Milestones in computer history

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  • 1937 ---Dr. John V. Atanasoff and Clifford Berry design and build the first electronic digital computer. Their machine, the Atanasoff-Berry-Computer, or ABC, provides the foundation for advances in electronic digital computers.

  • 1945 ---John von Neumann poses in front of the electronic computer built at the Institute for Advanced Study. This computer and its von Neumann architecture served as the prototype for subsequent stored program computers worldwide.

  • 1946 -- Dr. John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, Jr. complete work on the fi rst large-scale electronic, general-purpose digital computer. The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) weighs 30 tons, contains 18,000 vacuum tubes, occupies a 30 3 50 foot space, and consumes 160 kilowatts of power.

  • 1947 William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain invent the transfer resistance device, eventually called the transistor. The transistor would revolutionize computers, proving much more reliable than vacuum tubes.

  • 1951 ---The first commercially available electronic digital computer, the UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer), is introduced by Remington Rand. Public awareness of computers increases when the UNIVAC correctly predicts that Dwight D. Eisenhower will win the presidential election.

  • 1957- The IBM 305 RAMAC computer is the first to use magnetic disk for external storage. The computer provides storage capacity similar to magnetic tape that previously was used but offers the advantage of semi-random access capability.

  • 1957--- FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation), an efficient, easy-to-use programming language, is introduced by John Backus.

  • 1959--- IBM introduces two smaller, desk-size computers: the IBM 1401 for business and the IBM 1620 for scientists.

1960 COBOL, a highlevel business application language, is developed by a committee headed by Dr. Grace Hopper.

  • 1960 COBOL, a highlevel business application language, is developed by a committee headed by Dr. Grace Hopper.

  • 1964 The number of computers has grown to 18,000. Third-generation computers, with their controlling circuitry stored on chips, are introduced. The IBM System/360 computer is the first family of compatible machines, merging science and business lines.

  • 1965- Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) introduces the first minicomputer, the PDP-8. The machine is used extensively as an interface for time-sharing systems.

  • 1968 Alan Shugart at IBM demonstrates the fi rst regular use of an 8-inch floppy disk.

  • 1969 The ARPANET network is established, which eventually grows to become the Internet.

  • 1970 Fourth-generation computers, built with chips that use LSI (large-scale integration) arrive. While the chips used in 1965 contained up to 1,000 circuits, the LSI chip contains as many as 15,000.

  • 1975 MITS, Inc. advertises one of the fi rst microcomputers, the Altair. The Altair is sold in kits for less than $400 and within the fi rst three months 4,000 orders are taken.

  • 1976-- Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak build the fi rst Apple computer. A subsequent version, the Apple II, is an immediate success. Adopted by elementary schools, high schools, and colleges, for many students, the Apple II is their fi rst contact with the world of computers.

  • 1979 VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program written by Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin, is introduced.

  • 1981 ---The IBM PC is introduced, signaling IBM's entrance into the personal computer marketplace. The IBM PC quickly garners the largest share of the personal computer market and becomes the personal computer of choice in business.

  • 1981 ---The first computer virus, Elk Cloner, is spread via Apple II floppy disks, which contained the operating system. A short rhyme would appear on the screen when the user pressed Reset after the 50th boot of an infected disk.

  • 1982 Compaq, Inc. is founded to develop and market IBM-compatible PCs.

  • 1983--- Instead of choosing a person for its annual award, TIME magazine names the computer Machine of the year for 1982, acknowledging the impact of computers on society.

  • 1983 Lotus Development Corporation is founded. Its spreadsheet software, Lotus 1-2-3, which combines spreadsheet, graphics, and database programs in one package, becomes the best-selling program for IBM personal computers.

  • 1984--- Hewlett-Packard announces the first LaserJet printer for personal computers.

  • 1984 Apple introduces the Macintosh computer, which incorporates a unique, easy-to learn, graphical user interface.

  • 1989 While working at CERN, Switzerland, Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web.

  • 1991 ---World Wide Web Consortium releases standards that describe framework for linking documents on different computers.

  • 1992 --- Microsoft releases Windows 3.1, the latest version of its Windows operating system. Windows 3.1 offers improvements such as TrueType fonts, multimedia capability, and object linking and embedding (OLE). In two months, 3,000,000 copies of Windows 3.1 are sold.

  • 1993 The U.S. Air Force completes the Global Positioning System by launching its 24th Navstar satellite into orbit. Today, GPS receivers can be found in cars, notebook computers, and smart phones.

  • 1993 --- Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 3 Professional, the first version of Microsoft Office for the Windows operating system.

  • 1994-- Linus Torvalds creates the Linux kernel, a UNIX-like operating system that he releases free across the Internet for further enhancement by other programmers.

  • 1994 Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen found Netscape and launch Netscape Navigator 1.0, a Web browser.

