For any technology to become popular, and for it to be harnessed for benefit, it must be democratized. This means that the technology must be made available to the largest number of people, which can come about only when the technology becomes sufficiently affordable. The earliest computers were expensive and clumsy creatures with low computing power; as evolution of computers proceeded, sufficient computing power could be packed into a small package that would fit on a work bench. Thus came the desktop computer.
The first desktop computer was the Apple II which came out in 1977. Since then a large number of them were made by a large number of companies, but none followed a standardized structure as all tried to create their own market. IBM allowed its design to be used by other vendors, allowing the market to create hardware and software for its design, making it immensely popular with everyone. This drove the PC revolution. Essentially, a desktop computer has a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse, a CD/DVD reader/writer, a floppy drive, and the CPU (motherboard, various add-on cards, RAM, SMPS, etc housed within a ‘cabinet’ or case). It might also come with accessories, like the modem, printer, joystick, speakers or other devices. All desktop computers have a modular architecture, meaning that all or any parts may be changed or upgraded, making it immensely customizable.
Desktop computers are affordable, and as technologies improve and volumes increase, the prices come down. They are becoming increasingly faster and smarter for the same size. Various and useful software are designed to run on them. All this makes the desktop computer a harbinger of the information revolution – a fully packed information device sitting on the desk, capable of doing quite a few things.
Today, a desktop computer acts as a computer, a television set, a music system, an information and communication device, a publishing platform and a lot more. In this section of the directory, we provide links to many vendors offering desktop computers.