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Timeline Of Computer


Table Of Contents


Software & Languages

Table Of Contents


Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Graphics and Games
Robots and Artificial Intelligence
Networking, Computers, Storage
Software and Languages
Graphics and Games
Software & Languages
Graphics and Games

Hewlett-Packard is Founded in a garage in a Palo
Alto garage.
HP200A was HPs first product.
A lot of movie producers ordered the finished
version of this product, the 200B.
Walt Disney ordered 8 of this equipment for sound

Konrad Zuse finishes the Z3 computer.
Using 2,300 relays, the Z3 used floating point
binary arithmetic and had a 22-bit word length.
The original Z3 was destroyed in a bombing raid of
Berlin in late 1943. However, Zuse later supervised a
reconstruction of the Z3 in the 1960s

Konrad Zuse began work on Plankalkul (Plan
The first algorithmic programming language, He
wanted this machine creating the theoretical
preconditions for the formulation of problems of a
general nature.
The Z4 the most sophisticated of his creations
survived World War II.

In February, the public got its first sight of the ENIAC, a machine

built by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert that improved by

1,000 times on the speed of its equals. Start of project: 1943
Completed: 1946
Programmed: plug board and switches
Speed: 5,000 operations per second
Input/output: cards, lights, switches, plugs
Floor space: 1,000 square feet
Project leaders: John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.

The Williams tube won the race for a practical
random-access memory.
Vacuum tube machines, such as the IBM 701, used
the Williams tube as primary memory.

Engineering Research Associates of Minneapolis built the ERA
The first computer to be released to the public; the companys
first buyer was the U.S. Navy.
It held 1 million bits on its storage device called a magnetic
drum, the earliest magnetic storage devices.
Drums eventually stored as many as 4,000 words and retrieved
any one of them in as little as five-thousandths of a second.

Magnetic tape allows for inexpensive mass storage of information
and so is a key part of the computer revolution.
Announced on May 21, 1952, the system used a unique vacuum
channel method of keeping a loop of tape circulating between two
points allowing the tape drive to start and stop the tape in a splitsecond.
The Model 726 was first sold with IBMs first electronic digital
computer the Model 701 and could store 2 million digits per tape
an enormous amount at the time. It rented for $850 a month

At MIT, Jay Forrester installed magnetic core
memory on the Whirlwind computer.
Core memory made computers more reliable,
faster, and easier to make.
Such a system of storage remained popular until
the development of semiconductors in the 1970s

A silicon-based junction transistor, perfected by Gordon
Teal of Texas Instruments Inc., brought the price of this
component down to $2.50.
Texas Instruments Incorporated of the first commercial
production of silicon transistors kernel-sized substitutes
for vacuum tubes.
The company became a household name when the first
transistor radio incorporated Teals invention.

AT&T designed its Dataphone, the first commercial modem,
specifically for converting digital computer data to analog
signals for transmission across its long distance network.
Outside manufacturers incorporated Bell Laboratories
digital data sets into commercial products.
The development of equalization techniques and
bandwidth-conserving modulation systems improved
transmission efficiency in national and global systems.

UNIMATE, the first industrial robot, began work at
General Motors.
Obeying step-by-step commands stored on a
magnetic drum, the 4,000-pound arm sequenced and
stacked hot pieces of die-cast metal.\
The brainchild of Joe Engelberger and George
Devol, UNIMATE originally automated the
manufacture of TV picture tubes.

DAC-1 computer aided design program is released.
In 1959, the General Motors Research Laboratories appointed a

special research team to investigate the use of computers in

designing automobiles.
In 1960, IBM joined the project, producing the first commercially-

available Computer Aided Design program, known as DAC-1.

Out of that project came the IBM 2250 display terminal as well as

many advances in computer timesharing and the use of a single

processor by two or more terminals.

SRI Internationals Shakey became the first mobile robot

controlled by artificial intelligence.

