Hence it became possible to build a complete computer

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Unformatted text preview: thmetic logic and control functions, the core activities of all computers, on a single chip. Hence it became possible to build a complete computer with a microprocessor, a few additional primary storage chips, and other support circuitry. It started a new social revolution - the personal computer (PC) revolution. Overnight computers became incredibly compact. They became inexpensive 4o make and suddenly it became possible for anyone and everyone to own a computer. During the fourthgeneration period a large number of personal computers were deployed in both offices and homes, which changed the work culture of most organizations. By 1978, the dominant personal computers were the Apple II from Apple Computer Inc. and the TRS80 model from the Radio Shack Division of Tandy Corporation. In 1980, IBM realized that the personal computer market was too promising to ignore and came out with its own PC in 1981, popularly known as IBM PC. Apple's and IBM's PCs became very popular during the fourth generation. Several other manufacturers used IBM's specification and designed their own PCs, which were popularly known as IBM compatible PCs or clones. The IBM PC and its clones became a popular standard for the PC industry during the fourth generation. During the fourth generation, magnetic core memories were replaced by semiconductor memories. This allowed computer manufacturers to provide large random access memories with very fast access time. Typical memory sizes were of the order of 16 Megabytes with access time of 200 nano seconds. On the other hand, hard disks became cheaper, smaller in size, and larger in capacity. Hence they became the standard in-built secondary storage device for all types of computer systems. Typical hard disk storage sizes in those days were of the order of few hundred of megabytes of data per disk drive. Parallely, in addition to magnetic tapes, floppy disks became very popular as a portable medium for porting programs and data from one computer system to another. In addition to the proliferation of PCs, during the fourth g...
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