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  • 1. ARIN1000 History and Theory of Informatics Week 4 The Computer Revolution
  • 2. There will be a world market for 6 computers in the US and 3 in Britain. [Post WWII prediction] How did we get from this prediction to the multi-billion dollar computer industry we have today?
  • 3. Review of key ideas from last week
  • 4. Conceptual and Technological Breakthroughs
    • Binary system should replace decimal system (Leibniz, Zuse) This meant that electric circuits (on-off representing zero and one) could be used to make calculations
    • Gears, cogs and shafts --> Electro-mechanical relay switching --> Vacuum tubes (no moving parts) - electronic computer
    • Stored programs Computers a universal machine that could be programmed to perform multiple tasks (Babbage, Turing, Ekert and Mauchly, von Neumann)
  • 5. Driving forces behind development of computer
    • To relieve human drudgery in making calculations
    • Military imperatives - e.g. firing tables, code breaking
    • Bureaucratic imperatives - e.g. processing census information
    • Scientific and economic imperatives - improved accuracy and speed of calculations, eg. In engineering and navigation
  • 6. This week …
    • We’ll be looking at:
    • Continuing role of the government and military in development of computing technologies
    • Role of industry in development of computers for business and domestic markets
    • Role of computer hobbyists and enthusiasts
    • Technological breakthroughs (improved hardware - smaller, faster, cheaper)
    • Improved user interfaces and human-computer interaction (e.g. programming languages, “killer apps”, GUI)
  • 7. Hardware improvements
    • New developments in hardware replaced large and unwieldy vacuum tubes allowing computers to become smaller , cheaper , more reliable and much faster
    • These technologies underpinned the personal computer revolution
    • 1947 - the transistor - Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley [Bell Labs]
    • 1959 - the integrated circuit (the microchip) Jack Kilby had first patent but a superior model designed by Robert Noyce. Used in calculators, watches traffic lights, cars etc
  • 8. Hardware improvements
    • 1969 - the microprocessor - a general purpose programmable IC - a computer on a chip Ted Hoff [Intel]
    • Note: Ongoing role of military funding
    • small reliable computers needed for the space race and for guided missiles, submarines and aircraft during the Cold War.
  • 9. Improvement of Human-Computer interface
    • Development of English based programming languages
    • 1962 - Ivan Sutherland - Sketchpad -
    • 1965 - Doug Engelbart - the mouse
    • Early research by XEROX PARC [Palo Alto Research Centre] into graphical user interfaces
    • Commercial development of the GUI and WySiWyG printing by Apple in the 70s and 80s culminating in the user friendly Apple Macintosh
    • Microsoft's adoption of the GUI in its Windows OS and its domination of the world wide computer market
  • 10. Development of the computer industry
    • 1951 - Eckert and Mauchly / Remington Rand’s UNIVAC
    • 1950s and 60s IBM’s early dominance of the market
    • The interest of hobbyists in computers also created demand for a personal computer 1975 - Altair 8800, the world's first PC [Ed Roberts]
    • Hobbyists and enthusiasts go on to become leaders in the new computer industry (e.g. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak [Apple], Bill Gates [Microsoft])
  • 11. Development of the PC Computer Industry A brief history of Apple, IBM and Microsoft
  • 12. IBM/Microsoft v. Apple Bill Gates Steve Jobs
  • 13. Microsoft v. Apple
    • 1975 - Microsoft started by Paul Allen and Bill Gates
        • developed a version of the BASIC programming language for the first PC, the Altair 8800
    • 1975 - Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak found Apple
    • 1977 - Apple II computer launched - generated US$2.7 million in sales
    • 1980 - Apple is the leading personal computer company in the world
  • 14. Microsoft/IBM v. Apple
    • 1980 - Gates makes a deal with IBM to supply their new operating system
    • Gates buys the rights to what becomes the MS-DOS operating system from software engineer, Tim Patterson (Seattle Computer Products) for $50,000
    • MS-DOS becomes the operating system for IBM PCs and PC clones
    • 1981 - IBM launched the IBM PC which was to become the industry standard.
  • 15. 1982 - Time Magazine’s "Man of the Year” ... the computer
  • 16. How did IBM/Microsoft win the lion's share of the PC market?
