|History of computing|
|Hardware before 1960|
|Hardware 1960s to present|
|Hardware in Soviet Bloc countries|
|Graphical user interface|
|World Wide Web|
|Computer and video games|
|Timeline of computing|
The history of computing hardware starting at 1960 is marked by the conversion from vacuum tube to solid state devices such as the transistor and later the integrated circuit. The history of Computing is longer than the History of computing hardware and modern computing technology and includes the history of methods intended for The history of computer hardware encompasses the hardware, its architecture, and its impact on software. The history of computing hardware in the former Soviet Bloc is somewhat different from that of Western countries The history of computer science began long before the modern discipline of Computer science that emerged in the twentieth century The history of computer Operating systems recapitulates to a degree the recent History of computer hardware. See also Personal computer This article covers the history of the Personal computer. Before laptop/notebook computers were technically feasible similar ideas had been proposed most notably Alan Kay 's Dynabook concept developed at Xerox PARC Software engineering has evolved steadily from its founding days in the 1940s until today in the 2000s. This article discusses the major developments in the history of Programming languages. timeline of artificial intelligence The history of artificial intelligence begins in Antiquity with myths stories and rumors of artificial beings endowed with intelligence The Graphical user interface, understood as the use of graphic icons and a pointing device to control a computer has over the last four decades a steady history of incremental Prior to the widespread internetworking that led to the Internet most communication networks were limited by their nature to only allow communications between the stations on the network and The World Wide Web (" WWW " or simply the " Web " is a global Information medium which users can read and write via Computers Video games were introduced as a commercial entertainment medium in 1971, becoming the basis for an important entertainment industry in the late 1970s/early 1980s in the United This article presents a detailed timeline of events in the history of Computing. This article presents a Timeline of events in the history of Computing from Prehistory until 1949 This article presents a Timeline of events in the history of Computing from 1950 to 1979 This article presents a Timeline of events in the history of Computing from 1980 to 1989 This article presents a Timeline of events in the history of Computing from 1990 to the present This article is about the electronic device not an evacuated pipe used for experiments in Free-fall. Solid-state Electronic components devices and systems are based entirely on the Semiconductor, such as Transistors Microprocessor chips and In Electronics, a transistor is a Semiconductor device commonly used to amplify or switch electronic signals Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside By 1959 discrete transistors were considered sufficiently reliable and economical that they made further vacuum tube computers uncompetetive. Computer main memory slowly moved away from magnetic core memory devices to solid-state static and dynamic semiconductor memory, which greatly reduced the cost, size and power consumption of computer devices. Magnetic core memory, or ferrite-core memory, is an early form of Random access Computer memory. Eventually the cost of integrated circuit devices became low enough that home computers and personal computers became widespread. A home computer was a class of Personal computer entering the market in 1977 and becoming common during the 1980s A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated
The mass increase in the use of computers accelerated with 'Third Generation' computers. These generally relied on Jack St. Clair Kilby's invention of the integrated circuit (or microchip), starting around 1965. Jack St Clair Kilby ( November 8, 1923 - June 20, 2005) was a Nobel Prize laureate in Physics in 2000 for his invention Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside However, the IBM System/360 used hybrid circuits, which were solid-state devices interconnected on a substrate with discrete wires. International Business Machines Corporation abbreviated IBM and nicknamed "Big Blue", is a multinational Computer Technology The IBM System/360 ( S/360) is a Mainframe computer system family announced by IBM on April 7, 1964. A hybrid integrated circuit, HIC, hybrid microcircuit, or simply hybrid is a miniaturized electronic circuit constructed of individual devices such
The first integrated circuit was produced in September 1958 but computers using them didn't begin to appear until 1963. Year 1958 ( MCMLVIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Some of their early uses were in embedded systems, notably used by NASA for the Apollo Guidance Computer and by the military in the LGM-30 Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile. An embedded system is a special-purpose Computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions often with Real-time computing constraints The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA, ˈnæsə is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program The LGM-30 Minuteman is a United States nuclear Missile, a land-based Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM
By 1971, the Illiac IV supercomputer, which was the fastest computer in the world for several years, used about a quarter-million small-scale ECL logic gate integrated circuits to make up sixty-four parallel data processors. ILLIAC IV was one of the most infamous Supercomputers ever in a series of research machines ILLIACs, from the University of Illinois. 
