14. What Invention Allowed For The Development Of Small Personal Computers?
- Michael Davis
Invention of the Personal Computer: Postwar Innovations – ENIAC and other early computers demonstrated to many universities and corporations that the machines were worth the significant investment of money, space, and manpower that was required to operate them.
This led to the development of the personal computer. (For instance, the ENIAC was able to solve the issue of a missile’s trajectory in thirty seconds, but it would have taken a group of human “computers” twelve hours to do it.) During this same time period, advances in technology made it feasible to construct computers that were more streamlined and could fit into smaller spaces.
In 1948, Bell Labs created the transistor, an electronic device that transported and amplified electrical current but was considerably smaller than the unwieldy vacuum tube. The vacuum tube had been the standard electronic component until the transistor came along.
After ten years, researchers at Texas Instruments and Fairchild Semiconductor came up with the idea of an integrated circuit. This was an innovation that combined all of the electrical components of a computer, such as transistors, capacitors, resistors, and diodes, onto a single silicon chip.
The microprocessor, on the other hand, was one of the most important innovations that helped pave the way for the personal computer revolution. Before the development of microprocessors, every single one of a computer’s operations required to be handled by a distinct integrated circuit chip.
- (This was one of the reasons why the machines remained as enormous as they were.) The microprocessors were about the size of a thumbnail, and they had capabilities that the integrated-circuit chips did not have;
For example, they were able to run the programs on the computer, recall information, and handle data all by themselves. Scroll to Continue Ted Hoff, an engineer working at Intel at the time, was the creator of the world’s first commercially available microprocessor in 1971.
When were personal computers first used?
The earliest personal computers were sold as kits when they were released in 1975. These kits included the MITS Altair 8800, which was followed by the IMSAI 8080, which was a clone of the Altair.
Who invented the first personal computer and what year?
Kenbak-1  – The Kenbak-1, which was initially introduced to the public in the early months of 1971, is regarded as the very first personal computer in the world by the Computer History Museum. John Blankenbaker of Kenbak Corporation conceptualized and developed it in 1970, and the company began selling it for the first time in the beginning of 1971.
The Kenbak-1, in contrast to a modern personal computer, was not equipped with a microprocessor and instead relied on the utilization of small-scale integrated circuits. The initial cost of the system was $750 US.
Only around 40 computers in all were ever produced and put on the market. As the Kenbak Corporation went out of business in 1973, manufacture of the Kenbak-1 came to an end. Because it had just 256 bytes of memory, an 8-bit word size, input and output that was limited to lights and switches, and there was no visible method to enhance its power, the Kenbak-1 was most helpful for learning the fundamentals of programming but was incapable of executing application programs.
It’s interesting to note that the Altair 8800 from 1975, whose fate was diametrically opposed to that of the Kenbak, also had 256 bytes of memory, an 8-bit word size, and I/O that was confined to switches and lights on the front panel.
The Kenbak, on the other hand, was discontinued. It is possible that the extendability of the Altair was the distinguishing element; in its absence, the computer would have been of little practical utility.
What invention helped make computers much smaller and faster?
In 1965, Gordon Moore proposed what is now known as Moore’s Law, which states that the number of transistors that may be found on a microchip will nearly double every two years. This phenomena, often known as Moore’s Law, postulates that, as time passes, advancements in computing will become noticeably more rapid, more compact, and more effective.
How did computers get so small?
Even though there were only 250 computers in use throughout the world in 1955, personal computers are today a relatively popular device found in many homes. In 1955, there were only 250 computers in use. More than one million personal computers were purchased by their owners by the year 1980; by the middle of the 1980s, this number had increased to 30 million.
Where did this idea originate from? In 1955, a computer was extremely huge and would not have been able to fit into a standard room in a standard-sized home. They regularly caught fire and had a propensity to attract moths into the system, which caused them to get overloaded and short-circuit.
(The phrase “getting a bug” in your computer now dates back to the days when moths were an issue for the early computers.) In the late 1950s, one of the primary components of computers, the valve, was supplanted by the far more compact transistor. This resulted in a reduction in the overall size of computers.
Because of this, computers were significantly more trustworthy, and as a result, companies became significantly more interested in using them. Companies such as IBM are able to sell mainframe computers for a price that is equivalent to slightly about half a million dollars in today’s currency.
By the middle of the 1960s, the microchip had begun to completely supplant the transistor. It’s possible that a microchip has more than one transistor on it. But because it was more compact, it resulted in another another reduction in the size of computers.
By the year 1965, there were 20,000 computers in operation around the globe. The IBM System/360 was by far the most well-known. The invention of the microchip also led to the development of computers that were able to fit into rooms of a typical size seen in residential buildings.
By 1970, a single microchip had the capacity to house a thousand transistors. In 1970, the price of a home personal computer equivalent to today’s price would have been close to £70,000. 1971 was the year when retail sales of the microprocessor began. The Intel 4004, which was developed by Ted Hoff of Intel, was intended to make home computing completely different.
