IBM 5161

The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150, and was introduced on August 12, 1981. It was created by a team of engineers and designers under the direction of Don Estridge of the IBM Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida.

Alongside "microcomputer" and "home computer", the term "personal computer" was already in use before 1981. It was used as early as 1972 to characterize Xerox PARC's Alto. However, because of the success of the IBM Personal Computer, the term PC came to mean more specifically a microcomputer compatible with IBM's PC product.

The 5150 system unit had only five expansion slots, and one was taken up by either a monochrome or colour display adapter. Almost all systems sold had at least one floppy drive, which required another slot for the controller card. Each serial and parallel port took up a further slot. The 5150's 63W power supply was slightly underrated for running contemporary hard drives. IBM's official solution to these problems was the 5161 Expansion Chassis.

The "IBM 5161 Expansion Chassis" came with one 10 MB hard disk and allowed the installation of a second hard disk. The system unit had five expansion slots, and the expansion unit had eight; however, one of the system unit's slots and one of the expansion unit's slots had to be occupied by the Extender Card and Receiver Card, respectively, which were needed to connect the expansion unit to the system unit and make the expansion unit's other slots available, for a total of 11 slots. A working configuration required that some of the slots be occupied by display, disk, and I/O adapters, as none of these were built in to the 5150's motherboard; the only motherboard external connectors were the keyboard and cassette ports. The simple PC speaker sound hardware was also on-board.

Our 5150/5161 system is complete with:

  • 5150 system unit, containing:
    • 64-256K Mainboard with revision three BIOS
    • 256K RAM
    • Winbond EGA video card
    • IBM floppy drive controller card
    • 5161 transmitter card
  • 5161 expansion unit, containing:
    • IBM monochrome display and printer port card
    • Sysgen Image external tape drive controller card
    • Multifunction card with serial, RTC, and RAM
    • 5161 receiver card
    • Original 63-way connector cable
  • 5151 monochrome monitor
  • Keyboard

Manufacturer: IBM
Date: 1981

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IBM 5161 Manuals:

Item Manufacturer Date
RM Nimbus PC IBM PC Emulator - How To Use It PN 17320 RM Unknown
IBM - Personal Computer - Disk Operating System - Technical Reference by Microsoft Corp IBM Unknown
Digital DEC Professional 300 Series Manual volume 5 Digital Dec 1982
Digital DEC Professional 300 Series Manual volume 1 Digital Jan 1983
STB Systems - Graphix Plus II Users Manual - Preliminary Revision 0.3 STB Systems 1984
IBM - Personal Computer - DOS 2.10 IBM Jan 1984
Hardware and Software specifications for Commodore PC10 and PC20 Commodore 1985
IBM PC troubleshooting and repair guide IBM 1985
Grafpad Operating Guide British Micro 1986
INMOS Technical Note 11: IMS B004 IBM PC add-in board INMOS Feb 1987
Acorn Springboard Systems Guide Acorn Computer 17 Jul 1987
INMOS Technical Note 3: Getting started with the TDS INMOS Oct 1987
INMOS B008 User Guide and Reference Manual INMOS Jun 1988

IBM 5161 Articles:

Item Manufacturer Date
Logitech Mouse Logitech Unknown
PC Propad Quality Joystick Unknown
Watford Electronics 256K Printer Buffer Watford Electronics Unknown
C/WP Computers Contour 6Mb Hard Drive C/WP Computers Unknown
Cipher External Tape Drive Unit Cipher Unknown
Hercules Graphics Card Plus Hercules Unknown
AST SixPak Plus AST Unknown
IBM ISA Auto TokenRing card IBM Unknown
Data Harvest Education Sense & Control Data Harvest Education Unknown
Quickshot Super Warrior Quickshot Ltd Unknown
Logitech AudioMan Logitech Unknown
ISA Prototype Board Unknown
IRMA PC/3278 Decision Support Interface DCA Unknown
Roland LAPC-I LA Sound Card Roland Unknown
Microbee VGA Video Converter Microbee Technology Unknown
LocoLink for Windows Locomotive Software Unknown
Prism Networking Interface - Acoustic Modem Prism 1984
TRS-80 Touch Pad Tandy Jul 1984
Quadram Quadboard Quadram 1985
WD1003-WA2 Hard Drive Controller Western Digital 1985
Apple IIc Flat Panel Display Apple 1986
Hegotron Robotics Grafpad 2 1986
Double sided microboard for IBM PC & XT RS 1987
DFI MG-150 Video Card DFI 1988
Cambridge Z88 PC Link II Cambridge 1988
DiskFax Alfa Systems 1990
Sound Blaster CT1350B (late model) Creative Labs 1991
Sound Blaster OEM Version Creative Labs 1991
Sound Blaster CT1350B Creative Labs 1991
Gravis Analog Pro Joystick Gravis Jul 1991
QuickShot Python 5 Joystick Quickshot 1992
Hauppauge Win/TV-Prism Hauppauge 1994
Sound Blaster AWE32 Creative Technologies Ltd 1994
QuickShot QS-209E Skyhawk Quickshot Ltd 1995

