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Brief History of the Notebook Computer

Brief History of the Notebook Computer

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The Whole Thing Started With Babbage!

Computers are everywhere today. They play a major part in almost all facets of our lives. It's hard to imagine living without them.

However, computers are relatively new. The personal computer with video made it's first appearance in the early 1970's. It wasn't until the 80's and 90's that they became commonplace in our lives.

Charles Babbage's Difference Engine

Charles Babbage is considered by most to be the father of the computer. He invented a device called the Difference Engine in 1822. Babbage, who was an eccentric British mathematician used this device to perform computations or calculations -- and the modern day computer was given it's start.

Long trek of time passed...

...we jump to the early 1950's in the United States. Here's some more interesting facts you might want to know about computers and notebooks:

Simon Electromechanical Personal Computer

One of the first simple computers - the Electromechanical machine which could perform digital computations. It was invented by Edmund Berkeley in 1950.

First Fully Electronic Computer

IBM a company that was incorporated in June 15, 1911 - produced the first fully electronic computer in 1952. It was called the IBM 701. This computer could read and write magnetic tape; only nineteen 701's were ever installed.

RCA Bizmac Computer

Little known fact about RCA - it was once in the data processing field - competing with IBM. It produced a computer using 25,000 vacuum tubes in 1956. RCA withdrew from manufacturing computers in 1971.

IBM Introduces the Business Computer

In 1964 IBM starts producing it's family of Business Mainframe Computers and starts to dominate this market.

The First Mouse

The first computer mouse is introduced in 1968 by Douglas Engelbart at the Fall Joint Computer Expo in San Francisco.

The First PC - Is Released To The Public

In 1975 - IBM released it's IBM 5100 which was the first PC. Six years later, it's distance cousin - Model 5150 is often referred to as the first PC. The IBM 5100 contained a tape drive for program storage and had only 16K to 64K of memory.

The First Successful Portable Computer

One of the first portable computers was developed not by any of the major computer companies we know today but by Adam Osborne. Osborne was a publisher of technical books when he introduced the Osborne Portable Computer in 1981.

This computer had a small 5-inch CRT which displayed 52 characters of text. Physically, it bares little resemblance to the notebook or laptop computer of today but Osborne's heart was in the right direction -- Osborne wanted a computer that would fit under an airplane seat!

The Osborne sold for $1795 and did good business selling 10,000 units a month. However, other larger companies jumped on the bandwagon - Most notably Compaq - and the Osborne computer company went bankrupt in 1983.

Compaq Portable

The computer company Compaq, which gets it name from the word 'compact' introduced the first IBM Compatible computer in 1982.

You only have to look at the Stats of the Compaq Portable to see how far notebook computers have advanced. Try getting your daily computer tasks done on 4.77 MHz with 128k of RAM and a 320k floppy disk --- viewed on a 9-inch monochrome screen. This Compaq Portable tipped the scales at 28 lbs.

We have come a long way!

In comparison - the latest HP Pavilion zd8000 comes with a 3.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB Hard Drive, 17 inch monitor -- all weighting in at 12.1 lbs. It's a TV set, PVR, DVD player, stereo, and last but not least a computer.

The First Notebook Sized Computer

Bookmark Notebook Computer Guide Now!

The first notebook to hit the market is generally believed to have been the Epson's HX-20. This was the world's first hand held computer and it was introduced in JULY 1982. It had only 16KB of RAM and weighted only 1.6 kg or roughly 3 and half pounds.

It proved to be very popular - not only for personal use but also in factories where it could be used on the production line.

Today, the notebook or laptop computer is very popular. Some of the major companies or brand names are: Dell, IBM, Compaq, Toshiba, Sony, Apple, Averatec and Panasonic. Some of the most highly rated notebooks and laptops being: HP Pavilion zd8000, Gateway M520X, Dell Inspiron 9200, Toshiba Satellite A65, IBM ThinkPad Series, Panasonic ToughBook and the Averatec 6200.

Here's other Facts about Computers You may or May not want to know:

1983 Tandy, Epson and NEC all enter the notebook market with the Tandy's model 100 becoming the most popular. Priced at $499.

1984 Dell Computer is founded May 3, 1984 in Austin Texas.

1985 Gateway 2000 is founded in Sioux City, Iowa.

1993 Intel releases the Pentium Processor.

1993 The Internet starts experiencing massive growth. With or without Al Gore's Help!

1994 Microsoft releases Windows 95, beta code name Chicago.

1997 Bill Gates becomes the world's richest businessman.

And on it goes...


The Notebook Guide

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