In other words, lights and switches were replaced by screens and keyboards, and the necessity to understand binary code was diminished as they increasingly came with programs that could be used by issuing more easily understandable commands. Famous early examples of such computers include Commodore PET, Apple II, and in the 80s the IBM PC. Intel’s co-founder Gordon Moore predicted the doubling of the number of transistor on a single chip every two years, which became known as “Moore’s Law”, and this trend has roughly held for over 30 years thanks to advancing manufacturing processes and microprocessor designs. Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Possibly the most significant of those shifts was the invention of the graphical user interface, and the mouse as a way of controlling it. Doug Engelbart and his team at the Stanford Research Lab developed the first mouse, and a graphical user interface, demonstrated in 1968. They were just a few years short of the beginning of the personal computer revolution sparked by the Altair 8800 so their idea didn’t take hold. Instead it was picked up and improved upon by researchers at the Xerox PARC research center, which in 1973 developed Xerox Alto, the first computer with a mouse-driven GUI. It never became a commercial product, however, as Xerox management wasn’t ready to dive into the computer market and didn’t see the potential of what they had early enough. It took Steve Jobs negotiating a stocks deal with Xerox in exchange for a tour of their research center to finally bring the user friendly graphical user interface, as well as the mouse, to the masses. Steve Jobs was shown what Xerox PARC team had developed, and directed Apple to improve upon it. In 1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh, the first mass-market computer with a graphical user interface and a mouse. Microsoft later caught on and produced Windows, and the historic competition between the two companies started, resulting in improvements to the graphical user interface to this day. Portable Computers
As it turned out the idea of a laptop-like portable computer existed even before it was possible to create one, and it was developed at Xerox PARC by Alan Kay whom called it the Dynabook and intended it for children. The first portable computer that was created was the Xerox Notetaker, but only 10 were produced.
The first laptop that was commercialized was Osborne 1 in 1981, with a small 5″ CRT monitor and a keyboard that sits inside of the lid when closed. It ran CP/M (the OS that Microsoft bought and based DOS on). Later portable computers included Bondwell 2 released in 1985, also running CP/M, which was among the first with a hinge-mounted LCD display. Compaq Portable was the first IBM PC compatible computer, and it ran MS-DOS, but was less portable than Bondwell 2. Other examples of early portable computers included Epson HX-20, GRiD compass, Dulmont Magnum, Kyotronic 85, Commodore SX-64, IBM PC Convertible, Toshiba T1100, T1000, and T1200 etc. The first portable computers which resemble modern laptops in features were Apple’s Powerbooks, which first introduced a built-in trackball, and later a trackpad and optional color LCD screens. IBM’s ThinkPad was largely inspired by Powerbook’s design, and the evolution of the two led to laptops and notebook computers as we know them. Powerbooks were eventually replaced by modern MacBook Pro’s. Of course, much of the evolution of portable computers was enabled by the evolution of microprocessors, LCD displays, battery technology and so on. This evolution ultimately allowed computers even smaller and more portable than laptops, such as PDAs, tablets, and smartph
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