Hardware: Changing the Workplace HistoryPosted By: Helen Sunday 10th January 2021 Tags: charles babbage, computer hardware, it support
Imagine a world without computers, tablets and smartphones. Actually; many of us can! Heading back in time, even just 35 years ago, offices were filled with paperwork, filing cabinets and folders a plenty. Walking into the present day office we’re now greeted with fancy 4K screens, iMacs and more. The evolution of technology, even just over the last 3-4 decades has changed the way companies operate forever. Without the emergence, LaneSystems would in fact, cease to exist!
In the Beginning
The word ‘computer’ was first used in a book all the way back in 1613? Defined as a human who performed calculations or computations, this interpretation remained in place until the 19th century.
It’s difficult to specifically pinpoint the world’s first computer due to the numerous classifications. Don’t worry, we’re not going to go through every single computer through time, but it’s important to understand the difference between then and now.
Did you know?
The first general mechanical computer was designed back in 1837 by Charles Babbage. Never built due to funding issues, the plan was certainly a step in the right direction.
Extreme fashion, punk rock & preppies!
We are of course, referring to the 1980’s or the ‘old school days’. Ah the simplicity of such wonderful times! We had cassette tape recorders and were poised at the ready to capture favourite songs from the radio, This decade fell in love with Michael Jackson, children played with transformers and video games experienced the ‘great crash’.
Whilst this was going on;
Whilst the colourful 80’s advanced and video games were at a lull, a new trend was very much emerging. Hands up if you remember the Commodore 64 versus the ZX Spectrum! The Commodore 64 was in fact one of the best selling home computers ever sold, holding up to 40% of the market during the 80’s.
And here’s the killer fact;
The 64 referred to 64 kilobytes of RAM. Today, we simply could not operate with such a small amount of space, especially considering hardware specs include the following:
- Megabyte: One megabyte equals one million bytes of information or one thousand kilobytes.
- Gigabyte: Usually used on hard drives and USB’s, a gig is the equivalent to one billion bytes of information or one million kilobytes.
- Terabyte: Equals one million million bytes of information or one million megabytes of information.
Even if the above makes no sense, it’s clear to see the storage difference.
And the ZX Spectrum?
Priced much less than its competitors, the Spectrum offered 16kB or 48kB of RAM, significantly smaller than the Commodore.
IBM PC 5150
Influencing a multi billion dollar industry, this personal computer launched in 1981. Setting the PC specification, this computer was responsible for everything that preceded it.
In walked the Internet!
By the 1990’s, the internet was starting to have a huge impact on businesses all over the world. Now, we had the ability to communicate online, quickly and effectively. The next thirty years was filled with even speedier ways to access information, share details and acquire files. Dial up eventually became fibre optic and we were given the opportunity to communicate, work and walk, all at the same time.
Without the introduction of the internet, our job as IT Support Specialists would have certainly been extremely different indeed.
How has Hardware Changed the Way we do Business?
The list of benefits definitely holds the potential of never ending. We’ve picked out the most prevalent to share:
Improved Communication: Without the right levels of communication a business can fail. Computers have given companies the ability to stay in touch with team members and customers in so many different ways. Confirmation emails, chat boxes, online portals and so much more. Gone are the days of letter sending and potentially lengthy phone calls to confirm orders.
Mobile/Hybrid Working: No longer is it absolutely necessary for staff members to be in the office. Computers have made many roles so much easier with the ability to complete projects from home, especially with the availability of Cloud Based Technology. The feasibility of such methods has certainly come to light over the last 9-10 months.
Data Storage: Back in the ‘good old days’, ‘files a plenty’ were kept on paper and required to be physically stored. A job role in itself, companies were able to save space and money by going digital.
Online Marketing: The ability to reach the masses all over the world at the push of a button is not a strategy to be sniffed at. Efficient and cost effective, online marketing efforts are straightforward to measure and allow companies to further establish their brand.
The world of technology has made huge strides in the last four decades alone. This leaves us to wonder; what’s next?