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For pt.2 see ibid., vol.22, no.2 (2003). The article discusses the significant technology advances which have encouraged the development of the digital computer. The transistor effect, discovered at Bell Laboratories in 1947, helped make digital computers truly practical. Advances in semiconductor technology, through integrated circuits and microprocessors, resulted in the minicomputer, microcomputer and PC revolution. Improvements in display technology and small size storage devices lead to laptop and other portable computers. For high speed applications, development of the "large-scale" or "scientific" or "mainframe" computers continued apace as well, leading to supercomputers and parallel computing. The article also looks at how computers are likely to develop in the near future.