To celebrate the launch 20 years ago of IBM's first PC, some of the biggest names in the industry flocked to the Tech Museum in San Jose.
Bill Gates and Andy Grove, chairmen of Microsoft and Intel respectively, hosted the event as luminary after luminary reminisced on what had happened since IBM launched its $1565 machine (without monitor) on 12 August 1981.
Even though the PC market is going through a slump and will experience negative sales growth in the US for the first time, the mood at the gathering was very upbeat.
Grove said that new hardware and software would continue to flow from the industry and that the only dark cloud on the horizon was the battle among telcos and governments as to which would control access to the internet.
Bill Gates, Harvard's most famous drop-out, talked about how he had to persuade his parents to let him leave university to be part of the PC revolution.
While the chief executives of big PC players, including Hewlett Packard, Compaq and Gateway, attended the event, IBM was represented by Dave Bradley, one of the original 12 engineers who invented the PC.
Bradley is also credited with developing the Ctl-Alt-Del function for restarting a PC. In an amusing jibe at Gates and Windows' propensity to freeze, he said: "I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous."
The attendees had fun discussing why Big Blue had lost control of the PC business it invented. The consensus was that the company made a huge mistake by not making Intel and Microsoft sign exclusive supply contracts back in 1980.
That decision opened the door for Dell, Compaq and others to come out with competing products and also allowed Intel and Microsoft to control the business for the best part of two decades.
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