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A Digital Timeline A History of Digital Technology Beginnings to 1900 Compiled by Skip Schiel (added April 24, 2002) (revised December 12, 2009) An attempt at charting the trajectory of digital technology, with special attention to graphical applications. Comments solicited, corrections gladly considered, links and images most graciously desired. (Special note: those attributed as inventors or creators more often were joined by many others, some named, some not. And dates are often only approximations.) 1901 - 1959 1960 - 1979 1980 - 1985 1986 - 1995 1996 -2005 The name Abacus derives from the Greek word abax, meaning table or board covered with dust. The origins 3000 BCE Abacus of the Abacus are buried deep in the history of mankind. It is known that in its 'modern' form it appeared in China in the 13th century AD. Nearing the end of his life, John Napier, who is generally considered the inventor of logarithms, developed an ingenious arithmetic trick— not as remarkable as logarithms, but very useful all the same. His invention was Logarithms, "Napier’s a method for performing arithmetic operations by the manipulation of bones," multiplication rods, called “bones” because they 1550-1617 tables on a stick were often constituted from bones and printed with integers. Napier’s John Napier rods essentially rendered the complex processes of multiplication and division into the comparatively simple tasks of addition and subtraction. —Alexandros Diploudis Schickard wrote that he had built a machine that "...immediately computes the given numbers automatically; adds, subtracts, A machine for adding, multiplies, and divides". subtracting, multiplying Unfortunately, no original copies of 1592-1635 and dividing Schickard's machine exist, but working models have been constructed from his notes. Wilhelm Schickard —Bebop BYTES Back (An Unconventional Guide to Computers) 1644 Pascaline (a mechanical A mechanism to add & subtract with calculator) 8 figures and carrying of 10's, 100's, and 1000's etc. Blair Pascal The first Slide Rule appeared in 1650 and was the result of a joint effort of two Englishmen, Edmund Gunter and the Reverend William Oughtred. This slide rule based on Napier's logarithms was to become the first Slide Rule analog computer (of the modern 1650 ages) since multiplication and Edmund Gunter and William subtraction were figured out by Oughtred physical distance. This invention was dormant until 1850 when a French Artillery officer Amedee Mannheim added the movable double sided cursor, which gave it its appearance as we know it today. He improved the Pascaline by The differential calculus & a creating a machine that could also 1679 machine to multiply multiply. Like its predecessor, Leibniz's mechanical multiplier Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz worked by a system of gears and dials. Joseph Marie Jacquard's inspiration of 1804 revolutionized patterned textile weaving. For the first time, fabrics with big, fancy designs could be woven automatically by one man working without assistants... Power loom with an This was the earliest use of punched 1804 automatic card reader cards programmed to control a manufacturing process. Although he Joseph Marie Jacquard created his mechanism to aid the local silk industry, it was soon applied to cotton, wool, and linen weaving. It appeared in the United States about 1825 or 1826. —Steven E. Schoenherr The honor of first establishing the manufacture of calculating machines Arithmometer (mass- as an industry goes to Charles Xavier Thomas of Colmar, France, or produced mechanical Thomas de Colmar, as he is more 1820 calculator) commonly known. Like others, Thomas used the stepped cylinder Thomas de Colmar invented by Leibniz as his digital- value actuator. —George C. Chase A mechanical digital computer which, viewed with the benefit of a century and a half's hindsight, anticipated virtually every aspect of present-day computers. Difference & analytic His subsequent invention, the analytic engine, inspired by Jacquard’s 1822 engines punched cards, used a store, a mill, Charles Babbage and an output device (automated type setter) — John Walker A biogaphy of Charles Babbage (Thanks to Jane Matthews) 1830 Telegraph Electrical signals encode information, dots & dashes, to form letters and Samuel F.B. Morse & Joseph words. Henry Silver salts, converted to free silver by Photography light and chemicals, co-discovered by 1839 William Henry Fox Talbot, Joseph Talbot, Niépce, & Daguerre Nicéphore Niépce, & Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre She suggested to Babbage writing a plan for how the Engine might calculate Bernoulli numbers. This Programs & subroutines for plan is now regarded as the first the Analytic Engine "computer program." A software 1843 language developed by the U.S. Ada Augusta Byron, aka Lady Department of Defense was named Lovelace "Ada" in her honor in 1979. —Dr. Betty Toole The Calculus of Logic In a work lately published I have exhibited the application of a new and peculiar form of Mathematics to the expression of the operations of the Algebra from logic, truth mind in reasoning... 