Computing: A Business History
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Nielsen provides a most excellent and understandable narrative of a complex history. Well done.- Andy Grove, co-founder, CEO, and Chairman of Intel
Lars Nielsen engagingly shows why we've got an unlikely partnership - the American military-industrial complex teamed with a generation of pot-smoking hippie whiz-kids - to thank for today's digital economy.
in the creation of the very first major computer, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer). Funded by the U.S. Army in 1943 and developed at a cost of $500,000 by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania's Moore School of Electrical Engineering, the ENIAC was a cumbersome, massive machine, but also a technological wonder at the time of its public debut in 1946. Consider the heft: 17,468 vacuum tubes, 7,200 crystal diodes, 1,500 relays, 70,000
contained hundreds of transistors on each chip. Then, in the mid 1970s, there came "large scale integration" - LSI - tens of thousands of transistors on each chip. Various integrated circuits (such as 1K-bit RAMs, calculator chips, and the first microprocessors) which began to be manufactured in moderate quantities in the early 1970s, had under 4000 transistors. True LSI circuits, approaching 10000 transistors, began to be produced around 1974 for computer main memories and second-generation
quite a bit of success through its WPS (Wang Word Processing System) launched in June of 1976. A rudimentary system incorporating hard disk storage went for $30,000. Given the fact that typists at the time worked for an average wage of between $1.25 and $1.50 per hour, the economics of the system generally did not make much sense under the scrutiny of a rigorous cost-benefit analysis. But the romance of the machine took hold, at least for a time. Ultimately, the days of dedicated word processors
the number of user actions and the time they took ... Bill was a strong supporter of my ideas and at one session where I was explaining how drag worked Bill, by way of amplifying how useful it was, said something like, 'And you can use it to open menus, just put the cursor on the top and drag down to the item you want.'" Raskin's recollection is confirmed by Apple engineer Bruce Horn. "I've been watching the debate for more than a decade now about where the Macintosh User Interface came from,"
Fortune added Dell to its list of the world's 500 largest companies. This made Michael Dell the all-time youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 firm. Adding to the demise of IBM's own PC sales (vs. clones) was the fact that IBM itself failed to understand the importance of "IBM compatibility." Such products as the IBM Portable (outperformed, out-priced and outsold by the earlier Compaq Portable) and the PCjr (flawed by significant incompatibilities with the original PC) alienated many users, and further