Computer Technology During The 70’s 80’s And 90’s

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Computer technology during the 70's 80's and 90's Computer technology took a great leap in development during the 70's when schools, businesses, and universities began to use computers. The 70's would have to be the beginning of the technology of computers, as we know it today. The personal computer became big in the 80's. Now computers are being updated daily, if not hourly.

During the 70's computers and computer use began to become known by everyone. This period was a time for development and improvement. The 70's was where many things we use today were introduced; although what we have today is far more improved. This time wasn't the beginning of all computers, but it was the beginning for many things, including the microprocessor, microcomputer, and the all so important, personal computer. In the early 70's we already had some types of computers which were developed in previous years. They consisted of a hard drive a type of keyboard and mostly a very small screen.

Moving into the 70's we started developing more useful things like the floppy disk. This made it possible to store information onto a removable disk that could be transferred to other compatible computers. We also see the first microprocessor, which is a type of miniature electronic device that contains the arithmetic, logic, and control circuitry necessary to perform the functions. Before it took large machines to hold this memory where now it can be programmed on a small chip. In this period we also see the first IBM laser printer and also the first IBM ink jet printer. Bill Gates and Paul Allen also introduce Microsoft during this time. A development during the late 70's and maybe the most important development during this time was the personal computer, also known as the PC. The PC is a computer designed for use by only one person at a time. A personal computer is a type of microcomputer, or in other words, a small digital computer that uses only one microprocessor. The first PC consisted of a CPU (central processing unit), memory a keyboard and a display screen. A typical personal computer today consists of a CPU, memory, consisting of hard magnetic disks and a disk drive, a display screen , keyboard, mouse, modem, printer, and external memory, usually in the form of floppy disks or CD-ROMs (compact disc read-only memory).

The IBM 5100 Portable Computer was IBM's first attempt to build a personal computer back in 1974. Weighing in at 50 pounds and costing around $10,000, the IBM 5100 had a built-in tape drive, a small CRT and the capability of running programs in either BASIC or APL (A Programming Language, created by IBM). The monitor could display 16 lines of 64 characters each, the memory could be expanded to 64K, and the tape drive used a 1/4 inch tape cartridge similar to an 8-track stereo tape that could store about 200 K of data. Although designed to be a small business computer, the high cost and lack of interfacing capability limited the acceptance of what could be called the first personal computer, the IBM 5100.

The 1980's were also an important time for computer technology. In this period we see many programs being introduced. The 70's was the main time for computer technology, but the 80's was the time for building onto what computing already was. During this time period computers started becoming more advanced, with more memory, faster loading time, and smaller devices, which hold even more memory. IBM, one of the largest computer companies during this time hired Microsoft to develop an operating system for their proposed personal computer. This is when Bill Gates and Microsoft develop Microsoft DOS (MS-DOS). Osborne hits big in 1980 with building the first portable computer "Osborne I." Although they were going well for a while, in 1982 the Osborne Co. went out of business. The internet was first introduced in the mid 70's, but it wasn't the internet as we know today. There were very few hosts, nothing like today. The 80's was the gateway into the internet of today. In 1984 the number of internet hosts broke 1000, 10,000 in 1987, and it broke 100,000 in 1989. Today there are millions. The new and improved mailing system is introduced, we know it as e-mail. IBM, Apple, Mackintosh were making upgrades on their systems monthly, making them faster and modernizing them slightly. Microsoft was a big factor in upgrading the computer system. In 1983 they introduced Windows, the most commonly used program today. Microsoft also introduces Dos 3.0