 processor running at 4.77 MHz, 
16 kB of memory (expandable to 256) and a 160 kB floppy drive. One had the option of ordering two floppy drives. Prices started at $1,565. A lakh and thirty six thousand of these machines were sold in a year-and-a-half, and it spawned the revolution that is the information age. Even today, many refer to the IBM PC or to the compatible.

Eighteen years down the line, entry-level PC specs start off with CPU speeds of 400 MHz plus, 64 or more MB of RAM, 4 or 8 GB hard disks, and a 1.44 MB floppy drive. Monochrome monitors and 14-inchers are dead, with color being the norm. Prices for an entry-level model had dropped way below the $1,000 mark in the international (read the US) market sometime last year.

At the higher end, CPU speeds have gone up to and beyond 700 MHz, memory of 128 MB is standard, and hard disks could touch around 20 GB. Zip drives or Super disks that have storage capacities of 100 to 200 MB per disk are replacing floppy disks. Like monitors, video cards too have seen a sea change with 16 MB VRAM fast becoming the entry level.

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