week 2-Amira Bell

28 May

Reflecting back on week two’s lecture and reading assignment discussed in a timeline form of computers and how they were reconstructed. They were reconstructed from big to small “mainly by computer manufactures and business users to become an effective and efficient electronic data processing machine rather than an enormous mathematical instrument”. Taking a look first at Vannevar Bush; he came up with the Memory extender. This happened before the actual invention of personal computers. This looks remarkable like a personal computer with a collection of content with the ability to add and edit content. Time sharing systems were the paths to personal computers and a very important idea. Bob Berner, a huge mainframe creating a model which severely lowered the cost of providing computing. Now taking a look into how we got from transistor based mini computers to the integrated circuit. Transistor based computers were small and powerful which followed up with the integrated circuit. Without the creation of the integrated circuit which was hand built, computers wouldn’t even be important in today’s society. Along with the integrated circuit became problems because wires were longer and large. Which lead the computer into moving slow, so then came Jack and Robert who worked on successful ways to preventing this problem and creating smaller circuits and after computers. Following this event a fundamental shift occurred which when Robert Noyce who developed the microprocessor which was simply a computer on a chip. What did the microprocessors do for people in the development of personal computers? It removed the need for time sharing which allowed the development of micro computers, also dropping the cost to manufacture a computer system. The drawn of the PC computer was the Altair 8800 (1975), “which was sold as a kit and intended for the use of hobbyists. This was the first commercially available minicomputer that could be bought in stores. Homebrew was a computer club who was filled with hobbyist and people interested in computer engineering. This club was extremely influential because these people were able to come together and actually created computers for the market. Steve Jobs created the first apple computer while in the homebrew computer club. In 1977 began a snowball effect of companies creating computers that no longer were only specifically assigned to those with certain qualifications of operating it.

2 Responses to “week 2-Amira Bell”

  1. Drake Saarinen May 30, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    I think you have highlighted the importance of the IC and the CPU chips, and have shown what they have done to reduce the size and increase the speed of computers. However I think that you over looked the actual creation of the transistor as an important step. Going from vacuum tubes to transistors was a massive leap forward that not only decreased the size of computers but also made their components much more reliable and cheaper to produce. Which then allowed for the creation of the ICs and CPUs. As far as the dawn of personal computing you are correct about the importance of the Home Brew club and the Apple II, but we shouldn’t forget about the TRS-80, and the Commodore Pet, as all three of them created the first actual competitive market for PCs. However this is just my opinion and view of which components were important to the PC development. Either way it is incredible how quickly these devices were developed and created.

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