10. Commodore Amiga 1000

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Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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PACKET
19


Week
19

Homework Packet

Mr. Fitzgerald


Name:


__________________________________________________


Date:


__________________________________________________


Homework is due at the beginning of the week.


Personal computers have reached a
tipping point in recent years where the innovations are more
about speed and capabilities than absolute technological advances. They’re getting faster and
smaller but for the most part ground
-
breaking technological leaps are a thing of the past. That’s not

to
say we won’t see anything amazing come out soon. Other than tablet technology, there simply hasn’t
been anything that shook the computer world recently.

As we look back in history over the last 40 years, there have been true game
-
changers. For some, it

was simply a matter of changing the way we interface with computers. For others, it was a new style
of technology that moved us to adopt personal computers to fill a void that we didn’t even know
existed before. The first time I played around with my Comm
odore 64, I was moved.

Here are the top 10 game
-
changing computers of all time. As with any list, there will be
disagreements, omissions, and probably a few insults flung my way, but that’s the risk one takes
when making lists like these.

10. Commodore Am
iga 1000

Right around the time when computers were starting to
make the world flat and boring, the Amiga made the
world of computers beautiful again. Launched in 1985, it
retailed at $1,295 which instantly put it out of most
casual computer users’ price ra
nge at the time. This was
a shame because this was the first true multimedia
computer. Its graphics and sound were stunning,
allowing for 3D animation, full
-
motion video, and a TV
interface that was well ahead of its competitors.







9. Samsung Galaxy
Tab 7.7

As the most recent release on the list, this 2012 tablet
entered a game that was already flush with competition
from all angles. The thing that made it stand out was
that it was appropriately right
-
sized. It’s the thinnest 4G
LTE tablet and fits no
t
-
so
-
comfortably in the palm of
one’s hand. It’s the first tablet computer featuring a
Super
AMOLED

Plus display, making it much more
useful on the go than anything out there currently
running

Android OS. This is the baseline going forward for modern Android tablets.



8. MITS Altair 8800

From the newest on the list to the oldest, the MITS
Altair 8800 quietly shook the world in 1975. It wasn’t
the amazing technology that sparked interest


there
were better options available


but rather it was the
interest that the public took in the compu
ter that
opened eyes and made companies like Microsoft
look to the personal computer as a faster
-
growing
wave than expected. It was originally sold through
mail order ads in
Popular Electronics

with the goal of
selling a few hundred for hobbyists, but when

several
thousand were ordered the first month, an industry
was unofficially born.




7. Sony VAIO 505GX

In 1998, the office became portable. That
was the promise of the Sony VAIO 505GX
and it delivered. The ability to have a
computer, screen, speakers, microphone,
and touchpad all in 3.1 lb portable case
changed the way we thought about
computing. It was the

early days of the
internet and so the world was already used
to being able to transmit data from the office
to a destination, but this really opened up
an entirely different view of data portability.
Productivity on the road increased
exponentially thanks

to the grandfather of
popular laptop computers.


6. Apple II

Most computer geeks over the age of
30 have a story or two to tell about the
Apple II series of computers. It allowed
is to game in ways that other computers
couldn’t, a surprise to many who ne
ver
look to Apple for gaming. When Steve
Wozniak designed it, the 1977 release
gave us an entry point into the world of
personal computers that was different
from anything else out there. They were
the first to hit schools in bulk and turned
many a child t
owards the world of
computers.

5. Tandy TRS
-
80 Model I

While Apple was pushing the II, Radio
Shack was pushing the Tandy TRS
-
80
Model I. It was the personal computer
that had a store of its own, making it a
popular entry point for the family’s first
home
computer. The thing that helped it
succeed as a model and that pushed
the PC world was the selection of
software. In the two years of the big PC
rush of the late 70s, the TRS
-
80 was
able to accumulate the most. Had that
not happened, it’s conceivable that
Apple or Commodore could have won
the early rounds of the personal computer battles and the landscape would be much different than it
is today.


4. IBM PC 5150

In 1981, the IBM PC was born. International
Business Machines was already a huge name
around th
e world, but they had missed the mini
-
boom of personal computers in the 1970s. They
corrected course quickly and took a different path
than their competitors by opening up development to
a wide range of OEMs. Instead of building everything
from scratch, th
ey took components from a wide
range of companies and forged them together. By
abandoning the proprietary model that the
competition had adopted, they moved quickly ahead
and gave birth to the modern era of personal
computing.



3. Apple iPad 2

The iPad c
hanged the world, but the iPad 2 was
the device that really made tablets the new “thing”.
By adding a camera, long battery life, and a more
portable design, it was the launching pad that
tablets needed to get into the mainstream. It was
the validation that

was needed to let everyone
know that the tablet wasn’t a fad like the netbooks
which were still relevant at the time of release. This
was the real deal and any geek worth their weight
in motherboards needed to have one. More
importantly, any family worth
their weight in
gadgets needed to get one, too. Unlike the 1st
generation iPad, the 2 has continued to sell well
even after two more device releases with the New iPad and iPad Mini.


2. Commodore 64

One might make a case that it was sentimental
value that

propelled the Commodore 64 so close
to the top of the list, but that wouldn’t be a fair
statement. The best selling personal computer of
all time made 8
-
bit a thing for kids and adults of
the 80s. Released in 1982, it has gone on to sell
somewhere between

12
-

and 17
-
million units (not
sure why there’s a mystery about the actual
number but it’s a lot either way) and even has a
nostalgic variation

alive and well today.











1. Macintosh


If one were to look solely at sales and adoption of personal
computers, the Macintosh wouldn’t make
the top 10 list. What made the 1984 release of the Macintosh so stunning was that it changed
everything that we have today even if the origins of those changes didn’t manifest initially for Apple
itself. With a mouse
and graphical user interface, the computer was too far ahead of its time in many
respects but helped spark enough ideas over at IBM, Microsoft, and Intel to allow them to capitalize
by the early 90s. The Macintosh was the inspiration for modern personal co
mputing, period. Though
there were dark days at Apple after the subsequent failure of the line, they were able to revitalize with
the 1998 iMac and the rest is history.

Name: _____________________________________________

Date: ________

Week 19
Questions

1.

Why was the Macintosh so influential?






2.
Which influential computer came from RadioShack
?






3.
How much was the Commodore Amiga 1000 priced at?