1854 tables The part of the system to which I shall George Boole confine my observations is that which treats of categorical propositions... —George Boole Cambridge and Dublin Mathematical Journal, Vol. III (1848), pp. 183-98 Typewriter While developing a machine for 1866 numbering book pages, they were Sholes and Carlos Glidden and inspired to build a machine that could others print words as well as numbers In Boston, Massachusetts, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Thomas Watson fashioned the device itself; a crude thing made of a wooden stand, a funnel, a cup of acid, Telephone and some copper wire. But these 1876 simple parts and the equally simple Alexander Graham Bell first telephone call —"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you!" — belie a complicated past. —Tom Farley The device consisted of a cylindrical drum wrapped in tinfoil and mounted on a threaded axle. A mouthpiece attached to a diaphragm was connected to a stylus that etched vibrational patterns from a sound Phonograph source on the rotating foil. For 1877 playback the mouthpiece was Thomas Edison replaced with a "reproducer" that used a more sensitive diaphragm. Edison recited "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into the mouthpiece for the first demonstration. —Geoffrey Rubinstein A punch-card tabulation machine Punch card reader & system that revolutionized statistical 1890 tabulating machine computation Herman Hollerith at MIT Used during the 1890 US census Lumiere's portable, suitcase-sized cinematographe served as a camera, film processing unit, and projector all in one. He could shoot footage in the Cinema morning, process it in the afternoon, and then project it to an audience that 1895 evening. His first film was the arrival Auguste and Louis Lumière & Thomas Edison of the express train at Ciotat. Other subjects included workers leaving the factory gates, a child being fed by his parents, people enjoying a picnic along a river. Radio—signaling and audio communication using electromagnetic radiation—was first employed as a "wireless telegraph", for point-to-point links where regular Radio telegraph lines were unreliable or 1895 impractical. Next developed was Guglielmo Marconi radio's ability to broadcast messages simultaneously to multiple locations, at first using the dots-and-dashes of telegraphic code, and later in full audio. "Edison invented the motion pictures as a supplement to his phonograph, in the belief that sound plus a moving picture would provide better entertainment than sound alone. But in a short time the movies proved to be good enough entertainment without sound. It has been said that although the motion picture and the Sound phonograph were cinema intended to be partners, they Thomas Edison grew up separately. And it might be added that the motion picture held the phonograph in such low esteem that for years it would not speak. Throughout the long history of efforts to add sound, the success of the silent movie was the great obstacle to commercialization of talking pictures." —Edward W. Kellog ,June 1955, Journal of the SMPTE Could there exist, at least in principle, a definite method or process by which it could be decided whether any given mathematical assertion was provable? To answer such a question needed a definition of 'method' which would be not only precise but compelling. This is what Turing supplied. He analysed what could be achieved by a person performing a methodical process, and seizing on the idea of something done The Turing Machine 'mechanically', expressed the analysis 1936 in terms of a theoretical machine able Alan Turing to perform certain precisely defined elementary operations on symbols on paper tape. He presented convincing arguments that the scope of such a machine was sufficient to encompass everything that would count as a 'definite method.' Daringly he included an argument based on the transitions between 'states of mind' of a human being performing a mental process. — Andrew Hodges The Atanasoff-Berry Computer was the world's first electronic digital computer. It was built by John Vincent Atanasoff and Clifford Berry at Iowa State University during 1937- Digital computer 42. It incorporated several major innovations in computing including 1937 the use of binary arithmetic, John Vincent Atanasoff & Clifford Berry at Iowa State University regenerative memory, parallel processing, and separation of memory and computing functions. —Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University