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IBM 5100


IBM 5100
IBM 5100

The IBM 5100 Portable Computer Manufacturer Type Release date IBM Professional Computer September€1975

Introductory price From $8,975 (BASIC with 16KB) to $19,975 (BASIC+APL with 64KB) Discontinued CPU Memory Input Successor 1978 IBM PALM processor clocked at 1.9MHz 16KB to 64KB RAM (with 16KB iterations), 32KB to 64KB ROM Keyboard IBM 5110

The IBM 5100 Portable Computer was a portable computer introduced in September 1975, six years before the IBM PC. It was the evolution of a prototype called the SCAMP (Special Computer APL Machine Portable) that was developed at the IBM Palo Alto Scientific Center in 1973. In January 1978 IBM announced the IBM 5110, its larger cousin, and in February 1980 IBM announced the IBM 5120. The 5100 was withdrawn in March 1982. When the IBM PC was introduced in 1981, it was originally designated as the IBM 5150, putting it in the "5100" series, though its architecture was not directly descended from the IBM 5100.

The IBM 5100 is based on a 16-bit processor module called PALM (Put All Logic in Microcode). The IBM 5100 Maintenance Information Manual also referred to the PALM module as the controller. The PALM could directly address 64 KB of memory. Some configurations of the IBM 5100 had Executable ROS (ROM) and RAM memory totalling more than 64 KB, so a simple bank switching scheme was used. The actual APL and/or BASIC interpreters were stored in a separate Language ROS address space which the PALM treats as a peripheral device. Prices ranged from $11,000 (16k model) to $20,000 (64k).

An equivalent late 1960s IBM computer would have been nearly as large as two desks and would have weighed about half a ton. but not identical. It was the size of a small suitcase. Two experiments exemplify the use of the system. CRT display. hence the "portable" designation. it was two more years before the similar Commodore PET was released.IBM 5100 2 The portable computer A single integrated unit provided the keyboard. This compact system provides a dedicated. It made the 5100 appear the same as an IBM 2741 Communications Terminal and was designed to be able to communicate with IBM 2741 compatible machines in start-stop mode using the EBCD (Extended Binary Coded Decimal) notation. weighed about 55€lb (25€kg). EBCD was similar to the more common IBM EBCDIC code. high-level-language computer and a versatile data acquisition and control interface for experiments in which data rates do not exceed 9600 baud. in 1975 it was an amazing technical accomplishment to package a complete computer with a large amount of ROM and RAM. Also there was a switch to display the first 512 bytes of main memory in hexadecimal for diagnostic purposes. this switch did not affect the external monitor. Display The 5100 has an internal CRT (5" diagonal) and displays 16 lines of 64 characters. IBM provided an option switch to allow the user to display all 64 characters of each line. that allowed the 5100 to transmit data to and receive data from a remote system. and a tape drive into a machine that small. and could be transported in an optional carrying case. Page 41 (1977) of the IBM Systems Journal the article "The IBM 5100 and the Research Device Coupler € A personal laboratory automation system" read: "A small laboratory automation system has been developed by using the IBM 5100 Portable Computer in conjunction with the Research Device Coupler. five-inch CRT display. several hundred kilobytes of read only memory containing system software. and up to 64 KB of random access memory. Research Device Coupler In Volume 16. The Research Device Coupler described in this paper is a prototype of the IBM 7406 Device Coupler. While the 5100 had a front panel switch to select between white on black or black on white for the internal display. The data format included several types and were written in 512 byte records. did not include a CRT nor nearly as much memory. tape drive. Mass storage IBM's solution was provided by quarter-inch cartridge (QIC) magnetic tape drives that use standard DC300 cartridges to store 204 Kbytes. Communications adapter Also in September 1975 IBM announced the IBM 5100 Communications Adapter. which only offered bright characters on a black background. such as the HP 9830. Number 1. The vertical scan rate was fixed at 60 Hz." . External monitor An external video monitor (or modified television receiver) could be connected to the IBM 5100 via a BNC connector on the back panel. Earlier desktop computers of approximately the same size. While the IBM 5100 seems large today. processor. or only the left or right 32 characters (interspersed with spaces). One drive was installed in the machine and a second (Model 5106) could be added in an attached box.

7€thousand in today's dollars). In Popular Culture • John Titor . without the time and expense of writing and debugging new programs. BASIC. with the IBM 5100 to provide more than 100 interactive routines applicable to mathematical problems. or both programming languages. Donald Polonis.SV. Programming languages The 5100 was available with APL. which was a standard IBM PC XT with the addition of a System/370 emulator card. IBM's APL interpreter for its System/370 mainframes. the 5100 sold for between $8. IBM later used the same approach for its 1983 introduction of the XT/370 model of the IBM PC. 48 KB or 64 KB of main storage. Emulator in microcode The 5100 was based on IBM's innovative concept that.IBM 5100 3 Different models Available in 12 models providing 16 KB. ibm. the special APL character set and APL keyboard were the primary obstacles to newcomers learning APL easily. Consequently. He tried to impress the fact that a personal computer had to be easy to use to be accepted. . while the competing HP 9830 had to offer language extensions on an add-on ROM for matrix operations. and most desktop sized computers such as the Wang 2200 or HP 9830 offered only BASIC. APL had powerful features for manipulating data as vectors and matrices. statistical techniques and financial analyses. using an emulator written in microcode. Problem-Solver Libraries IBM offered three Problem-Solver Libraries. he commented that if folks had to learn APL to use it. At the time of introduction.975 (between $38. Machines that supported both languages provided a toggle switch on the front panel to select the language. existing computers. contained in magnetic tape cartridges. Retrieved 09-25-2011. for his analysis. com/ ibm/ history/ exhibits/ pc/ pc_2. the 5100's microcode was written to emulate most of the functionality of both a System/370 and a System/3. and much more expensive.9€thousand and $86.[citation needed] Presumably. References IBM 5100 Portable Computer (http:/ / www-03. 32 KB. and the BASIC interpreter used on IBM's System/3 minicomputer. APL was generally available only on mainframe computers.975 and $19. Two such programs were included: a slightly modified version of APL.Gate makes numerous references as a plot device. the IBM 5100 would not make it as a personal computer. such as when they needed it to crack some of SERN's files. html) IBM Archives. a small and relatively cheap computer could run programs already written for much larger.A self-proclaimed time traveler supposedly sent to 1975 to retrieve an IBM 5100 • The Visual Novel/Manga/Anime series Steins. When the engineers at IBM asked one beta tester.

oldcomputermuseum.html) from IBM Personal Computers Succeeded€by IBM 5110 .net/ • IBM 5100 (http://oldcomputers.html) and collection of old digital and analog computers at oldcomputermuseum.IBM 5100 4 External links • IBM 5100 Portable Computer ( • IBM-5100 (http://www.

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