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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

4.2 Desktop Hardware

The last 20 years have altered the image of a typical computer in people's minds from a mainframe in an air-conditioned machine room to a personal computer on a desk. The rise of the personal computer (PC) has been one of the defining technological features of the late 20th century. One of the characteristics of this rise has been the extremely rapid rate of change. This change has been driven by the manufacturers of the components that make up personal computers, most particularly by the manufacturers of central processor units (CPUs) and to a lesser extent memory chips.

Because of this rate of change in the hardware, and because software manufacturers are continually providing new features to make use of the increased processing power, desktop computers become rapidly outdated. In the developed world many owners of personal computers have gone through two or more generations of computer technology. The usually accepted lifecycle for a personal computer is just three years. This means that those who seek to use this technological infrastructure for electronic publishing are operating in an environment where change is the only constant and where technologies (both hardware and software) rapidly appear and become obsolete.

From the point of view of electronic publishing, the important hardware advances are in the area of processor capacity, the provision of multimedia support, the improvements in print output and the sheer ubiquity of desktop computing.

4.2.1 Processors

4.2.2 Multimedia facilities

4.2.3 Print output

4.2.4 Increasing ubiquity

Last modified: Monday, 18-Sep-2017 03:28:51 AEST

© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * *