From: email@example.com (Johnny B. Goode)
Subject: Re: Generating Serial Numbers
Date: 28 Oct 2002 10:09:52 -0800
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <3DB85353.B3C80184@gv.net>
NNTP-Posting-Date: 28 Oct 2002 18:09:52 GMT
"Michael R. Kesti" wrote in message news:<3DB85353.B3C80184@gv.net>...
> firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> >HA!! :) Could you imagine if IBM had done this with their
> >original PC? I had heard that they originally estimated
> >something like 50 PCs would be the most they could ever
> The PC was most certainly developed for a mass market, and IBM most
> definately expected to sell far more than 50 units. What you're not
> remembering correctly is a 1943 quote of then IBM chairman Thomas
> Watson saying, "I think there is a world market for maybe five
> computers". He was speaking of the behemoths that were state of the
> art in his day.
You're not entirely incorrect, but you're missing the point. IBM did
a marketing survey prior to the introduction of the PC, and it was
found that they would expect to sell no more than a handful of PCs.
As it turned out, the original PC-XT, and PC-AT were more successful
than the marketers had dreamed -- and a project was undertaken to
"improve" on the poorly conceived ISA architecture. You see, the ISA
architecture was as good as it needed to be for the handfuls of units
to be sold -- but in some IBM group's opinion, not good enough for the
millions that would eventually be dispersed.
IBM then gave away the blueprints to the ISA architecture to the
public domain. They also gave away the BIOS they had developed for
the original PC, also to the public domain. At the same time, they
introduced the PC/2 line with a Microchannel Bus -- a true
plug-and-play system with self-sorting IRQ contention. Unlike the PCI
bus (plug-and-pray) that would come out nearly ten years later, this
one worked. The PS/2 had for it a brand new operating system, OS/2
1.0 that was available. The first fully pre-emptive multitasking,
multithreaded operating system for any personal computer. The first
PS/2 with OS/2 was really just amazing -- a true innovation for its
Unfortunately (for IBM), the decision to give away the ISA blueprints
& BIOS to the public domain proved idiotic. Shops arose in all around
the world; Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc., to duplicate IBM's original work
-- and the clone was born. Computer Shopper magazine was born.
Microsoft was now on its way to its riches and eventually chief of all
personal-computer computing on the planet.
Had IBM not given away the spec, it'd still be the battle of evermore
between Apple, and IBM. Or not? Maybe IBM would have been a worse
competitor for Apple than is Microsoft, a software-only company.
Be good, be good, be good Johnny ...