While large 'mainframes' such as the System/360 increased storage and processing capabilities, the integrated circuit also allowed the development of much smaller computers. Mainframes (often colloquially referred to as Big Iron) are Computers used mainly by large organizations for critical applications typically bulk data Computer data storage, often called storage or memory, refers to Computer components devices and recording media that retain digital The minicomputer was a significant innovation in the 1960s and 1970s. A minicomputer (colloquially mini) is a class of multi-user Computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum in between the largest Multi-user It brought computing power to more people, not only through more convenient physical size but also through broadening the computer vendor field. Digital Equipment Corporation became the number two computer company behind IBM with their popular PDP and VAX computer systems. Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the Computer industry Programmed Data Processor (abbreviated PDP) was the name of a series of Minicomputers made by Digital Equipment Corporation. Name "VAX" was originally an Acronym for V irtual A ddress e' X' tension, both because the VAX was seen as a 32-bit Smaller, affordable hardware also brought about the development of important new operating systems like Unix. An operating system (commonly abbreviated OS and O/S) is the software component of a Computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as Unix with Small caps) is a computer
Large scale integration of circuits led to the development of very small processing units, an early example of this is the processor was the classified CADC used for analyzing flight data in the US Navy's F14A Tomcat fighter jet. The Central Air Data Computer is the integrated flight control system used in the early versions of the US Navy 's F-14 Tomcat fighter This processor was developed by Steve Geller, Ray Holt and a team from AiResearch and American Microsystems. Raymond M Holt was a co-founder of Microcomputer Associates Incorporated, along with Manny Lemas Garrett by Honeywell is the consumer brand of Honeywell Turbo Technologies a subsidiary of Honeywell Corporation.
In 1966, Hewlett-Packard entered the general purpose computer business with its HP-2116, offering a computational power formerly found only in much larger computers. The HP 2100 was a series of Minicomputers produced by Hewlett-Packard from the mid 1960s to early 1990s It supported a wide variety of languages, among them BASIC, ALGOL, and FORTRAN. In Computer programming, BASIC (an Acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of High-level programming languages Algol (β Per / Beta Persei known colloquially as the Demon Star, is a bright Star in the Constellation Perseus. Fortran (previously FORTRAN) is a general-purpose, procedural, imperative Programming language that is especially suited to
In 1969, Data General shipped a total of 50,000 Novas at $8000 each. Year 1969 ( MCMLXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Data General was one of the first Minicomputer firms from the late 1960s The Nova was one of the first 16-bit minicomputers and led the way toward word lengths that were multiples of the 8-bit byte. The Data General Nova was a popular 16-bit Minicomputer built by the United States company Data General starting in 1969 In Computing, " word " is a term for the natural unit of data used by a particular computer design Eight-bit CPUs normally use an 8-bit data bus and a 16-bit address bus which means that their Address space is limited to 64 KBs This is not a "natural A byte (pronounced "bite" baɪt is the basic unit of measurement of information storage in Computer science. It was first to employ medium-scale integration (MSI) circuits from Fairchild Semiconductor, with subsequent models using large-scale integrated (LSI) circuits. Present day Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc is a spin-off company resulting from reconstitution of assets in National Semiconductor Also notable was that the entire central processor was contained on one 15-inch printed circuit board. A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect Electronic components using conductive pathways or traces
In 1973, the TV Typewriter, designed by Don Lancaster, provided electronics hobbyists with a display of alphanumeric information on an ordinary television set. The TV Typewriter was a video terminal that could display 2 pages of 16 lines of 32 upper case characters on a standard television Donald E Lancaster is a prolific Author, inventor and microcomputer pioneer best known for his magazine columns It used $120 worth of electronics components, as outlined in the September 1973 issue of Radio Electronics magazine. The original design included two memory boards and could generate and store 512 characters as 16 lines of 32 characters. A 90-minute cassette tape provided supplementary storage for about 100 pages of text. His design used minimalistic hardware to generate the timing of the various signals needed to create the TV signal. Clive Sinclair later used the same approach in his legendary Sinclair ZX80. Sir Clive Marles Sinclair (born July 30, 1940) is a well-known British Entrepreneur and Inventor of the world's first The Sinclair ZX80 was a Home computer brought to market in 1980 by Sinclair Research of Cambridge England
The basis of the fourth generation was Marcian Hoff's invention of the microprocessor. Marcian Edward "Ted" Hoff Jr (born October 28, 1937 in Rochester New York) is one of the inventors of the Microprocessor. A microprocessor incorporates most or all of the functions of a Central processing unit (CPU on a single Integrated
Unlike Third generation minicomputers, which were essentially scaled down versions of mainframe computers, the fourth generation's origins are fundamentally different. A minicomputer (colloquially mini) is a class of multi-user Computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum in between the largest Multi-user Mainframes (often colloquially referred to as Big Iron) are Computers used mainly by large organizations for critical applications typically bulk data Microprocessor-based computers were originally very limited in their computational ability and speed, and were in no way an attempt to downsize the minicomputer. They were addressing an entirely different market.
