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Thread: The First PC ?...a Trip down Memory Lane

  1. #1
    T̙͓̞̣̯ͦͭͅͅȂͧͭͧ̏̈͏̖̖Z̿ ͆̎̄
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    The First PC ?...a Trip down Memory Lane

    Can you guess what the first programable computer was ?


    The site must be temporarily down...it was working when I tested it before I posted.

    Taken from here...

    Personal Computer Milestones
    ... collect, preserve, educate. Pop Quiz: What was the first personal computer? ... It was perhaps the first to wear the "PC" label, but that was IBM's only innovation. ...
    www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml - 25k - Cached - Similar pages

  2. #2
    T̙͓̞̣̯ͦͭͅͅȂͧͭͧ̏̈͏̖̖Z̿ ͆̎̄
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Link is back up working again

  3. #3
    ********** |ceWriterguy
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Bzzt! The author there is wrong too. Jacquard's loom was the first programmable computer, working on a system of punched cards to govern its operations.
    The Jacquard system was developed in France in 1804-05 by Joseph-Marie Jacquard, improving on the original punched-card design of Jacques de Vaucanson's loom of 1745. The punched cards controlled the actions of the loom, allowing automatic production of intricate woven patterns. The punched-card idea was adopted later by Charles Babbage about 1830 to control his Analytical Engine, and later by Herman Hollerith for tabulating the 1890 USA census.
    It meets that site author's criteriae exactly along the following lines:

    It must be digital: The loom ran on punched cards - on/off - 1/0 - digital.

    It must be largely automatic: It was a robotic loom, made of wood.

    It must be programmable by the end user: Punched card programs dictated different design patterns in the weave, heft of the cloth, texture, etc.

    It must be accessible: Jacquard tried selling looms similar to his but his venture failed. Society wasn't yet ready for such automation.

    It must be small enough to be transportable: The loom was somewhat small so far as looms go, and could've easily been mounted on casters for portability.

    It must be inexpensive enough to be affordable by the average professional: (assuming in-field paramaters for 'professional') What professional weaver couldn't afford his loom and still call himself professional?

    It must be simple enough that it required no special training beyond an instruction manual : I dispute this requirement - there are *no* computers out there larger than a pocket calculator that don't require documentation of any kind, however, had Jacquard written such a manual it would've been enough to suffice for his invention.

    Sources (other than my own memory from 'history of computers' way back when..):
    Even a broken watch is correct twice a day.

    Which coder said that nobody could outcode Microsoft in their own OS? Write a bit and make a fortune!

  4. #4
    T̙͓̞̣̯ͦͭͅͅȂͧͭͧ̏̈͏̖̖Z̿ ͆̎̄
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Hi l3lacklce,

    Actually that was my mistake...I said " programmable computer" when I should've said, as they said, " personal computer "...in which case a loom wouldn't likely qualify as a PC any more than the welders at GM...but I'm sure you're right about programable computers.

    I just thought this might bring back some memories on the over 40 crowd...I remember a couple of these, and vaguely remember a few others.


  5. #5
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    so the massive array of valves and relays we put together in school dosen't qualify..darn..
    Glad that portability was not a criteria for PC..well single person portable..some of those toys needed a forklift just for hte console
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

  6. #6
    They call me the Hunted foxyloxley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    3rd Rock from Sun
    I actually owned the HP 'calculator' used it for my college work
    If only I'd known then that it was history in my hand ..............

    Another thread trying to determine the FIRST PC
    55 - I'm fiftyfeckinfive and STILL no wiser,
    OLDER yes
    Beware of Geeks bearing GIF's
    come and waste the day :P at The Taz Zone

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    The first computer virus was the White Ant .... The Abacus had no chance, no Norton Anti-Ant protection back then
    If You\'ve Done Something Right. People Wont Know You\'ve Done Anything At All - God (futurama)

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