History Of The Pc Essay

1443 words - 6 pages

History of the PC

Nothing epitomizes modern life better than the computer. For better or worse, computers have infiltrated every aspect of our society. Today computers do much more than simply compute: supermarket scanners calculate our grocery bill while keeping store inventory; computerized telephone switching centers play traffic cop to millions of calls and keep lines of communication untangled; and automatic teller machines (ATM) let us conduct banking transactions from virtually anywhere in the world. But where did all this technology come from and where is it heading? To fully understand the impact computers have on our lives and promises they hold for the future, it is important to understand the personal computer.
The personal computer also known as the PC has evolved over the past several years into something that is now a part of every day life. Personal computers were not always like this though; they have made a great deal of significant changes that have allowed them to become as important as they are now. Before these improvements were made, the personal computer was not found in almost every single home across the world as they are today. Not only has the personal computer positively affected the business world, but also serves as a means of entertainment. It's amazing what use to be someone's dream is now a major tool that everyday life evolves around. There are many different companies that make personal computers today, but I would like to focus on Apple, Macintosh and IBM, because it seems that it was these companies that started the personal computer's launch into it's present day use.
Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs, who were interested in electronics, were very good friends in high school. Staying in contact after high school both ended up dropping out of college and getting jobs for companies in the Silicon Valley. Wozniak worked for Hewlett-Packard, while Jobs worked for Atari Company. Wozniak had been working in computer design for a while when, in 1976, he designed what would become the Apple 1. This was Wozniak's first contribution to the personal computer. The Apple 1 was built in printed circuit board form when Jobs insisted it could be sold. In April of 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club In Palo Alto, the Apple 1 made its debut, but few people took it very seriously. The Apple 1 was based on the MOStek 6502 chip, whereas most other kit computers were built from the Intel 8080 (Apple 1). The Apple 1 was not very successful in 1976. It was sold through small retailers and only included the circuit board. A tape-interface was sold separately, but you had to build your own case for the Apple 1. The circuit board itself initially cost $667.
It wasn't until 1977, when the Apple II debuted that Apple begun to take off. The Apple II was based on Wozniak's Apple I design, but had several additions. The first improvement was a plastic case; this made the Apple II the first PC to come in any kind of casing....

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