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The history of the PC


In 1957, IBM made a computer titled the 610 Auto-Point. They said it was the 'first personal computer'. But it was not a PC like the ones millions of people have in their homes today. It was large and expensive (55,000 dollars). It was called a personal computer because it only needed one person to work it. Thå first real PCs were not made until fifteen years later.

The first computers (like Colossus) did not have computer chips; they used glass tubes. That is why they were so big. But in the 1960s, technicians found a way to make chips with thousands of very small transistors on them. In 1971, Intel made a computer chip called the 4004. It had 2,250 transistors. Three years later, they made the 8080, a better and faster chip with 5,000 transistors. An American inventor called Ed Roberts used the Intel 8080 chip to make one of the first PCs. He called his PC the Altair 8800. (The name comes from the film Forbidden Planet.) When you bought an Altair 8800, you got a box of parts that you put together at home to make your PC. It cost less than 400 dollars, and Ed Roberts sold 2,000 in the first year. The personal computer was on its way.

In 1976, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started the Apple Computer Company. In 1977, their second computer, the Apple 2, appeared. It was popular, and the company made 700,000 dollars that year. The next year, the company made 7 million dollars! Even IBM knew that personal computers were here to stay. They made their first PC in 1981.

Since Intel made the 4004 chip in 1971 with 2,250 transistors, computer chips have become much faster. In fact, the computer technician Gordon Moore made this prediction in 1965: 'The number of transistors on computer chips will double every eighteen months.' This prediction is often called 'Moore's Law' and it seems to be true. The Intel Pentium 4 chip, made in the year 2000, has 42 million transistors!

Because today's computer chips are so fast, modern PCs can do amazing things. They can put music onto CDs, and videos onto DVDs, and they can even understand spoken language. A modern PC is much faster than the very large and expensive computers from the 1970s.


Ex.2 Are these statements true or false? Correct the false ones.


  1. IBM was the first to make the personal computer.
  2. Colossus used chips with thousands of very small transistors on them.
  3. Ed Roberts called his computer Apple.
  4. Steve Wozniak started the new company alone.
  5. The company was not successful and does not exist any more.
  6. The “Moore`s Law” was not right and the development of computer has already stopped.
  7. Modern computers can not do more than their predecessors.


Ex.3 Put the following historical events into the correct order and tell when they happened.


  1. Colossus was the first computer which used glass tubes.
  2. The Intel Pentium 4 chip consists of 42 million transistors.
  3. The 610 Auto-Point was created by IBM.
  4. Technicians found a way to make computer chip with thousands of very small transistors on them.
  5. IBM made their first PC.
  6. Ed Roberts made the Altair 8800.
  7. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started the Apple Computer Company.
  8. Intel made the computer chip called 4004.


Ex.4 Explain the meanings of the following words:

to title, to put together, to sell, to double, to seem, expensive, transistor, popular, prediction, amazing


Ex.5 Make up sentences using the table:


Millions of people The 610 Auto-Point Colossus Technicians Altair 8800 Apple 2 It “Moore`s Law” Intel Pentium 4 chip Modern PCs not to have to be to become to have to consist of to need to do to appear to find to seem a way to make chips computers in their homes today 42 million transistors only one person to work it in 1977 a lot of amazing things computer chips very popular to be true one of the first PCs


Ex.6 Rewrite the following sentences using another voice:


  1. The 610 Auto-Point was called the first “personal computer”.
  2. The first real PCs were not made until 1971.
  3. An American inventor Ed Roberts used the Intel 8080 chip to make one of the first computers.
  4. He called his PC Altair 8800. This name was taken from the film “Forbidden Planet”
  5. Ed Roberts sold 2000 computers in the first year.
  6. In 1976 two Steves started a new computer company, they called it Apple.
  7. The company made almost 8 million dollars within the 2 first years.
  8. In 1965 the prediction (which is often called “Moore`s Law”) was made.
  9. A lot of amazing things can be done by modern computers.
  10. They put music and videos on to discs and even understand spoken language.




Text 6

1. a) Read the article and match the paragraphs to the headings Character/Likes/Plans Early Life, Introduction/Later Life .


Introduction Character Likes Plans Early Life, Later Life


Date: 2015-01-12; view: 2747

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