Although processing power and storage capacities have increased beyond all recognition since the 1970s, the underlying technology of LSI (large scale integration) or VLSI (very large scale integration) microchips has remained basically the same, so it is widely regarded that most of today's computers still belong to the fourth generation.
On November 15, 1971, Intel released the world's first commercial microprocessor, the 4004. Events 655 - Battle of Winwaed: Penda of Mercia is defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria. Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit Central processing unit (CPU released by Intel Corporation in 1971 It was developed for a Japanese calculator company, Busicom, as an alternative to hardwired circuitry, but computers were developed around it, with much of their processing abilities provided by a single small microprocessor chip. Busicom ( Nippon Calculating Machine Corp changed its name to Business Computer Corporation) was a Japanese company that owned the rights to the first Coupled with one of Intel's other products - the RAM chip, based on an invention by Robert Dennard of IBM, (kilobits of memory on a single chip) - the microprocessor allowed fourth generation computers to be smaller and faster than previous computers. Robert Dennard (born September 5, 1932) is an American Electrical engineer and Inventor. The 4004 was only capable of 60,000 instructions per second, but its successors, the Intel 8008, 8080 (used in many computers using the CP/M operating system), and the 8086/8088 family (the IBM PC and compatibles use processors still backwards-compatible with the 8086) brought ever-increasing speed and power to the computers. CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers is an Operating system originally created for Intel 8080 / 85 based Microcomputers by Gary Kildall An operating system (commonly abbreviated OS and O/S) is the software component of a Computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated Other manufacturers also produced microprocessors which were widely used in microcomputers.
At the other end of the computing spectrum from the microcomputers, the powerful supercomputers of the era also used integrated circuit technology. microcomputer is a Computer with a Microprocessor as its Central processing unit. A supercomputer is a Computer that is at the frontline of processing capacity particularly speed of calculation (at the time of its introduction In 1976 the Cray-1 was developed by Seymour Cray, who had left Control Data in 1972 to form his own company. Year 1976 ( MCMLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Cray-1 was a Supercomputer designed by a team including Seymour Cray for Cray Research. Seymour Roger Cray ( September 28, 1925 – October 5, 1996) was a U This machine, the first supercomputer to make vector processing practical, had a characteristic horseshoe shape, to speed processing by shortening circuit paths. A vector processor, or array processor, is a CPU design where the instruction set includes operations that can perform mathematical operations on multiple data Vector processing, which uses a single instruction to perform the same operation on many arguments, has been a fundamental supercomputer processing method ever since. The Cray-1 could calculate 150 million floating point operations per second (150 megaflops). Measuring performance In order for FLOPS to be useful as a measure of floating-point performance a standard benchmark must be available on all computers of interest 85 were shipped at a price of $5 million each. The Cray-1 had a CPU that was mostly constructed of ECL SSI/MSI circuits. In electronics emitter-coupled logic, or ECL, is a Logic family in which current is steered through bipolar transistors to implement Logic Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside
Before the introduction of the microprocessor in the early 1970s, computers were generally large, costly systems owned by large institutions: corporations, universities, government agencies, and the like. A microprocessor incorporates most or all of the functions of a Central processing unit (CPU on a single Integrated Users—who were experienced specialists—did not usually interact with the machine itself, but instead prepared tasks for the computer on off-line equipment, such as card punches. A key punch is a device for entering data into Punched cards by precisely punching holes at locations designated by the keys struck by the operator A number of assignments for the computer would be gathered up and processed in batch mode. Batch processing is execution of a series of programs (" jobs quot on a Computer without human interaction After the jobs had completed, users could collect the output printouts and punched cards. In some organizations it could take hours or days between submitting a job to the computing center and receiving the output.
