CACS/Hardware Introduction

This part contains a survey of the world of computer hardware. This chapter introduces computer hardware and provides a very short history of computing. This section introduces the computing environment thrugh a brief history of computers and an overview of the subjects within hardware.

Outline of computer historyEdit

There is some disagreement about when the digital age began. After all, the Babylonians used a kind of abacus about 500 BC. If we call it the computer age, we can get a much cleaner mark. 1951 was a watershed year, and two events identify it as the beginning. The UNIVAC became the first commercially available digital computer. That same year a research team at MIT completed the first user-interactive computer (named Whirlwind) that used a keyboard and a television screen or CRT. Considering developments by decades gives a pretty clear picture of the evolution of computers.

  • 1950s the vacuum tube decade - introduction of computers and their use in business and major scientific research;
  • 1960s the mainframe decade - transistor-based computers used in business;
  • 1970s the PC decade - the first CPU on a chip to widely available personal computers;
  • 1980s the software decade - windows, games, and spreadsheets make the PC useful;
  • 1990s the internet decade - creation and then commercialization of the Web.

Vacuum tubesEdit

computer hardware notes


Personal ComputersEdit


World Wide WebEdit

Computer HardwareEdit

All notes of Computer hardware