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The last 100 years of computing


Written by:
2010/05/31 09:21 PM RssIcon

Today May 31 2010 signifies 100 years since South Africa became a union. 31 May 1910. A lot has changed since then.

A lot has happened in the Information Technology sector as well. So I thought that we could look at the last 100 years in the computer world.

For those of you who are generally of the older generation, how many of these events can you remember. I obviously have not listed every event.

Perhaps you could list a few you thought were important that you could remember.


1911Company now known as IBM is incorporated on June 15, 1911 in the state of New York  as the Computing - Tabulating - Recording Company (C-T-R), a consolidation of  the Computing Scale Company, and The International Time Recording Company.
1912G. N. Lewis begins work on the lithium battery.
1915The first telephone call is made across the continent.
1920First radio broadcasting begins in United States, Pittsburgh, PA.
1924The Computing - Tabulating - Recording (C-T-R) company is renamed to IBM on February 14, 1924.
1929Gordon Moore is born January 3, 1929. Founder or Moore’s Law
1933Canon is established.
1935The Polygraph machine aka lie detector is used for the first time.
1936Dvorak keyboard is developed. The Z1 originally created by Germany's Konrad Zuse in his parents living room

The company now known as Hewlett Packard creates its first product the HP 200A.
BBC creates the first science fiction television program.

