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Computer History
Tracing the History of the Computer - Commodore, Sinclair, Space Invaders, Amstrad ...


The purpose of this web site is to provide a repository of articles and photos relating to the history of the computer, including software history, the history of programming languages, people, microprocessors, operating systems, and the history of computer games.

It makes sense to go back and see how it all started! Hardware has always played a major role in the history of the computer, and the computer's motherboard (or system board) is where most of the computer's electronics are located. For example, the motherboard contains the microprocessor, the memory, expansion slots, the hard disk interface, and so on.

Most computers can be expanded or extended in some way, for example, you can normally add more memory or perhaps a new hard disk. If you are looking for new hardware, you can shop for high quality wholesale laptop motherboard products from China on Of course, as well as the computers themselves, there are plenty of other types of hardware such as printers, scanners, fax machines, expansion cards, and so on.


You are able to browse a large selection of articles and photos relating to many areas of the history of the computer, for example, Atari, Acorn, Amstrad, Commodore, Sinclair, microprocessors, programming, plus much more.

The History of the Computer

Computing hardware has long been an essential component of the process of calculation and data storage. The earliest computing hardware was probably some form of tally stick; later recording devices include the Phoenician clay shapes which represented counts of items (want to read more? then go to The History of the Computer main article).

Commodore 64

Commodore 64C (1986)

Since the invention of the Worl-Wide-Web in the early nineties, the use of computers has changed significantly, with people being able to do their shopping online, their dating online, partake in a bit of online gambling, or run their businesses online.

History of Video Games

Video games started to become part of popular culture in the late 1970s. Over the decades, they have become very popular, either in the form of hand held consoles, or with games that run on computers or attached to TVs. Learn more about the history of video games here.

History of Operating Systems

Early computers did not have an operating system. The user had sole use of the machine, and would arrive at the machine along with his program and data, often on punched paper tape. The program would then be loaded into the machine, and the machine set to work, until the program stopped, or crashed! Learn more about the history of operating systems here.

History of Programming Languages

The first modern programming language is hard to identify. From the start, the restrictions of the hardware defined the language. Punch cards allowed 80 columns, but some of the columns had to be used for a sorting number on each card. Fortran included some keywords which were the same as English words, such as "IF", "GOTO" (go to) and "CONTINUE". The use of a magnetic drum for memory meant that computer programs also had to be interleaved with the rotations of the drum. Thus the programs were more hardware dependent than today. Learn more about the history of programming languages here. A large selection of free programming and scripting languages is available at

History of Sound Cards

Most sound cards have a line in connector where the sound signal from a cassette tape recorder or similar sound source can be input.
A Sound Blaster Live! Value card, a typical present-day PCI sound card

A Sound Blaster Live! Value card

The sound card can digitize this signal and store it (controlled by the corresponding computer software) on the computer's hard disk for editing or further reproduction. Another typical external connector is the microphone connector, for connecting to a microphone or other input device that generates a relatively lower voltage than the line in connector. Input through a microphone jack is typically used by speech recognition software or Voice over IP applications. Learn more about the history of sound cards here.

History of the Floppy Disk

Floppy disks, also known as floppies or diskettes, were ubiquitous in the 1980s and 1990s, being used on home and personal computer platforms such as the Apple II, Macintosh, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Amiga, and IBM PC to distribute software, transfer data between computers, and create small backups. Learn more about the history of floppy disks here.

History of the Hard Disk

For many years, hard disks were large devices more suited to use in the protected environment of a data center or large office than in a harsh industrial environment, or small office or home. Before the early 1980s, most hard disks had 8-inch (20 cm) or 14-inch (35 cm) platters, required an equipment rack or a large amount of floor space (especially the large removable-media drives, which were often referred to as "washing machines"), and in many cases needed high-amperage or even three-phase power hookups due to the large motors they used. Learn more about the history of hard disks here.

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