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Chapter 4 - Hardware and Software (Summary Notes)

Chapter 4 - Hardware and Software (Summary Notes) - Chapter...

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Chapter 4 – Hardware and Software WHERE DID ALL THIS INFO TECHNOLOGY COME FROM The first digital computing devices were invented in the 1940s. The first commercial computers were available in the 1950s, the first personal computers in the early 1980s, and the Internet came into wide use only in the 1990s. EARLY COMPUTERS: 1939-1952 The first patent on a digital computer was filed on June 26, 1947, by Eckert and Mauchly for developing the ENIAC computer. The early computers were complex and expensive. o A single user interacted with the computer, and only one program could run at a time. o These computers were housed at universities and were open to only a small number of people. o The first digital computer in Canada, the FERUT at the U of T in 1952 was a copy of the Mark 1 and one of only a small number of digital computers in North America at the time. MAINFRAMES: 1952-PRESENT Mainframes grew from the commercialization of early computers. Mainframes were the first digital computing machines used in business and government. o The first generation mainframes were based on vacuum tube technology such as the IBM 650. o It cost between $200,000 and $400,000 and could add or subtract about 16 000 numbers per second. o Second generation mainframes introduced in the late 1950s used transistors, which made them smaller, easier to maintain, and more reliable. o These first and second generation machines were often sold without software. The assumption was that companies themselves would develop the programs they wanted to use on the computer. o The third generation mainframe machines introduced in the mid 1960s included operating systems and multiprocessing. This was a big step and these computers cost millions. The multiprocessing allowed for time
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sharing, where many users could share the main processor at the same time. Before this, only one user could interact at a time. o Newer, smaller mainframes were introduced and were referred to as “mini- computers”. o The IBM z9 continues to be produced today. o Mainframes are designed for fast processing and massive storage and are likely to continue to be used far into the future. MICROCOMPUTERS: 1975-PRESENT A typical second generation mainframe would often include a central processing unit (one closet sized machine), short-term memory (another closet), and long term memory (several closets). The microprocessor was developed in the early 1970s by Texas Instruments and Intel and made the units smaller. It incorporated the processing unit and the short term memory into a single silicon “chip” using integrated circuits (IC). These microprocessors were originally used in handheld calculators. The first microcomputers , like the MITS Altair 8800 and Datapoint 2200, were developed in 1975. They had no monitor and required users to develop their own programs. As the technology developed, companies such as Microsoft wrote programming languages (BASIC) and operating systems (DOS) that could be used by micro computers. By 1981, the microcomputer had developed enough for companies to launch the personal computer.
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