Friday, June 18, 2010

Boy Were They Wrong!

“I think there is a world market for about five computers.”
Thomas Watson, Chairman, IBM, 1943

“Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons”
Popular Mechanics Magazine forecasting the future during 1949

“There is no reason for anyone to have a computer in their home”
Ken Olson, President, Digital Equipment, 1977

“640K (of memory) ought to be enough for everyone”
Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft, 1981

The milestone of the first PC in the history of computers belongs to the Altair 8800 which was launched during 1977. With an early Intel processor and 1 kilobyte of RAM, it was sold in kit form.

The popular term "personal computer" and its acronym PC, was introduced by IBM and is now widely applied to describe all desktop or portable computers.

On 12 August 1981, IBM launched an 8-bit Intel 8088 microprocessor running at 4.77 megahertz, 64 kilobytes of random access memory (RAM) with a single-sided 5 1/4- inch floppy disk drive capable of storing 160 kilobytes with a black & white monitor. It did not have a hard drive and application programmes had to be loaded into the computer’s RAM.

Bill Gates established the Microsoft Corporation in 1977. Microsoft designed a disc operating system (MS- DOS) for IBM personal computers and the rest is history. The explosion in the popularity of Personal Computers spawned huge economic activity in software development applications and a myriad of devices used with computers, as well as publication of magazines including reviews of hardware, software and tips for its application.

Despite what the pundits had predicted, personal computers revolusionised the world.

Pieter Rautenbach



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