1980: Anything technology related became much more complicated 

  • Science and technology made terrific strides in the eighties. Large numbers of Americans began using personal computers in their homes, offices, and schools. Columbia, America's first reusable spacecraft was launched in 1981. A sad day in our history was January 28, 1986, when space shuttle Challenger exploded 74 seconds after liftoff at Cape Canavaral, Florida killing all seven astronauts, including school teacher Christa McAuliffe.  
  • In the 1980s computers were beginning to be used by a lot of people. They were used mostly for business and scientific use. A PC was never invented until the 1970s. The idea of a personal computer became very popular and by 1985, 2 million Americans used PC’s for basic office tasks.
  • Apple was the first major computer company to sell PC’s and by 1982 they became the first computer company to have $1 billion as there annual sale. In 1981 Microsoft put its name on the map by introducing Microsoft Disk Operating System, known as DOS, and then they invented Microsoft Windows. All operating systems use a version of these today, but just upgraded.

1980: Schools, workplaces, healthy industry, government, and law were all affected by computers

  •  Building on the success of the computers of the 1970s, the following decade created some technology that was unprecedented for its day. The computers produced and marketed during the 1980s only helped to increase the popularity of these convenient pieces of equipment throughout the decade and beyond. By the time the 1980s came to an end, it was unusual for a household to be without a personal computer. People were using them to play games and many other things, such as talk with others in the office network and other business-related applications. The computers during the 1980s also became more attractive and user-friendly as more and more people were buying them.
  • The Commodore 64 recognized the success of previous models and brands and simply tried to improve on their technology. Within its own company, Commodore had produced the VIC-20, which was basically an early model of the Commodore 64. While the VIC-20 was a popular model, it still had flaws that the Commodore 64 did not have. The Commodore 64 was marketed toward the mass population and this model was the first portable model with a color display. As with previous models and brands, however, it still used cassette tapes as mediums for data storage with an optional floppy disk drive.

1980: The notion of literacy was expanded to include computer literacy

  • Computer literacy is defined as the knowledge and ability to use computers and related technology efficiently, with a range of skills covering levels from elementary use to programming and advanced problem solving. Computer literacy can also refer to the comfort level someone has with using computer programs and other applications that are associated with computers. Another valuable component of computer literacy is knowing how computers work and operate.
  • Some basic computer skills are knowing how to power on the computer, being able to use the mouse to interact with elements on the screen, being able to use the computer keyboard, and properly shutting down the computer after use.
  • Computer literacy is considered to be a very important skill to possess while in developed countries. Employers want their workers to have basic computer skills because their company becomes ever more dependent on computers. Many companies try to use computers to help run their company faster and cheaper.

1980: The PC or personal computer did not exist before the 1970s

  • In 1976, the Cray-1 supercomputer was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. It was then the fastest computer in the world, performing 160 million floating-point operations per second. The computer cost 8.8 million dollars and generated so much heat that it required its own refrigeration system.
  • The personal computer became available in 1975. By 1983 there were about 2 million personal computers in the United States and the number is expected to double yearly. 
  • The first personal computer was marketed in 1977 by Apple. At this time people were able to buy computers because they were affordable. These computers were harder to use and weren't as well developed as the ones we have today. But on the other hand, they were able to do basic computations and provide a form of entertainment for the household.

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