MDST110 Electronic Coursebook for Students
Information Technology and Digital Media Studies
Prof. David Golumbia
University of Virginia
Fall 2004
MDST110 main pageMDST110 syllabus

6. Computers on the Desktop: From Workstations to PCs

Weds Sep 22, 2004

The history of computers made for (and sometimes by) people who are not engineers, including Microsoft, Apple, and the rise and fall of the IBM PC. The rise of the GUI and other interface changes such as the mouse, including those developed at Xerox PARC.

I. The Hobbyists and the PC

II. Microsoft and IBM

III. Apple

III. Other Corporations

V. The Corporate/Research Hybrid: Xerox PARC

Study Questions

  1. What do technologies like the GUI and the mouse have in common? Can you think of principles they share that could be applied in other ways to computers, but have not yet been?
  2. How important is it that computers have become "personal"? In what ways?
  3. How do you think computers might have been different if IBM and Microsoft had not each, respectively, so dominated the computer markets of their day?
  4. What are some other killer apps that have spurred the purchase or development of particular media and/or technologies?

Reading for next class

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