Unboxing my Sharp PC-4501 classic Personal Computer

It’s 1987 and I’ve been needing a new laptop. After a careful process of comparison shopping I settled on my Sharp PC-4501 from Montgomery Ward. Let’s open it up and take a look!

For only $699.99, it’s a state of the art machine. A 7.16MHz processor, 640KB of RAM, and mine comes with an optional second 3.5″ floppy disk drive! Now I can work on a program and save its data at the same time. It was designed to be especially easy to use.

Good thing they provide unpacking instructions inside the box.

It comes with an instruction manual and the operating system disk.

I’ll make sure to return the warranty card.

Power up…time to go through the BIOS setup!

One thing I don’t like so much is the screen is front-lit with ambient lighting, and is glossy. Makes it a challenge to see what’s being displayed sometimes.

We’ll try out a productivity application.

Looks productive!

I can’t wait to begin editing documents and spreadsheets from my own home. It’ll be so much easier than my old typewriter!


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8 Responses to Unboxing my Sharp PC-4501 classic Personal Computer

  1. 1TM says:

    I/O errors while reading/writing suggest floppy disk drive heads may need cleaning. There used to be cleaning floppy disks where cleaning solution (isopropyl alcohol) is placed on a felt disk and inserted a few times. Some PC repair centers may still have these cleaning floppy disks. The alternative is complex as to disassemble the laptop to take out floppy drive, disassemble drive to clean the heads with a q-tip.

  2. Seabright says:

    My 92 year old Dad still uses his with a floppy of Professional Write. Lately, he is getting an I/O error when he tries to save a document. Anyone know how to fix it? The manual (yeah, he still has that, too) doesn’t have much in the way of troubleshooting tips.

  3. mike says:

    Need a PDF copy of the user manual..

  4. Pearce says:

    What a trip down memory lane… thanks!! I had one of these, and justified it because I was getting my Masters, and had so many papers to write.

    Mine was from Sears, and had the dual floppies, and 768K of RAM. I remember putting DOS and WordPerfect on the boot floppy, and the spelling corrector, dictionary and my notes/papers on the other.

    Eventually, I figured out that I could create a RAM drive with the unused memory, and load the spell-checker into it at boot time. This, of course, made the spell check routine RUN like a scalded dog. 😀

    And let’s not forget the daisy-wheel printer, but that’s a reminiscence for another day…

  5. PAUL says:

    can you make me some copies of the system disk,s for the sharp, as per the ones you show in your pictures?

  6. Joe says:

    I remember my dad having/me playing on something very very similar to this. I think I may have written my first BASIC hello world program on it too. Though it was substantially (like 4 years after this came out) later, so it almost certainly was just something similar

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