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William C. Lowe: Father of the IBM PC

Remember your first car? Do you also remember your first computer?

IBM PC 5150The odds aren’t bad that it was an IBM personal computer, the boxy device with the twin floppy drives and the green glowing type on its screen that was introduced back in 1981. While it wasn’t the first desktop PC, it was the first one many people felt comfortable plunking down $1,565 – $4,031 in today’s dollars – to buy, because it was made by an iconic technology giant. (As the saying used to go, “Nobody ever got fired for buying an IBM.”)

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William C. Lowe, who died on Oct. 19 at age 72 in Lake Forest, Ill., was the visionary engineer who made the IBM PC happen.

It was Lowe who pitched notoriously stodgy IBM on the idea of making a computer that ordinary folks could own and use. And he was the one who formed and ran the team that actually developed it in just a year, daringly bypassing IBM’s traditional reliance on its own hardware and software to use parts made by other companies.

Here are some intriguing facts about Lowe and his brainchild:

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Photo: Ruben de Rijcke via Wikipedia

ACA = Affordable Care Act = Obamacare






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