Magazines RELATED to IBM 5161 in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Byte May 1987 Unknown
Byte February 1988 Unknown
REM 80 - Volume 11, Issue 1 The North West TRS-80 USers Group Unknown
Practical Computing - November 1982 Nov 1982
Personal Computer World - March 1983 Mar 1983
Dragon User - May 1983 May 1983
Personal Computer World - July 1983 Jul 1983
Practical Computing - August 1983 Aug 1983
Practical Computing - September 1983 Sep 1983
Practical Computing - October 1983 Oct 1983
Practical Computing - November 1983 Nov 1983
Perspective January 1984 Number 01 Jan 1984
Practical Computing - February 1984 Feb 1984
Personal Computer World - March 1984 Mar 1984
Perspective April 1984 Number 04 Apr 1984
Perspective June 1984 Number 06 Jun 1984
Byte August 1984 Aug 1984
Practical Computing - October 1984 Oct 1984
Byte October 1984 Oct 1984
Byte March 1984 Oct 1984
Practical Computing - December 1984 Dec 1984
Personal Computer World - December 1984 Dec 1984
Perspective December 1984 Number 12 Dec 1984
REM 80 - Volume 7, Issue 5 The North West TRS-80 USers Group 1985
Perspective April 1985 Number 04 Apr 1985
Practical Computing - July 1985 Jul 1985
Perspective July 1985 Number 07 Jul 1985
Personal Computer World Special: Business Computing The 1986 Survival Guide Apr 1986
Perspective October 1986 Oct 1986
Practical Computing - October 1986 Oct 1986
Perspective January 1987 Jan 1987
Byte April 1989 16 Jan 2003
Acorn User - September 1988 27 May 2009
Acorn User - January 1989 27 May 2009
Acorn User - February 1989 27 May 2009
Acorn User - March 1989 27 May 2009
Acorn User - November 1989 3 Jun 2009
Byte April 1987 9 Sep 2009
Byte May 1985 16 Sep 2009
Byte October 1985 16 Sep 2009
Byte June 1986 16 Sep 2009
Byte December 1986 16 Sep 2009
Byte August 1991 23 Sep 2009

Other Systems Related To IBM 5161:

Item Manufacturer Date
IBM System 370 Control Panel IBM 1970
IBM 370/138 IBM 30th June 1976
IBM Displaywriter IBM 1980
IBM 5150 with CGA Monitor IBM 1981
IBM 5150 IBM 1st September 1981
IBM 5160 XT IBM 1st January 1983
IBM PC Jr 4860-067 IBM 1st November 1983
IBM 5170 / PC AT IBM 1984
IBM 5155 Portable Computer IBM 1st June 1984
IBM 5140 Convertible Computer IBM April 1986
IBM PS/2 Model 50 IBM 1987
IBM PS/2 Model 70 IBM 1987
IBM PS/2 Model 30 286 IBM April 1987
IBM PS/2 Model 30 (Dual FD) IBM April 1987
IBM PS/2 Model 30 (FD/HD) IBM April 1987
IBM PS/2 Model 80 (8580-071) IBM 2nd April 1987
IBM PS/2 Model 55SX IBM October 1987
IBM PS/1 IBM 1990
IBM RS/6000 Model 550L IBM 1990
IBM Model 8573-121 IBM January 1990
IBM RS/6000 320 IBM 15th February 1990
IBM PS/2 Note IBM 1991
IBM PS/2 Model 95 (8595) IBM 1991
IBM PS/1 Pro - Model 2123 IBM 1992
IBM PS/2 Multimedia Model 75 (M75) 486SLC2 IBM 1992
IBM RISC System/6000 250 IBM 1993
IBM ThinkPad 2523-710T IBM 1993
IBM ThinkPad T30 IBM 1993
IBM Aptiva IBM September 1994
IBM ThinkPad 701CS IBM 1995
IBM ThinkPad 755CEX IBM March 1995
IBM ThinkPad 365XD IBM 1996
IBM RS/6000 SP2 Type 7025 IBM 1996
IBM Personal Computer 730 - P75 IBM 1997
IBM RS/6000 Model 7043 604e IBM 1998
IBM 8363 NetVisa Thin Client IBM November 2000
IBM ThinkPad R30 2656 IBM 2001
IBM Thinkpad 2628-STG IBM 2001
IBM ThinkPad X41 IBM 2005

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH21352. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


IBM 5161

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