25 Random Facts About Old Computers:

The Apple Lisa (1983) was the first successful computer with a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse. It cost $10,000.

  1. The GRiD 1101 is the grand-daddy of all modern-day laptops. It cost over $8000 in 1982.
  2. Their new VIC-20 (1980) was so embarrassing to parent company Commodore, that they considered giving them away. Instead, it sold over 1,000,000 units within just a few years, making Commodore hundreds of millions of dollars.
  3. The first portable Macintosh computer, the Macintosh Portable (1989) weighs 16 pounds and had a 16MHz processor.
  4. The first-ever handheld/palmtop MS-DOS “PC” was the Portfolio, sold by — Atari, in 1989.
  5. The first “IBM” computer to run on batteries was the IBM Convertible PC from 1986.
  6. The Timex Sinclair 1000 was the most successful computer ever, that cost less than $100, that is.
  7. The Commodore 64 (1982) retains the record as the most successful single computer model ever, selling over 10 million units.
  8. The portable version of the Commodore 64 is the SX-64 (1984). It weighs 23 pounds, and has a built-in 5-inch color CRT screen.
  9. The Coleco Adam (1983) will not run without the printer attached and plugged-in. The computer’s power supply is in the printer.
  10. The Jupiter Ace (1983) was advertised as “Probably the fastest microcomputer in the universe!”.
  11. Apple Computers sued the maker of the Franklin ACE 100 (1982) for copyright infringement. The Franklin company copied the Apple II operating system, changed a few words, and sold it as their own.
  12. In 1981, prior to the famous PC, IBM sold a desktop computer called the Datamaster.
  13. The Osborne 1 (1981) is considered to be the first practical and useful “portable” computer. It weighs 25 pounds.
  14. The first great flop for “Apple Computers” was the Apple III in 1981.
  15. The Radio Shack Pocket Computer from 1980 was the first programmable computer to fit in a shirt pocket.
  16. Possibly the heaviest desktop computer ever may have been the IBM 5120 from 1980 – it weighed 105 pounds, not including the 130 pound external floppy drive.
  17. The custom CPU (central processor) of the HP-85 from 1980 runs at 0.6MHz.
  18. When fully expanded, the “Texas Instruments” TI-99/4 from 1979 can be over 3 feet wide.
  19. In 1979, Apple licensed the Apple II to Bell & Howell to sell to public schools. The beige case was painted black.
  20. NorthStar, which built and sold computer in the late 1970’s, was originally called “Kentucky Fried Computers”.
  21. The Commodore PET-2001 (1977) has the worst keyboards of any full-size computer.
  22. The portable desk-top sized IBM 5100 from 1975 could cost up to $20,000, depending on options included.
  23. The Zenith MiniSport (1989) was the only computer to ever use a 2-inch floppy drive.
  24. The Apple Macintosh and Commodore Amiga 1000 have the developer’s signatures cast into the inside of their case.
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