(f) The 1960s saw the birth of the software industry. In 1968, Computer Science
Corporation became the first software company. In 1969, the first microprocessor or micro-
programmable computer chip, the Intel 4004, was developed.
(g) In 1970 the fourth-generation computers emerged. These machines were built
with chips that utilized LSI (large-scale integration). The MITS, Inc., Altair computer was the
first commercially successful microcomputer. Then, in 1976 Apple built its first computer. In
1979, the VisiCalc spreadsheet program was introduced. This product was originally written to
run Apple II computers. Together, VisiCalc and Apple II computers became rapidly successful in
the business community.
c. Impact of Computers. Computers affect our lives every day: in businesses, schools, and
government offices. If you buy groceries at a supermarket, use an automatic teller machine, or
place a long-distance call, you are using a computer. In recent years, the microcomputer or
personal computer has had an increasing impact on our lives. Both at home and at work, these
desktop computer systems help us to do our work faster, more accurately, and, in some cases, in
ways that previously would not have been possible. Many people now believe that knowing how
to use a computer is "as important as reading and writing" and a basic skill necessary to function
effectively in today's society. Given the increasing use and availability of computer systems,
such knowledge will continue to be an important, if not essential, skill in the future.
(1) Control. Automated systems are used in a variety of ways throughout our society
that allow us to function in our everyday lives. Our cars for example are run by a series of
micro-processors that monitor the engine, fuel flow, temperature ect... Our air traffic control
system is a multi-linked system that makes air travel safe for millions of people every day.
Without the aid of computers we would not be able to do many of the daily tasks that we take for
(2) Engineering and Science. Technological advances throughout the scientific world
have put man on the moon and made quantum leaps in medicine that saves literally thousands of
lives every day a reality. Without the aid of advanced automated systems these great strides of
achievement could not have been realized for many years if ever.
(3) Business. It has been said that any business that loses its automated capability for
more than a month goes out of business permanently. The Army food service program could
probably go without automation and still continue to function but only under extreme hardship.
We are more and more dependent upon automated business programs to assist managers and
supervisors in carrying out the daily tasks of purchasing, accounting, and accountability.
Automation allows managers to spend more time with other important daily duties and less time
on tedious tasks such as simple accounting tasks.
d. Advantages. Computers provide numerous advantages to the user that allow for faster
more proficient work to be completed in a fraction of the time that it would normally take
without the aid of one.
(1) To access and store large amounts of information.