National Clean Up Your Computer Month
Computers are everywhere. We have all dealt with them in some way. These technological inventions, from video games to social media have an important side effect. We must keep our computers clean if we want them to run at their best.
If we want our computers to work properly, both the internal and external memory must be cleaned frequently. Let’s take a look at National Clean Up Your Computer Month.
John W. Mauchly at the University of Pennsylvania created the ENIAC machine. It was the first significant computer. ENIAC (Electrical Numerical Integrator and Calculator) used a word of 10 decimal digits instead of binary ones like previous calculators/computers. ENIAC also used nearly 18,000 vacuum tubes as an alternative to 2,000.
The machinery must be kept cool in order to store these vacuum tubes, which take up over 167 sqm (1800 sqft) of floor space. It still had punch-card inputs and outputs. It had an arithmetical multiplier, a divider-square rooter and 20 adders that used decimal “ringcounters”. These were adders and quick-access (0.0002 second) register storage. From 1946 to 1955, ENIAC was used productively. Large mainframe computers became more common in large industries, the US army, and the space program during 1960. IBM was the market leader in large, complex, costly, difficult-to-use machines.
In the 1970s there was a huge explosion in personal computers. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak first exhibited the Apple II at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco. Apple II was $1,298 and featured built-in BASIC programming language and color graphics. It also had a 4,100 character memory. Data and programs could be saved to an audio-cassette recorder. Wozniak & Jobs had placed 300 orders for Apple II before the fair closed. Apple then took off.
The TRS-80 was also introduced in 1977. Tandy Radio Shack manufactured this home computer. The TRS-80 Model II was the second version of this computer. It had a 64,000-character memory and a hard drive that could store data. Only Apple and TRS were the only companies that had disk drives at the time. Personal computer applications were able to take off with the introduction of the hard drive. A floppy disk was an ideal publishing medium for software distribution.
IBM, which had previously been producing mainframes, minicomputers, and mainframes for medium-sized to large-sized companies, decided it needed to do something new and began work on the Acorn. This would become the IBM PC. The first home computer with modular design, the PC, was designed. This allowed for easy additions to the architecture.
As building a home computer with IBM parts would have been too expensive, most of the components came from other sources. The PC was available with a 16,000 character RAM, a keyboard from an IBM electric typewriter and a connection to a tape cassette player for $1265.
In 1984, Apple and IBM both released new models. Apple’s first generation Macintosh was released in 1984. It was the first computer with a graphical user interface (GUI) as well as a mouse. Because it was simple to use, the GUI made the machine more appealing to home computer users.
The Macintosh saw unprecedented sales. IBM caught Apple’s attention and released the 286 AT. This machine, with its applications such as Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Word quickly became the preferred choice of business concerns.
This brings us to a decade ago. Today, people have powerful computers at home and their own graphics workstations. A computer that a person has in their home may be several orders of magnitude more powerful than an ENIAC machine. Computer technology has seen the greatest growth in human history.
All that is required to celebrate is to turn off your computers and make sure the interior is clean. After cleaning the inside, we will need to turn on our computers again and clean out any dust from the hard drives.