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Since it's inception in the 1940s, advances in computing technology have progressed at a rate unheard of by few other technologies. Moore's Law, the doubling of the number of transistors per chip every 18–24 months, continues to hold true. However, in addition to the number of transistors, it also appears that the number of peripherals and other technology capabilities increase at a similar dramatic rate. The original IBM PC used a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 running DOS. It had 64KB of RAM, a 160KB floppy drive, and a monochrome monitor. Today's computers use Intel Pentium 4 1.2 GHz processors, with 256 megabytes of RAM, 20 gigabyte hard drives, 17-inch full color monitors, sound cards, DVD players, read and write CD-Rom drives, and a communications modem. Additional optional peripherals include: scanners, joysticks, networking hardware, wireless hardware, and many more.
These advances in hardware have been complemented by an equally impressive improvement in software. Originally, the IBM PC came with DOS and a few applications, such as a word processor and spreadsheet. Today's personal computers have thousands of applications accessible to its users. These include the staples of word processing and spreadsheets, as well as presentation graphics, databases, communications, games, training, project management, web browsers, publishing, security, and audio visual packages, just to name a few.
Each technological advance has expanded the opportunities for meeting the stated objectives of end user computing—"the optimal development of computer applications and models by personnel outside the MIS department" (Brancheau & Brown, 1991). However, these opportunities are not equitably applied to all end users of computing technology. For example, the addition of DVD players or CD-Rom Burners add little, if any, value or efficiency to the vast majority of traditional organizational work activities, word processing and spreadsheets.
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