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Happy Birthday, the IBM PC

Do you ever have those months when it seems it's all your friends' birthdays? When we were at university literally five of our friends had birthdays on successive days in October. That was a hellish time of five nights in a row of cheap restaurant meals and cheap clubs, followed by three weeks of not going out because we'd spent all our money not having a good time.

Well, it seems this strange birthday clumping phenomenon happens in tech, too. Mere days after we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web, it's the turn of the modern PC, which is 30 years old this week.

On August 12, 1981, IBM launched its version of the Personal Computer. It wasn't the first PC available for home use, but it was the most important. It had an architecture which could be easily copied by other manufacturers, creating the PC standard we know today - as opposed to the Apple-style approach of an operating system for each hardware manufacturer.

Of course, it wasn't really until a Seattle-based startup called Microsoft created an operating system called Windows that the PC really began its rise to prominence. But that's another anniversary.

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