Following is an example of the 'history of computers' displayed in the museum.

GREG'S HISTORY OF CONSUMABLE COMPUTERS

Before the late 60's computers were big bulky machines. They were developed mainly for use by the military. The 'Soviet Union' and the 'U.S' were competing in the development of space ships and nuclear missiles. Small computers were developed that could quickly calculate flight paths. The 'Integrated Circuit' or 'Microprocessor' was developed and refined. The Microprocessor can achieve all the functions of a number of Transistors,Resistors,Diodes,Capacitors and their connections in a very small area. This allowed the cost and size of computers to be dropped dramatically. One of the first commercial uses for early integrated circuit computers was accountancy. Very early 'Integrated Circuits' could only replace a few electronic components, but were steadily improved upon. An 'Integrated Circuit' made in 1984 contained about one million transistors.

The advances in 'Integrated circuit' design meant that computers could be made a lot cheaper, and in the 1980's computers became commonplace in the home and office. Businesses Tended to use P.C's, there were two dominant PC formats, The I.B.M (and I.B.M clones) and Apple computers. The dominant Operating system used on I.B.M compatibles was 'D.O.S.', a command line operating system. When using a command line operating system the user must type in commands and names to access computer files later, 'Windows' was developed. It allowed I.B.M owners to use a 'G.U.I' a 'Graphical user interface'. A 'G.U.I' system allows users to access computer files with a mouse, the files are represented on a screen by a symbol or icon. Apple released the first commercially available computer that used a 'G.U.I'. The 'XEROX Alto' computer was developed in the early 70's. This computer used a 'G.U.I', but was only widely used at universities. Only about a couple of thousand ALTOS were ever produced. It is fair to say that the Apple and the Windows opperating system draw their roots from the Alto. Wealthy families small business and most schools could afford a 'P.C', Microcomputers were sold to families in the lower income bracket. Micro's usually utilised a command line operating system, the most popular micro was the Commodore 64. Serious applications were made for the 'C64', but the greatest use of the 'C64' format was for video games.