The Computer Revolution: From Room-Sized to Pocket-Sized

By Sophia Maddox | March 28, 2024

Microsoft Releases Windows 95 and People Instantly Love It

Computers are an integral part of life. People use them to communicate with people who are important to them at work and home. Many people look up information that they want to learn on a computer. Others watch movies, play games or entertain themselves using computers. From early morning to late night, people rely on computer systems to help them stay organized.

While it is hard for most people to imagine life without computers, it hasn't always been that way. Here's a look at how people developed computers and their operating programs. Along the way, meet some people who influenced their development. You'll discover how computers went from filling entire rooms to being small enough to fit in your pocket.

 

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Microsoft's Windows 95 was the first system to combine MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows products. It was the first operating platform to feature a start button and the first to feature task-switching features. A Microsoft internet option was included, making it easier for people to get information from the internet. Its 32-bit architecture meant the system was more stable than previous options and people could use the computer to do multiple tasks simultaneously.

The company introduced the system to the public using The Rolling Stones' 1981 single "Start Me Up," so the commercial instantly drew viewers' attention. The company also spent thousands creating hype around the product, including lighting the Empire State Building up in Microsoft's colors, so people did not want to miss out.

The World's First Dynamic Random Access Memory Computer, the Intel 1103, Transforms the Industry

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In 1969, William Regitz of Honeywell started contacting companies looking for someone to share in developing a dynamic memory circuit containing a three-transistor cell that workers had developed. After being turned down by several companies, Intel became excited about the project and assigned Joel Karp to work with Regitz.

After developing the 1X, 2Y cell and creating the Intel 1102, Intel officials decided that a 2X, 2Y cell would work better, leading to the release of the 1103 in October 1970. This allowed manufacturers to move away from bulky magnetic-core random access memory and to refine previous transistor-based memory cell designs. R.H. Dennard, who designed the one-cell transmitter, said the development of this cell "allowed RAM to become very dense and inexpensive. As a result, mainframe computers could be equipped with relatively fast RAM to act as a buffer for the increasing amount of data stored on disk drives. This vastly sped up the process of accessing and using stored information."