Although the term “Personal Computer,” or PC for short, first appeared in the 1970s, in the early 1980s it stood mainly for one manufacturer.
This was IBM. At an early stage, the company spoke of the “IBM Personal Computer” in its advertising and thus succeeded in linking the concept with its own products.
A modern computer has a working memory of at least 4 Gigabytes – or 32,000,000,000 bits.
The first functioning computer, made in 1941, was still very far from that.
The Z3 computer built by Konrad Zuse had two large memory cabinets. The capacity per cabinet was only 768 bits.
“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”
This was said in 1977 by Ken Olsen, founder of the renowned computer company Digital Equipment Corp. It was later bought up by PC maker Compaq.
The history of computer viruses began in the early 1960s – with a computer game.
In 1961, researchers invented a computer game. All the participants used programs, the aim of which was to overwrite those of their opponents.
For a long time, it was unimaginable that a computer would beat a world chess champion.
Eventually, a supercomputer did it.
In 1997, the then world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, was defeated in an official match by the Deep Blue 2 supercomputer.
BASF’s new supercomputer has the capacity to perform more than 1,000,000,000,000,000 computing operations per second.
In the 1960s and 1970s, when the first supercomputers were developed, the figure was a fraction of that.
The first Cray-1, put into use in 1976, had a maximum processing power of 133,000,000 operations per second. It emitted so much heat in the process that its developers were able to use it to keep their offices warm in winter.
ELIZA functioned on the keyword principle. This often went wrong. One example:"
User: “The wish was father to the
ELIZA: “Tell me more about your father.”
“I think there is a world market for about five computers.”
This was said by Thomas J. Watson, who was chairman of IBM’s board from 1949 to 1956. He is said to have predicted the demand for computers in 1943.
“That is the most expensive phone in the world, and it doesn’t appeal to business customers, because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine.”
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said this in 2007 about the first iPhone. He was certain that the Apple device would stand no chance against smartphones from Microsoft.
Science fiction author Murray Leinster described the future amazingly precisely in 1946 in the short story “A logic named Joe.”
It says the computer “has been handling the distribution of 94 percent of all the telecast programs, has given out all the information on weather, plane schedules, special sales. (...) It has recorded every business conversation and agreement. (...) If we shut off logics, we go back to a kind of civilization we have forgotten how to run.”