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Chapter 7 1972- 1977. The Personal Computer. Paul Ceruzzi. “The development of personal computing followed a trajectory that is difficult to explain as rational.”. Mark Twain.

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Chapter 7 1972 1977

Chapter 71972- 1977

The Personal Computer


Paul ceruzzi
Paul Ceruzzi

“The development of personal computing followed a trajectory that is difficult to explain as rational.”


Mark twain
Mark Twain

“Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects”


Ready or not computers are coming to the people that s good news maybe the best since psychedelics

“Ready or not, computers are coming to the people. That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

Stewart Brand- Stanford

Rolling Stone Magazine

December 7, 1972

“Spacewar: Fanatic Life & Symbolic Death Among Computer Bums”


Tops 10 pdp 10
TOPS-10 & PDP-10 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • PDP-10  large mainframe

    • Spacewar & Time-sharing @ Stanford

    • Good operating system + disk

  • 1972  TOPS (@ MIT)

    • Timesharing operating system

    • Description Pg. 209

    • Sounds like… DOS

  • Though mainframe, “it was personal”

First PDP-10


Tops 10 cont
TOPS-10 (cont.) That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • PIP - Peripheral Interchange System

    • Moved files to and from I/O devices

  • TECO - Text editor & corrector

    • Text editing from a terminal

  • DDT - Dynamic Debugging Tool

    • From terminal

  • Simple and elegant: user “in control”


Early time sharing
Early Time Sharing That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Scientific Data Systems (SDS)

    • SDS-940 – did well in market

    • Berkeley, ARPA

    • Bought by Xerox

  • Xerox PARC

    • MAXC-Multiple Access Xerox Computer

      • A PDP-10 clone

  • Tymshare, CA

    • One of the few companies that leased time and survived

    • Bought by McDonnell- Douglas


Personal computing
Personal Computing That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Chuck House, Hewlett Packard

    RE: Calculators

    “One could charitably say we invented nothing: we simply took all the ideas that were out there and figured out how to implement them cost effectively”


Personal computing cont
Personal Computing (cont.) That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Gordon Bell

    “The semiconductor density has really been the driving force, and as you reach different density levels, different machines pop out of that in time.”

  • Would personal computing arrive top-down or bottom-up?


Personal computing cont1
Personal Computing (cont.) That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • 1st mainframes operated as personal computers

  • LINC; MIT & Lincoln Labs

    • 1962, DEC

    • Late 1960’s – 1,200 in use

      • Personal tool for researcher

    • LINC + PDP-8 for $43,000


Calculators
Calculators That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Chip density made electronic calculators feasible & affordable

  • Early ones: +,-,*,/, square root

    • Too big to carry, very expensive

  • 1964-Wang 300-undercut price

  • HP-9100A- $5,000

  • Olivetti- Programma 101- $3,500

  • Still used discrete circuits, tubes, cards (magnetic)

  • 1970’s – began to use ICs


Calculators of 1970 s
Calculators of 1970’s That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • IC’s; $400+; size of paperback

  • 1971- Bowmar Brain - $250

    • 1st real public notice

  • Prices dropped

    • 1972- $150

    • 1973- $100

    • 1976- $50

  • HP35 - $400- scientific, engineering


Calculator trends
Calculator Trends That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Became “throw-away” items

  • HP & TI survived

    • HP – engineering & scientific

    • TI – cut prices

  • HP-65 – programmable

    • Marketing - “personal computer”


Impact of calculators
Impact of Calculators That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Long production run

    • Allowed companies to amortize high design costs

  • Unleashed personal creativity of masses

    • Hacker culture but professionals

    • Users groups, etc. for support

  • Chips were too specialized for general purpose computing


People
People That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Hackers

    • Did impact industry

    • Serious Users had money

    • Altair Kit

  • User Groups

    • Homebrew Computer Club-Stanford

    • Tech Model Railroad Club


Moore s law
Moore’s Law That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • 1964- Gordon Moore

    • Fairchild  formed INTEL

    • Since 1958, number of circuits on a single integrated circuit have doubled each year

    • Predicted: by mid-1970’s would have single chip equivalent to 1950’s mainframe


Computer on a chip
Computer on a chip??? That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Late 1960’s; TTL & MOS (metal oxide semiconductor)

    • More density

  • TI, Intel, and others

    • Generally believed “computer on a chip” was feasible, but market too low to be profitable

  • 1971 - Silicon chip

    • TI, Intel


Invention of microprocessor
Invention of Microprocessor That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Intel - Focus on memory, not logic chips

  • Busicom, Japan, Calculator Co.

