History of the Personal Computer
The first personal computer took up an entire room. ENIAC was 1,800 square feet in size and only did a few basic functions. Modern day PCs have more processing power, which means the user can do multiple tasks at one time. Personal computers have drastically changed since its invention. All in all, personal computers have gotten cheaper, smaller, and can do more than one function.
In the first place, personal computers cost more than the average family income. During the 1900s there was usually only one member of the family that had a paying job. With the head of the family the only one working, the average family income was $827 each year. The average expense for all purposes was $768 and the average expenditure for food was $326 per family each year (United). Most of the jobs available during this time was either working in a factory or on a farm. It was hard to provide for the family with only one income in the household. With a limited income, parents did their best to make the children happy on holidays and birthdays. They weren’t able to get the most expensive gifts, but they tried to get something the kids would love and spend a lot of time playing with.
Coupled with when the first PC came available for purchase the price to manufacture them was expensive. Which made the price for the PCs themselves to be higher than most family incomes at the time. According to Frank from Columbia University the IBM 610 Auto-Point Computer was invented by John Lentz with the help of Bryon Havens and Robert M. Walker during the 1648-1956 (Lentz). The manufacture price was set at $55,000, or rental at $1150/month, $460 academic. So only 180 units were ever made. With the price to manufacture so high, not m...
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...ned a small display screen and weighed 50 pounds (da Cruz). A problem that occurred with portable computers was battery life. Portable computers were small and compact, but the battery made them heavy and clunky. Modern day computers are small compact machines with batteries that last about all day depending on the usage.
As a result, the first personal computers required a lot of resources to manufacture. The first models used thousands of vacuum tubes, while new models use motherboards, capacitors, and transistors. With new technology being invented, it created a new easier way for computers to operate. The new technology was smaller and used less resources for the parts to the new model computers. Newer technology had its role in the size and the power consumption of the computer. Less power consumption meant it was cheaper to have and use a personal computer.
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