The history of the personal computer is deep rooted in historical desires by mankind to quantify. It begun with the use of fingers at the dawn of humanity and later evolved to the abacus calculator. By the end of the 20th century, computing devices were so huge, they occupied whole rooms. They were later miniaturized to fit onto desk tops in the 1980s. And at the dawn of the 21st century they got even smaller and now fit in our bags and pockets.
Initial concepts of computing were derived from man’s quest to perform mathematical tasks like additions, subtractions and multiplications. For thousands of years, humanity exercised daily mathematical computations by use of mobile devices like stones, sticks and fingers. These devices worked just fine. But as times changed and the need to compute bigger tasks became apparent, there was need to think out of the box and come up with faster and effective solutions.
What Is A Personal Computer? Personal computer (PC) also known as microcomputer is the most common type of computer in the world today. It is called the PC because its abilities, size and price make it usable by one person at a time. The concept of personal computers was not fully comprehended until collaborations of Altair and Bill Gates in 1974. The term personal computer has always been used to describe IBM (compatible) computers, especially when contrasted to Apple’s own Macintosh computers.
As will be noted later on in the hub, IBM and Apple emerged as leading competitors and proponents of personal computing in the 70s and 80s, and each was striving to entrench own ideas into the shape of future computing. Until today, compatible PCs and Apple Macs live side by side and are often referred to as the same: personal computer. Personal computers today come in different shapes: single units, desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablets and smartphones.
Popularity of PCs started with the desktop and laptop computers but has in the recent past seen interest shift to more mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.The Timeline Of Computer History: Below is the timeline of computers starting with the Abacus calculator to the current breed of mobile devices.1 The Abacus Calculator The initial mathematical tasks done using stones and fingers worked fine for many years but were soon overtaken by events.
Following population increase and need to compute even bigger tasks, the need for bigger devices became paramount. Societies were beginning to interact and the need to compute bigger mathematical tasks was becoming evident. This precipitated the introduction of Abacus tables and strings amongst the Chinese, thousands of years Before Christ. It was the ultimate mobile device of the time. The use of Suanpan – Abacus for Chinese, and other types of Abaci and counting frames in Asia, was not well documented until about 1000BC when there arose apparent increase in trade across the Asian region.
Variants of the Abaci continued to be popular instruments of calculation and are still in use today in parts of Asia and Africa.The shift towards more powerful computers may actually have been conceived by Leonardo da Vinci around 1500AD.
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