Then and Now: Industrial Computers

Can you imagine life without computers?

The ease of facility that we have when we pull our smartphones out of our pocket, or of reading messages sent from halfway around the world, are all thanks to computing devices that deliver this information to us.

When we think of computers, however, we think of the personal computer. What of the more high-powered, longer-lasting industrial computers?

Looking Back the Advancement of Industrial Computers To Now

Without knowing it, industrial computers have been key in running our lives.

We don’t often see them, but they are the ones running our factories and generating data for us in order to improve online security.

They are warehouses of information that run our email servers, generate visual marketing components, and make it possible for even the most remote areas to have data processing jobs available.

They are here to stay.

The rise of the first computers

Apple and IBM are renowned as some of the world’s pioneering companies in the development of computers. Apple Inc., founded by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, was credited in the advent of the personal computer.

Before, computers were not available for home use. They were mostly in laboratories and military facilities, holding information and generating the kind of software that keeps our industries running. The need to personalise machines then made personal computers distinct from industrial computers, and necessitating the need for different functions.

IBM was credited with creating the first ‘industrial’ computer, the 5531, in 1984. These kinds of computers often deal with data acquisition and process control, working in tandem with other computers in order to generate the output they create into actual, digestible products.

A large breadth of software development is spent on these computers as they are often made for very specific tasks.

Because of the ‘rugged’ environment where industrial computers are utilised, making these kinds of equipment is built to withstand those elements.

Higher-quality materials, as well as abilities to be shock, dust, and water-proof are built into these machines in order to maximise use.

Industrial Computers vs. Personal Computers

These kinds of computers led themselves to different types of industry.

Because personal computers tend to take on parts of the user that frequents it more often, it has now become a status symbol to have certain brands.

Brands such as Apple, Samsung, HP, and Dell are popular in the market due to its emphasis on performance. There are even niche laptops and PC’s for gaming, video and sound production, and design.

Industrial computers focus more on performance and durability than customisation, due to the environment it is exposed to. This limits its personalisation aspects, but makes up for it in data storage and performance.

The rate of change is also much less than in personal computers, with new models being built due to demand. Slower demand leads to a certain model being available in the industry for years to come.

Both components have their merits, but these computers are more competent in dealing with highly technical and complex manufacturing and data processing tasks that personal computers simply do not have.

They share a common purposes in computing various functions, but these computers takes on the more serious task of running with higher-quality components and at a much more difficult level of precision.


Industrial Computers & Communications - a dissection,


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