History of computing hardware (1960s–present)
history of computing hardware starting at 1960 is marked by the conversion from vacuum tube to solid state devices such as the transistor and later the integrated circuit. By 1959 discrete transistors were considered sufficiently reliable and economical that they made further vacuum tube computers uncompetitive. Computer main memory slowly moved away from magnetic core memory devices to solid-state static and dynamic semiconductor memory, which greatly reduced the cost, size and power consumption of computer devices. Eventually the cost of integrated circuit devices became low enough that home computers and personal computers
Data General Nova 1969
1 Third generation
2 Fourth generation
3 Mainframes and minicomputers
4 Microprocessor and cost reduction
5 Micral N
6 Altair 8800 and IMSAI 8080
7 Microcomputer emerges
8 See also
11 External links
Home computers were a class of microcomputers entering the market in 1977, and becoming common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single nontechnical user. These computers were a distinct market segment that typically cost much less than business, scientific or engineering-oriented computers of the time such as the IBM PC, and were generally less powerful in terms of memory and expandability. However, a home computer often had better graphics and sound than contemporary business computers. Their most common use was playing video games.Home computers were usually not electronic kits, since the home computer was sold already manufactured. There were, however, commercial kits like the Sinclair ZX80 which were both home and home-built computers since the purchaser could assemble the unit from a kit.Advertisements for early home computers were rife with possibilities for their practical use in the home, from cataloging recipes to personal finance to home automation,but these were seldom realized in practice. For example, using a typical 1980s home computer as a home automation appliance would require the computer to be kept powered on at all times and dedicated to this task. Personal finance and database use required tedious data entry. By contrast, advertisements in the specialty computer press often simply listed specifications.If no packaged software was available for a particular application, the home computer user was required to learn computer programming; a significant time commitment many new computer owners weren’t willing to make. Still, for others the home computer offered the first opportunity to learn to program.Today the line between ‘business’ and ‘home’ computer market segments has blurred or vanished completely, since both categories of computers now typically use the same processor architectures, peripherals, operating systems, and applications. Often the only difference may be the sales outlet through which they are purchased. Another change from the home computer era is that the once-common endeavour of writing one’s own software programs has almost vanished from home computer use.
Children playing Amstrad CPC464 computer. Data and programs were input with the built-in tape reader on the right of the keyboard. The game on screen is Paperboy.
Amstrad CPC464 computer. Data and programs were input with the built-in tape reader on the right of the keyboard