Tech: How Technology Progressed

The first smartphone appeared 13 years before the iPhone, the first laptop weighed 10 kg, and the first tablet was booted from a floppy disk. Twenty years later, it’s hard to look at the devices that started whole categories without tears.

Home computer

There is a very famous quote that begins almost every story about the history of personal computers: “There is no need to have a computer at home,” – said in 1977 the head of the DEC Corporation, Ken Olsen. The thought of a home computer seemed too daring for not everyone. So, in the publication of the New York Times, the phrase “personal computer” sounded back in 1962.

For real home computers – those that had a monitor or were connected to a TV – everything is very difficult here with the definition of primacy: the fact is that such computers were at first handicraft and if they were sold, then in small batches. This is how the first Apple model appeared in 1976, and since the early eighties anyone could buy a computer at home.

Smart watch

Wristwatches, which, in addition to displaying time, do many other useful things, are now in vogue: some allow you to monitor the body’s indicators, others also deliver notifications from the phone and partially duplicate its interface. But this is far from the first time that the development of technology has affected such a traditional category of gadgets. The last time was in the seventies and eighties, and it was first about the appearance of an electronic clock, and then about a clock with a built-in calculator.


In science fiction, there are stories about heroes who, once in the past or on an underdeveloped planet, try to recreate some of the wonders of modern civilization from scrap materials. If someone had thought to build a laptop back in 1980, this laptop would have looked like a hefty box and weighed ten kilograms. Only in this case there is no need for fantasies: such a laptop really existed and was called Osborne 1, and if you are looking for this interesting guide for laptops, you can search for it online.

Mobile phone

The creation of the first ever portable phone was not a matter of intrigue, there was no fierce struggle for primacy, and there is no doubt about who it belongs to. Development of this device began at Motorola in 1968; in 1973 the prototype was ready and the first call was made on it; in 1984.

The tablet

In 2010, when Apple released the first iPad model, it was customary to grumble: tablets, they say, had long been invented, and Bill Gates showed them at exhibitions back in the early 2000s. This is a reasonable remark, but in this case it makes sense to remember what tablet computers did before: in the nineties and even in the eighties.