Commodore pet

Early Computers (1940's to 1980's)

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    The Early Years

  • Zuse Z3

    Zuse Z3
    The Zuse Z3 was one of the first fully functional, programmable computers built in May of 1941. It was built in Germany during WW2, where it was destroyed in 1943 after an Allied bombardment on Berlin. It had 2,000 relays built in, with a 22 bit word length operating on a clock frequency of 5-10 Hz.
  • Atanasoff-Berry Computer

    Atanasoff-Berry Computer
    An electronic computer built in the United Kingdom in 1942. It was built to solve linear equations, but it also made the foundations that are a part of every modern computer. It ran off of 60 Hz of AC power, with 1 mile of wire and it's about the size of a desk.
  • Colossus Mark 1

    Colossus Mark 1
    The Colossus Mark 1 was the first electronic, digital and programmable computer. It was made to decrypt intercepted messages in WW2. It was a prototype to the Mark 2, which was made a year later in February. 10 of them were made and in use by the end of WW2. It contained 1,500 tubes in total.

    The ENIAC was built in the US in 1946, making it the world's first general-purpose electronic computer. It's capable of solving many complex computing problems. It was known by the press as the "Giant Brain". It has 17,468 vacuum tubes with 10,000 capacitors and 70,000 resistors built in.
  • SSEM

    The SSEM was built in 1948, making the world's first stored-program computer. It was built in Manchester in the United Kingdom by Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill. It used a 32-bit word length and a memory of 32 words. It only knew how to do subtraction and negation.

    The EDVAC was proposed and built in 1949. It suceeded ENIAC and cost under $500,000. It uses binary operations rather than decimal. It also could do addition, subtraction, multiplication, programmed division and automatic checking with ultrasonic serial memory. It was used from 1949 to 1961, where it was replaced by BRLESC. It received upgrades throughout its lifetime, with punch-card I/O, extra memory and an arithmetic unit.
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    The Years of Innovation


    The UNIVAC was the world's first commercially avaliable computer produced in the US. It could perform 1,905 operations running at 2.23 MHz clock speed. It had 5,200 vacuum tubes and weighed 13 metric tons. It was widely popular and distributed to many places in the US, including the US Navy, Air Force and DuPont.
  • IBM 704

    IBM 704
    The IBM 704 was the first mass-produced floating point arithmetic hardware. It was built in 1954 and capable of executing up to 40,000 instructions per second. It also sold 123 units from 1955 to 1960, making it very useful and a milestone in computer hardware.
  • IBM 305 RAMAC

    IBM 305 RAMAC
    The IBM 305 was the first computer to use a magnetic hard drive for secondary storage. Appox. more than 1,000 models were built, coupled with 350 disk storage. The total cost or just one was about $160,000. It took about 600 milliseconds to locate one record, and it became obsolete in 1962.
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    The Beginning of Transistors

  • IBM 1401

    IBM 1401
    The IBM 1401 was a wordlength variable computer announced and built in 1959. Over 10,000 units were sold after being replaced by new technology being implemented to less developed countries. It was often used as an off-line peripheral controller for mainframe computers. It was withdrawn from the market on February 8, 1971.
  • PDP-8

    The PDP-8 was a 12-bit minicomputer, and the world's first successful commercial one at that! It sold over 50,000 units, which was the most ever for that time. It was the size of a minibar fridge and used diode-transistor logic in the circuit. it spawned many generations and different models that followed its design schematics and left a wake through the mid 60's and 70's.
  • Data General Nova

    Data General Nova
    The Data General Nova was a popular 16-bit minicomputer built in 1969. It was fairly powerful, and enough to carry out daily computing tasks. Around 50,000 of them were sold, and each unit cost $8,000 each. It is built from two printed circuit boards, with one for the CPU and another for various tasks. This greatly reduced the cost to make them and helped propell them to be quite crude but a popular minicomputer.
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    The Movement of Microcomputers

