Computer Technology ? Where We've Come From and Where We Are

Computer Technology has come a long way over a short period of time. We'll discuss here a summary of the early stages of computer and how it has developed up to this point.


The first programmable digital computer was developed in 1944 by a partnership between IBM and Harvard. This was not however a purely electronic computer. It was constructed from seitches, relays, rotating shafts, and clutches. This machine weighed 5 tons and used 500 miles of wires, stood eight feet tall and was powered by a 5 hp electric motor. The machine ran continuously for 15 years.

Computers continued to evolve over time and by the 1960's, there were large mainframe computers in a great many corporate, government, and educational facilities. These computers were programmed through punch cards or teletype machines. The technology continued to evolve into the 70's.

The first Apple computer was the Apple I and it was introduced as a do it yourself kit in 1976.

This was an early precursor to the modern PC. This became viable with the invention of the microprocessor in the early 70's by Intel.

The first IBM PC ran a 4.77 mHz Intel 8088 microprocessor. It came equipped with 16kb o f RAM which could be expanded to 256K. It also came with one or two floppy drives. This computer had a base selling price of ,565.

This computer was marketed by Sears and Computerland stores. Less than four months after the PC was introduced by IBM, Time Magazine named this computer "Man of the Year".

Then in the early 80's Bill Gates developed MS-DOS and had it installed on the IBM PC's. This was a monumental development and helped to launch Gates as one of the richest men in the world.

The development of the MAC computers evolved from work done at the PARC Research Center in California.

This lead to the development of a graphical interface and ultimately to the introduction of the Macintosh computer in 1983. This was a significant development in computers and helped to set the stage for many other computers to follow.

Then in late 1983, Microsoft launched the introduction of Windows which was a program designed to run on IBM and compatible PC's. This was a graphical user interface type of program and replaced earlier MS DOS operating systems.

This set the stage for many more innovations in computing power as Intel made significant strides in this area as microprocessors became ever more fast powerful and complex. The amount of processing power in modern chips is truly staggering and has enabled tremendous strides in the work with personal computers can perform.

And the advancement of software has been equally impressive. These programs were optimized for the hardware they were written for and has helped to enhance our ability to capitalize on computers and has made the use of computer technology practical for virtually anyone anywhere.