Once thought of as a device for only the wealthy, the computer has become a part of everyday life. But they didn’t always look the way they do today.
In the late 1970's, Intel released the first “home computer.” This model was big and clunky, but it did what it was advertised to do: solve complex math problems and receive faxes.
Years later, Steve Wozniak revolutionized the modern computer. Using spare parts from Intel machines and other computers, he built his own device. When Wozniak showed his prototype to his friend Steve Jobs, the latter was amazed and thought that the product should be sold. Jobs and Wozniak then worked together to build, reconstruct, and market computers.
Almost instantly, their new computer, “Apple 1,” took over the market. Inspired by the success of “Apple 1,” Jobs and Wozniak created new designs to fit the needs of different types of people. These designs ranged from cheaper devices for low-incomes families to customized, build-your-own-computers for engineers.
As the Apple company grew, other companies wanted to copy their designs. For example, Bill Gates created Microsoft Windows after seeing Apple's ready-to-use picture icon desktop.
Because of this, Apple’s owners filed a 5.5 million dollar copyright lawsuit in 1988. Four years later, Apple lost. This allowed the staff behind Microsoft Windows to have access to the Macintosh design. Eventually, Microsoft launched a Macintosh-like desktop.
As time went on, companies advanced by developing better processing units and better technology for their computers. Although Intel is the leading producer of computers today, Apple is close behind along with HP and Dell. Over a span of 100 years, computers have come from being big, clunky machines that don’t do much to having smooth, sleek designs that users can take almost anywhere they go. Competitive innovation has certainly driven this process.
Since becoming widely-used, Intel has changed its focus. It now prioritizes its devices for environments like hospitals and aims for its products to help the disabled. For example, Intel's ongoing project is to create better artificial intelligences to help those who are disabled such as Stephen Hawking, the famous scientist with ALS. Specifically, Intel scientists are creating text-to-speech that can read human eye movements, translate them into letters and numbers, and then speak this data out loud.
Today, the modern computer has transformed into something greater—a device that allows users to connect with others, to create digitally, and to learn more every day.