Enigma is used to scramble all of Germany's most top-secret communications. It is the most advanced cipher ever designed and was, until now, thought unbreakable. In 1938 Turing published a mathematical paper entitled On 1940 Breaking a German code, Computational Numbers in which he the Enigma introduced the theory of so-called Universal Turing Machines, Alan Turing mechanical devices capable of being configured in order to tackle any mathematical problem imaginable. Turing used this ingenious concept to create precisely configurable large Enigma M3 machines called "bombes" capable of applying the enormous amount of mathematical effort required to break the enigma code by brute force. Television came into being based on the inventions and discoveries of many men and scientists. The 'first' generation of television sets were not entirely electronic. The display (TV screen) had a small motor with a 1941 Television spinning disc and a neon lamp, which worked together to give a blurry reddish-orange picture about half the size of a business card! —www.tvhistory.tv/pre-1935.htm Konrad Zuse was the creator of the first full automatic, program controlled and freely programmable, Digital computer (Z3) in binary floating point arithmetic 1941 working computer. The Z3 was Konrad Zuse finished in 1941. —Professor Dr. Friedrich L. Bauer Colossus reduced the time to break Lorenz messages from weeks to hours. It was just in time for the deciphering of messages which gave vital information to Eisenhower and Montgomery prior to D-Day. These deciphered Lorenz messages showed that Hitler had swallowed the deception campaigns, the phantom army in the South of England, the phantom convoys moving east along Entirely electric computer the channel; that Hitler was (COLOSSUS) convinced that the attacks were 1943 coming across the Pas de Calais and Max Newman & Tommy Flowers that he was keeping Panzer divisions in Belgium. After D-day the French resistance and the British and American Air Forces bombed and strafed all the telephone and teleprinter land lines in Northern France, forced the Germans to use radio communications and suddenly the volume of intercepted messages went up enormously. —Tony Sale Von Neumann's interest in computers differed from that of his peers by his quickly perceiving the application of computers to applied mathematics for specific problems, rather than their mere application to the development of tables. During the war, von Neumann's expertise in Stored program, sort and hydrodynamics, ballistics, meteorology, game theory, and merge operations statistics, was put to good use in 1944 several projects. This work led him to John Louis von Neumann consider the use of mechanical devices for computation, and although the stories about von Neumann imply that his first computer encounter was with the ENIAC, in fact it was with Howard Aiken's Harvard Mark I (ASCC) calculator. —J. A. N. Lee The Mark I was constructed out of switches, relays, rotating shafts, and clutches, and was described as sounding like a "roomful of ladies Relay-based computer knitting." The machine contained (MARK 1) more than 750,000 components, was 1944 50 feet long, 8 feet tall, and weighed Howard Aiken at Harvard-IBM approximately 5 tons! —Bebop BYTES Back (An Unconventional Guide to Computers) The world's first electronic digital computer was developed by Army Ordnance to compute World War II ballistic firing tables. By today's standards for electronic computers the ENIAC was a grotesque monster. Its thirty separate units, plus power supply and forced- air cooling, weighed over thirty tons. Its 19,000 vacuum tubes, 1,500 relays, and hundreds of thousands of resistors, capacitors, and inductors ENIAC (electronic consumed almost 200 kilowatts of electrical power. numerical integrator and But ENIAC was the prototype from computer) which most other modern computers 1946 evolved. It embodied almost all the John W. Mauchly and J. P. components and concepts of today's Eckert, Jr. at University of high- speed, electronic digital Pennsylvania computers. Its designers conceived what has now become standard circuitry such as the gate (logical "and" element), buffer (logical "or" element) and used a modified Eccles- Jordan flip-flop as a logical, high- speed storage-and-control device. The machine's counters and accumulators, with more sophisticated innovations, were made up of combinations of these basic elements. —Martin H. Weik William Shockley and Walter Brattain had both been working with semiconductors since the early 1930’s, and in 1939, Shockley had an idea, to use a piece of copper screen in a piece Transistor of semi-conducting material. 