PC'S Limited Microcomputer

PC'S Limited Microcomputer

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In 1984 Michael Dell was a freshman at the University of Texas, building PCs and selling them to fellow students and faculty. By 1985 Dell’s company, PC’s Limited, was selling Turbo PC IBM clones that came with an Intel 8088 microprocessor, 640 kilobytes of RAM, a 360-kilobytes drive, a 130-watt power supply, eight expansion slots, and the ability to connect to local area networks (LAN). One of Dell’s selling points was the option to order a PC over the phone with customized components. This connection with the consumer and the ability to keep inventory low until a computer was ordered gave Dell a distinct business advantage going forward. This computer was sold to Clint Johnson, a freelance writer in North Carolina. In 2005 he donated the computer back to Dell Inc., which gave it to the Museum in 2007.
Owen Edwards, “Baby Dell,” Smithsonian Magazine, August 2007.
Nancy Fowler Koehn, Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell (Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2001), 276–305.
Object Name
date made
Dell Inc.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 6 in x 19 3/4 in x 17 in; 15.24 cm x 50.165 cm x 43.18 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Dell Inc.
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Computers & Business Machines
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Some of the units. The Unit I bought in 1984 from an office in Roundrock TX used a Motherboard Made by American Research Company, ARC, from California. I Know because I took mine apart and Started Buying the ARC Boards and Building Computers for my Classmates and Professors at Texas A&M University in College Station. I did this from my bedroom at Home as I Lived only 25 miles from campus and lived at home. I did this from 1984 through 1988 when I started to work for NASA at JSC In Houston. I sold the Board ARC out of my Original PC's Limited PC but then Later replaced it with an Exact ARC Motherboard for American Research Corporation and got it running again. Machine was lost in the Hearne, TX Meadobrook Addition Flood in 2005 as it was stored in my closet at ground level. Wish i would have had it on at shelf but at that time I had a more modern computer. I still have A Clone with an ARC Board that I had given to my wife that still works. It boots up with IBM Basic as it has the IBM Eproms in it and no GW basic is needed. It has two Qume 5,25 Floppy Disks with IBM Stamped on the front of the Drives. Got them Dallas Texas Supplier. I then Started Buying DTK and Fountain Parts from Hubert Vo, Now Texas Democratic Congressman, from his office in Houston.

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