IBM releases its first personal computer on This Day in History, August 12th, 1981

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IBM releases its first personal computer on This Day in History, August 12th, 1981
The IBM 5150 Model
UNITED STATES - JULY 26: Laptop computer, model 5140, sometimes known as a PC convertible, made by IBM, New York, USA, shown here with user manuals. The IBM Personal Computer System was introduced to the market in early 1981, at a time when IBM was the world's largest mainframe computer manufacturer. Such was IBM�s reputation that 200,000 of the PCs were sold in the first year. As a result it set a standard by which every other computer company was to be measured. The microcomputer market had grown from its beginnings in the kit building hobby market to a potential billion-dollar industry. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 07: IBM introduced the first personal computer, the PC, in 1981. This machine, the PCjr was the company�s attempt at producing an affordable version aimed at the ordinary consumer. Unfortunately the PCjr was not a success. It was more expensive than the Apple II and the Commodore 64, its rivals in the home computer market, and was somewhat limited compared to the PC. As a result sales were poor, and IBM stopped producing the PCjr in 1985. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 30: The Apple II was designed and built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak by the end of 1976. It was the first mass-marketed personal computer. The Apple II was a single-board computer like the Apple I, but the Apple II was much improved, going several steps further than its predecessor. The Apple II had the BASIC (Beginner's All Symbolic Instruction Code) programming language built in, and it had the ability to display text and graphics in colour. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 15: The HP 95LX (also known as Project Jaguar), the first MS-DOS pocket computer or personal digital assistant introduced by Hewlett-Packard in April 1991 is photographed December 15, 1992 in New York City. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 09: Apple�s Lisa was the first computer to use a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Incorporating the powerful Motorola 68000 processor, and a mouse and pull-down menus, Lisa was intended by Apple�s founder, Steve Jobs, to set the technological standard and become the market leader in personal computers. Unfortunately, at just under $10,000 when launched in 1983, the price was too high for most potential buyers, but the innovations of the Lisa led directly to Apple�s successful Macintosh. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 06: Introduced in August 1977 by the retail electronics chain Radio Shack, the TRS 80 was the first complete, pre-assembled small computer system on the market. The Level I basic computer came with 4k RAM, a monitor, a cassette and all the cables and adaptors needed and sold for $599.95. The Model III improved on its design by integrating the monitor and keyboard in one unit and having a faster cassette interface. Both were powered by the Zilog Z-80 microprocessor and had Microsoft Basic built in. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 03: The Sinclair ZX80 was the first computer made to appeal to the mass market. Sinclair Research Ltd of Cambridge developed it as a build-it-yourself programmable computer that was designed to connect to a television set or cassette recorder. It was small and lightweight, weighing just 12 ounces and was accessible to a wide sector of the population, being priced at just £99. All these characteristics made the Sinclair ZX80 the forerunner of a whole generation of personal computers. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
JAPAN - JULY 26: Personal portable computer model NEC PC 8201A, made in Japan by the NEC Corporation. Back view showing printer port, sockets and switches. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)
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It's difficult to imagine life today without computers, but the personal computer was barely a reality just 33 years ago. On August 12th, 1981, IBM introduced their first PC model, also known as the 5150. Can you imagine functioning today without your laptop, cellphone, or tablet?

Click through the gallery above for more images of the the 5150 and other old PCs!

Other events from today's history:

1898: Hawaii officially became a state.

1963:Sir Mix-A-Lot, the rapper, was born.

1966:John Lennon apologizes at a press conference for comparing The Beatles to Jesus.

1990: The largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton discovered in South Dakota.

Related:
History of the computer
John Lennon
Dinosaur discoveries
August 12th horoscope
August 12th in history

Click through the gallery below for more images of musical icon John Lennon!

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IBM releases its first personal computer on This Day in History, August 12th, 1981
381935 01: FILE PHOTO: John Lennon and Yoko Ono in an undated photo taken in New York, NY in the 1970's. (Photo by Brenda Chase/Online)
John Lennon Wall
381935 02: FILE PHOTO: John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York, NY in 1980. (Photo by Brenda Chase/Newsmakers)
The Beatles
247144 04: Two roses lay on the memorial to John Lennon December 2, 1995 in New York City. The memorial to Lennon in Central Park called, 'Strawberry Fields' still continues to draw people who leave tributes to him. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)
251181 03: Portrait stamps of singer John Lennon are displayed January 4, 1996 in USA. The commemorative stamp collection designed by renowned artist Yuan Lee captures the many faces of John Lennon marking the fifteenth anniversary of Lennon's death. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)
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