Personal Computers Essay

Submitted By dhalli17
Words: 781
Pages: 4

The Computer Revolution The first computer was conceptualized by a 19th century British mathematician named Charles Babbage, creator of the speedometer, whose Analytical Engine, a programmable logic center with memory, was never built even though Babbage worked on it for 40 years. During World War II, the British built Colossus I, a computer designed to break Nazi military codes, while at Harvard, IBM's Mark I computer was assembled. The first personal computer was called the “altair 8800”, which was briefly noticed in 1975. Two years later, the “machine that made the revolution”, was invented; the Apple ll. Two incredibly smart men, Steve Jobs and Steven Woznaik, were the creators of the Apple ll. Jobs used amazing marketing skills to build Apple into a highly profitable concern with stock worth $1.7. In 1981, Adam Osborne, a Bangkok-born British columnist, introduced a 24-pound portable computer with a detachable keyboard, 64k of memory and a five inch screen, which retailed for $1,795. This new idea of a personal computer introduced many people to the possibilities of computers, in spite of limitations, thanks to a $99 list price; one of the most popular and least expensive personal computers of the early 80’s was the $595 Commodore 64. The positive outcome of computers in the medical field was considerable, providing much more precise measurements and monitoring surgical procedures like anestisia , blood testing and injections. Computers promised widened employment for 10 million handicapped Americans, many of whom were unable to travel back and forth to work. Also, majority of Americans believed computers were an excellent educational tool. A poll taken in 1982 showed that Americans were generally enthusiastic about the emergencing Computer Age; 68 percent thought computers would improve their childrens' education, 80% of the population expected computers to become as mainstream as televisions in a household, and 67% of population believed that they would raise living standards through enhanced productivity. As a consequence, 2.8 million computers were sold in the U.S. in 1982, up from 1.4 million in 1981, which was in turn double the number sold in 1980. In 1982, 100 companies shared the $5 billion in sales, with Texas Instruments, Apple, IBM, Commodore, Timex and Atari the frontrunners in the personal computer market. By 1982 there were more than 100,000 computers in the nation's public schools. By 1984, retail sales of personal computers and software had reached $15 billion. By the mid 1980’s the computer craze was at full throttle. On Wall Street, 36 computer-related companies had gone public with $798 million worth of stock. By 1984 retail sales of personal computers and software had reached $15 billion. A flurry of entrepreneurship in the so-called computer "aftermarket" produced $1.4 billion in sales of such commodities as computer training and tutoring services, specialty furniture, and publishing. There were 4,200 books on personal computing - 300 magazines, including Byte and Popular Computing. In addition, thousands of software developers competed fiercely for their share of sales that exceeded $2 billion annually by 1984. Another $11 billion was made leasing mainframe software to banks, airlines and the government. The biggest software manufacturer was Microsoft, with 1984 revenues of about $100 million. Systems software, like Microsoft's