Personal computers revolutionized the world in a multitude of ways. After this lesson about the history of personal computers, students should be able to answer these questions:
- What is a personal computer?
- How is it different from computers of the previous generation?
- How have our lives and the world at large been influenced by the PC?
To quote Wikipedia, "A personal computer (PC) is a computer whose original sales price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals."
Personal computers are computers that are used by one person at a time. Most computers in existence today are personal computers. Personal computers are most commonly used at home or in an office, but they can be found elsewhere, especially if the personal computer in question is a laptop. The concept of a personal computer began in the 1970s with important individuals involved in academics or research owning a personal computer for use in the workplace. Prior to this, computers were massive and extremely expensive machines that were only used by large companies, universities, and the government. These computers, obviously, were too expensive for most people to purchase, but all that changed in 1975 with the invention of the microprocessor. This product allowed computers to be much smaller and produced at a much cheaper cost, however these first computers with microprocessors were not very easy to use. The use of personal computers continued to grow throughout the 1980s with more development making computers cheaper, smaller, and easier to use. In the 1990s, computers became even more powerful causing them to be mainstream in many homes. Today, computers are better than ever and are used by people for work, games, information, and other things.