Until the 1970s, mainframe computers were the backbone of the computing business. However, economies of volume changed the economics of computing and eventually smaller systems became far cheaper than the large systems that started the industry. There are several interesting parallels with distributed generation, or local energy, and centralized power plants here.
Download the full spreadsheet here by clicking on the bottom right of the embedded Excel spreadsheet.
Code: m192 ComputingCost math xbMath