    • Wanted set of custom logic chips for line of specialized calculators

  • Ted Hoff- assigned

    • Inspired by PDP-8

    • Design few general purpose chips & tailor with software


Hoff s logic chip
Hoff’s Logic Chip That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • All components of general-purpose computer

  • Patent Diagram Pg. 219

  • Critical feature: subroutine call

    • Used stack for multiple calls

  • Slow; but plenty fast for calculator

  • Complexity in the software in memory

    • Recall Maurice Wilkes


Intel s microprocessor
Intel’s Microprocessor That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Negotiated lower price to Busicon for rights to sell chips to non-calculator customers

  • 1971- set of 4 chips

    • “A micro-programmable computer on a chip”

    • 4004:registers & control function

    • ROM (EPROM)

    • RAM

    • Chip for output


Intel 4004 8008 8080
Intel 4004-8008-8080 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • 4004; 1971

    • Worked with groups of 4 bits

    • Much question over patents (2)

  • 8008; 1972

    • For Computer Terminal Corp (later Data Point), San Antonio – for terminals

      • Chose another chip

    • Worked with 8-bit byte

  • Others now offering processor chips


Intel cont
Intel (cont.) That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • 8080; 1974

    • More memory

      • near compatibility of mini

    • Less support chips

    • $360 (?Why?)

    • Compatible with 8008

    • Instruction set, memory range similar to minicomputers


Intel s early chips
Intel’s Early Chips That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

Intel’s 4004, 8008, 8080 Chips


Early 1974 climate
Early 1974 Climate That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Semiconductor engineers  powerful microprocessors + larger memories

  • Time-sharing users

    * Did not see the convergence coming


Micral 1973
MICRAL-1973 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • 1st micro-processor-based computer sold commercially

  • Thi Truong- France

  • Based on 8008

  • < $2,000; 2000 sold

  • Replaced mini’s for control systems

  • Never expanded market


Intel development system
Intel Development System That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Kit: RAM, ROM, + control on a circuit board

    • Tutorial

    • $200 or free

  • Industrial customers developed applications & burned on ROM - Embedded Controller


Intel system cont
Intel System (cont.) That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Intellec 4 & 8

    • $10,000

    • Develop software- PL/M

    • Were PC’s, but not recognized

    • Not available to public

    • “public wouldn’t want to do programming”


Hobbyists get involved
Hobbyists Get Involved That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • There were hobbyists who were willing to micro-program

  • After WWII- Electronics hobbies grew

    • Expertise and war surplus

  • Electronics magazines

    • QST; Popular Electronics,

      Radio- Electronics

    • Typically included a project


Kenbak 1
Kenbak-1 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Scientific American

    • Sept. 1971

    • For private use & schools

  • Small & medium scale IC’s

  • No Microprocessor

  • Very limited capabilities


Scelbi 8h
Scelbi - 8H That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • March 1974 - QST

  • Intel 8008

    • 1st microprocessor sold to public

  • Kits as low as $440


Mark 8
Mark -8 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Radio- Electronics

    • July 1974

  • Intel 8008

  • Had to order $5.00 booklet

    • Sold thousands

  • Mark-8 Users Group, Denver

    • Stored programs on audio cassette

  • Set of circuit boards - $47

  • 8008- $120


Tv typewriter
TV-Typewriter That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Radio- Electronics

    • September 1973

  • Allowed display of alphanumeric characters on ordinary TV

  • ASCII based

  • First “Screen”


1974 personal computing
1974- Personal Computing That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • January: HP- 65 Programmable Calculator

  • Summer: Intel 8080

  • July: Radio- Electronics, Mark 8

  • December: Jan. issue of Popular Electronics

  • Altair- $400


Altair
Altair That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Edward Roberts – Designer

    • “Invented Personal Computer”

    • Small hobby shop, Albuquerque

  • 1st Personal Computer- “minicomputer kit”

  • 8080 Micro-processor; IC’s; TTL

  • Why Success??

