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Microprocessor and Personal Computer

The microprocessor was born casually.
The first "chip" was obtained By an ask made by the USA Government to a private industry and to satisfy it, it realised a device, that didn't satisfy the ask at all but it opened the road to some new knowledges.

The major engagement in the research and planning of the processors is come by the Bell Telephone, a Boston society, it is always in the van in the research and in testing new electronic technologies.

Some scientists, coming from the Bell Telephone, about in 1965 founded in California the Fairchild, that become later the legendary Silicon Valley.
It didn't pass too much years that in 1968 arose the Integrate Electronics, more known as INTEL and it was founded by some scientists coming from the Bell Telephone, as Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore.

It was made a cut in the NASA financing in 1970 and this caused a reduction of the purchases for electronic members and equipment, forcing the electronic industries to modify the production and turning the interest to the big public market, producing so pocket-calculation machines.

So in that period the INTEL, constructing an integrate micro-calculation machine for a computer, realised a prototype of a microprocessor with 4 bit, the 4004 one.
This processor revealed itself to be not so powerful and adequate for general calculus and it was so replaced by a more developed type, the 8008 one with 8 bit, that wasn't able yet to have enough high speed.
After the success obtained through the 8008 one, a year later, the INTEL realised and introduced into the market the 8080 one.
At the same time other inegrate circuits manufacturer firms made researches in the microprocessors field, as the Motorola, that realised the 6800 one. Through the evolution the INTEL continued to realise chip with 8 bit: from the 8085 to the 8048 one, until the more recent 8088 and 8086 ones with 16 bit.

The size of the processor power is given by a "clock" and by the breadth of its "bus data" calculate the operation number that the processor is able to do in the unity of time.

The first 8088/8086 were realised by 4,77 MHz till the next frequencies of 8 and 10 MHz.

The "bus data" is a sort of electric gate and more it is large and more are the data that can be transferred in one time.
The inside bus is used to move some data among the inside members, the microprocessor registers, the outside bus data is used instead for the communications among the microprocessor and the other computer parts.

In 1976, two young, who noticed the new power of the microprocessor and electronic elaboration, decided to project together a computer. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sold their Volkswagen to finance themselves , so they projected and realised the prototype of the first Personal Computer.

They called it Apple I and by the income of the first 50 pieces of the sale they founded the Apple Computer Company.

The Apple I, sold in assembly boxes, obtained soon a big success and overcome immediately the limited productive capacities of Jobs and Wozniak.

By the entry of Mike Markkula in the society, who had had experiences with two big companies, the Fairchild and the INTEL, semiconductors producers, the investments were powered and a new product was studied.

In 1977 arise the Apple II, maybe the first real personal computer.

At the end of that year the Apple Computers had a sales of 774 thousand dollars and five years later, in 1982, the Company, that had a team of 3500 persons, spent 38 million dollars for the research making a sales of more than 583 million dollars.

Many people have compared the PC to the second industrial revolution.
Until Jobs and Wozniak haven't thought to use a micro chip to build a real little computer, the calculation machines were very big and only the government institutions or big firms could buy them. The real revolution was that one to realise a calculation machine useful for a single user.
The Apple II, the first personal computer, had a keyboard similar to the type writer one and it communicated through any television; it could represent only forty letters on sixteen lines.

The big innovation of the Apple II was represented by its software, but not by the hardware.
It was a language, the BASIC, that allowed to program in an easier way than with the binary codes of the first computers.

The Apple II had also a mass memory made by a drive for floppy disk of 5,25 inches.
At the beginning of the eighty, in addiction to the big market of personal computer companies, it added the big IBM, that as last tried to have advantages.
It projected a PC, based on a more powerful microprocessor, the INTEL 8088 with the inside bus and 16 bit, it introduced the machine in the market and placed the technical schemes at anybody's disposal.

The accessory computers producers realised so every sort of adjunctive cards.
It was said the second personal computers generation : the "business and professional computer" cost more or less like the first, but they were more powerful.

At the same time other constructors have decided to realise some machines, that have the same power of the first personal, but they cost less.
The titanic encounter among the SINCLAIR with the SPECTRUM, the COMMODORE with the C64, called as first "home computer", has gone on some years because of the run to the decline of prices. This decline of prices allowed in 1982, in the USA, the installation of about 1500 personal computer: Apple, Tandy and IBM.

In 1984 the IBM goes over the Apple, conquering the 24% in the market.
The IBM PC become the standard as also its operating system.

The operating system, that was adopted by the IBM for its personal computer was the CP/M, but because of the extreme conditions of the licence of use, imposed, and for the unavailability of the Digital Research manager, the IBM chose than the MS-DOS, Disk Operating System, projected for the machine with 16 bit by the Microsoft by Paul Allen and Bill Gates.

Its founder and major shareholder, at that time the eighteen Bill Gates, even now establishes the standard on the software production and applied software all over the world.

At the beginning of the fifties the data elaboration was in practice restricted to the calculating and administrative problems, as also to the scientific ones, through the easy execution of calculus or the solution of mathematics equations.

In 1960 the calculation machines were employed yet on 300 types of different applications and they become 1600 only eight years later.
In the half of seventy there were more than three thousand applied areas in various sectors. Nowadays the electronic calculation machine is used easily in every field.

Thinking that......

in 1943 Thomas J. Watson, IBM Chairman, said:

"I think that the world market needs only
five computers at maximum."

.... and

Ken Olsen, DEC President, in 1977 said:

"There is no reason to have a computer at home"

Instead it has been a different story.


The Intel 8088 processor
Pentium Processor
The Apple II
The first IBM PC