One of the first actual computers was the Electrical Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). ENIAC took over 167 square meters, 1800 square feet, of floor space and had a quick access of 0.0002 seconds for a read-write register storage. ENIAC is recognized as one of the first successful high speed electronic digital computers, and was used from 1946 to 1955.
Older computers used vacuum tubes to move electricity and electrons around in computing devices and computers. However, they were highly inefficient, needed to be replaced often, and with 18,000 of them in a computer it wasn't cheap to cool the rooms. Transistors promised to solve the problems and did, but they needed to be soldered together. As a result there became a chance of faulty wiring as the systems grew more complex. In 1958 Jack St. Clair Kilby of Texas Instruments manufactured the first Integrated Circuit, or chip. A chip is basically a collection of smaller transistors connected together when manufactured. Therefore, there was no need of soldering and they only needed to be connected to other electronic components.
The 1960s was when large mainframe computers became more common in large markets. In those markets IBM was unquestionably the leader in computer markets. Then in the 1970s personal computers exploded when the Apple II was introduced. The Apple II was when Apple actually began to take off. The TRS-80 was introduced in 1977 by Radio Shack which was remodeled with the TRS-80 Model II. While they weren't very creative with names both of these computers had disk drives which allowed the floppy disk to become the most convenient distributor of software. IBM then decided to produce the IBM PC which had a came with a 16,000 character memory (which is less than the TRS but more than the Apple), an IBM electric typewriter, and a connection for a tape cassette player. By 1984 Apple and IBM were the major computer companies. That was also when Apple released the first gen Macintosh which came with a graphical user interface and mouse. IBM released the 286-AT which had Lotus 1-2-3 (a spreadsheet), and Microsoft Word which became a favorite of businesses and still is.
The 286-AT was truly the first modern computer because it was focused more on software and the user. Computer companies such as IBM started to innovate with their technology and have become much more adept in improving their performance, as well as their ease of use and ease of fixing. These companies are also all much cheaper than companies such as Alienware and Apple. Alienware being mainly gaming focused, but too much to be truly good. Apple being overpriced and the same thing released repeatedly. Sylvester Valentine for Passed Time, November 10, 2015