Intel Core i9, AMD Ryzen series, and RTX 2020 – are just some common parts you’ll see in a custom-built Personal Computer, or what we commonly know as “PC.” But when exactly did this advanced computing technology started that we know today? The actual first personal computers were introduced in 1975, which was known as the “Altair 8800” by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems or MITS. That time it was powered by an 8-bit Intel 8080 Microprocessor. The first programming language for the machine was from Microsoft, which was ALTAIR BASIC.
Apple made sure that they were joining the innovation when it comes to computing. In 1976,Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were the ones responsible for the Apple I circuit boards, which at that time had 30 chips in total. Apple was always known as a device for older people since the user interface was always user friendly and not hard to learn. It goes a long way back when they started that trend since both Steves were requested to send out assembled computers so that it could also be used by a wide range of users who wanted to try it out and not just the tech-savvy people we know today.
A Computer for Everyone
That was the plan with the Commodore PET since it was the first successful mass-marketed personal computer last January 1977. But it was back-ordered, causing a delay for its release later that year. Apple, showing what they are capable of releasing the Apple II, three months later, after the Commodore PET was marketed to people. The first units of Apple II were shipped June 10, 1977, and set of TRS-80 from Tandy Corporation sends of their units two months after, August 1977. Fun fact, TRS-80 just sold over 100,00 units in total during its existence in the technology world. The good thing about the year 1977 is the wide range of personal computers were made available in the market. The machines that were released was also known as the “1977 Trinity”. Mass-Market, ready-assembled computers were the mainstream during that time since the market was made sure to be available to a diverse group of people.
In 1977, the Heath Company released these series of Personal computers, starting with Heathkit 8, then H89 in late 1978. One trait about the Heathkit 8 is you can purchase additional hardware for it, like H8-1 memory board that has 4k of RAM in order to run a software. They are also responsible for being one of the companies to release a 16-bit personal computer in 1978, it was known as The Heathkit H11. However, since the price skyrocketed to $1,295, it was discontinued in 1982.
One thing about technology, it constantly changes; it was proven even before, since the early 1980s, home computers were made to be available for household use. Meaning, civilians can start using computer software for personal productivity, programming, and even games! Personal computers began to have small and minor graphics on them, and a limited color range and the sales also began to rack up. The ZX Series by a UK Company introduced the ZX Spectrum, which sold 8 million units. Then Commodore 64, which totaled 17 million units sold.
But a much more popular personal computer came into the scene later that year. It was known as the NEC PC-98, which sold a towering 18 million units. Somehow, each of these is similar to how technology is known to be, and personal computers keep on upgrading each year. On July 23, 1985, the Commodore introduced Amiga 1000, which boasted a lot of new features compared to its predecessors. Amiga 1000 was able to do multitasking, windowing operating system, color graphics, stereo sound (which was innovative for personal computers), and a higher 256KB of RAM and a lot more. It pioneered the age of high-end computers since the demand for power and features constantly grew each year. It was mostly aimed and targeted for small businesses and office use. That’s why when powerful computers came into the scene; the prices grew with them as well.
Workstations became part of the norm, when the demand of high-performance computer increased since this type of computer was mostly marketed for companies and businesses, due to its high-performance processor, graphic displays, and large-capacity local disk storage.
Comparing today, the demand for the powerful computers had already stabilized, since most of the parts today are accessible, mostly to everyone, plus we can already customize the personal computer we wanted to own.