Mobile Computing

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Mobile Computing:
Past, Present, and Future

Imagine a world without the Internet, online shopping, gaming, social networking, or up to the second news updates. All of these things could not have happened without the advent of mobile computing and the technology that has expanded over time. Just think, thirty years ago, we did not have any of these things, but they were starting to take shape. This paper will show you how mobile computing got its start and some of the technologies that are involved in that area such as laptop computers and cellphone technologies. Then, will move into the current state of mobile computing and how those same technologies have improved over the years. Finally, some of the possible future trends involved in mobile computing and its technologies. Everything that we use today as far as mobile computing technologies could not have existed without the advancement of computers in general, but how did mobile computing get its start? The company that really began what many consider today to be the beginning of the modern computer age has to be IBM. According to Campbell-Kelly and Aspray (1996), It was 1964 when the concept of modern day computing was born when the IBM System/360 was born.  This computer was compatible with the previous versions of older IBM computers of all sizes.  This meant that no matter how big a company’s computer was and whatever type of programs had been written for its previous computers could work on the new IBM System/360 (Campbell-Kelly and Aspray n.d. p.142-144). IBM set the standard for pretty much all of the future computer companies that would begin creating technologies that would shape our computing world. One of those companies that truly started mobile computing starting in the late 1970’s was a little known startup called Apple Computer Inc. The two men that many consider the creators of the modern computer age are Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Steve Jobs gave an interview to INC Magazine in April of 1989. In this interview, he stated that his vision was to create a revolution where if you got computers into the hands of ordinary people, they could do extraordinary things (Burlingham, 2011, Para. 5). Many consider the beginning of the mobile computing era with the advent of the “laptop computer”. Laptops could be considered a relatively new phenomenon and there is a lot of argument as to what the first laptop really was, but many consider Adam Osborne’s “Osborne 1” to be the first laptop. It came out in 1981 and looked more like a smaller desktop PC than an actual laptop computer. It still weighed in at over 20 pounds and had very basic ram (64k) and graphics capability. It also cost over $1,800 (“The History of Laptops,” n.d., Para. 2). After the Apple IIc and IBM PC Convertible proved commercial successes, the viability of laptops was validated and the market was flooded with new models. Zenith was the first to release a non-monochrome laptop in 1989, delivering CGA graphics, built-in modem, 640 Kbytes of RAM and a 20-megabyte hard drive, and was marketed as the Zenith Miniport; this was considered a huge technological step during its time. It was PC-compatible, which made it an important example for future models. In addition, Apple released what many consider the first true laptop, the Macintosh Portable in 1989. Its graphics capabilities beat many of the PCs available at the time, and it used a trackball for mouse input. Sound was also quite impressive for a computer, but with a price tag of $6,500, many felt it was way over priced for the current market (“The History of Laptops,” n.d., Para. 7). Laptops were not the only thing taking shape in the world of mobile computing, by the 1980’s; cellular telephones were beginning to take off. Many consider Martin Cooper the father of the modern cell phone. He placed the first call on April 3, 1973. According to Copper (2003), "People want to talk to other people - not a house, or an office, or a car. Given...
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