Blast From The Past!

 

It’s positively amazing what has happened with computers in only a few short years. In the 1940s, computers used vacuum tubes and filled a room. It required a dedicated staff just to maintain, let alone program them. They were so expensive they were used only by governments.

ENIAC, the first general-purpose computer, 1946

ENIAC, the first general-purpose computer, 1946

The 1950s saw improvements in storage using magnetic tape and magnetic drums.

UNIVAC 1 computer. Insurance companies and the US military were some of the users.

UNIVAC 1 computer. Insurance companies and the US military were some of the users.

The 1960s saw the first computers smaller than a refrigerator. The use of transistors and integrated circuits enabled the shrinkage. At one point, NASA was using 60% of all integrated circuits manufactured in the U.S.

The Apollo spacecraft navigation and guidance computer. It weighed only 70 pounds and took up only 1 cubic foot of space.

The Apollo spacecraft navigation and guidance computer. It weighed only 70 pounds and took up only 1 cubic foot of space.

The 1970s saw the first ready-to-use “personal” computer, courtesy of two Steves: Wozniak and Jobs. You supplied the color television set.

The Apple II hit the market in 1977 and sold millions of units.

The Apple II hit the market in 1977 and sold millions of units.

The 1980s saw personal computers go mainstream once Radio Shack got hold of the idea. Look at how much you get for five grand! Inflation doesn’t apply when it comes to computers.

The 1984 desktop computer, from Radio Shack.

The 1984 desktop computer, from Radio Shack.

Almost affordable in 1986...

Almost affordable in 1986…

The 1990s saw the first handheld “computer.” Yes, it really was a computer, and could sync data with your home computer. It even had a sort of “handwriting recognition.”

The Palm Pilot personal organizer (PDA).

The Palm Pilot personal organizer (PDA).

And then, only nine years ago, the iPhone was released, giving us all the opportunity to watch stupid videos, waste time on Facebook, and walk in front of a bus doing it… Ah, technology!

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