The PC Revolution
(Created by Harry Mack, History 135, July 1998)
Since the advent of the Personal Computer
(PC), life has changed throughout the world. Once a behemoth located in
the basement of a research facility, supported by huge air conditioners,
the computer has come a long way since Grace
Hopper wrote her first program.
To help you learn more about the PC Revolution, here are some assignments.
You can also read a short paper about the PC Revolution.
Some say the PC revolution began in 1966,
while others claim that the PC did not gain popularity until years later. You
can read a brief chronology of the history of the PC, or a
more detailed chronology.
Do you know how a PC works?
Read a simplified explanation.
Early PC's did not have sound boards or
synthesizers, but growing consumer demand has brought the ability to keep
sounds and synthesized music in digital format on a disk. Around
1985, the Commodore 64 computer contained a synthesizer chip to generate
music. It took the PC a few years to catch up. If your computer
can play .mid (midi) files, listen to a sample of
a computer generated tune, or listen to a sample of an analog sound that has been
put in digital form for computer use .
The PC Revolution has brought with it
many ancillary businesses and products. Magazines, software and even a
TV network exist for what seems like
endless computer shows or, as some people would say: All computers,
all the time. Other products like scanners,
have created new industries to supply the demand of PC users.
The PC Revolution has also caused innovative
changes in education. The simple fact that you are now enrolled in
this course proves that. With the PC tied to the Internet, research
has become something done at home instead of school. The ability
to find information using search engines on the Internet such as Excite,
Yahoo, and Lycos
has also made research much easier and quicker than the days of looking
through libraries and mounds of books.
Entertainment or travel is just a mouse
click away. With a video player, you can use your PC to watchTV or listen to a live radio broadcast from Greece.
The Apple Computer has been a competitor
to the PC for many years, but increasingly Apple has had a small share
of the market and specialized in graphics. Read a brief history
of the Apple Computer and the major players.
Hard copy is still an acceptable way to
learn. When was the last time you curled up on the sofa with your
PC? Here are some books about the PC Revolution.
This page is copyright © 2000, C.T.
Evans and H. Mack.
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