Advancements in Computers in the Last Ten Years
English 11 Hour 6
March 21, 2001
Computers date back all the way to 300B.C. with the invention of the abacus. This was a calculating devise to do math and it made the people of that time lives a lot easier. That is what the computers of today do but so much more. I will start at the basics of computers while trying not to boar you. The first real computer that actually made calculations was the ENIAC that was made by the government in 1943. It costed $500,000, weighed over 30 tons, had 19,000 vacuum tubes, and consumed almost 200 kilowatts of electricity (computer chronicles 8). Now we have advanced to laptops that are one inch thick and 15 inches wide and can do a lot more than the ENIAC could. There have been thousands of advancements and new technology in computers in the last ten years but I am only going to skim the tip of the iceberg.
In 1990, there were tons of new computers and new software but the big issues were the new processors that were super fast for their time. They could go at speeds up to 33mhz, which is how fast your computer brings things up on the screen.
In 1991 Microsoft come out with a version 5.0 MS-DOS mode which gave computers more space to run their programs.
Also in 1991, Intel introduced a 50mhz microprocessor, which kill its other 33mhz processor of last year.
Then a few months later MIPS Technologies come out with a 100mhz processor which started to make the processor group of the computer a very competitive area to come up with new technology for. In addition Hewlett-Packard Co. made the very first color scanner that could scan whatever you wanted and put it into your hard drive.
1991 was a big year for new technology in computers but that’s not all. Pixar began to work with Walt Disney Company to make a film that was completely computer animated and eventually come up with the movie toy story.
In 1992 there were three major changes in computers and the technology. First Microsoft stock reached a record high for a computer stock ever and peaked at $113 a share that year. Next Microsoft shipped its 3.1 version of window and it is a big hit and was the most abundant program on the earth. Next there was a big separation of powers that was IBM, Microsoft signed a “divorce”, and IBM became its own company.
1992 the “divorce” between Microsoft and IBM was the big factor of the year and you will see why in 1993.
In early January of 1993, IBM reports a huge loss of $4.96 billion, which almost put the company down and out but not yet. Then in March of that year Intel came out with their fastest processor which was called the Pentium processor which ran at 200mhz. In 1993 you could see what a huge loss IBM took after getting away from the powerhouse called Microsoft.
1994 was a very slow year for all companies and technology for them. The only major thing that happened was Novell bought the Word Perfect Corporation for U.S. at $850 million. Also that the faster processor race was still on.
1995 was another big year especially for Microsoft. Microsoft releases Windows 95, which is the Windows that I am typing this on and in 95 was a break threw because of its graphics and easy use. Next Sony electronics releases PlayStation, which was built with a small computer in it for video games.
In addition, Apple computers released the first laser printer which was faster than the DeskJet printers and a was a better quality of clearness printed. 1995 became a really big year for the faster processor!
1996 was another slow year but the race for the faster processor was still on. However, there was one big push ahead with Microsoft making the Internet Explorer 3.0. Which mad the Internet at your own house organized and made a search engine.
1997 Microsoft bought WebTV for $425 million which made the Internet easy to use on your home TV. That was about it for 1997 because of the big year that was next.
1998 Compaq jumped out from behind the scenes and bought new equipment for the company at $9.6 billion. Microsoft out does itself again with Windows 98, which was the top selling program of that year. Netscape announces that it will make its source code available to anyone, which puts up a little fight for the top against Microsoft Internet Explorer.
1999 stock of Yahoo and Skytel search engines skyrocket! The race for faster processors is still on but the fastest for this year was Intel Pentium III at 850mhz.
In 2000 there was another new set of Microsoft this time it was Windows 2000 edition. This was a Y2K compadable program and the big scare was off that all computers were going to crash because they thought they were to old. Also in 2000 they came up with the fastest processor yet. Intel Pentium 4 with 1.4ghz that is 1400mgz. Now they can’t go any faster without a new motherboard that can handle the speed and they haven’t made one yet that can handle anything over that speed. So for now that is the fastest computer you can buy.
Well that was all the technological advancements. Now there is new software and hardware. Such as messenger service that you can make your own chat room on with only the people that you want on it and talk to them for free as long as they are online. You can watch DVD’s your computer. Download music off of Napster and make your own CD’s of whatever you want. Play Chess or video games with people around the world. In this day in age you would be behind in life if you didn’t have a computer.