    • Promoted & designed as minicomputer

    • Powerful as commercial mini


Altair 8800 cont d
Altair 8800 (cont’d) That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Modeled after D.G. Nova

  • IC memory

  • 1/10 cost of mini- $400

  • Cost of 8080; Not $360 but $75

    • Faster than Scelbi & Mark 8


Altair cont
Altair ( That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”Cont.)

Open Bus

  • Replaced cable after 1st model lost

  • Circuit boards + 2 cards

  • Many slots

  • Released specs so others made cards

  • But, opened door for clones

  • Also, company couldn’t keep up with orders

  • Several years to peripherals/ applications


1975 1977
1975-1977 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Burst of Creative Energy

  • User groups, newsletters, magazines, clubs, conventions, retail stores

  • Cassette storage; Kansas City Standard (from user group)

  • Lack of peripherals, storage held back the development


Basic
BASIC That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • No OS nor programming languages for P.C. (also held back)

  • Current BASICs not acceptable

    • Versions; try to fit to small computers

  • Altair announcement

    • Bill Gates / Paul Allen decided to write BASIC for Altair

    • Better - available in June 1975

      • Use ONLY 4K of memory

      • New version soon


Basic cont
BASIC Cont. That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Cost with Altair memory boards

    • $60 for 4K; $75 for 8K

    • $150 for extended (needed storage)

  • $500 for other 8080 systems

  • USR – convert to machine language

  • Other extensions – Peek, Poke


Development of basic
Development of BASIC That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Gates @ HARVARD; no 8080 system

  • With Monte Davidoff

  • Wrote PDP-10 using 8080 specification

  • 1975- Paul Allen demonstrated in Albuquerque to Roberts and Yates

  • Altair began to advertise


Open letter to hobbyists
Open Letter to Hobbyists That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Bill Gates

  • Problems with illegal copies of BASIC

  • “The value of the computer time we have used exceeds $40,000.”

  • If not paid there will be no incentive to develop future software, putting personal computing at risk

  • Microsoft moved from N.M. to Bellevue, WA


Floppy disk
Floppy DISK That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • David Noble, IBM

    • For 370 initial control program

    • Didn’t expand to other uses

  • Gary Kildall- consultant to Intel developing languages

    • Noted floppy

    • Wrote a small program to manage information to & from floppy

  • Fast; Random access; read and write


Small operating systems
“Small” Operating Systems That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • DEC tape still heavily used on PDP’s

  • Late 1960’s- DEC OS/8 for PDP-8

    • Showed small machines could have capabilities of mainframes

  • RT-11 for PDP-11- 1974

    • Managed data on disks


Cp m computer program for micros
CP/M - Computer Program for Micros. That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • Gary Kildall (PL/M for 8080 @ IBM)

  • CP/M (Control Program for Micros) - $100

    • To control disk drives

    • Similar to DEC commands

    • $800 with floppy drive & controller

  • Final piece of puzzle for PC

  • Formed Digital Research

    • Product CP/M


Micros cont
Micros. (cont.) That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • IMSAI- Altair clone

    • Wanted CP/M license

    • Redesigned CP/M so small portion customized for IMSAI

    • Specialized Part BIOS

      • BASIC Input/ Output System

      • This Standardized system sw


1977 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”

  • All parts in place for pc revolution

  • Altair + add-ons

  • Basic + SW for money

  • 8 inch floppy + CP/M

  • Ports for peripherals

  • Lots of publications & groups


Chapter 7 1972 19771

Chapter 7 That’s good news, maybe the best since psychedelics.”1972 - 1977

The Personal Computer


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