e. Home Computers. There are millions of general-purpose microcomputers in
American homes and small businesses, with the number increasing by over 40 percent
yearly. Likely to become as common as the color TV, home computers are used largely
for entertainment in computer games that simulate sports. The graphic audio
capabilities and fast operation of microcomputers permit them to display action and
detail in games very effectively. Home computers are also used by homemakers in
budgeting, keeping recipe files and Christmas card lists, monitoring biorhythms, and
serving as an educational aid.
f. Lap-Top Personal Computers.
(1) Why lap-top? Sometimes referred to as "desk tops to go," lap-tops,
which came out in 1986, found a ready market in journalists, traveling business people,
students, and others who needed to carry along their computer capability. Lap-tops
offer all the essential computer functions in small, sometimes beautifully designed
packages that stand 1 foot tall when closed.
(2) Miniaturization/design trade-off. Miniaturizing has meant making various
design compromises. Lap-tops typically feature hard-to-read screens, inadequate
keyboards, limited expansion capabilities, and astronomical prices. Despite these
drawbacks, 700,000 lap-tops were sold in 1988, with nearly two million expected to be
sold in 1990. The business user, who can afford the ,000 to ,000 'power
portable," dominates this market. But lower-end market users are buying the models
that cost 00 or less.
Figure 3-18. Computer on a chip, the five computer functions (control, arithmetic/logic,
input, output, and storage) on a single chip.