There are people in their thirties and forties who are able to easily remember what life was like without the internet. A lot of us were trained to type on an actual typewriter, which is a considerably more complex than your average computer keyboard these days. Even though home computers had been around for quite a while when the internet became a mainstream thing, the cost made them a distant dream for a lot of families.
When the prices came down and people started to buy home computers, they were huge. These hulking monstrosities could take up a good portion of a standard desk and took forever to boot up. The early models also weren’t capable of much, they played a couple of games but otherwise are completely unrecognizable from the computers that exist today. Hard drives were measured in megabytes, RAM was virtually nonexistent, and the monitors were about eighteen inches deep. Cell phones have better processors than the first computers we had in our homes.
The Death of the Desktop
For several years, laptops were not a feasible purchase for most families, as they were extremely expensive and many of them didn’t match the technology of the humble desktop. For awhile desktop computers started to be priced fairly enough that many people could easily afford them, and therefore they became a staple in the American home. Gone were the days of writing papers on college ruled tablets and turning them in.
When the internet became real for regular people in the nineties, it flipped the world of students on its ear. We didn’t have to go to the library anymore or pick up the phone to reach our friends. Sure, our parents hated all of us because we tied up the phone line while surfing the web, but how different were our lives after that?
In the late nineties, we started to see laptops, or notebook computers emerge. In their early years, they too were monstrosities that were heavier than a cinder block and had a very tiny little screen, but they were portable. Their ability to move with you made them a must-have item for business people on the go, thus resulting in the beginning of the end for desktop computers.
As more and more laptops emerged, the price of good desktops computers kept decreasing so they became a reality for a lot of people who had never thought it possible. By the time laptop computers really hit their stride, there were a lot more people who had access to a computer in their homes than ever before.
Desktop computers had started to revamp themselves as well. Gone were the huge and clunky monitors that took up massive amounts of space and in came smaller, more streamlined versions that looked more like small televisions than computer monitors. The towers that house the guts of the computer were also getting quite a bit smaller as well, although they were being packed with heavy hitting hardware to make these computers go as quickly as possible.
These days, laptops are so inexpensive and wireless internet is so prevalent that having a desktop computer is almost impractical. When everyone in the house can have their own computer, why wouldn’t it be done that way instead? Not to mention, desktops require an actual desk, which can take up a lot of room that a lot of families just don’t have these days. They may not be singing their final tune, but it’s getting close. Desktops are likely on the way out as business has become portable these days.