Computers have become indispensible in our modern day. We do everything with it - work, play, buy, sell - computers even help us sleep. It's hard to imagine that it was just a lifetime ago where our grandparents had no access to computers - and it was only just 10 years ago that all of our computing was done on desktops and there were no laptops or smartphones to take on the go.
Here's a quick look back at computers then and now:
- The first programmable computer was the Z1 which was created back in 1933 by Konrad Zuse in Germany. It was mechanical in nature and was programmed using a punch tape and could add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers. It weighed over 1000 kg.
- Although there is some dispute, the first digital computer is considered to be the ENIAC completed in 1946 to aid the US war efforts. It measured over 1800 square feet (167 sqm) and weighed almost 50 tons (45.3 tonnes).
- The first personal computer available for purchase was the Kenback-1 which retailed for $750 back in 1971. (That's around $4050 today).
- Xerox introduced the first workstation computer, the Xerox Alto, in 1974 - complete with unit, display and operating mouse and had fully functional operating system.
- The first Apple computer, the Apple 1, was designed by Steven Wozniak back in 1971. Wozniak co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and third partner, Ronald Wayne.
- Released in 1981, the Osborne 1 was considered to be the first portable laptop. It has a 5 inch display and weighed 30 lbs (13.6 kg).
- The first IBM PC was introduced in 1981. Code named "Acorn" it had an 8088 processor, 16 KB of memory and operated on DOS.
It's hard to imagine that since 1981, our computers have gone from these humble beginnings to our current class of super machines. These days, computers are also more affordable than ever - with many netbooks retailing for under $500 - and new developments are always underway. If you're looking to stay up to date with computers, you can choose to rent a computer and upgrade at the end of your lease term.