15 May 2019
All original writing
2014, 2015, 2016,
2017, 2018, 2019
COMPUTERS AND COMPUTING Footnotes
(1) Interestingly, the first computer used for commercial business applications was that developed for Joe Lyons tea shops -
(2) Herman Hollerith (February 29, 1860 – November 17, 1929) was an American inventor who developed an electromechanical punched card tabulator to assist in summarizing information and, later, accounting and compiling and analysing voting data. He was the founder of the Tabulating Machine Company that was amalgamated (via stock acquisition) in 1911 with three other companies to form a fifth company, the Computing-
(3) The dots of paper produced by punching holes in paper tape were called 'chad' and were potentially quite dangerous. You had to dispose of them carefully because if they got away they could cause real damage to the eyes, respiratory tract etc.
(4) BASIC (Beginner's All-
(5) The first general purpose microprocessor -
Altair 8800 and 8080 USA
Commodore 64 and PET
Sinclair ZX81 and ZX Spectrum
BBC Micro which was designed for use in schools:
(6) The Amstrad PCW had a variant of the 3.5 inch floppy -
3.5 inch floppy disc: 3 inch floppy disc
(7) The first prototype of a computer mouse was designed in 1964 by Bill English at Stanford Research Institute, from Douglas Engelbart's sketches.
(8) Believe it or not, some of the first computer printers were 'laser' printers in which a dry ink toner segregated on an electrically charged photo-
Line printers printed a whole line at a time in a fairly conventional way but were expensive and used only in a commercial environment.
Dot matrix printers were common in the early 1970s and 80s. They were mechanical and cheap and worked by electronically firing a matrix of pins which printed dots through a conventional typewriter ribbon forming characters on a continuous paper roll.
Inkjet printing development was shared between Hewlett-
They became common in the mid 1980s and are now the major home printing device, often incorporating scanning and copying facilities.
(9) Microsoft started work on a Graphical User Interface (GUI) program in 1981. Windows 1.0 extended the DOS operating system and was released in 1985 in the form of a 16 bit operating system with a graphical user interface.
(The number of bits relates to the size of the processor register and in simple terms indicates the amount of data that can be operated on at any one time, the bigger the better, faster and more efficient.)
Windows 3.11 followed in 1990 and then Windows 95 in . . . wait for it . . . 1995. This was the first version with the modern Windows feel and was designed initally as a 16 bit system with 32 bit parts. Windows versions (98, Me, XP, Vista, 8) followed culminating in today's 64 bit Windows 10.
Windows has come to dominate the world's PC market.