History of Personal Computers Inc.

Topics: Computer, Personal computer, Hard disk drive Pages: 5 (2421 words) Published: March 22, 2015
Personal Computers, Inc.*
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Personal Computers, Incorporated, (PCI) was founded in 1986 by Steve Wilson, an industrial engineer and former procurement agent for a large, international chemical producer. From humble beginnings in a two-car garage, by the end of 1993 PCI had grown into a dominant regional competi- tor with hundreds of business and professional customers. Wilson originally got the idea for PCI after building home computers for several friends and business associates. Using standard components, Wilson would assemble and test the computers in his garage after work and on week- ends. Gradually developing a network of personal references and reliable suppliers, he left his full-time job to start Personal Computers, Inc., in late 1986. Microcomputers, it turned out, were easy to build-to-order. Each consisted of several large components: a case unit (with an integrated power supply), a motherboard (containing the computer’s microprocessor and memory circuitry), floppy and fixed disk drives with separate controller circuits, a video card and monitor, and a keyboard. Customer decisions were centered around the speed and memory capacity of the motherboard circuits, the speed and storage capacity of the fixed disk drive, and the display resolution or clarity of the monitor and the video card subsystem. Wilson originally got the idea for PCI after building home computers for several friends and business associates. Using standard components, Wilson would assemble and test the computers in his garage after work and on week- ends. Gradually developing a network of personal references and reliable suppliers, he left his full-time job to start Personal Computers, Inc., in late 1986. Microcomputers, it turned out, were easy to build-to-order. Each consisted of several large components: a case unit (with an integrated power supply), a motherboard (containing the computer’s microprocessor and memory circuitry), floppy and fixed disk drives with separate controller circuits, a video card and monitor, and a keyboard. Customer decisions were centered around the speed and memory capacity of the motherboard circuits, the speed and storage capacity of the fixed disk drive, and the display resolution or clarity of the monitor and the video card subsystem. local competitors, and he promised a quality product as well. This price advan- tage carried PCI through the end of 1989. In mid-1988, one of PCI’s largest customers decided to install a local area network (LAN) which would allow all of the individual computers in the company to share the same information, software, and laser printers. Though PCI had not been involved in network software or hardware up to that point, Wilson thought that computer networking would be a likely area for growth as the market for business computers matured. PCI accepted the challenge, at the urgent request of the client, and gained a great deal of practical expe- rience by designing, installing, servicing, and expanding the network. Within two years, PCI had hired another network specialist. The firm began to shift its focus away from individual computers and toward integrated networks for small- to medium-sized businesses. By late 1993, PCI was acknowledged to be one of the best specialty network shops in the region. Wilson, as technical manager, had hired a total of three network engineers and a full-time computer technician. Assembly was done by up to ten part-time technicians, mostly local college students. The office staff included a business manager, an accounts payable/receivable clerk, and a receptionist. PCI also had two salespeople, though approximately half of the firm’s dollar sales was still generated through referrals and repeat customers. While Wilson was a competent manager of PCI’s technical matters, he shared the planning function with his business manager, Mike Thompson. Thompson had received a bachelor’s degree in business finance and manage- ment information systems...
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