A Long Way From Univac EssayAdv. Eng. 9ComputersCan you imagine a world without computers? You most probably interactwith some form of a computer every day of your life.
Computers are the mostimportant advancement our society has ever seen. They have an interestinghistory, many interesting inner components, they are used nearly everywhere, andcontinue to advance incredibly fast. Because the field of computers is so broad,this paper will focus mainly on personal computers. Although computers have been evolving for quite some time, they reallydidnt gain popularity until the introduction of the personal computer.
In 1977,Steve Jobs, co-founder of the Apple Computer Company, unveiled what isgenerally considered to be the first personal computer, the Apple II. Thiscomputer was introduced on April 16, 1977, at the First West Coast ComputerFaire, in San Francisco. In 1981, the International Business Machines Companyintroduced the first IBM PC. Unlike Apple, IBM used a policy of openarchitecture for their computer.Order now
They bought all of their components from thelowest bidder, such as the 8086 and 8088 microprocessor chips, made by a Intel,a Hillsboro, Oregon company. When IBMs computers design had been finalized,they shared most of the inner workings of the computer with everyone. IBM hopedthat this would encourage companies to manufacture computers that werecompatible with theirs, and that in turn, would cause software companies tocreate operating systems, or OS, and other programs for the IBM Compatibleline of computers. One of the computer manufacturers was a Texas company calledCompaq.
A company called Dell Computers was the first factory direct computerseller. A small Redmond, Washington company called Microsoft made a largeamount of software for the IBM Compatible line of computers. This openarchitecture policy of IBM was not without its flaws, however. IBM lost somebusiness to the clones who could offer more speed, more memory, or a smallerprice tag. IBM had considered this an acceptable loss.
One of the fewcomponents of the IBM PC that was kept from the clone manufacturers was theBasic Input Output System, or BIOS. This program, which was usually etchedpermanently on a chip, controlled the interactions between the internal hard andfloppy drives, the external drives, printers, and monitors, etc. Clonemanufactures had to make their own versions of an input output system. Somemanufacturers copied the IBM BIOS exactly, such as Eagle Computers, and CoronaData Systems. This is one adverse affect that IBM had not thought of.
However,all of IBMs copyright violation lawsuits against these companies ended in IBMsfavor. IBM has continued to grow to this day, however, the clone manufacturersmake far more personal computers than IBM, while IBM makes more businessmachines, and the Power PC microprocessor, used in Macintosh computers. IBMclone are now made by Packard Bell, Sony, Acer, Gateway 2000, and more. Theclones have continued to use software and operating systems made by Microsoft,including: DOS (Disk Operating System), Windows, Windows 95, and Windows NT. The clones also primarily use microprocessors manufactured by Intel, includingthe 8086, 8088, 80286, 80386, 80486, Pentium and Pentium Pro, which offer speedsover 200 megahertz, and will be even faster in the near future (Silver 7-28).
Apple took a somewhat different course during this period. Not willingto enter the IBM clone manufacturing market, Apple continued to make their ownkind of computers. They made minor improvements on the Apple II line, buteventually decided they needed to make a new type of computer. They firstintroduced the Apple III in September of 1980.
It was a dismal failure. Thefirst buyers encountered numerous system errors and failures, because of a poorOS. Besides that, it was poorly manufactured, with improperly fitting circuitry,loose wires and screws, etc. The later released Apple III+ did poorly becauseof its brothers poor debut.
The next big release was the Lisa in January of1983. It was the first personal computer with a mouse, and nice graphiccapabilities. Experiments showed that it was 20 times as easy to use as the IBMPC, and it drew enormous praise from computer magazines. It had flaws too,however. It strained the power of the aging Motorola 68000 microprocessor, soit lost in speed tests to the IBM PC. It also came with a $10,000 price tag,over twice as much as most IBM clones.
The Lisa failed, not as catastrophicallyas the Apple III, but failed, nevertheless. Apple had but one more ace up theirsleeve, and they .