  • 1994 ---Yahoo!, a popular search engine and portal, is founded by two Stanford Ph.D. students as a way to keep track of their personal interests on the Internet. Currently, Yahoo! Has approximately 12,000 employees and more than 500 million unique visitors to its Web site.

  • 1994 --Amazon is founded and later begins business as an online bookstore. Amazon eventually expands to sell products of all types and facilitates the buying and selling of new and used goods. Today, Amazon has approximately 17,000 employees.

  • 1995 Microsoft releases Windows 95, a major upgrade to its Windows operating system. Windows 95 consists of more than 10,000,000 lines of computer instructions developed by 300 person-years of effort.

  • 1997-- Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4.0 and seizes a key place in the Internet arena.

  • 1998 --- Google fi les for incorporation and is now the most used search engine, capturing more than 60 percent of the market over other search engines.

  • 1998 Apple Computer introduces the iMac, the next version of its popular Macintosh computer. The iMac wins customers with its futuristic design, see-through case, and easy setup.

  • 1999 -- Microsoft introduces Office 2000, its premier productivity suite, offering new tools for users to create content and save it directly to a Web site without any file conversion or special steps.

  • 1999- Governments and businesses frantically work to make their computers Y2K (Year 2000) compliant,

spending more than $500 billion worldwide.
  • 2000 - E-commerce achieves mainstream acceptance. Annual e-commerce sales exceed $100 billion, and Internet advertising expenditures reach more than $5 billion.

  • 2001-- Intel unveils its Pentium 4 chip with clock speeds starting at 1.4 GHz. The Pentium 4 includes 42 million transistors.

  • 2001 --- Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, is introduced. Additional wikis begin to appear on the Internet, enabling people to share information in their areas of expertise. Although some might rely on wikis for research purposes, the content is not always verified for accuracy.

  • 2002 --- DVD burners begin to replace CD burners (CD-RW). DVDs can store up to eight times as much data as CDs. Uses include storing home movies, music, photos, and backups.

  • 2003 --- Wireless computers and devices, such as keyboards, mouse devices, home networks, and wireless Internet access points become commonplace.

  • 2003 MySpace, an online social network, is founded. MySpace allows users to share information, photos, and videos, as well as stay in touch with their friends and make new friends. MySpace eventually grows to nearly 200 million users, making it one of the more popular and successful online social networks.

  • 2004 Flat-panel LCD monitors overtake bulky CRT monitors as the popular choice of computer users.

  • 2004 Facebook, an online social network originally available only to college students, is founded. Facebook eventually opens registration to all people and immediately grows to more than 110 million users with more than 10 billion photos, 30 million of which are uploaded daily.

  • 2004 Mozilla releases its first version of the Firefox Web browser. Firefox provides innovative features that enhance the Web browsing experience for users, including tabbed browsing and a Search box. Firefox quickly gains popularity and takes market share away from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

  • 2005 YouTube, an online community for video sharing, is founded. YouTube includes content such as home videos, movie previews, and clips from television shows. In November 2006, Google acquires YouTube.

  • 2006 Microsoft and Mozilla release new versions of their respective Web browsers. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla’s Firefox 2 offer easier browsing through the use of tabs and allow search capabilities directly from the toolbar.

  • 2006 IBM produces the fastest supercomputer, Blue Gene/L. It can perform approximately 28 trillion calculations in the time it takes you to blink your eye, or about one-tenth of a second.

  • 2007 VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) providers expand usage to include Wi-Fi phones. The phones enable high-quality service through a Wireless network and high-speed Internet connection.

  • 2007 ---- Wi-Fi hotspots are popular in a variety of locations. People bring their computers to coffeehouses, fast food restaurants, or bookstores to access the Internet wirelessly, either free or for a small fee.

  • 2007---- Microsoft ships the latest version of its widely used operating system, Windows Vista. Vista offers the Basic interface and the Aero interface, which offers several graphical features, including transparent windows. Internet Explorer 7 is included with Windows Vista.

  • 2008 --- Bill Gates retires from Microsoft. He continues as chairman and advisor on key development projects.

  • 2008 --- Google releases its new Web browser. Google Chrome uses an entirely unique interface and offers other features such as dynamic tabs, crash control, and application shortcuts.

  • 2009 --- More than 20 types of mobile devices are using Google Android, an operating system designed for mobile devices.

  • 2009-- Microsoft releases the newest version of its Windows operating system, Windows 7. This version provides greater stability and security; a more flexible, user-friendly interface; and requires fewer computing resources to operate.

  • 2010 --- Mozilla releases the latest version of its Web browser, Firefox 4, which allows users to run Web applications outside of the Web browser interface. It also enables users to synchronize their Web browsing preferences easily with an online service so that they can access the Web from anywhere.

  • 2010 --- Hard disk capacity continues to increase at an exponential rate, with the largest hard disks storing more than 2.5 TB of data and information. Solid state storage also is becoming more popular, with storage capacities increasing and prices decreasing.

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