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Getting small: a short history of the personal computer

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1 Author(s)

Traces the development of the personal computer (PC). The article first considers the technological underpinnings; how integrated circuits and microprocessors replaced vacuum tubes etc. The computer had been developed mainly by and for large organisations, but it was the amateurs that caused the emergence of the PC, beginning with the Altair 8800, which the user assembled himself. The interface consisted of switches and flashing lights. The hardware and interfaces then developed and new manufacturers entered the market. Finally, the emergence of graphical user interfaces and user-friendly applications software made the PC of interest to users without the skill or inclination to be programmers

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:87 ,  Issue: 9 )