1948 Although that particular experiment Barden, Shockley, & Brattain failed, in 1940 Russell Ohl accidentally discovers the silicon p-n junction at Bell Labs. —Shelley A. Steiner The first UNIVAC computer was delivered to the Census Bureau in June 1951. Unlike the ENIAC, the UNIVAC processed each digit serially. But its much higher design speed permitted it to add two ten-digit numbers at a rate of almost 100,000 additions per second. Internally, the Business computer UNIVAC operated at a clock (UNIVAC 1) frequency of 2.25 MHz, which was no 1951 mean feat for vacuum tube circuits. John W. Mauchly and J. P. The UNIVAC also employed mercury Eckert, Jr. at University of delay-line memories. Delay lines did Pennsylvania not allow the computer to access immediately any item data held in its memory, but given the reliability problems of the alternative Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology, this was a good technical choice. —University of Pennsylvania Library Tom Watson, Jr., led IBM to introduce the model 604 computer, its first with transistors, that became the basis of the model 608 of 1957, the Transistorized computer first solid-state computer for the 1953 commercial market. Transistors were Tom Watson at IBM expensive at first, cost $8 vs. $.75 for a vacuum tube. —Steven E. Schoenherr TRADIC stands for TRAnisitor DIgital Computer, and as the name suggests this was the first machine to use all transistors and diodes and no vacuum tubes. It was built by Bell Labs for the U.S. Air Force, which was interested in the lightweight nature of TRADIC—a fully such a computer for airborne use. The 1955 transistorized computer machine consisted of 700 point- contact transistors and 10,000 Bell Labs germanium diodes. During two years of continuous operation only 17 of these devices failed, a vastly lower failure rate than Vacuum tube machines of the time. — Tom Howe It was a relatively simple device that Jack Kilby showed to a handful of co- workers gathered in TI's semiconductor lab more than 40 Integrated circuit years ago -- only a transistor and other components on a slice of 1958 germanium. Little did this group of Jack Kilby at Texas onlookers know, but Kilby's invention, Instruments 7/16-by-1/16-inches in size and called an integrated circuit, was about to revolutionize the electronics industry. —Texas Instruments The first development efforts on Modem digital modems appear to have 1959 stemmed from the need to transmit Bell Labs data for North American air defense during the 1950s. As a graduate student in electrical engineering at UC Berkeley after World War II Doug Engelbart began Mouse to imagine ways in which all sorts of information could be displayed on the 1963 screens of cathode ray tubes like the Doug Engelbart at ones he had used as a radar Stanford technician during the war, and he dreamed of "flying" through a variety of information spaces. —MouseSite The idea behind HTML was a modest one. When Tim Berners-Lee was putting together his first elementary browsing and authoring system for the Web, he created a quick little Hypertext editing system hypertext language that would serve (HTML) his purposes. He imagined dozens, or even hundreds, of hypertext formats 1967 <img> in the future, and smart clients that Andy van Dam & Tim could easily negotiate and translate Berners-Lee documents from servers across the Net. It would be a system similar to Claris XTND on the Macintosh, but would work on any platform and browser. —Jeffrey Veen At that time, RAM was a known and used concept: memory reserved for writing to and reading from in a temporary fashion, to be erased every time the computer is turned off. 1968 However, in the mid-1960s RAM Random Access Memory required an elaborate system of wires (RAM) and magnets that negated in practice RAM's theoretical efficiency. Dennard's revolutionary achievement Robert Dennard was to reduce RAM to a memory cell or an earlier tube version on a single transistor. His key insight was that it should be possible to store binary data as a positive or negative charge on a capacitator. After several months of experimenting, Dennard had reduced his RAM cell to a single field-effect transistor and a data line that both wrote and read the charge in a small capacitator. The ultimate effect of Dennard's invention was that a single chip could hold 16 million RAM cells —The Lemelson-MIT Program's Invention Dimension The DEC PDP-8 computer on March 22, 1965, is generally recognized as the most important small computer of Mini-computer the 1960's. It was the least expensive parallel general purpose computer on Ken Olsen at Digital the market, the first computer sold on a retail basis, and the first parallel Equipment Corporation general purpose digital computer sold in a table-top configuration. —Douglas W. Jones The global Internet's progenitor was Internet the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) of the 1969 U.S. Department of Defense. This is Department of Defense an important fact to remember... —Michael