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A Few Interesting "Firsts" In Personal Computing History

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Things we hold in our hand and use so easily almost always started as a prototype in a lab or research facility.  They are usually quite large, crudely wired, but served the purpose of seeing if something could be done.  Even the first commercial version of a product, such as the cell phone, would make us laugh today at how huge it was (not to mention that large bag that went with the phone).  Here are some important   firsts from the world of personal computing.  This pictorial history is far from exhaustive but, rather, a sampling of that history.



Portable Computer

Laptop (The GRiD)

Desktop (IBM PC)

Apple I


Hard Disk Drive

Laser Printer

We have come such a long, long way since these devices were introduced.  Can you imagine where we will be with technology twenty years from now?  I can't wait to find out!

erick99 posted May 24, 2012

Well, if I'm noticing the pattern correctly, things are going to be mighty tiny.

arsiel (rep: 13.1k) posted May 24, 2012


i can imagine how slow that laser printer was back in that time

rd995 (rep: 149k) posted May 24, 2012


You forgot to mention how the Term Debugging the computer was coined by Admrial Grace Hooper.
The terms "bug" and "debugging" are both popularly attributed to Admiral Grace Hopper in the 1940s.[1] While she was working on a Mark II Computer at Harvard University, her associates discovered a moth stuck in a relay and thereby impeding operation, whereupon she remarked that they were "debugging" the system.

skaro964 (rep: 23k) posted May 25, 2012


I've actually dealt with two of the items on this list! The original IBM PC and the RAM, aka magnetic core memory. I believe that the original 4.77MHz IBM PC sold for something like $5000 for the base monochrome text system. The memory was in three DEC PDP-11/70 minicomputers. These computers had a clock rate under 5MHz, yet they ran the whole 500+ person operation. This stuff was still in use in the mid 80's at the company where I still work today. We also had 300MB disk drives the size of washing machines.

fluffy (rep: 2.2k) posted May 25, 2012


My first PC was a commador 64...$1000 and took forever to

encorez (rep: 10k) posted May 25, 2012


Yep, my first computer was a commodore VIC20. You had to type in every line of programming code which was like 5 pages long, just to get it do a simple program, it had a cassette player to save the programs on. I then upgraded to the Commodore 64 as well.

krmills1 (rep: 14.3k) posted May 26, 2012


it's great to see the evolution of technology. it's pretty crazy to think about how life was just 100 years ago. then televisions were only for the rich, and usually one per household if any at all. cell phones weren't something of interest. computers were just fancy thinking. it's crazy..but awesome =P.

nimrodboy3 (rep: 68.2k) posted May 27, 2012


if a super conductor is ever invented......everything will get much faster and smaller.

encorez (rep: 10k) posted May 27, 2012