What did computers without screens do?

Brian L. Stuart blstuart at bellsouth.net
Mon Dec 14 16:07:52 CST 2015

On Mon, 12/14/15, Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 2:05 PM, Mike <tulsamike3434 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Dec 14, 2015, at 12:34 PM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at sydex.com> wrote:
>>> The subject brought up the thought of how many display-less
>>> computers we encounter every day without giving it a
>>> thought.  I think that probably 100 would be a safe bet.
>> .... if you think about it almost everything we touch has some kind of a
>> computer cycle! ! ! GREAT POINT!!!
> Even lighting... I've pulled (and reused!) 8-pin PIC microcontrollers
> out of discarded emergency lighting.  ...

Along those lines, as I was preparing for a class I taught this quarter
called Computing in the Small, I came across some interesting stats.
Microchip crossed the 12 billion PICs shipped a few years ago and
were running at nearly a billion a year then.  ARM holdings quotes
over 50 billion ARMs shipped.  They estimate that about 60% of the
Earth's population has daily contact with a device containing an ARM.
That's not too far behind the 64% who have running water.  And not
all that long ago the 8051 was the most fabbed ISA in the world.

The bottom line is that computers involving humans interacting through
keyboards, mice, and screens are really just a niche in the computing
world.  Embedded systems are the predominant class of computing
systems.  Or to twist a line from Shakespeare, There's more in the
universe of computing than is dreamt of in the PC philosophy.


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