1939Hewlett Packard is founded by William Hewlett and David Packard. The name is decided on the flip of a coin toss.
1941German Konrad Zuse finishes the Z3, a fully operational calculating machine.
1943ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first general-purpose electronic digital calculator begins to be constructed. This computer by most is considered to be the first electronic computer.
1944The relay-based Harvard-IBM MARK I a large programmable-controlled calculating machine provides vital calculations for the U.S. Navy
1945The term bug as computer bug was termed by Grace Hopper when programming the MARK II.
1949Claude Shannon builds the first machine that plays chess at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1950The first electronic computer is created in Japan by Hideo Yamachito.
1951The first commercial computer, the "First Ferranti MARK I" is now functional at Manchester University.
1952Alexander Sandy Douglas created the first graphical computer game of Tic-Tac-Toe on a EDSAC known as "OXO."
1953IBM introduces the first IBM computer, the 701.
1954The first version of FORTRAN (formula translator) is published by IBM.
1958NEC builds its first computer the NEAC 1101.
1959Panasonic is founded.
1960The Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) programming language is invented.
1963The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is developed to standardize data exchange among computers.
1965Texas Instruments develops the transistor-transistor logic (TTL).
1966Stephen Gray establishes the first personal computer club, the Amateur Computer Society.
1967IBM creates the first floppy disk.
Nokia is formed.
1968Intel Corporation is founded by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore.
1969Gary Starkweather, while working with Xerox invents the laser printer.
On September 2, 1969 the first data moves from UCLA host to the IMP switch.
CompuServe, the first commercial online service, is established. AMD is founded on May 1, 1969.
1970Intel announces the 1103, a new DRAM memory chip containing more than 1,000 bits of information. This chip is classified as random-access memory (RAM).
Centronics introduces the first dot matrix printer.
1971Intel introduces the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004 on November 15, 1971.
The first 8" floppy diskette drive was introduced
1972The compact disc is invented in the United States.
Atari releases Pong, the first commercial video game on November 29, 1972.
First public demo of ARPANET.
1973Robert Metcalfe creates the Ethernet at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) on May 22, 1973.
1974Intel's improved microprocessor chip, the 8080 becomes a standard in the computer industry.
IBM develops SEQUEL, which today is known as SQL today.
1975Paul Allen and Bill Gates write the first computer language program for personal computers, which is a form of BASIC designed for the Altair.
Gates later drops out of Harvard and founds Microsoft with Allen.
1976Steve Wozniak designs the first Apple, the Apple I computer in 1976, later Wozniak and Steve Jobs co-found Apple Computers on April Fools day.
The first 5.25-inch floppy disk is invented.
1977Apple Computers Apple II, the first personal computer with color graphics is demonstrated.
ARCNET the first commercially network is developed
1978The first spam e-mail was sent by Gary Thuerk in 1978 an employee at Digital who was advertising the new DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, AND 2060T on ARPAnet.
WordStar, was released and went on to dominate the word processing industry for years
1979Software Arts Incorporated VisiCalc becomes the first electronic spreadsheet and business program for PCs.
1980On January 3 Hewlett Packard introduces its HP-85. A microcomputer with 16kB of RAM and a 5-inch CRT display.
1981MS-DOS 1.0 was released August
Commodore ships the VIC-20, which later becomes the worlds most popular computer costing only $299.95.
Adam Osborne introduced the first portable computer. The Osborne 1.
The first laptop computer, the Epson HX-20
1982Peter Norton creates Norton Utilities.
The Intel 80286 processor is first released on February 1.
WordPerfect Corporation introduces WordPerfect 1.0 a word processing program that will become one of the computer markets most popular word processing program.
1983The IBM XT is first introduced on March 8.
Compaq introduces the first 100% IBM compatible computer the "Compaq Portable" in March of 1983.
The Apple IIe is introduced. The computer contains 64 kilobytes of RAM one megahertz 6502 processor.
Microsoft Windows was announced November.
True BASIC is created and is a compiled, structured language. It doesn't require line numbers, as the original BASIC did, and includes the advanced control structures necessary for structured programming.
1984Hitachi announces it has developed the first memory chip capable of holding 1MB on January 5th.
IBM introduces its first portable computer, the IBM Portable weighing in at 30 pounds.
The 3.5-inch floppy diskette is introduced and later becomes an industry standard.
The beginning of the greatest adventure computer gaming series is released by Sierra. Kings Quest .
Paul Mockapetris and Jon Postel introduce DNS
1985The first Internet domain name is registered by Symbolics, a Massachusetts computer company on March 15.
Quantum Computer Services is founded, this company later becomes AOL.
CAT1 wiring is introduced.
Intel introduces the 80386 in October.
Microsoft Windows 1.0 is introduced in November and is initially sold for $100.00.
1986Pixar is co-founded by Steve Jobs.
More than 30 million computers are in use in the United States.
1987Microsoft introduces Windows 2.0 in December 9.
IBM introduces VGA.
1988Creative Labs introduces the SoundBlaster, a sound card for the PC that contains an 11-voice FM synthesizer with text-to-speech, digitized voice input / output, a MIDI port, a joystick port and bundled software.
1989The Gif89a standard is introduced.
Intel releases the 486DX processor, with more than 1 million transistors and multitasking capabilities.
1990In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee, working with Robert Cailliau at CERN propose a 'hypertext' system (HTML), which is the first start of the Internet as we know it today.
Microsoft releases Windows 3.0 a completely new version of Microsoft Windows.
Archie, the first search engine is introduced on September 10, 1990.
1991Tim Berners-Lee introduces WWW to the public.
Linux is introduced by Linus Torvald 
Symantec releases Norton anti-virus software.
MS-DOS 5.0 was released June, 1991.
1992Microsoft introduces Windows 3.1. It sells more than 1 million copies within the first two months of its release.
1993Fifty World Wide Web servers are known to exist as of January.
Microsoft releases Windows NT, Microsoft Office 4.0 and MS-DOS 6.0.
Intel releases the Pentium Processor on March 22. The processor is a 60 MHz processor, incorporates 3.2 million transistors and sells for $878.00.
1994YAHOO is created in April, 1994.
Mosaic Netscape 0.9, the first Netscape browser is officially released.
1995The dot-com boom starts.
Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 1.0 in August.
Java is released.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin begin developing PageRank, an important technology that becomes an important part of Google.
Ebay us founded
1996Intel releases the 200 MHz P6.
Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 was released July 29, 1996.
Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 3.0 in August of 1996.Microsoft releases Windows CE.
1997The PNG standard is introduced on January 10.
Digital Video Discs / Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) go on sale.
Bill Gates is now the worlds richest businessman.
The Intel Pentium II 233 MHz processor is released.
Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4.0 in September of.
1998Internet weblogs begin to appear.
Microsoft Windows 98 is officially released on June 25.
MySQL is introduced.
Paypal is founded.
Apple introduces the iMac.
1999The Intel Pentium III 500 MHz is released on February 26.
The Melissa virus begins infecting computers March 26
2000Microsoft Windows 2000 was released February 17.
Microsoft introduces C# to the public in June 2000.
Wikipedia is founded on January 15.
2001Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 6.0 in August 27.
USB 2.0 is introduced.
SATA 1.0 is introduced in August 2001.
Apple introduces the iPod. Microsoft Windows XP home and professional editions are released October 25.
2002Microsoft releases DirectX 9, December 19, 2002.
Apple introduces Mac OS X 10.2
2003Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is released March 28, 2003.
MySpace is founded.
2004Google announces Gmail on April 1.
Firefox 1.0 is first introduced on November 9.
YouTube is founded and comes online February 15.
2005MySpace is purchased by News Corporation for $580 Million US on July 18.
2006The blu-ray is first announced and introduced.
Intel releases the Core2 Duo Processor E63.
Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows Vista to corporations on November 30.
Apple introduces the iPhone to the public at the January Macworld Conference & Expo.
2007Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007.
Apple releases the Apple iPhone
2008Apple introduces its latest line of Apple iMac computers.
Intel releases the Core2 Duo Processor E7400
2009CompuServe shuts down July 1, 2009. Microsoft releases Windows 7 October 22, 2009.
2010Apple introduces the iPad on January 27, 2010.

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