Week Two Kayley Frey

28 May

As we learned in week one, the first computing devices were very helpful in the road to developing modern day computers, yet the first computers were very large machines. There are many factors that helped enable the shift from large computing machines to the personal sized PC’s and laptops we use today. At the same time, different perceptions about these devices also helped in the major computer shift.

In the video lecture, many different devices are highlighted as great contributors to the big leap from large computers to personal computers. One particular device, the time-sharing system, significantly impacted personal computers. This device essentially created a model for personal computer use and it lowered the cost of computing. Vacuum tubes and transistors were two other vital contributors to establishing personal computers. Transistors especially helped with efficiency and smallness and functioned as important computer hardware. As widely discussed in chapter 10, the microprocessor an important feature in the development of the personal computer. This was the “enabling technology” for a personal computer and allowed for micro computers to be more developed, while lowering the cost of a computer.

Computer hobbyist groups, such as the homebrew computer club, helped get the idea of personal computers out into the world and left room for public perceptions to unfold. These hobbyists were initially responsible for the idea of the personal computer and they would gather to trade parts and information for their own computer projects. Although it may not be widely known, this group greatly impacted the advancement of personal computers. The reading features Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak, both of whom were hobbyists who eventually discovered the homebrew computer club.The first Apple computer ended up being developed and a lot of this is thanks to the homebrew computer club. Ultimately, this club helped fellow hobbyists come together and share their ideas with the world, which helped make the valuable use for personal computers known. As the shift from large, business like computing machines ┬áto the small, personal computer is a big change, computer hobbyists were the ones to “sell” this movement to the outside world.


One Response to “Week Two Kayley Frey”

  1. woolseyc May 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    I really like the things you touch on. The change and improvements made to computer part were very important. The way that even today we keep working on taking things and making them more efficient and smaller, it pretty amazing. When looking at the lectures it is crazy to think of the size of just the vacuum tubes used, and compare that one object to say an Iphone. And the way that the circuit was improved, reminded me a lot of what we talked about last week with Babbage, and his ideas. Babbage’s issues that lead to his designs was human error, and how frustrating that can be, and that was a big issue with circuits. They were all made by hand, and so a lot of times they would have issues. When it was finally solved on how to make i more efficient that really helped change the game for what we now have.

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