The cost of the 4004 was equivalent to little more than $3000 in today’s currency; however, by 1972, Intel had manufactured the 8008, which was far more powerful than the 4004 but cost just one-tenth as much as the 4004 did.
Although microprocessors had a wide variety of applications, one of its primary usage was as the central processing unit of genuine personal computers. At the beginning of the 1970s, the only people who used personal computers were enthusiasts. The Altair 8800 was the first personal computer designed specifically for use as a “hobby,” and it sold for a little less than $900 in today’s money.
- It possessed the processing capability of a computer from the 1950s that would have cost one million dollars today;
- In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen developed a software for the Altair computer that enabled users to write their own programs using the BASIC programming language;
The tool was named “BASIC Writer.” Their newly established business first went by the name Micro-Soft, but it was eventually rebranded as Microsoft. The members of Microsoft in 1978; Bill Gates may be seen in the bottom left corner, and Paul Allen can be seen in the bottom right.
Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs both contributed to the establishment of Apple Computers in 1975. Apple was the company that pioneered the “home computer” or “personal computer,” which anybody could use. In 1977, the Apple II personal computer was introduced, and it was an instant hit with consumers.
The personal computer was enclosed in an attractive plastic shell, and in addition to a keyboard and video unit, it made use of floppy discs that could be removed. Most importantly, the price, in terms of today’s currency, was only 2,400 pounds. Apple Computers became the dominant company in the market for personal computers as a direct result of the widespread popularity of the Apple II.
- By the year 1980, there were one million personal computers in use around the globe;
- The development of spreadsheet software by Dan Bricklin marked the beginning of the widespread use of personal computers in commercial settings;
His application, which was for the Apple II and was called VisiCalc, was created by him. 1979 was the year it was released to the public, and after only four years it had already sold 700,000 copies at a price of $250 each. In 1981, IBM released its own personal computer to the public.
In the end, 85 percent of all personal computers were going to be compatible with IBM. Microsoft was awarded the contract to develop the operating system for the personal computer manufactured by IBM. MS-DOS was the name that Microsoft gave to its new operating system.
The business made $10 off of each copy sold. In the 1980s, more than 30 million personal computers were outfitted with the MS-DOS operating system.
What was the first computer called?
The series Curious Kids is geared for children of varying ages. Send an email with your question to [email protected] if you’d want it answered by a knowledgeable person. What kind of computer did we see first? — Emily, age nine, from Brookline, Massachusetts The Atanasoff–Berry computer, sometimes known as the ABC, was the world’s first fully functional digital electronic computer.
- It was constructed in 1942 at Iowa State College, which is now known as Iowa State University, by John Vincent Atanasoff, a professor of physics, and Clifford Berry, a graduate student of Professor Atanasoff;
I have been teaching computer engineering there for more than 30 years, and in addition to that, I am an avid collector of vintage computer hardware. When Atanasoff came to Iowa State University, I took advantage of the opportunity to meet him and get a copy of his book autographed by him.
In the time before ABC, there were mechanical computers that could perform basic computations. Charles Babbage conceived up and built the world’s first mechanical computer, known as The Babbage Difference Engine, in the year 1822.
The contemporary computer that we all use today was built on the foundation laid by the ABC. The percussion of the ABC. Special Collections and University Archives of the Iowa State University Library, used with permission and licensed under CC BY-ND The ABC system utilized vacuum tubes and weighed more than 700 pounds.
It had a revolving drum that was about the size of a paint can and was covered in a number of tiny capacitors. A capacitor, similar to a battery in function, is a device that can store an electric charge.
The A-B-C was developed to provide solutions for issues involving as many as 29 separate variables. You may be familiar with equations that have one variable, such as 2y = 14, for example. Imagine that there are 29 distinct variables now. Solving these issues by hand was challenging and time-consuming, despite the fact that they are ubiquitous in physics and other scientific disciplines.
- Atanasoff is recognized with a number of innovative concepts that may be found in contemporary computers even now;
- The utilization of binary digits, which consist of of ones and zeroes, to represent all numbers and data was the most significant invention;
Because of this, the computations may be carried out utilizing electronic equipment. Memory was also considered to be distinct from the program, which refers to the instructions sent to the machine (places to store numbers). Approximately every 15 seconds, the ABC finished one of its operations.
That undoubtedly appears like a glacial pace when compared to modern computers, which can perform millions of operations each second. The ABC was not capable of having its stored programs altered in any way, in contrast to modern computers.
This indicated that the software could only perform a single function and was fixed to do so. This meant that in order to solve these issues, an operator first needed to jot down the intermediate solution, and then they needed to input that answer back into the ABC.
Atanasoff departed Iowa State before he could develop a storage mechanism that would have eliminated the requirement for the operator to reenter the intermediate findings. If he had stayed, he likely would have been able to do so.
A component of the alphabet. Special Collections and University Archives of the Iowa State University Library, used with permission and licensed under CC BY-ND The Atanasoff Brain Trust was abolished not long after Atanasoff departed Iowa State. Atanasoff did not submit a patent application for his idea at any point.
