To understand what the concept of workstation , it is useful to focus first on the terms that make up the expression. Station is a notion with several meanings: in this case we interest its meaning as the set of facilities used to carry out certain tasks. Job , meanwhile, is the exercise of a trade or profession or the development of a paid activity.
Although this is the meaning of the term job that we usually use in everyday speech, in this case it refers to "what results from the activity of the human being "or" the operation of the tool, part, utensil or machine that is used for a specific purpose. "
Taking up the idea of workstation , we can say that it is about computer equipment intended for professional, technical or scientific work . The workstation, also known as workstation by its denomination in English, it is usually a computer (a computer) with advanced features that is connected to different peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.) and that is part of a net .
Usually, a workstation is linked to other computers and a server . This facilitates the fact of working in a team, sharing resources and data.
It is important to mention that, although before there were important technical differences between a home computer and a workstation, these distances have been shortened, especially in certain areas. Keep in mind that the most advanced workstation of a few decades ago provided less benefits than a PC current that anyone uses to study or play.
In any case, in those sectors where high processing speed is required and capacity To work with immense amounts of data, workstations are still special equipment with outstanding qualities.
While it is not possible to determine unequivocally what was the first workstation in history, many experts say that the most suitable candidate was the IBM 1620 , a computer for scientific use that was introduced in the market in 1959. Unlike the standard at that time, this equipment was intended to be operated by only user .
Another thing that differentiated this workstation from the devices of that time is that it did not have any kind of circuit real arithmetic, so he needed the user to store in the main memory a table with the mathematical rules of addition to perform this operation. This was not a design error, but allowed to save production costs and, therefore, sell the equipment at a more accessible price.
It is important to note that some companies did not buy the workstation but rented it, and for that they came to pay up to 1000 dollars per month. Later, IBM introduced the model to the market 1130 while the American company DEC presented his PDP-8 minicomputer . From the 70s came the workstations based on microcomputers, with examples such as the Lisp machine , the Xerox Alto , the PERQ and the Xerox Star .
In the following decade, workstations based on the processor began to appear Motorola 68000 , marketed by companies such as SGI, Sun Microsystems and Apollo Computer . From the second half of the 80s the CPU dominant was the RISC , whose name is the acronym of Reduced Instruction Set Computer or Computer with Reduced Instruction Set. These computers used to include a processor version and a UNIX-derived operating system designed by the manufacturers themselves.