Wednesday, December 08, 2004

IBM's PC Business

Although I only purchased two products from IBM - my first computer (with a 30 MB hard drive PS2 Model 30) and a printer (an IBM Quietwriter II) - and swore never to buy any IBM products again because of the lousy experience and a feeling that I had paid a lot more than these products were worth, it is still somewhat saddening to read of IBM selling its PC business to a Chinese company. I mean, any copy of PC Magazine years back touted Big Blue as the standard. They pretty much invented the PC as we know it. And, on its way there, gave Microsoft the greatest opportunity it ever had: putting together IBM PC-DOS, but allowing Microsoft to license MS-DOS for all those IBM clones. The rest is history.

With my first computer and printer I also bought WordPerfect 4.2 and a book to learn WordPerfect from Que Corporation. I recall sitting all weekend at home reading and practicing until I could write a half decent looking letter, prepare envelopes, and prepare a motion that looked presentable. Once I could do that, I felt more in control and the rest was just fun learning. I have stayed with WordPerfect, probably because of its Reveal Codes more than any other aspect of it, and probably because I feel sufficiently at home with it not to want to really learn Word, which I have never liked much (at least from my few attempts at using it).

Anyhow, getting back to IBM's PC business, hats off to the folks at Boca Raton who gave birth to the PC. Those were magical days, and they revolutionized the world.

For a more sober look at IBM's sale see John C. Dvorak's Column at PC Magazine.