Hauben The Creation of the UNIX* Operating System After three decades of use, the UNIX* computer operating system from Bell Labs is still regarded as one of the most powerful, versatile, and flexible operating systems (OS) in the computer world. Its popularity is due to many factors, including its ability Unix to run a wide variety of machines, from micros to supercomputers, and its portability -- all of which led to its adoption by many manufacturers. Like another legendary creature whose name also ends in 'x,' UNIX rose from the ashes of a multi- organizational effort in the early 1960s to develop a dependable timesharing operating system. —www.bell-labs.com/history/unix/ Floppy disk drives were originally introduced commercially as a read- only device to hold microcode and 1971 Floppy disk diagnostics for large IBM mainframe computer systems in the early 1970s. —Accurite Technologies Inc In 1969, a Japanese firm called Busicom contacted Intel about developing custom chips for its new desktop-printing calculator. Hoff thought there was a better, simpler Microprocessor way to develop the technology than what the Japanese were initially looking for. Rather than build 12 Gilbert P. Hyatt & Ted customized calculator chips, each Hoff at Intel with a single specific function, Hoff proposed that Intel develop a more universal CPU chip[computer processing unit] that could also run the calculator. The idea of a CPU on a chip had been around since the early 1960s but had not been feasible then. But Fairchild and Rockwell had both done some preliminary work in the area and Hoff thought he could make it work. —Linda Stranahan The history of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) goes back to the 1970s. Project Smalltalk was established at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Parc) which attempted to look into the future. The Graphical user interface idea was to assume that in the future 1974 computing power would be abundant Xerox and inexpensive. How could the best use be made of the power available? Two influential developments resulted: object-oriented programming and the graphical user interface. —Alistair D. N. Edwards Altairs were originally "Hobbyist" computers and have their roots in Altair personal computer kits. They helped define the "personal" in Personal Computers. These machines where part of an open Ed Roberts at Micro 1975 architecture concept that later made Instrumentation the PC successful. The S-100 bus Telemetry Systems allowed Altairs to be expanded and (MITS) created opportunities for other companies to form. —William Thomas Sanderson Bill Gates: "We realized things were Programming language— starting to happen. Just because, we had the vision for a long time of Beginner's All-purpose where this chip could go, what it Symbolic Instruction could mean….. that didn't mean the Code (BASIC) industry was going to wait for us while I stayed and finished my degree at Harvard." A commercial version by Bill Gates & Paul Allen Paul Allen: "So, I called up Ed and [said: we have] this basic [interpreter] and... it's not that far from being done, and we would like to come out and show it to you." Bill Gates: "So we created this basic interpreter. Paul took the paper tape and flew out. In fact, the night before he got some sleep while I double- checked everything to make sure that we had it all right." At that time, in the CPM world, the Electric Pencil was the word processor of the day. I took the care to contact Dave Schrayer, author of Word processor (Electric Electric Pencil and asked if I could use Pencil) the same "dot" commands for printer 1976 formatting. This way, electric Pencil users would already know the Michael Schrayer commands if they decided to go to EasyWriter. Or go with Electric Pencil if they had to work in CPM. —Webcrunchers International Wozniak had been dabbling in computer-design for some time when, Apple computers in 1976, he designed what would become the Apple I. Jobs, who had an Steven Jobs & Steven eye for the future, insisted that he and Wozniak try to sell the machine, and Wozniak on April 1, 1976, Apple Computer was born. —Glen Sanford As time passed many enhancements were made to the existing protocol but by 1973 it was clear that [the first Network network] was unable to handle the intercommunication— volume of traffic passing through it... 1978 Transfer Control The TCP/IP and gateway architecture Protocol/Internet was proposed in 1974. This protocol was to be independent of the Protocol (TCP/IP) underlying network and computer hardware as well as having universal connectivity throughout the network. This would enable any kind of platform to participate in the network.In 1981 a series of requests for comment was issued, standardising the TCP/IP version 4 for the Arpanet. —PeteDotCom The idea for the electronic spreadsheet