IBM 610

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Control unit of the IBM 610 with keyboard

The IBM 610 Auto-Point Computer is one of the first personal computers, in the sense of a computer to be used by one person whose previous experience with computing might only have been with desk calculators. It was controlled interactively by a keyboard. The principal designer of this machine was John Lentz, as part of his work for the Watson Lab at Columbia University.

The IBM 610 was introduced in 1957.[1][2] It was small enough to easily fit in an office; it weighed about 800 pounds (360 kg).[3] It was designed to be used in a normal office, without any special electrical or air conditioning requirements. It used vacuum tubes, a magnetic drum, and punched paper tape readers and punchers. The input was from a keyboard and output was to an IBM electric typewriter, at eighteen characters per second. It was one of the first (if not the first) computers to be controlled from a keyboard. The term "auto-point" referred to the ability to automatically adjust the decimal point in floating-point arithmetic.

Its price was $55,000, or it could be rented for $1150 per month ($460 academic). A total of 180 units were made. It was a slow and limited computer, and was generally replaced by the IBM 1620.

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  1. ^ Inc, Ziff Davis (1984-03-06). PC Mag. Ziff Davis, Inc. p. 84.
  2. ^ Peddie, Jon (2013-06-13). The History of Visual Magic in Computers: How Beautiful Images are Made in CAD, 3D, VR and AR. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 176. ISBN 9781447149323.
  3. ^ Weik, Martin H. (Mar 1961). "IBM 610". A Third Survey of Domestic Electronic Digital Computing Systems.

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