A more interactive form of computer use developed commercially by the middle 1960s. In a time-sharing system, multiple teletype terminals let many people share the use of one mainframe computer processor. Time-sharing refers to sharing a computing resource among many users by multitasking. A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into and displaying data from a Computer or a Computing Mainframes (often colloquially referred to as Big Iron) are Computers used mainly by large organizations for critical applications typically bulk data This was common in business applications and in science and engineering.
A different model of computer use was foreshadowed by the way in which early, pre-commercial, experimental computers were used, where one user had exclusive use of a processor.  Some of the first computers that might be called "personal" were early minicomputers such as the LINC and PDP-8, and later on VAX and larger minicomputers from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Data General, Prime Computer, and others. A minicomputer (colloquially mini) is a class of multi-user Computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum in between the largest Multi-user The LINC (Laboratory Instrument Computer was a 12-bit, 2048-word Computer. The PDP-8 was the first successful commercial Minicomputer, produced by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC in the 1960s Name "VAX" was originally an Acronym for V irtual A ddress e' X' tension, both because the VAX was seen as a 32-bit Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the Computer industry Data General was one of the first Minicomputer firms from the late 1960s Prime Computer was a Natick Massachusetts -based producer of Minicomputers from 1972 until 1992 They originated as peripheral processors for mainframe computers, taking on some routine tasks and freeing the processor for computation. By today's standards they were physically large (about the size of a refrigerator) and costly (typically tens of thousands of US dollars), and thus were rarely purchased by individuals. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been However, they were much smaller, less expensive, and generally simpler to operate than the mainframe computers of the time, and thus affordable by individual laboratories and research projects. Minicomputers largely freed these organizations from the batch processing and bureaucracy of a commercial or university computing center. Batch processing is execution of a series of programs (" jobs quot on a Computer without human interaction
In addition, minicomputers were more interactive than mainframes, and soon had their own operating systems. An operating system (commonly abbreviated OS and O/S) is the software component of a Computer system that is responsible for the management and coordination The minicomputer Xerox Alto (1973) was a landmark step in the development of personal computers, because of its graphical user interface, bit-mapped high resolution screen, large internal and external memory storage, mouse, and special software. The Xerox Alto was an early Personal computer developed at Xerox PARC in 1973. In Computer graphics, a bitmap or pixmap is a type of memory organization or Image file format used to store Digital images The In Computing, a mouse (plural mice, mouse devices, or mouses) 
The minicomputer ancestors of the modern personal computer used integrated circuit (microchip) technology, which reduced size and cost, but processing was carried out by circuits with large numbers of components arranged on multiple large printed circuit boards before the introduction of the microprocessor. A minicomputer (colloquially mini) is a class of multi-user Computers that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum in between the largest Multi-user Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect Electronic components using conductive pathways or traces A microprocessor incorporates most or all of the functions of a Central processing unit (CPU on a single Integrated They were consequently physically large and expensive to manufacture. After the "computer-on-a-chip" was commercialized, the cost to manufacture a computer system dropped dramatically. The arithmetic, logic, and control functions that previously occupied several costly circuit boards were now available in one integrated circuit which was very expensive to design but very cheap to manufacture in large quantities. A printed circuit board, or PCB, is used to mechanically support and electrically connect Electronic components using conductive pathways or traces Microchipsjpg|right|thumb|200px|Microchips ( EPROM memory with a transparent window showing the integrated circuit inside Concurrently, advances in the development of solid state memory eliminated the bulky, costly, and power-hungry magnetic core memory used in prior generations of computers. A solid-state drive ( SSD) is a Data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent Data. Magnetic core memory, or ferrite-core memory, is an early form of Random access Computer memory.