That indicates that for a considerable amount of time, a large number of individuals were unaware of the ABC. The inventors of the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer, often known as the ENIAC, submitted a patent application in 1947.
Because of this, they were able to assert that they were the ones who invented the digital computer. The majority of people, including myself, were under the impression that the ENIAC was the first ever modern computer for several decades. However, Atanasoff had a visit from one of the ENIAC’s inventors in the year 1941.
- A decision made by the courts in the future concluded that this visit had an impact on the design of the ENIAC;
- In 1973, a judge ruled that ENIAC’s patent was invalid and threw it out;
- [Did you enjoy what you’ve read so far? Want more? Sign up to receive the daily email from The Conversation.] Those who held the patent for the ENIAC asserted that the ABC had never actually been successful;
It was difficult to establish that this wasn’t the case given that all that was left was one of the drum memory units. The construction of an exact copy of the ABC was finally completed at Iowa State University in 1997 by a group consisting of teachers, students, and researchers.
They were successful in proving that the ABC did in fact perform its intended purpose. The replica is currently on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, in the United States.
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What year was the first computer made?
Early in the 20th century, in 1931, Vannevar Bush creates and develops the Differential Analyzer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). According to Stanford University, this is the first large-scale automated general-purpose mechanical analog computer. (link opens in a new window or tab) According to Chris Bernhardt’s book ” Turing’s Vision (opens in new tab) “, the British scientist and mathematician Alan Turing presents the principle of a universal machine, later called the Turing machine, in a paper titled “On Computable Numbers.” in the year 1936.
- The Turing machine was later named after Alan Turing (The MIT Press, 2017);
- Turing machines have the potential to compute any and all information that can be computed;
- His concepts provide the foundation of the contemporary computer in their most fundamental form;
According to the UK’s National Museum of Computing (opens in a new tab), Turing was later involved in the development of the Turing-Welchman Bombe, which was an electro-mechanical device designed to decipher Nazi codes during World War II. This information was obtained from the UK’s National Museum of Computing.
- 1937: John Vincent Atanasoff, a professor of physics and mathematics at Iowa State University, submits a grant application to create the first electric-only computer;
- He does not plan to use any gears, cams, belts, or shafts in the construction of his machine;
The recently remodeled garage in Palo Alto, California, that served as the birthplace of the Hewlett-Packard company in 1939 when it was founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. (Photo by David Paul Morris, courtesy of Getty Images) (link opens in a new window) 1939 saw the founding of the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California by co-founders David Packard and Bill Hewlett.
According to MIT, the two partners decide on the name of their new firm by flipping a coin, and the company’s original offices are located in Packard’s garage. Hewlett-Packard. According to the author Gerard O’Regan’s book ” A Brief History of Computing (opens in a new tab) “, the year 1941 marks the completion of German inventor and engineer Konrad Zuse’s Z3 machine, which is considered to be the world’s earliest digital computer (Springer, 2021).
In the midst of World War II, a bombing strike on Berlin resulted in the destruction of the machine. After the Allies defeated Nazi Germany, Zuse escaped the German capital. According to O’Regan, Zuse went on to develop and market the Z4, which is considered to be the world’s first commercial digital computer.
In 1941, Atanasoff and Clifford Berry, a graduate student of Atanasoff’s, designed the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, which is considered to be the first digital electronic computer ever built in the United States (ABC).
According to the book “Birthing the Computer” (opens in a new tab), this is the first time a computer has been able to store information in its main memory and has the ability to do one operation every 15 seconds. Cambridge Scholars Publishing’s publication year is 2016 1945: John Mauchly and J.
Presper Eckert, both professors at the University of Pennsylvania, develop and construct the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). According to Edwin D. Reilly’s book “Milestones in Computer Science and Information Technology,” the device was the first “automated, general-purpose, electronic, decimal, digital computer” (Greenwood Press, 2003).
The ENIAC was the first automated, general-purpose, electronic, decimal, digital computer. It was programmed by computer operators by plugging and unplugging wires and changing switches (Image credit: Getty / Historical). (link opens in a new window) 1946 marks the year when Mauchly and Presper resign from their positions at the University of Pennsylvania and acquire financing from the Census Bureau to construct the UNIVAC.
This is the first commercial computer designed specifically for use in commercial and government settings. In 1947, three employees at Bell Laboratories named William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain invented the transistor.
They figure out how to build an electric switch using solid materials, without the use of a vacuum, which was previously required. According to O’Regan, the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) was created in 1949 by a group of researchers working at the University of Cambridge.
EDSAC is considered “the first practical stored-program computer.” According to what O’Regan stated, “EDSAC executed its first program in May of 1949 when it computed a table of squares and a list of prime numbers.” The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Automatic Computer was Australia’s first digital computer, and it was constructed by researchers working for the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which is now known as CSIRO.
The construction of the computer took place in November 1949. (CSIRAC). O’Regan claims that CSIRAC was the very first digital computer in the world to have the ability to play music.