Ever wondered what the world's smallest computer looks like? Perhaps the smallest in the world is yet to be created. Get to know more about this.
It was way back in 2400 BC, that Abacus, the first known calculator was created in Babylonia. The language theory proposed by Panini and the binary number system developed by Pingala, served to be a major leap towards the modern era of computing.
The development of the Turing machine by English mathematician and logician Alan Turing served as another important step towards the building of modern-day computers. It was in the early 19th century that Charles Babbage built the first mechanical computer. The year 1937 witnessed the development of the first digital computer by John Atanasoff.
During the early years of their development, electronic computers were about the size of a large room and required a huge amount of power. The bulky computing systems of those times were downsized to desktops, which became immensely popular among the computer users around the world.
Computers that lie between multi-user computer systems and small single-user computers came to be known as mini computers. The use of the term, 'mini' seemed to indicate a miniature size of computers. However, the name could be considered deceptive, as minicomputers were definitely not the smallest computers ever designed.
The term 'microcomputer' is used to refer to a computer with a microprocessor and a central processing unit that needed some amount of space. Though the term signified a 'micro' (small) size, microcomputers are not the smallest computers in the world. Only time would decide which computer model would get the pride for being the smallest one in the world.
The evolution of computers continued with the creation of laptops, which was a step further towards the design of small-sized computers. However, the smallest ones were yet to be created. The development of palmtops was a landmark in the history of computers.
Before the creation of palmtops, no one would have believed that a full-fledged computer would come in the size of a palm. But were they the smallest computers? Palmtops were the smallest PCs until the creation of tablet PC. Tablet computers are also known as Subnotebooks or netbooks. The project that developed tablet computers was called Project Origami.
Computer business giants like Microsoft, Intel and Samsung collaboratively developed a specification for a tablet PC and launched it as a part of Project Origami under the name, Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC). How do these computers look? It is a 8-inch small sensitive touch screen. It includes the Touch Pack Interface software suite, enabling the use of a stylus.
The UMPCs supporting Windows XP can run all the software that are compatible with the Windows platform. They also support playing of audio, video and computer games. Ultra-mobile personal computers facilitate networking and offer support for Internet browsing.
T700 by Amtek and Q1 by Samsung were some of the earliest models of tablet PCs. The VAIO series of subnotebooks manufactured by Sony, the Lifebook series by Fujistsu are some other popular tablet computers. Aspire One developed by Acer and EeePC by Asus are other top-ranking subnotebook models in use today.
In the technology-age of today, as the world gets smaller, even computers do. They continue to evolve in the smallest possible forms to cater to the user needs of mobile use and portability. True, we live in a small world!