The Commodore PET 2001 was one of the first three personal computers that came to market in 1977, launching the home computing era along with Tandy/Radio Shack and Apple. Commodore’s entry was unique for having an all-in-one design.
Category Archives: Tech History
Except for its earliest models (see Acorn 8-bit Computers), Acorn had built its computers around the 6502 microprocessor, which was also used by Apple, Atari, Commodore, and others. Seeing the end of the 8-bit era approaching, Acorn knew that it was time to move to a new architecture
Except for its earliest models, Acorn had built its computers around the 6502 microprocessor, which was also used by Apple, Atari, Commodore, and others. Seeing the end of the 8-bit era approaching, Acorn knew that it was time to move to a new architecture. However, the cost of existing 16-bit CPUs was prohibitive, and quite […]
The Intel 80186 is based on the earlier 8086 CPU with the same 20-bit address bus as the 8086, allowing it to access up to 1 MB of memory. Introduced in 1982, the 80186 and 80188 are fully code compatible with the 8086 and 8088, but they also introduced 10 new instruction types.
Although the World Wide Web had been created many years earlier, it was in 1995 that it rocketed into public view. Window 95 shipped in August, and Intel unveiled the Pentium Pro in November. Apple used the new PowerPC 603 CPU in its Performa 5200 and 6200 models, both running at 75 MHz. The 603 […]
Microsoft first shipped Windows 1.0 in 1985, and this DOS shell was content to run even on old 4.77 MHz PCs, albeit slowly. That was also the year Aldus invented the fourth major productivity software category – after word processing, spreadsheets, and databases – by releasing PageMaker. Desktop publishing was born, and Apple found a […]
Selfie sticks are nothing new. Would you believe a photo was taken with a selfie stick in 1925, back in the era of box cameras? And would you believe that the modern selfie stick era began in 1983?
Some of you may remember seeing one of the first personal computers at a Radio Shack store in the latter part of 1977. Although there were three competing “home computer” systems on the market, only the TRS-80 was widely available – it was on display at 3,500 Radio Shack stores throughout the United States!
The Commodore Amiga began its life at Atari. Jay Miner, an engineer at the enormous video game company and the creator of the Atari 800 personal computer, wanted to create a console centered around a 16-bit processor and a floppy drive, which would make development for the new console very easy and inexpensive.
Believe it or not, word processing predated the personal computer revolution by over a decade. In 1964, IBM combined its Selectric typewriter (1961) with a magnetic tape drive in the IBM MT/ST, making it possible for the first time to edit text without having to retype everything.
The personal computing revolution began with the Intel 8080 CPU. This 8-bit CPU was introduced in 1974 at 2 MHz and was the heart of the first kit computer, the MITS Altair 8800. But it was the far less costly 6502 CPU that drove the home computing market.
Introduced in January 1984, Apple’s Macintosh changed everything – but the world of personal computing was nearly a decade old, and Apple was already successful with its Apple II line. These articles look at Apple before the advent of the Mac, as well as the broader world of personal computing.
Palm had started as a software company that decided to make its own PDA because nobody else saw what Palm’s founders did. Palm dominated the PDA world and was one of the strongest players in the smartphone realm as well. So what went wrong?
Handspring had been founded by several members of Palm Computing in June 1998 and was the second Palm OS licensee to ship product – and probably the most successful (see Part 3). In 2003, Palm Inc. merged with Handspring in a mutual agreement by both companies. This marks a new chapter in the story of […]
The Treo revolutionized the PDA market. Earlier attempts at wireless PDAs failed to make an impression on the market – the Motorola Marco and the Qualcomm pdQ were notable examples. They were much larger than their non-wireless counterparts, were expensive, and had only limited wireless functionality.
With the release of the first PalmPilots on March 10, 1996, Palm finally addressed issues it had been dealing with by making software for other people’s hardware since 1992 (see Part 1). For the first time, Palm had its own hardware and software, and the Palm brand became synonymous with PDA (Personal Digital Assistant).
Palm Computing was largely the creation and vision of one man, Jeff Hawkins. Palm first brought tablet computing to consumers in the form of PDAs (but was beaten by Apple and its scions). The later – and more momentous – goal was to bring consumers to PDAs through simple and very fast user interfaces. This […]
When IBM introduced its first PC in August 1981, it created a new standard for desktop computers in the business world. However, IBM didn’t address portability, which created an opening for Compaq and Toshiba to enter the PC market. This is Toshiba’s story.
When IBM introduced its first PC in August 1981, it created a new standard for desktop computers in the business world. However, IBM didn’t address portability, which created an opening for Compaq and Toshiba to enter the PC market. This is Compaq’s story.
Commodore was the third player in the 68000-based personal computer market, going up against the Apple Macintosh and Atari ST. Commodore had acquired Amiga in 1984.
Personal computing never would have gotten started if not for the invention of microprocessors, which puts a computer’s CPU (central processing unit) on a single chip – sometimes with companion chips. Intel released the first commercial CPU in 1971, and the first 8-bit “home computers” arrived just a few years later.
Apple introduced the $10,000 Lisa in 1983 and the $2,500 Macintosh in 1984. Both used the 68000 CPU. The Atari ST, based on the same processor, arrived in 1985 at just $799 – or $999 with color, which the Mac didn’t have yet.
The most important development in 1983 was the Personal Computer Price War. Texas Instruments had nearly destroyed Commodore International when TI began selling fully assembled calculators for less than Commodore and other calculator makers paid for components. Jack Tramiel, Commodore’s founder, vowed revenge.
Apple shook up the Mac world when it announced in June 2005 that it would switch from PowerPC to Intel CPUs within a year. A lot of longtime Mac users felt betrayed. And when Apple introduced the first Intel Macs at the January 2006 Macworld Expo, we were shocked at how soon Apple had begun […]
Before Facebook, before Twitter, before MySpace, before Yahoo, before bulletin board systems, before usenet – in fact, way before the first computer – Hugo Gernsback created the first social media networks.
Apple, Atari, and Commodore Amiga all made personal computers based on the Motorola 680×0 family of processors. This article covers models introduced since the start of 1991. For earlier models, see Timeline of 680×0 Computers, 1980-1990.
Although it is best known for its use in Macintosh, Atari ST, and Amiga computers, the Motorola 68000 family of CPUs predates the Macintosh by five years.
In November 1983, Tandy entered the world of PC compatibles with one of the most powerful MS-DOS computers to date, the 8 MHz 80186-based Tandy 2000. This was long before IBM released the 6 MHz IBM Personal Computer/AT in August 1994.
Texas Instruments (TI) had been a pioneer in transistor, integrated circuit, and semiconductor design, and it was a major player in the calculator market. However, it took its time entering the home and business computer markets and fared poorly in both areas.
In 1977, Radio Shack became one of the first companies to sell personal computers, but it didn’t have a model with color graphics until 1980. This is the story of the Radio Shack Color Computer.