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History of the Personal Computer




First introduced in 1975, the personal computer has emerged as one of the most important tools in history. Prior to that time, computers were enormous, expensive machines which required a separate language and large team to decipher. For the purposes of this blog, we define a personal computer as one intended for interactive individual use, as opposed to a mainframe computer where the end user’s requests are filtered through operating staff, or a time-sharing system in which one large processor is shared by many individuals. Use of a personal computer as a mass-market consumer electronic device began with the microcomputer revolution of the 1980s.


The first electronic digital computers, enormous in size and price, in fact, were referred to as ‘personal’ because they had been purchased by an individual or group rather than by a government or large company.



Early History of the Computer

• In 1752, Joseph Jacquard invented a loom. He used punch cards attached to needles to tell the loom which threads to use in what combinations and colors. With it, he wove complex patterns in cloth (still called a Jacquard design).

• Charles Babbage designed a "Difference Engine" in 1792 to calculate and print out simple math tables. He improved it with something he called his analytical engine, which used punch cards to perform complex calculations, though he never had the funds to build one.

• In 1888, Herman Hollerith, an American inventor, devised a calculating machine to tabulate the U.S. Census for 1890. It was mainly a card reader, but it was the first successful working computer, which many consider the grandfather of modern computers.

• When Hollerith sold out in 1911, the name was changed to the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Machine Company. In 1924, this company became International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).


• In 1939-1944, digital electronic computers appeared, but they were only interim steps in computer development.

• The Remington Rand Corporation built a new, more advanced computer in 1951.

• For nearly 30 years, IBM was the most successful company in information technology.

• Using vacuum tube technology, the Control Data Corporation built the first fully transistorized large computer in 1958.

• IBM unveiled their own version of the same in 1959.

• By the end of the 1960s, many industries and businesses started to rely on computers and computer networks. The birth of the personal computer was just around the corner.


• Enter Bill Gates and the Microsoft Corporation, which he began in 1976. At the time, hobbyists and technicians bought minicomputers (also called microcomputers, sold in electronic kit form and in limited numbers.) Minimal programming was done with toggle switches to enter instructions and output was provided by front panel lamps. Practical use required adding peripherals such as keyboards, computer displays, disk drives and printers.

• However, most people agree that the first official personal computer was the Apple 1, which was the first pre-assembled personal computer to be offered for offered for sale on the open market.

• We service all types of personal computers at 208Geek.



About 208 Geek in Meridian, Idaho

Owner/Operator Jacob Van Vliet began building and repairing computer systems for friends and family out of his home in 2001. Jacob was receiving so many requests for computer repair, that in the Fall of 2005, he opened 208 Geek with the vision of providing outstanding service and peace of mind. He has committed 208 Geek to delivering unparalleled, friendly, and professional service, with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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