thought this might be an intrest to some of you guys, and there are prolly grammatical errors but just dont tell me about them :P i made an A on this
The Advancement of Computers
By Joel Teague
Computers have advanced rapidly over the last 20-25 years, as well as the industry for them. Computers once were devices used to keep statistics and data, mostly owned businesses. Now days almost everyone has a computer, they are used for gaming, video editing, digital art, 3d modeling, game making and so much more. With more being demanded from the Personal Computer, (PC) more powerful computers were needed. In the last 30 years, advancement in computer technology has taken a huge leap.
The processor of a computer, also known as the CPU took a huge jump in power. To give you an idea of how much of a jump, the first CPU that came out had a speed of 5 Megahertz (MHz) and now days its not surprising to see a CPU with 3000 Megahertz (3 GHz). So now days the CPU's are 600 times faster.
Not only did the speed of the processor increase, so did the power. The first processor had only one core. The newest CPU has 6 cores, its the same as having 6 single core CPU's. So imagine 6 CPU's running at 3000 MHz. That is one of the biggest jumps in computer technology.
The next jump in computer technology is the hard drive (HDD). That is what stores all your files and programs. The first hard drive was 52 foot wide and could only store 5 megabytes, it takes 1000 megabytes to have a gigabyte. You can order a 1000 gigabyte HDD for under a hundred dollars today. The biggest HDD I could find is a 2000 gigabyte (2 TB). That is 400,000 times bigger than the first HDD ever made, but small enough to fit in a laptop!
Now a lot of people don't realize that how they use a computer now is so much different than how they were used 10 years ago. The first computers did not even have screens! Most people, including me, would be lost without a screen. The biggest piece of software a computer has, is called the Operating System (OS). It runs the whole computer, it controls everything from display and sound to connecting to the internet. It is the base of all computers.
Before Windows 95, most everything was text. To open a program, you didn't double click on the icon, you typed in a command such as this: crogram fileprogramprogram.exe.
That was just an example, but that is how you would run a program 20 years ago. So much has changed, when windows 95 came out, it was geared a little more towards visual use, and user friendly. How did the companies expect the Personal Computer (PC) to become popular if not many people could use it. So as the Operating Systems became more and more visual, the computers had to get more powerful and advanced, to be able to run it.
One of the biggest jumps was from Windows 2000, to windows XP, all of a sudden it was all about the visual side of things. Then once the so popular Windows Vista came out, computers had to get even more powerful, all of a sudden the minimal hardware requirements doubled (RAM, HDD space, Graphics). That is the only set back with Windows Vista, people didn't want to have to upgrade their computer to upgrade their Operating System, although my computer meets the requirements, I still run XP. The challenge these days is to come out with a sleek, powerful and glitch free Operating System, without making it a hog for power, which reduces the performance of the computer.
I've talked a lot about the size of things, can you believe the first computer took up a whole room! Now days the net books that are made are the size of a good book. The first computer didn't even have a screen, you had to know what you were doing to operate a computer back in the day.
Now for the RAM, also known as the memory. What RAM does is it holds all the short term memory, like when you open a program, the RAM is what processes the command and does it. The more ram you have the faster your computer will go. The first real chip of memory was only 1 kilobyte(Kb). Now you can easily go to a computer store and get a computer with 4-8 Gigabytes of ram. To put that into proportion, 4 Gigabytes of ram is 4194304 Kilobytes, and, as I said earlier, the first chip that came out was only 1kb of that.
There are different kind of RAM, I am not going over the way older ones because it would take up 5 pages, but the main types of ram now days are ddr1, ddr2, and ddr3. The ddr ram was used back in 2001 till 2003 when ddr2 caught on. Ddr3 is fairly new, it is the most recent and fastest RAM available.
One of the limiting factors for the amount of ram you can use is your Operating System as mentioned earlier, only certain types of Operating Systems will support more than 4 gigs of RAM. Which brings me to one of the main reasons for computers advancing so quickly. Every piece of a computer always is limited by another, meaning you could have the fastest processor in the world but It would only run as fast as the Mother Board supports.
So when something new comes out, all of the computer manufacturers have to come up with something that supports it, which normally means creating a whole new part. That makes computers advance very rapidly.
The last part that I want to talk about is called the Graphics card (video card, GPU, Graphics Controller). A graphics card is also known as a GPU, there is a similarity between that and a CPU. A GPU is basically a CPU but dedicated to the output of graphics. The GPU technology first appeared in 1981, allowing more text to fit on the screen but not until the 2000's did the serous video cards came out. The Nvidia and ATI video cards dominate about 90% of their market. Graphics cards can be one of the most expensive pieces of your PC, mostly used by intense gamers and 3d developers.
The outputs on video cards have changed over the years, they used to all be VGA, then came the DVI which is basically HD and then there is actually an HDMI output, that you can hook up to an HD TV. All mother boards have an integrated graphics output, so a graphics card is an extra.
There are a few other things that have advanced on computer systems as a result of another technology, such as HDMI, which is High Definition and blue ray, which produces the HDMI output.
In the last 30 years, advancement in computer technology has taken a huge leap. Computers have changed from something top keep data and calculate statistics to tools to create movies and play video games on. They went from taking up a whole room without a screen to being smaller than a book and can play serious video games. The computer went from being used by businesses to being common in every household.