With the passing away of Steve Jobs, comes to rest another companion of old , the PC – Personal Computer, and so shall it soon be, RIP- Rest in Peace or in techie terms – OTW (Obsolete Technology Website). It has been predicted that PCs and laptops will soon be replaced by other digital devices, that will herald an even greater need to streamline multitasking. We are already into the era of multitasking – working on the computer and listening to music, chatting to several people simultaneously on a single app or even a mobile/cell, driving the car and carrying on business conversations. The PC shall soon be relegated to the museum along with numerous other artefacts of old.
Ever wondered how the Personal Computer evolved and why? You can get the evolutionary Timeline of the Personal Computer . However, bear in mind, that the Personal Computer has actually not really evolved over time, but its parts and accessories have, and by necessity to accommodate those changes, the PC has changed.
There it sat on your desk top, working towards replacing pen and paper, and even the ubiquitous typewriter! (though some authors still claim to hammer out their manuscripts on it and solemnly swear to stay clear of the computer). However, with changing electronic times, and the industrial revolution bringing in different and faster modes of transport, travel become the need of the hour. And so did Speed! Accessing information was fine across networks. But Time = Money, and so the need to carry your work along (given the “paperless fashion”) gave rise to a portable laptop. Not that it didn’t exist in its earlier form, but style demanded and exacted its due! And the human needed to stay connected! (Today the many “connected” humans, take time off to “disconnect” and it becomes a purposeful exercise!)
And soon, because of the need for space and portability, personal computers took a slight backseat.
No matter how small a PC is, it took up a lot of space on your desk with respect to the monitor, CPU and keyboard. From the bulky monitors of the past to today’s sleek machines, from the the CPU that required the 8 inch or the 5¼-inch, and 3½-inch floppy disks to today’s USB/pendrives or even rewritable CDs do all that work, the Personal Computer evolved and changed. But it remained the Personal Computer, whether it sat at your desk or on your lap, on the floor – it was and is still your one and only companion that you can spend hours with (pardon the preposition here!).
However, do remember that with progress and new models, the old gets junked into the scrapyard, adding to the great tonnage of non biodegradable electronic junk! Will we ever get a “machine” that can be gentle on the environment in its old age? Unlike humans, we will turn to dust buried or cremated, no matter, how evolved or devolved we will get (of course some will want to go the cryonics way). Moreover, no matter how or what changes, the link to the desk will always exists, in all models – the power cord, without which you just cannot get it to power up if the battery is dead! So like the links we maintain in life, tenuous they may be, so too with our desk companion!
Just Some Interesting Links that give you a virtual tour of the Computers of Yore!
- Images of Computers since the 1950′s (by year, country & model too)
- A Chronology of Personal Computers
- Cartoons on changed models of Computers
May the companion of old always be at ye side!