IBM 5170

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by WA2DRO, Aug 20, 2021.

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  1. WA2DRO

    WA2DRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello. I am looking for the following vintage computer and will buy one in working condition. The one pictured here is out of stock. I would imagine if I were at a Dayton Hamfest somebody would be selling this boat anchor.
    Please reach out to me, Bruce Barlowe, WA2DRO,

  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Did you check eBay?

    Might have to do a little bit of fixing - that's a FORTY YEAR OLD computer.

  3. W5UAA

    W5UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    @WA2DRO - I remember salivating over the thought of owning an actual IBM PC when they first came out in 1981. But it was above my pay grade to buy one at the time. (~$2,000 for a "fully loaded" XT for an Airman 1st Class back then? Not a chance... That was 4 months of my pay...)

    I'm curious. Why are you looking to pick one of these up? Is there a DOS 1.0 program you're looking to run? I doubt a 40 year old floppy would still work. Is it just for nostalgia? Are you collecting early "first" computers for a museum or for your personal collection? Nobody who's in computers today would even begin to understand most of the jumpers in there or anything about the individual memory chips.

    It wouldn't take much for me to remember how to configure these early computers. The Air Force started buying them then and in conjunction with the main frames I was maintaining, I also started installing, operating and maintaining these new fangled tiny personal computers back then.
    WF9Q likes this.
  4. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had an original IBM PC that I upgraded to use an external disk drive, so it was functionally an XT. Sadly, in the last big earthquake they had in San Jose, a very heavy bookcase fell on it, smashing it very effectively. Those were the days... playing Adventure and learning DOS commands, not to mention writing tons of BASIC programs.
    KK4NSF and WF9Q like this.
  5. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I still have a 5150, with two floppies and a green-screen monitor. I use it to control my Kenwood TS-440 in my "all 1980's" station. It's big, it's clunky, and it's slow.... BUT it works perfectly! It does have an HDD, though. Waaay back in the day, I added a Hard Card 20....with a whopping 20mb of storage! Woo Hoo!

    One small technical note: the 5170 was released in 1984, not is '81 as indicated by the advertisement pic.
    WF9Q likes this.
  6. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Vintage Computer Festival Midwest (Chicago west suburbs) just concluded this past weekend.
    There were a number of IBM 5160, 5170, and other models exhibited (and for sale).

    Vintage Computer Festival East (Wall, New Jersey) is scheduled in 3 weeks.
    October 8, 9, and 10, 2021
    InfoAge Science and History Museums
    2201 Marconi Road
    Wall, NJ 07719
    2021 Show Theme: IBM 5150 PC and its legacy; Adventure Text games.
    • Bill Mensch: “The Western Design Years” (Interviewed by Stephen Edwards) – Bill recounts his years at after he left Commodore.
    • Dr. Ted Nelson – An American pioneer of information technology, philosopher, and sociologist. designed the Xanadu hypertext software and wrote the two-in-one personal computing book, Computer Lib / Dream Machines, in 1974. His work deeply influenced the personal computing revolution. Ted earned two Ph.D.s and penned several other well-regarded academic papers and books about ethical, historical, and moral issues in computing.
    • Scott Adams: “The story of Adventure International” – Scott will tell about the founding of his company in 1979 and the games that he developed over the years.
    • Bil Herd – History of Commodore Part 2
    • Michael Tomczyk: “Vic-20 Product development” – Michael will talk about the development of the Commodore Vic-20 computer.
    • Stefany Allaire: “The C256 Foenix”. How she went about creating the C256 Foenix – From Concept to finished product
    • Wil Lindsay: “Atari Adventure: Colossal Cave without the Text”
      This talk looks at the surprising relationship between Warren Robinett’s game, “Adventure” for the Atari 2600 and William Crowther’s well known text adventure Colossal Cave.
    • Brian L. Stuart – ENIAC programming
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    ALMOST.:rolleyes: The model 5170 was released in 1984.:p Interesting enough(!) the 5170 was released AFTER the IBM PC and IBM PC-XT, and the IBM PC Portable. Using the 80286 processor, it was better known as the "IBM PC-AT."
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2021
  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did your 5170 (aka PC-AT) come with the two floppy drives? I believe the original configuration was with ONE 1.2 MD floppy, and a second, (often a 360 kB drive) was an option.
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    My first (non-Apple ][:)) computer was a home-made 8 MHz (turbo) PC-XT compatible. I STILL have the parts lists/invoices from several vendors (WHY, I don't know:confused:) but at that time, the internal Seagate ST-225, with a WHOPPING 20 MB capacity, was "only" $229.00. (And the controller card was extra:(!) At the time, we wondered HOW we would ever "fill up" such a large hard drive. (Now, I have some j.peg files that would :eek:gobble up almost HALF that amount.) I guess times HAVE changed.
  10. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    mine is not a 5170..... it's an original 5150 PC. The HDD is a HardCard 20. Who needs more storage than THAT? :D

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