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TL;DR Before the use of integrated circuits in computers, the technology was so completely hamstrung by available component technology that it only proceeded at a "glacial pace" measured in decades and centuries. To be historically accurate, you first have to acknowledge that "computing machinery" has been around for many centuries. The ...


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To a certain extent, yes, there was rapid obsolescence. This is why, for example, many computers were leased rather than purchased. Two of the computers I used at university, the EE KDF9, and the ICL 1906A, had operational lifetimes by my estimation of about 7 to 8 years. They were both obsolete by the time they were replaced. Looking at ICL as a particular ...


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In the 1st half of the 1980's when both processors were past their initial flaws, the generally accepted wisdom was that general purpose PCs based on a 6502 (e.g. an Apple IIe, Commodore C64, et. al.) were faster or otherwise more capable than ones based on a Z-80 (e.g. Radio Shack TRS-80). The conventional wisdom reversed for embedded systems. For the ...


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