There were a few researchers at places such as SRI and Xerox PARC who were working on computers that a single person could use and could be connected by fast, versatile networks: not home computers, but personal ones. SRI International, based in the United States is one of the world's largest contract Research institutes. PARC (Palo Alto Research Center Inc formerly Xerox PARC, is a Research and development company in Palo Alto California that began as a division of
Development of the single-chip microprocessor was an enormous catalyst to the popularization of cheap, easy to use, and truly personal computers. The MITS Altair 8800 was a Microcomputer design from 1975 based on the Intel 8080 CPU and sold as a mail-order kit through advertisements in History In May 1972 William Millard began business individually as IMS Associates (IMS in the area of computer consultancy and engineering using his home A microprocessor incorporates most or all of the functions of a Central processing unit (CPU on a single Integrated The Altair 8800, introduced in a Popular Electronics magazine article in the January 1975 issue, at the time set a new low price point for a computer, bringing computer ownership to an admittedly select market in the 1970s. The MITS Altair 8800 was a Microcomputer design from 1975 based on the Intel 8080 CPU and sold as a mail-order kit through advertisements in Popular Electronics was a magazine started by Ziff-Davis Publishing in October 1954 for hobbyist and experimenters in electronics This was followed by the IMSAI 8080 computer, with similar abilities and limitations. History In May 1972 William Millard began business individually as IMS Associates (IMS in the area of computer consultancy and engineering using his home The Altair and IMSAI were essentially scaled-down minicomputers and were incomplete: to connect a keyboard or teletype to them required heavy, expensive "peripherals". These machines both featured a front panel with switches and lights, which communicated with the operator in binary. The binary numeral system, or base-2 number system, is a Numeral system that represents numeric values using two symbols usually 0 and 1. To program the machine after switching it on the bootstrap loader program had to be entered, without error, in binary, then a paper tape containing a BASIC interpreter loaded from a paper-tape reader. In Computing, booting ( booting up) is a bootstrapping process that starts Operating systems when the user turns on a Computer system In Computer programming, BASIC (an Acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of High-level programming languages Keying the loader required setting a bank of eight switches up or down and pressing the "load" button, once for each byte of the program, which was typically hundreds of bytes long. The computer could run BASIC programs once the interpreter had been loaded.
The MITS Altair, the first commercially successful microprocessor kit, was featured on the cover of Popular Electronics magazine in January 1975. The MITS Altair 8800 was a Microcomputer design from 1975 based on the Intel 8080 CPU and sold as a mail-order kit through advertisements in Popular Electronics was a magazine started by Ziff-Davis Publishing in October 1954 for hobbyist and experimenters in electronics It was the world's first mass-produced personal computer kit, as well as the first computer to use an Intel 8080 processor. The Intel 8080 was an early Microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel. It was a commercial success with 10,000 Altairs being shipped. The Altair also inspired the software development efforts of Paul Allen and his high school friend Bill Gates who developed a BASIC interpreter for the Altair, and then formed Microsoft. Paul Gardner Allen (born January 21 1953 is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates. If you would like to experiment with Wikipedia please copy In Computer science, an interpreter normally means a Computer program that executes, i Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational Computer technology Corporation, which rose to dominate the Home computer
The MITS Altair 8800 effectively created a new industry of microcomputers and computer kits, with many others following, such as a wave of small business computers in the late 1970s based on the Intel 8080, Zilog Z80 and Intel 8085 microprocessor chips. The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit Microprocessor designed and sold by Zilog from July 1976 onwards The Intel 8085 is an 8-bit Microprocessor introduced by Intel in 1977 Most ran the CP/M-80 operating system developed by Gary Kildall at Digital Research. CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers is an Operating system originally created for Intel 8080 / 85 based Microcomputers by Gary Kildall Gary Arlen Kildall (May 19 1942 – July 11 1994 was an American Computer scientist and Microcomputer Entrepreneur who created the CP/M Digital Research Inc (aka DR or DRI; originally Intergalactic Digital Research) was the company created by Dr CP/M-80 was the first popular microcomputer operating system to be used by many different hardware vendors, and many software packages were written for it, such as WordStar and dBase II. WordStar was a Word processor application published by MicroPro, originally written for the CP/M operating system but later ported to DOS, that dBase was the first widely used Database management system (DBMS for Microcomputers published by Ashton-Tate for CP/M, and later on the
