The evolution of mainframe computing to personal computing began with the invention of the mainframe for businesses and government use. The Personal Computer (PC) evolved from companies wanting the same information from scaled down version of the mainframe and dumb terminal. Though they both consist of data storage, processors, input and output devices. However, they have their differences.
The mainframe was invented in the 1950’s. One of the first mainframes was the Univac 1, which was delivered to the Census Bureau in 1952. It measured 25-feet by 50-feet and had a storage capacity of 1000 words or 12,000 characters (Lexikon Services, 1982). In the 1970s the mainframe changed with the development of UNIX operating system (Rogers, 2010). A mainframe according to Vaughan (n.d.), “A mainframe is a continually evolving general purpose computing platform incorporating in it architectural definition the essential functionality required by its target applications" (par. 5). The Mainframe is a multi-user data storage and application computing system. Mainframe systems can be a single mainframe unit or multiple mainframe units, depending on the number of users and uses, it is needed for. Information is entered in on a dumb terminal or workstation. The mainframe can be in the same room or in another room and even on a different floor. The mainframe is known for its reliability and why companies are willing to spend the half-a-million dollars or more for them. Mainframes have fast bus speeds, high cache speeds, error detection, and error correction (Rogers, 2010).
One of the first computers to be considered a Personal Computer was the IBM PC in 1981. Others were invented from 1955. It consisted of a monitor, keyboard, and desktop base with diskette drives. It weighed 28 pounds. Companies were looking for a way to down-scale and cut the cost of the mainframe system. The Personal Computer, according to...
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Lexikon Services. (1982-2000). UNIVAC 1 (1951) First Commercially Available Computer. Retrieved November 26, 2011 from http://www.computermuseum.li/Testpage/UNIVAC-1-FullView-A.htm
Rogers, S. (2010). Comparison and Contrast Between Mainframes and PC 's. Retrieved November 26, 2011 from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5884114/comparison_and_contrast_between_mainframes.html?cat=15
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Vaughan, L. H. (n.d.). What is a "Mainframe". Retrieved November 26, 2011 from http://www.mainframes.com/whatis.htm
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