  • PDP-11

    The PDP-11 was made in 1970 and was built to replace the PDP-8 in many aspects in the field. It was easier to program than other computers, thanks to general registers. It also had no dedicated I/O bus or instructions; instead it had one Unibus to communicate. It also introduced the full system POST. It was discontinued in 1997 after larger growing software developments and IBM's influence on the microcomputer industry.
  • Xerox Alto

    Xerox Alto
    The Xerox Alto was one of the first computers designed for personal use, and one would argue that it's a personal computer. It was made in 1973 by Xerox and it was the first computer to use a desktop metaphor and a mouse-driven GUI. Only 2,000 units were sold, making them rare and valuable. It has 128-512 KB of memory and a bit-slice processor based on the TI 74181 which was a calculator.
  • Altair 8800

    Altair 8800
    The Altair 8800 was the one microcomputer that started it all. It sparked a revolution in microcomputers that continues to this day. It sold thousands of kits within the first month of release. It also formed the first programming language by Microsoft 's founding product called Altair BASIC. The design was based on the Intel 8080 CPU and was sold by mail order.
  • Commodore PET

    Commodore PET
    The Commodore PET was a home/personal computer produced in 1977 by Commodore International. It was Commodore's first full-featured computer, and formed the basis for their entire 8-bit product line. It was discontinued in 1982. It featured the usage of a built in keyboard and memory of 4 to 96 KB. It also used a CPU clock speed of 1 MHz per second with a Commodore BASIC OS.
  • TI-99/4

    The TI 99/4 was released in 1979, and it costed around $1,150 per unit. It wasn't that successful, but it did evolve in the TI 99/4A. It was the first to feature "Plug and Play", a new technology back then with computer hardware. It also featured CPU RAM and a scratchpad and numerical keyboard. The average price was around $525 per unit. It was discontinued in October 1983.
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    The Start of the Personal Computer

  • Commodore VIC-20

    Commodore VIC-20
    The Commodore VIC-20 was made in 1980, roughly three years after the Commodore PET. It was the first computer of any description to sell more than one million units. It used 5 KB of RAM and used the same CPU as the PET. Inexpensive and cheap, it sold a total of 2.5 million units when it was discontinued in January 1985.
  • Commodore 64

    Commodore 64
    The Commodore 64 was released in August 1982, two years after the Commodore VIC-20 and 5 years after the Commodore PET. It had 64 KB of built-in RAM and 20 KB of additional ROM avaliable. During the C64's lifetime, it sold around 12.5 to 17 million units, making it the best-selling single personal computer of all time. It had a 1.0 MHz CPU clock speed and a 16-bit GUI. It was discontinued in April 1994, 12 long years after it was released to the public.
  • Apple Macintosh

    Apple Macintosh
    The Apple Macintosh was made in January 1984 by founder Steve Jobs. It was the world's first commercially successful personal computer to use a GUI instead of a command line. It had a 5 MHz CPU with 64 KB of RAM with 64 KB of additional ROM. It was discontinued in 1985 after its successor, Macintosh 512K.
  • PC-1512

    The PC-1512 was made in 1986 by Amstrad. In featured an Intel 8096 CPU running at 8 MHz clock speed, with 10 or 20MB of storage. It also had 512KB of memory with MS-DOS 3.2 as its OS. Its introductory price was at $499. Rumors had it that it would overheat because of not needing a cooling fan, and this discourages new customers, but it was not true. It did however make much quieter than other PC's at the time.
  • Macintosh IIcx

    Macintosh IIcx
    The Macintosh IIcx was made in March of 1989. It followed in the footsteps of Macintosh II, but with a lighter and smaller case frame. Its price was about $5500, outragiously priced for the current generation. However, it did have a 16 MHz CPU processor with 1 or 2 MB of memory, with an additional 128 MB optional. It was discontinued on March 11, 1991.