lecture13 - Lecture 13 Computing in Canada Part 2 the age...

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Lecture 13. Computing in Canada Part 2: the age of the microprocessor Informal and unedited notes, not for distribution. (c) Z. Stachniak, 2011-2012. Note 1: in cases I were unable to find the primary source of an image or determine whether or not an image is copyrighted, I have specified the source as ”unknown”. I will provide full information about images and/or obtain reproduction rights when such information is available to me. Introduction As discussed in the previous lectures, until the mid-1970s, computing was expensive and dominated by large mainframes and smaller, but still expen- sive, minicomputers. The high cost of computing had a direct impact on the number and processing power of computer equipment installed in Canada in that period. Individual and interactive use of computers was only possible on time-sharing systems, a popular technique that allowed multiple-users (almost) simulta- neous access to the system’s resources. In Fall of 1971, Intel Corporation of Santa Clara, Ca, announced a new era in integrated electronics to be brought about by the microprocessor – the com- pany’s novel semiconductor device that realized a computer’s central process- ing unit on a single integrated circuit. The microprocessor allowed the design and manufacture of inexpensive computer hardware. Early microprocessor- based computers, or microcomputers , presented a cost-effective and low- maintenance alternative to high-performance minicomputers that dominated the computer scene of the 1970s. Already by the end of the first decade of its development, the microcom- puter industry was engineering a major shift toward microprocessor-based computing and information technologies. The industry was manufacturing all kinds of practical computers by the millions. By the end of the 1980s, microprocessor-based computing became a major force in redefining the mod- ern society and engineering its digital future. 1
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Canadian companies were among the first electronic firms to fully recog- nize and take advantage of the emerging microprocessor technology. They participated actively in the formation of the microcomputer and personal computer industries by creating unique products and technologies and mak- ing them available world wide. Some of the Canadian companies achieved international recognition and the status of industry leaders in specific computer and information sectors. Dur- ing the first two decades of micro- and personal computing, Canadian firms introduced scores of hardware and software products, publishers offered a variety of computer magazines, computer enthusiasts organized computer clubs, shows, exhibits, and educational events all over the country. This lecture covers the first years of microcomputing in Canada. It is a brief journey through the first two decades of micro- and personal comput- ing in Canada. It is a rushed journey as the history of computing in this country is a vast subject even when restricted to personal computing. Most of the information provided in this lecture has been derived from [1] and [2].
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  • Fall '12
  • ZbigniewStachniak
  • Personal computer, IBM PC, York University Computer Museum

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