Equipped with sensing devices and driven by a problem-solving

program called STRIPS, the robot found its way around the halls of
SRI by applying information about its environment to a route.
Shakey used a TV camera, laser range finder, and bump sensors to

collect data, which it then transmitted to a DEC PDP-10 and PDP-15.

The computer radioed back commands to Shakey who then

moved at a speed of 2 meters per hour.

The first e-mail is sent.
Ray Tomlinson of the research firm Bolt, Beranek and Newman
sent the first e-mail when he was supposed to be working on a
different project.
Tomlinson, who is credited with being the one to decide on the
"@" sign for use in e-mail, sent his message over a military
network called ARPANET.
When asked to describe the contents of the first email,
Tomlinson said it was something like "QWERTYUIOP"

The Kenbak-1, the first personal computer, advertised for
$750 in Scientific American.
Designed by John V. Blankenbaker using standard
medium-scale and small-scale integrated circuits, the
Kenbak-1 relied on switches for input and lights for output
from its 256-byte memory.
In 1973, after selling only 40 machines, Kenbak Corp.
closed its doors.

An IBM team, originally led by David Noble,
invented the 8-inch floppy diskette.
It was initially designed for use in loading
microcode into the controller for the "Merlin" (IBM
3330) disk pack file.
Unlike hard drives, a user could easily transfer a
floppy in its protective jacket from one drive to

Seagate Technology created the first hard disk drive for microcomputers, the
The disk held 5 megabytes of data, five times as much as a standard floppy disk.
The hard disk drive itself is a rigid metallic platter coated on both sides with a
thin layer of magnetic material that stores digital data.
Seagate Technology grew out of a 1979 conversation between Alan Shugart and
Finis Conner, who had worked together at Memorex.
The two men decided to found the company after developing the idea of scaling
down a hard disk drive to the same size as the then-standard 5 1/4-inch floppies.
Upon releasing its first product, Seagate quickly drew such big-name customers
as Apple Computer and IBM. Within a few years, it had sold 4 million units.

The C++ programming language emerged as the dominant object-oriented language in
the computer industry when Bjarne Stroustrup published "The C++ Programming
Stroustrup, at AT&T Bell Laboratories, said his motivation stemmed from a desire to
write event-driven simulations that needed a language faster than Simula.
He developed a preprocessor that allowed Simula style programs to be implemented
efficiently in C.
Stroustrup wrote in the preface to "The C++ Programming Language": "C++ is a general
purpose programming language designed to make programming more enjoyable for the
serious programmer.
Except for minor details, C++ is a superset of the C programming language. C++ retains
C's ability to deal efficiently with the fundamental objects of the hardware (bits, bytes,
words, addresses, etc.).

Pixar is founded (1986). Pixar was originally called the Special

Effects Computer Group at Lucasfilm (launched in 1979).

The group created the computer animated segments of films

such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Young Sherlock
In 1986, Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs paid 10

million dollars to Lucasfilm to purchase the Group and renamed

it Pixar.

Intel released the 80486 microprocessor and the i860
RISC/coprocessor chip, each of which contained more than 1 million
The RISC microprocessor had a 32-bit integer arithmetic and logic
unit (the part of the CPU that performs operations such as addition and
subtraction), a 64-bit floating-point unit, and a clock rate of 33 MHz.
Combined with an enhanced bus interface unit, the microprocessor
doubled the performance of the 386 without increasing the clock rate.

Designed by Finnish university student Linus Torvalds, Linux was

released to several Usenet newsgroups on September 17th, 1991.

Almost immediately, enthusiasts began developing and improving

Linux, such as adding support for peripherals and improving its stability.
In February 1992, Linux became free software or (as its developers

preferred to say after 1998) open source.

Linux typically incorporated elements of the GNU operating system

and became widely used.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day opens.
Director James Camerons sequel to his 1984 hit The
Terminator, featured ground-breaking special effects done by
Industrial Light & Magic.
Made for a record $100 million, it was the most expensive
movie ever made at the time.
Most of this cost was due to the expense of computer-generated
special effects (such as image morphing) throughout the film.


The History of Computers