In PCWorld, Benj Edwards explains how he booted up a dusty 1981 IBM 5150 and attempted to perform typical 21st century computing duties on it. The 5150 fared pretty well at most essential tasks, including lolcat browsing (below left) and Twitter (below right). The lesson being, perhaps, that we should try to do more with less? And that today’s consumer-market computers can’t hold a candle to classic models in regards to appearance and style. The old ones even have ports for hooking up cassette tape players:
Despite the malfunctioning RAM, the machine seemed to work well. The 5150 contains, as the Apple II did, a full version of BASIC in ROM that loads right up if you don’t boot from a disk.
Targeted mostly at computers without floppy drives (the lowest-priced 5150 sold with 16KB of RAM and no drives), this version of BASIC could save programs only to cassette tapes.