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QOTD: What's the Most Influential Hardware?

By , xNEM3S1Sx - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 118 comments
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If you've been computing for a decade or longer, you'll know that there have been many companies that have come and go.

However, just because a company doesn't exist anymore, doesn't mean the device or devices it made didn't make a permanent and big impact to how we use computers today and what we use them for. Many of the companies that helped change the landscape of computing still exist today.

Things like, the mice, the joystick. Yes of course, the 3D accelerator--and we all know what company really set things in motion in that space! If you can't come up with a device, that revolutionized the computer, maybe you can come up with a device that changed the way you use a computer. Today's QOTD comes from Tom's Hardware reader xNEM3S1Sx.

The question of the day is: What is the most influential piece of hardware ever made?

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  • 14 Hide
    echdskech , May 7, 2009 12:49 AM
    I'd say transistors... but if we're talking about bigger things, i'd say the mouse. what sets it apart from the obviously important things like cpus, disks and such is that it (and gui, but that's software) was what I believe enabled computing to penetrate the consumer market.

    How many lay people do you know can operate a computer using only the keyboard?
  • 13 Hide
    stryk55 , May 7, 2009 12:22 AM
    The USB port. Besides the keyboard and mouse, no other piece of hardware has lived up to the expectations set out for it as well as USB. Almost any external imput device connects this way. It truly is a UNIVERSAL connector.
  • 13 Hide
    HighHandz , May 7, 2009 12:33 AM
    Xerox for giving us the GUI and the Mouse.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    scsidude2 , May 7, 2009 12:11 AM
    The full color graphic monitor. Not much of a world if you can't see it. With the monitor you can see any picture ever taken.
  • 7 Hide
    ehanger , May 7, 2009 12:13 AM
    The mouse
  • 0 Hide
    adamovera , May 7, 2009 12:18 AM
    NIC
  • 13 Hide
    stryk55 , May 7, 2009 12:22 AM
    The USB port. Besides the keyboard and mouse, no other piece of hardware has lived up to the expectations set out for it as well as USB. Almost any external imput device connects this way. It truly is a UNIVERSAL connector.
  • -4 Hide
    IntelDiesel , May 7, 2009 12:24 AM
    hard drive..
  • 4 Hide
    xpont8 , May 7, 2009 12:27 AM
    the mouse. it gives me a good start at work.
  • -9 Hide
    icepick314 , May 7, 2009 12:31 AM
    CPU...mainly Pentium by Intel
  • 13 Hide
    HighHandz , May 7, 2009 12:33 AM
    Xerox for giving us the GUI and the Mouse.
  • -2 Hide
    IzzyCraft , May 7, 2009 12:35 AM
    The thin coating on stuff made by ibm that prevents our stuff form shorting out but that's not really a single piece of hardware.
  • -4 Hide
    superhighperf , May 7, 2009 12:35 AM
    the CD burner changed the world :) 
  • 8 Hide
    Greatwalrus , May 7, 2009 12:46 AM
    Motherboard - what can you do without one?
  • 14 Hide
    echdskech , May 7, 2009 12:49 AM
    I'd say transistors... but if we're talking about bigger things, i'd say the mouse. what sets it apart from the obviously important things like cpus, disks and such is that it (and gui, but that's software) was what I believe enabled computing to penetrate the consumer market.

    How many lay people do you know can operate a computer using only the keyboard?
  • 0 Hide
    IzzyCraft , May 7, 2009 12:51 AM
    GreatWalrusMotherboard - what can you do without one?

    Have the circuits not printed on pbc but just floating all around.
  • 11 Hide
    alvine , May 7, 2009 12:55 AM
    sliced bread changed the world
  • 0 Hide
    mschlenker , May 7, 2009 1:04 AM
    3dfx's Voodoo I and II; my first high dollar peripheral purchases, and the video cards that launched 3D gaming.
  • 4 Hide
    Spathi , May 7, 2009 1:16 AM
    The Most Influential Hardware ever is the Z80 processor.
    It is still used in tons of stuff.
  • 8 Hide
    zerapio , May 7, 2009 1:17 AM
    echdskechHow many lay people do you know can operate a computer using only the keyboard?

    On just the OS I can do pretty much the same with a KB than with a mouse. Things start getting challenging when you try to use apps as many don't have shortcuts for all the functions.
  • 7 Hide
    Tindytim , May 7, 2009 1:21 AM
    superhighperfthe CD burner changed the world

    If you say that, then you obviously don't know about the floppy swapping BBSes of the 80's. Software piracy was big even before the internet.
  • 3 Hide
    cadder , May 7, 2009 1:30 AM
    Internet.
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