Smartphones, tablets, and mp3 players have only really started to hit the market in the past ten years. There is one thing though that has been around for decades. What is that? Computers. Although they have changed in size and shape, the purpose has stayed the same. They were designed to help us in some way or form. How have they changed through the ages?
One of the first computers was ever made was called the ENIAC. It was able to solve numerical problems. Its main purpose was to calculate artillery firing tables for the army. The designers were John Mauchly and J.P. Eckert from the United States of America. This was a giant of a machine. It literally took up a room. It was made up of over 17 000 vacuum tubes, 7200 crystal diodes, 10 000 capacitors and around 5 million hand soldered joints. Although it was mammoth in size, it was able to out work humans. The work that it was able to accomplish in just 30 seconds was equivalent to what took one person around 20 hours to do. It definitely served its purpose.
Parts of this ancient computer can be found in the Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C.
Fast forward to 1974, and the first personal computer came out or PC. This was created by Henry Edward Roberts. It was called the Altair 8800 Computer. It was a huge success, being published on the front cover of a popular electronics magazine. What was under the hood? It had an Intel 8080 processor with 256 bytes of memory which could be expanded to 64 k. It’s almost funny to think about. Considering we consider 1 GB of memory as small now. The price for the base model was $439 but could be used with other accessories that would boost memory and interface boards.
A keyboard, mouse, printer, and monitor did not come with the Altair computer. Instead, switches were used for input and output. It could serve as a calculator and play games like Pong.
Things could only go up from there. The Commodore 64 came on the scene in 1982. It is the highest selling computer model of all time according to the Guinness World Record book. It started at $595 US and sold 12.5 to 17 million units. It had a ton of software that was available such as video games, development tools and office applications. One thing that made it great was how a lot of its parts were built in-house so they were always readily available. As time went on, there were different accessories that came out such as joy sticks, paddles, mice, and even sound. All of this contributed to the overall Commodore 64 experience.
Thinking of computers of the past can make us appreciate the devices we have today. We could only imagine unpacking a computer with thousands of parts only to take it to school or the office and set it all up again. It would never happen, it couldn’t happen, and it would be impossible. Nowadays, computers are able to do so much with just a click of a mouse. One of those things is web design. If you’re in need of any web design small or large, get in touch with Webgator in Brisbane.