It is hard to think of the history of a personal computer. After all, history is usually equated with dusty museum artifacts, not tools that we use every day in our homes and offices. However, even though it is short compared to other technology or arts, the history of desktops is not only interesting but shows how in the span of thirty years an invention that was supposed to be a hobby for technology geeks has revolutionized nearly every aspect of human existence. The history of the desktop PC is no less than the history of our modern world.
Until the seventies, computers were storing information in vacuum tubes and other cumbersome devices. Then two innovations took place that allowed the size of computers to shrink drastically.
Next was the pc microprocessor, a silicon-based device that stored and recalled all the information that had previously been stored in large vacuum tubes. A pc microprocessor, on the other hand, was no larger than one’s palm.
Within in just a few years, the first personal computer came out onto the market. Since previous computers were only used for specialized tasks, many people felt that these new microcomputers would only appeal to a few engineers. However, a build your own computer kit was immensely popular and led many businesses to sell their own pre-assembled personal computers to consumers all over the United States.
Then came along Steve Jobs and Apple. This changed the face of personal computers forever. The Apple II computer was the first PC that was good for everyone to use. It had a monitor that displayed color graphics as well as a keyboard for data input. There was a larger memory and the possibility to store even more information on removable floppy disks.
Not only did it incorporate a microprocessor and integrated circuit, but it also had an attached keyboard for input, a color graphic screen, and the ability to store information on inexpensive floppy disks. A few years later the industrial giant IBM also built and sold their own PC that, while not as advanced, granted a sort of legitimacy to personal computers.
Today there is very a rarely a place where you will not see a personal computer. They are in homes and running businesses. They now have enough processing power to manage accounts, inventory, and marketing for most small businesses. The desktop PC is one of the most influential inventions of the twentieth century.