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As we reported earlier , Facebook open-sourced its data center specifications and practices today. The infrastructural details of Facebook's new Prineville, OR data center can now be found on the Open Compute Project website. The first thing that came to mind while reading Facebook's announcement (where you can find a general overview of what Facebook is doing) today is that this officially signals the commodification of infrastructure design. I'd like to point you again to RedMonk analyst Stephen O'Grady's blog post " How Important is Software?" Generational Differences Between Software Producers ."
Computing hardware evolved from machines that needed separate manual action to perform each arithmetic operation, to punched card machines, and then to stored-program computers . The history of stored-program computers relates first to computer architecture, that is, the organization of the units to perform input and output, to store data and to operate as an integrated mechanism. Before the development of the general-purpose computer, most calculations were done by humans. Mechanical tools to help humans with digital calculations were then called "calculating machines", by proprietary names, or even as they are now, calculators . It was those humans who used the machines who were then called computers.
In late 1974, tiny New Mexico calculator manufacturer MITS announced a $439 build-it-yourself gizmo called the Altair 8800 — the first true "personal computer." A couple of young protogeeks named Bill Gates and Paul Allen got so excited that they founded a start-up called Micro-soft (yes, with a hyphen) to write software for it. They did rather well. So well, in fact, that most of us are still using PCs running Microsoft software 36 years later. Along the way, multiple visions of a technological universe that didn't revolve around Microsoft-powered PCs failed to pan out.