Micro History Episode 0 is up!


Post #: 3
Post type: Blog post
Date: 2024-04-22 21:11:03.000
Author: Micro Man
Tags:

Well, it took way longer than I anticipated, but it's finally here!



This video tries to answer the age-old question: what was the FIRST personal computer? I go into a bit of a tangent in trying to define a computer first, and then go through the early history of digital computers, before finally getting around to answering the question. Maybe. You'll have to watch to find out!

Here's a list of computers and their cool technical specs that I cover in this video, as a bonus for those of you reading this on the website:

First Computers



0. Zuse Z3

Year released: 1941
CPU: 2,600 relays
Speed: 5-10 Hz
Memory: 176 bytes (64 x 22-bit words)
Storage: Punched celluloid tape
Power consumed: 4,000 Watts
Weight: 1000 kg
Number made: 1
Cost: $400,000 US (2023)

1. ABC

Year released: 1942
CPU: 600 vacuum tubes
Speed: 60 Hz
Memory: 375 bytes (3000 bits, 30 100-bit binary numbers)
Storage: Paper tape
Power consumed: Unknown
Weight: 320 kg
Number made: 1
Cost: Unknown

2. Colossus
Year released: 1943
CPU: 1600 vacuum tubes
Speed: Massively parallel (equivalent to 1.2 MHz today)
Memory: None
Storage: Paper tape
Power consumed: 8,500 Watts
Number made: 12
Cost: Unknown (secret)

3. ENIAC

Year released: 1945
CPU: 18,000 vacuum tubes
Speed: 5,000 Hz
Memory: None
Storage: Punched cards
Power consumed: 150,000 Watts
Weight: 24,000 kg
Number made: 1
Cost: $ 6.2 million US (2023)

4. Manchester Baby

Year released: 1948
CPU: 550 vacuum tubes
Speed: 50,000 KHz
Memory: 128 bytes (64 x 32-bit words)
Storage: None
Power consumed: 3,500 Watts
Weight: 900 kg
Number made: 1
Cost: Unknown (prototype project)

First Personal computers



0. Simon

Year released: 1950 (instructions)
CPU: About 120 relays
Speed: 0.6 Hz
Memory: 2 bits (ΒΌ byte)
Storage: paper tape
Power consumed: 125 Watts
Weight: 18 kg (not including power supply)
Number made: 400 (plans sold)
Cost: $600 ($7,400 in 2023)

1. Kenbak-1

Year released: 1971
CPU: 132 7400-series TTL chips
Speed: 500 KHz
Memory: 256 bytes
Storage: None
Power consumed: 14 Watts
Weight: About 15 kg
Number made: 51
Cost: $750 ($5,000 in 2023)

2. Micral

Year released: 1973
CPU: Intel 8008 (3500 transistors)
Speed: 500 KHz
Memory: Up to 16 Kb
Storage: paper tape
Power consumed:
Weight: 12 kg
Number made: 500
Cost: $1750 ($11,000 in 2023)

3. Mark 8

Year released: 1974
CPU: Intel 8008 (3500 transistors)
Speed: 500 KHz
Memory: Up to 16 Kb
Storage: Cassette (optional add-on)
Power consumed:
Weight:
Number made: 400
Cost: $500 in parts ($3,000 in 2023)

4. Altair 8800

Year released: 1975
CPU: Intel 8080 (4,500 transistors)
Speed: 2 MHz
Memory: Up to 64k
Storage: Paper tape, Cassette, Floppy Drive (optional add-ons)
Power consumed:
Weight:
Number made: 25,000
Cost: $621 ($3,100 in 2023)

Thanks for watching and/or reading! I'm going to make sure to add more stuff on this blog that didn't quite make it into the videos. So stay tuned!


View this post in the forums

Views: 45