Essay heading: A Brief History of Personal Computers

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Technology

 

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February 7, 2003

 

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5 / 1282

 

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Then, in 1947, a momentous event occurred at Bell Labs - William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain announced the invention of the transistor. Only about an inch long and a quarter inch across, a transistor produced very little heat, and did the same job as a vacuum tube. The downsizing of computers began in the 1950s as transistors replaced vacuum tubes, and continued into the 1960s with the introduction of the integrated circuit (IC) - an ice cube-sized package containing hundreds of transistors...
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By the late 1960s, microchips, consisting of thousands of electronic components residing on a piece of silicon the size of a postage stamp, had begun to replace ICs. At this time, some minicomputers occupied a space no larger than a small filing cabinet and cost less than $25,000. Then, in 1970, Marcian Hoff, Jr...
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