Feeds

A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 1

From the 17th Century to the 1970s

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Computing goes Commercial...

LEO

LEO I, credit Leo Computing Society

Source: Leo Computing Society

Reg Hardware retro numbers

The world’s first business computer, LEO 1, was developed by bakery and restaurant chain Lyons in the late 1940s. It grew out of Cambridge University’s EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) project, itself inspired by ENIAC. The development of EDSAC was accelerated by Lyons managers, led by David Caminer (1916-2008) seeking to put the nascent computer technology to use making their post-War business operate more efficiently. EDSAC had the ability to store programs, though no high-level language to allow their creation. Lyons engineers nonetheless were able to use its 31 basic instructions to create a coded program - fed in on card rather than wired in place, as was the case with earlier computers - that was able to track and cost the labour and material of cakes, biscuits and bread moving through Lyons various profit centres.

DEC PDP-8

DEC PDP-8
Reg Hardware retro numbers

Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) introduced the 12-bit PDP-8 - also known by the company as the ‘Straight 8’ - in March 1965. At a time when existing computers were large, room-sized systems, the PDP-8’s compact, fridge-sized design made it the first co-called “minicomputer”, a machine designed to provide computing power to small groups of people. It contained memory enough to hold 4096 12-bit words, while the unit’s processor ran to two registers. The CPU was operated using just eight instructions. DEC would go on to sell more than 300,000 PDP-8s and variants before discontinuing it in the mid-to-late 1970s, pushed out by the growing demand for truly personal computers.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Onto the Desktop...

More from The Register

next story
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.