The History of Mini Computers
The mini computer, or personal computer, was created as a theoretical possibility in 1971 by Xerox, Inc. Previous computers were large, cumbersome machines that required entire rooms to house a myriad components, therefore they were not designed for personal use. As solid state electronics gave way to integrated circuitry, it became possible to produce smaller computing machines. By 1977, Steve Wozniak built the first modern personal computer using raw IC parts, marketing it as the “Apple.” The design of the first Apple computer spurred competition, and within a few years there were hundreds of mini computers on the market.
Computation devices have been used since ancient times, such as the abacus, but these still required the human brain to provide answers to queries. The first independent computers did not use electricity, but a complicated set of gears and sprockets that could give an answer to simple mathematical questions. Charles Babbage is credited with the first mechanical computation device in the early 1800’s, called the Difference Engine. Other inventors had tried to produce such devices up to the time of Babbage, but many were not accurate or affordable. Advances in mechanical gear design allowed these mechanical computers to evolve, and by the advent of World War II they had become extremely complex. The Enigma Machine is considered the pinnacle of mechanical computational devices, and was used by the Axis and Allied forces to encrypt data for transport between offices. With the invention of vacuum tubes and solid state circuit components, the mechanical computer became obsolete.
The basic idea behind electronic computers is the switch, where an “on” or “off” position designates a “1” or a “0” respectively. With the advent of electronic circuits, the switch was miniaturized to a point where several thousand could fit into a large container about the size of a large filing cabinet by 1953. The platforms of all computers up to this point used fixed programs, and the main computation programs could not be altered without modifying the machine’s hardware. The goal of the industry at this time was a computer that could accept new programming without the need to re tool the device. Computers of the time, such as the ENIAC or EDIAC, required this reconfiguration to be reprogrammed. With the creation of the IBM 701, programmable computers became possible, and by 1958, http://www.bestoi.com Control Data’s CDC1604 used solid state electronics and punch cards to set up programs for multiple computations. This technology evolved over the next 20 years, and by the mid 1970’s several thousand large “mainframe” computers existed at major institutions.
The next major evolution of personal computers came with the invention of the Integrated Circuit, or IC chip. This thin wafer could handle thousands of switches, and is the basis of the modern computer chips that we use today. When many IC chips are combined, they can handle millions of computations a minute, far exceeding the larger solid state computers of the past. Intel Corporation created the first microprocessor using IC technology in 1971, and made it possible to create computers that could make millions of computations a second, instantly out dating all previous models. From 1955 to 1970, the primary method of programming computers was a perforated strip of paper, or “punch card”, or “punch tape.” After the creation of magnetic storage devices and recordable magnetic tape, computers could be programmed with spools of mag tape, which could store a vast amount of information when compared to punch tape.
In 1975, the first personal programmable computer, called the Altair, was made available to consumers. It has no keyboard and no monitor, and used a series of LED’s (light emitting diodes) to display results from input. The first real personal computer was designed by an enigmatic young inventor in his garage in 1977, and was so popular that it gave birth to the modern computer revolution; Wozniak, with promotional help from Steve Jobs, created the Apple computer system. Complete with a full keyboard and monitor, it was an instant success. Corporations and smaller companies alike quickly developed their own designs, and by the advent of Wozniak’s second generation, the Apple II, hundreds of types of mini computers were available to consumers. Through the 1980s and 1990s, advances in the microprocessors allowed for more powerful computers, but the basic design has remained the same for decades.
History Evolution of Computers
Computers have been around a lot longer than many people might imagine. The word “computer” has changed meaning over decades, but the.
History of the Minicomputer
The minicomputer lasted from 1960 through 1980. Its purpose was to offer a cost efficient alternative to room size mainframe computers. It was.
What Is a Minicomputer?
Minicomputers came to us in the 1960s with the use of transistors and core memory. Thought to be obsolete today, the term.
The History of Computer Technology
Computer technology has advanced very quickly over the years. The term computer originally referred to people. It was a job title for.
The Size of a Minicomputer
The popularity of minicomputers, currently designated as middle range computers, workstations or servers, reached its height from 1963 to 1987. With the.
How to Run a VIN for Service History on a Mini Cooper
Vehicles manufactured after 1981 are required to have a vehicle identification number, or VIN, which serves several purposes. The VIN is a.
About the Invention of the Computer Keyboard
Isaac Newton once said about his discoveries, “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”.
Components of a Minicomputer
Components of a Minicomputer. Several computer types comprise computer architecture. The minicomputer a mid range computer falls between mainframe computers and.
The Advantages of a Minicomputer
The Advantages of a Minicomputer.
Mini Lesson Writing Activities
Teachers are really up against it. Computers and video games, cell phones and MP3 players items requiring a bit of technical.
What Is the Difference Between a Microcomputer a Minicomputer?
Microcomputers and minicomputers may sound similar, but they are very different types of computers. Microcomputers usually refer to laptop or desktop PCs.