Many hobbyists during the mid 1970s designed their own systems, with various degrees of success, and sometimes banded together to ease the job. Out of these house meetings the Homebrew Computer Club developed, where hobbyists met to talk about what they had done, exchange schematics and software, and demonstrate their systems. The Homebrew Computer Club was an early Computer Hobbyist club in Silicon Valley, which met (under that name from March 1975 to roughly 1977 Many people built or assembled their own computers as per published designs. For example, many thousands of people built the Galaksija home computer later in the early 80s. The Galaksija (pronounced Galaxiya, meaning Galaxy) was originally a build-it-yourself Computer designed by Voja Antonić
It was arguably the Altair computer that spawned the development of Apple, as well as Microsoft which produced and sold the Altair BASIC programming language interpreter, Microsoft's first product. Apple Inc, ( formerly Apple Computer Inc, is an American Multinational corporation with a focus on designing and manufacturing Consumer electronics Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational Computer technology Corporation, which rose to dominate the Home computer Altair BASIC was an interpreter for the BASIC programming language that ran on the MITS Altair 8800 and subsequent S-100 bus computers The second generation of microcomputers — those that appeared in the late 1970s, sparked by the unexpected demand for the kit computers at the electronic hobbyist clubs, were usually known as home computers. microcomputer is a Computer with a Microprocessor as its Central processing unit. A home computer was a class of Personal computer entering the market in 1977 and becoming common during the 1980s For business use these systems were less capable and in some ways less versatile than the large business computers of the day. They were designed for fun and educational purposes, not so much for practical use. And although you could use some simple office/productivity applications on them, they were generally used by computer enthusiasts for learning to program and for running computer games, for which the personal computers of the period were less suitable and much too expensive. A personal computer Game (also known as a computer game or simply PC game) is a Video game played on a Personal computer, rather For the more technical hobbyists home computers were also used for electronics interfacing, such as controlling model railroads, and other general hobbyist pursuits. Model railroading (US or Railway modelling (UK Australia and Canada is a Hobby in which Rail transport systems are modeled at a reduced scale
In France, the company R2E (Réalisations et Etudes Electroniques) formed by two former engineers of the Intertechnique company, André Truong Trong Thi and François Gernelle introduced in February 1973 a microcomputer, the Micral N based on the Intel 8008. According to the Computer History Museum the Micral N was the earliest commercial non-kit personal computer based on a Microprocessor, the Intel 8008. André Trương Trọng Thi (1936-2005 was a Vietnamese - French engineer According to the Computer History Museum the Micral N was the earliest commercial non-kit personal computer based on a Microprocessor, the Intel 8008.  Originally, the computer had been designed by Gernelle, Lacombe, Beckmann and Benchitrite for the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique to automate hygrometric measurements.  The Micral N cost a fifth of the price of a PDP-8, about 8500FF ($1300). The PDP-8 was the first successful commercial Minicomputer, produced by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC in the 1960s The clock of the Intel 8008 was set at 500kHz, the memory was 16 kilobytes. A bus, called Pluribus was introduced and allowed connection of up to 14 boards. Different boards for digital I/O, analog I/O, memory, floppy disk were available from R2E. The Micral operating system was initially called Sysmic, and was later renamed Prologue. Prologue ( Greek πρόλογος prologos, from προ~ pro~ - fore~, and lógos word) or prolog, is a prefatory R2E was absorbed by Groupe Bull in 1978. Groupe Bull (also known as Bull Information Systems or simply Bull) is a French owned Computer company headquartered in Les Clayes-sous-Bois Although Groupe Bull continued the production of Micral computers, it was not interested in the Personal Computer market. and Micral computers were mostly confined to highway toll gates (where they remained in service until 1992) and similar niche markets.
The advent of the microprocessor and solid-state memory made personal computers affordable. A personal computer ( PC) is any Computer whose original sales price size and capabilities make it useful for individuals and which is intended to be operated Early hobby micrcomputer systems such as the Altair 8800 and Apple I introduced around 1975 marked release of low-cost 8-bit processor chips, which had sufficient computing power to be of interest to hobby and experimental users. The MITS Altair 8800 was a Microcomputer design from 1975 based on the Intel 8080 CPU and sold as a mail-order kit through advertisements in The Apple I, also known as the Apple-1, was an early Personal computer. By 1977 pre-assembled systems such as the Apple II, PET, and TRS 80 began the era of mass-market personal computers; much less assemblywork was required to obtain an operating computer and applications such as games, word processing, and spreadsheets began to proliferate.