IBM PC 5150 Notes

The following notes relate to aspects of configuring and using an IBM PC 5150. This system was the original home/office PC offered by IBM in August 1981.

(for my IBM 5110 notes, see here)

Alley Cat in CGA (game from 1984) – IBM PC 5150 with cassette

If you happen to come across an IBM PC 5150 (which were built c. 1981 to 1987), the following notes may help highlight some useful things to do with that system (plus a few “quality of life” upgrades using some modernized components).

Much has already been written on what the 5150 system is, why it is significant, and how it came about. Here are a few references to existing discussions on those topics…

My focus below is on specific aspects of the 5150, as a guide to help those who may find such a system but might not be familiar with what it can do or how to use it.


  1. Things an IBM PC 5150 Can Be Used For (in the 21st century)
  2. Determining a “Model A” vs “Model B” IBM PC 5150
  3. Motherboard Dip Switch Settings
  4. Connecting a Keyboard
  5. Setting up MDA/CGA (without IBM monitor)
  6. Setting up EGA/VGA
  7. Setting up a Tape Deck Connection (because the 5150 can)
  8. Setting up Floppy Disk Controller (and external connection 4x drives)
  9. Setting up HxC2001 Floppy Disk Emulator
  10. Setting up XT-IDE (add simulated hard drive using CompactFlash)
  11. Setting up WiModem232 (simulate Hayes modem to talk to BBSs)
  12. Setting up NIC (Network Interface Card) and mTCP
  13. Setting up DOS (PC-DOS, MS-DOS, DR-DOS and DESQView)
  14. Setting up SoundBlaster (and using MODM and GLX)
  15. Setting up Joystick
  16. Setting up Serial Mouse
  17. About the Author


The following sites contain what I consider to be reliable and interesting sources of information related to the IBM PC.

IBM PC Technical Source Archive:
Vintage Computing Forum:
Al’s Hot Rod XT:
PC Corner:

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