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Oh the sensation!


Veteran Member
Oct 20, 2006
Boston, MA
LOL I couldn't resist.

But seriously, what a sensation it was to turn on the old IBM 5150 after months of idlely sitting there, keeping the table from floating away. I plugged it in, and with a "CLICK!" it purred to life. I inserted my 5.25 DOS diskette(a copy of course, versus original) and with a light thud the head was lowered and locked onto the black magnetic surface. Seconds later, the buzz of the disk drive reading the 1s and 0s, eventually requesting I update it on the time and date, before informing me it successfully booted Microsoft DOS 3.0.

As I keyed in commands to give LOTUS 1-2-3 the correct drivers, I smiled at the memories of many evenings spent updating my finances, tracking my money to the penny. After I moved back here, I never really got back on that. But today, I made a new restart entry below the rest to update it on my current situation. Fond memories as I scrolled through the few years of information I had on that diskette. My move to WV was there, every single gallon of gas. The purchasing of my first car, and the hundreds of dollars worth maintenance it required, seemingly broken down at least once a week. The trip to Kentucky for a Suburbanful of computers. And the occasional meal I treated the family to. And right there through it all, good times and bad, my trusty, solid, semi-freshly painted(thanks Lorne) IBM Personal Computer 5150, displaying a crisp white text it uses to communicate with me. Its own way of saying "Hello! How may I help you?" presented right there at the command prompt. Ready for duty. Ready for a command. Ready to serve my needs.

My love-affair with my IBM 5150 has been reignited. I've typed and printed many school papers on it, and I look forward to many more this school year. Together, we take on the world. Whether through thousands of tiny dots printed with an IBM ProPrinter II, or with millions of 1s and 0s transmitted at a rate of 1200 baud on an internal modem, the world will know our presense for years to come.



Veteran Member
May 26, 2007
I just finished taking photos of the 5150 I got last night and I'm almost ready to power it up. It's supposed to work and was last tested a week ago. It's a sweet machine!!!


Experienced Member
Sep 11, 2009
Put them up on my Facebook, anyone should be able to access them through this link:


This wonderful 5150 was described as a "beat up wreck", but I'll take from Linus in a Charlie Brown Christmas: "I never thought it was such a bad little PC ... It's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love."

The 501 was simply a bad or misconfigured EGA which I since tossed in favor of a good ol' original CGA. (Though I may go back to a proper EGA someday, or maybe that'll be a different one...) Then I maxed this puppy out with an AST SIXPAKPLUS, a WD HDD controller, and a SoundBlaster (just for fun.) I retained the original full height floppy; it only came with one, and a half-height drive with nothing above it, probably was a pulled HDD.

The shelf above where this one sits is a Tandy 1000 RL that I saved from the trash... fully functional, haven't done much with it.


Veteran Member
Jan 21, 2008
Western Norway
I have mostly used XT's, but there isn't really much difference (except for the almost-never-used casette port, and number of expansion ports).

I agree with you that those machines are good machines, even though I don't write my school papers on one (in lack of a printer with a working/non-dried-out ribbon cartridge).

The special reason I like them is because they are so easy to program, and that I generally understand of the hardware inside. That's what makes it (a) Personal(Computer) to me.

Did you know that the IBM 5150 can store sound input from the casette in memory (as 1-bit audio) and play it off later on? Of course the quality would be lower, and you would run out of memory pretty fast, but anyways, it is possible.