The Computer

One of the first to make great advances towards the invention of the computer was Charles Babbage. He developed the concept of a freely programmable calculating machine with a memory, a control unit and a calculator as early as the 19th century. He was, however, only able to partially realise his concept.
Then, in the 1940s, the computer became reality. Several design engineers succeeded in developing it independently of each other during World War II. Today, however, the German civil engineer Konrad Zuse is considered the “father of the computer”. Zuse had been creating calculating machines since 1936 and in 1941 he created the “Z3”, the first program-controlled calculator. Although the machine with which he achieved his breakthrough was as large as three refrigerators, it already contained all of the components which modern computers have: the actual data processor, a memory and an output unit.
The PC – a low cost computer for everybody
On 12th August 1981, International Business Machines (IBM) presented the first personal computer, the now legendary "IBM 5150 PC", in New York. The incredible rise of the computer had begun. The IBM PC was provided with the MS DOS operating system made by the company Microsoft. Other features were the 8088 processor, 64 KB of memory and a BIOS (basic input and output system) developed specially for the computer.
In the USA, the first-generation PC cost around $3,500 including the monitor. IBM sold around 35,000 of these computers in 1981. But demand soon grew to huge proportions. In total, IBM sold around three million of these first PCs, which were available until 1987. The computer pioneer Steve Wozniak had constructed a small, usable computer, the "Apple I" as early as 1976. At over $20,000, it was, however, prohibitively expensive for those wishing to use it at home. The "Apple II", which came onto the market in 1977, was the first commercially successful microcomputer.

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