Computer Uses Essay

2286 words - 9 pages

Russell 1 There is hardly anybody around who can say his or her lives have not been influenced by computers. Computers have all but taken over society as we know it. Everywhere you look, computers have greatly improved our lives. It can be as simple as going through a carwash, a computer processes the information that we feed it and adjusts the machine accordingly to give us the particular wash we paid for. Everyday we experience these types of things and think nothing of it. Since the invention of the computer there has been advancements in everything we use or have such as our homes, cars, schools, and in the work place. In the early 1970s, anyone wanting to use a computer had to wait in a long line, as computers were few and far apart. The desire and the market were increasing for a computer that could be used at home or in the office, the "personal computer". Several different manufacturers marketed "personal computers" between 1974 and 1977 in response to that desire. These were mainly kits (major assembly required) advertised in the back pages of magazines like Popular Science. In the March 1974, issue of QST magazine there appeared the first advertisement for a "personal computer." It was called the Scelbi (SCientific, ELectronic and BIological) and designed by the Scelbi Computer Consulting Company of Milford, Connecticut. Based on Intel's 8008 microprocessor, Scelbi sold for $565 and came with 1K of programmable memory, with an additional 15K of memory available for $2760. The second "personal computer kit" was the Mark-8 (also Intel 8008 based) designed by Jonathan Titus. The July issue of Radio Electronics magazine published an article on building a Mark-8 microcomputer, information the Russell 2 general public was hungry for. At the same time, the Intel company introduced the new 8080 microprocessor chip, made for controlling traffic lights. It was to become the microprocessor inside the very successful Altair computer. It is so unbelievable that in such a short time we have gone from computers that weighed tons to computers that can fit in your coat pocket. Here are the dates that theses advancements have occurred in these last few years. ( Key Dates In Computer History 1890 - Hollerith invents punched cards - does 1890 census in 6 weeks vs. 1880 census took nine years to complete 1944 - Mark I · First high level calculator · Had over 750,000 parts · 51 feet in length · Invented by Howard Aiken 1946 - ENIAC · Was the first electronic digital computer · Weighed 30 tons · Used 18,000 vacuum tubes · Used lots of electricity and very hot · Not very reliable - bulbs burned out · Could only add, subtract,...

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