Today is the IBM Model 5150's 30th birthday

The original IBM 5150, the personal computer that helped launch an industry, debuted at a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on Aug. 12, 1981.

(CBS) - Happy birthday to IBM's Model 5150, which supported only 40 characters, 16 colors, 160KB floppies and a joystick port. In case you don't remember, this personal computer was introduced to the world on August 12, 1981.

The IBM Model 5150 was designed for business, school and home use. At the time, it set buyers back about $1,265 - without a monitor, serial or parallel ports or hard disk.

The computer which launched the PC revolution

Although the Apple II, Commodore Pet and Atari 800 preceded IBM's Model 5150 - those came out in the late 1970s - IBM's success grew with its PC-compatible hardware and software offerings.

This past June, IBM, which was founded in 1911 as a computing tabulating recording corporation, turned 100. This year, Fortune ranked IBM as the 18th largest company in the U.S.

  • Ysolt Usigan

    Ysolt Usigan is the editor of lifestyle and technology for women at