By Harry McCracken
The first few years of PC history were its stone ageâ€“the era when any signs of life whatsoever were history-making. The period from 1985 to the present, as amazing as itâ€™s been, has been one of consistency and compatibility. Which is why I think of 1980-1985 as the most interesting half-decade in PC history. Almost every new system (including some that debuted in 1979) was still an experimentâ€“and even flops could be fascinating. Herewith a gallery of notable examples, illustrated with evocative drawings from Google Patents.