Since the creation of the first electronic computer in 1946, computer technology has evolved with unparalleled speed. Conceived as a machine to automate and accelerate the calculation of complex sums, the computer became the universal machine for business and personal use because of its ability to process verbal as well as numerical data. Ownership of computers in the home became feasible in the late 1970s when computers of desktop size were developed. As the price of personal computers plummeted and the functionality of the computer became more diverse, home ownership rose. In 1995, the United States led the home ownership rankings with a 37 percent home ownership rate, while Britain, ranked sixth, had a 25 percent home ownership rate. Today, with appropriate software and peripheral devices, the home computer can provide many services, including processing of household financial accounts, word-processing, electronic mail, entertainment, and information.