The Computer Course #3: History of the PC

For a brief introduction to this blog series, start here.

For the third installment in this series I took a slightly different approach. Rather than preparing a lecture, I had my son do a research project and report. At some point in the near future I will flesh out my own version of the report but for now, here’s the assignment. (I have linked each of the 10 topics to its Wikipedia page as a starting point.)

Research Assignment: History of the Personal Computer

The topic is the history of the Personal Computer. There are 5 pieces of hardware and 5 operating systems I want to focus on.


Apple I
Apple II
IBM PC 5150
Commodore 64
Lisa and the original Macintosh


Original Macintosh System (and how it was inspired by Xerox Alto)
Windows 3.1
Windows 95
Mac OS X (and how it was based on NeXTStep)

Write a brief paragraph (3-5 sentences is good) for each, 10 paragraphs total. Important things to include are the years they were produced, any particular people who played an important role in the development, and what made them each unique and influential.

The report should also have an introduction paragraph where you explain the overall topic, and a conclusion paragraph where you summarize what you found most interesting, or how you think the different systems are related or influenced each other.

Wikipedia is a good place to start, but also check the References section at the bottom of each Wikipedia entry, and look at at least one reference source for each. At the end of the report, include your own References section listing all of the links you used.