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Personal Computer Evolution

04 Feb

“At our computer club, we talked about it being a revolution. Computers were going to belong to everyone, and give us power, and free us from the people who owned computers and all that stuff.” —Steve Wozniak

Personal computers are very inbred, so it’s not surprising that this led to many ‘genetic’ dead-ends. The below chart includes only the significant ‘genetic’ code that is still around today.

Your mobile phone and tablet computer use ARM chips descended from the Acorn Atom.

Apple created the first ‘personal computer’, and co-developed the PowerPC CPU that powers your gaming console.

After creating the original video console Jay Miner went on to make the Amiga, home of Lightwave 3D.

After leaving the company he founded, Jack Tramiel bought Atari and launched the ST, the original platform for Logic Pro.

IBM’s decision to use an Intel CPU means today all ‘personal computers’ are x86.

The TRS-80 was the first of a long line of Z80 based computers. Production of the non-Z80 based CoCo ended in 1991 but Z80s are still being made.

Although not a huge success, the TI99/4 was a 16-bit machine with dedicated sound and video chips that went on to be used in a succession of other machines.

The Sinclair Spectrum was arguably the most successful budget computer ever made, and also pioneered the idea of elegant design later adopted by Apple.

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Posted by on February 4, 2011 in Technology

 

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