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Personal computers are widely used for research, recreation and entertainment, recording and storing information, analysis and record keeping, accounting, and many others.

History of the Computer - Many inventors and scientists contributed to the history and growth of computer technologies. The first devices were created by Konrad Zuse (1936) and Clifford Berry and John Atanasoff (1942). William Shockley, Walter Brattain, and John Bardeen created a transistor in 1947 – 1948. While it wasn’t really a computer, their transistor had a huge impact on the development of computer technologies. The mouse was created in 1964 by Douglas Engelbart while IBM and Alan Shugart created the floppy disk in 1971. Microsoft introduced its MS-DOS computer system in 1981, and the Macintosh became a fact in 1984.

Hardware and Parts - The computer includes different hardware and software components. Hardware components are the chip, motherboard, memory, sound and graphic cards, and others. The modem, speakers, monitor, keyboard, and mouse are also hardware components. There are major producers such as Compaq, Antec, IBM, and Intel, and others. They offer central processing units, chipsets, motherboards, and computer cases. Other companies produce external and internal hard disk drives, optical disk drives, RAID cards, visual display units, floppy disk drives, and other components.

Different Types of Software - Computers also require software such as embedded, application, and system software. The main types are programming and system software. Examples of the latter are window systems, operating systems, and drivers. The compiler is one type of programming software that is used to code in Basic, Python, C++, and other languages. Decompilers and text editors are also used. Linkers, interpreters, and debuggers are other examples of software that are used by programmers. In addition to these types, there are application and platform software. Components such as graphical interfaces and firmware are in the category of platform software that enables users to interact with printers and other peripheral devices and the computer itself. Then there is application software that allows users to perform different tasks. Office suites, media players, and graphics and accounting software are good examples.

Computer Uses - The personal computer is used by businesses, individuals, schools, governments, financial institutions, and other entities. Computers are used by writers, journalists, researchers, and academic staff. Accountants and record keepers take notes, record statistics, and perform different accounting tasks. Computers are also used by governments and the defense industry. They allow officials to track missiles, control unmanned aircraft, test and develop new systems, and more. They are also used by governments to develop, control, and coordinate activities in different sectors, including education, information, tourism, national and municipal projects, and others. Obviously, people use computers to browse information, watch movies, commercials, videos, shows, and movie trailers, play games, listen to music, chat, and a lot more. And computers are also used in the academia to grade students and evaluate tests. The health sector and hospitals also have software for imaging and scanning, handling medical records, monitoring and examination, and more. The main advantages are automatic updating of medical records, improved diagnostic capabilities, medical alerts, more precise tests, and others. Computers are also used for space exploration, including diagnostic tests, calculating paths and trajectories, navigation, etc. Gravitational forces, motion, and other factors are taken into account. Finally, computers are also used by the movie industry to create special effects and graphics for commercials, videos, movies, etc. They also have functions to develop training programs for different sports and to compile statistics.



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