  • 17. 1. IBM sales teams
    • IBM’s existing sales networks were legendary
    • IBM had strong reputation with business clients
    • IBM used its reputation and sales teams to leverage uptake of the new IBM PC
  • 18. 2. Open standards
    • IBM computers used open architecture so other manufacturers could build compatible products - IBM PC clones
    • Market competition  lower prices  increased consumer demand
    • Apple had a superior product but its price was considerably higher
    • Cf videotape history - In the early 80s JVC's VHS standard won out over Sony's superior BetaMax standard - JVC licensed other companies to make VHS VCRs  lower prices and increased market saturation
  • 19. 3. Software
    • IBM PCs and clones had a greater variety of software available
    • most software developers developed for the IBM PC + clones because of their greater market saturation
  • 20. 1984 - Apple Macintosh
  • 21. 1984 - Apple Macintosh
    • Apple's "1984" advertising campaign targeted what it perceived as IBM’s increasing domination of the PC market - invited customers to strike back at Big Blue
    • Apple Macintosh incorporated the first true GUI (graphical user interface) derived from research at Xerox PARC used a mouse to manipulate (point, click, drag) icons on the desktop
    • Espoused principles of "user-friendliness”
    • WySiWyG interface - prints what is seen on the screen
  • 22. Microsoft v. Apple
    • 1985 - Microsoft copies the Apple GUI - Windows software is developed to overlay MS-DOS and provide a more user-friendly interface
    • In 1985, Apple and Microsoft entered into an agreement that granted Microsoft a license to use the windows and icons of the Macintosh's GUI in the development of Windows 1.0. In exchange, Microsoft agreed to develop software for the Macintosh platform
    • 1987 - Windows 2.0 launched - even closer to Macintosh GUI
    • 1990 - Windows 3.0 launched - massively popular
  • 23. Microsoft v. Apple
    • Apple accused Microsoft of stealing the ‘look and feel’ of the Windows interface from the Apple Mac
    • 1988 - Apple takes Microsoft to court
    • 1994 - Apple loses final appeal (largely due to the 1985 agreement)
  • 24. By 1993:
    • PC compatible over 85% of market (NB only 15% made by IBM)
    • Apple 8.5% of market
    • Others 6.5% of market (Unix, mainframes and minicomputers, OS/2)
  • 25. OS Market share in 2004
    • Microsoft Windows 91.4%
      • Win XP 46.8%
      • Win 2000 32.2%
      • Win 98 9.4%
      • Win NT 2.6%
      • Win 95 0.4%
    • Apple 2.4%
    • Linux 2.6%
    • Other 3.6%
    • Source:
  • 26. And the winner is ...
    • Microsoft was the big winner here (Wintel = computers with Intel processors and Windows operating systems).
    • IBM created an open system in terms of hardware that allowed Microsoft's operating system (a closed system) to achieve a near monopoly
    • Apple's famous 1984 advertising campaign where they identify Big Blue (IBM) and the enemy in fact missed the mark - it was Bill Gates and Microsoft that they should have been worried about
  • 27. Apple Microsoft Postscript
    • 1997 - Microsoft invests $150 million in Apple and develops Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer for the Mac. Apple agrees to make Internet Explorer the default browser on all Macs.
    • NB. In 1997 Steve Jobs returns to Apple (after leaving in 1985)
  • 28. Microsoft market dominance: advantages
    • Microsoft's Windows operating system and software provides a consistent market standard
    • user familiarity - people like what they know
    • skills can be transferred if an employee moves from one company to another
  • 29. Microsoft market dominance: disadvantages
    • Microsoft's monopoly power means that:
    • There is less competition in the operating system and software markets
    • Microsoft can use it monopolistic power to defeat competitors (another example is the browser wars where Microsoft defeated the early martket leader Netscape)
    • Less innovation in the market (?)
  • 30. Tutorial discussion - future technologies
    • The future of the human-computer interface
    • The future of computing technologies
    • What will the future computer look like?
  • 31. Improvement of Human-Computer interface
    • Future Interfaces - Negroponte
    • “ My dream for the interface is that computers will be more like people”
    • Human centred computer design, computers designed to interact like humans rather than forcing humans to adapt to the computer
    • multi-modal interfaces incorporating speech and natural language
    • agent-based systems e.g. The Knowledge Navigator
  • 32. References
    • ARIN 1000 Reader
    • Time-Life Books, (1989) ‘Evolution of the Microchip’, and ‘A Golden Age of Entrepreneurship’, in Understanding Computers: Computer Basics , Alexandria Virginia.
    • Floridi, L. (1999) excerpt from ‘The Digital Workshop’, in Philosophy and Computing , London: Routledge.
    • Negroponte, N. (1995) Being Digital , Rydalmere, NSW,: Hodder and Stoughton. Chapter 7 “Where People and Bits Meet’ pp.89-102.
    • Other:
    • The Dream Machine , BBC {videorecording] - episode 2 “Inventing the Future” and episode 3 “The Paperback Computer ”
  • 33. References
    • In Fisher Special Reserve
    • Castells, M. (2000), The Rise of the Network Society (2 nd Edition) Oxford: Blackwell. Chapter 1 “The Information Technology Revolution”
    • Ceruzzi, P, (1998) A History of Modern Computing , Cambridge: MIT.
    • Lubar, S. (1993) ‘Information: Computers’, and ‘Information: Software’, in Infoculture , New York: Houghton Mifflin.
    • ‘ New Genies in the Age of Automation’, ‘Masterpieces of Miniaturisation’, and ‘Anatomy of a Lightning Logician’, in Time-Life Books, (1989) Understanding Computers: Computer Basics , Alexandria Virginia.
  • 34. References
    • Online