came to me while I was a student at the Harvard Business School, working on my MBA degree, in the spring of 1978. Sitting in Aldrich Hall, room 108, I would daydream. "Imagine if my calculator had a ball in its back, like a mouse..." (I had seen a mouse previously, I Spreadsheet program think in a demonstration at a (VISICALC) conference by Doug Engelbart, and maybe the Alto). And "..imagine if I had a heads-up display, like in a Dan Bricklin & Bob fighter plane, where I could see the Frankston virtual image hanging in the air in front of me. I could just move my mouse/keyboard calculator around, punch in a few numbers, circle them to get a sum, do some calculations, and answer '10% will be fine!'" (10% was always the answer in those days when we couldn't do very complicated calculations...) —Dan Bricklin The original laser printer was developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Laser printer Research Center. Xerox Engineer, Gary Starkweather adapted Xerox copier technology adding a laser Xerox beam to it to come up with the laser printer. —Mary Bellis Atari is most known for its innovations in video game technology. But a wealth of computer products and technologies were Atari microcomputer pioneered by Atari. In 1979 Atari Inc. showcased its first computer product 1979 at the Winter Consumer Electronics Steve Mayer and Ron. show. Milner From that point on Atari created innovative 8 bit computers which were manufactured and supported up until 1992! Usenet came into being in late 1979, shortly after the release of V7 UNIX with UUCP. Two Duke University grad students in North Unix User Network Carolina, (Usenet) Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, thought of hooking computers together to exchange information with the UNIX Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, & community. Steve Bellovin, a grad Steve Bellovin student at the University of North Carolina, put together the first version of the news software using shell scripts and installed it on the first two sites: "unc" and "duke." —Mark Moraes Star was designed as an office automation system. The idea was that professionals in a business or organization would have workstations on their desks and would use them to produce, retrieve, distribute, and organize documentation, presentations, Mouse with computer— memos, and reports. All of the Xerox Star workstations in an organization would be connected via Ethernet and would share access to file servers, printers, etc. —Jeff Johnson and Teresa L. Roberts et al WordPerfect originated in the days when top-of-the-line printers were Word Perfect daisywheel impact devices requiring manual intervention to change fonts, 1980 and when on-screen displays were Satellite Software & restricted to a single monospaced Corel font. Particularly flexible dot-matrix printers included half a dozen fonts. —Rod Smith In the early part of 1980, IBM decided to create a microcomputer (up to this date, IBM produced only mini and mainframes). They didn't really know 1981 IBM PC with DOS & Intel that they wanted and they didn't think for one second that producing microcomputers was a profitable business (who would have thought!)! —OldComputers.com Introduced at the West Coast Computer Faire in 1981, the Osborne 1 Portable computer— was the brain child of Adam Osborne, a computer columnist, writer, and engineer. It was co-developed with 1981 Osburne I Lee Felsenstien, and Lee designed it. The goal was a truly integrated Adam Osborne computer that could go wherever the user wanted to. The machine was shipped as a full package including all the hardware and software a user could need including: 64K RAM, Z-80 CPU, 5" CRT, two floppy drives, keyboard, serial ports, CP/M operating system, WordStar, SuperCalc, and two versions of BASIC: CBASIC and MBASIC. The machine also had the ability to connect with scientific equipment via a built-in IEEE-488 interface, and could run an optional external monitor via the built-in port. Not only was the machine complete, it was cheap - $1795. — Justin Mayrand Once upon a time there were lots of disk-repair utilities for the Mac. Symantec made Norton Utilities, Central Point made MacTools, and Fifth Generation made Public Utilities. MacTools and Public Utilities could scan disks during idle- time. MacTools had TrashBack, the best way to undelete files I've ever seen, and could boot itself from a RAM disk. What did Norton have? It 1982 Norton Utilities had a bunch of components you don't find in the current release, including a Directory Assistance utility that improved Open/Save dialogs, a backup utility, and a utility for duplicating floppy disks. The last item is as obsolete as Fast Find, but I think many users would enjoy having the first two as part of the current Norton Utilities package. —Michael Tsai Adobe One of the brilliant engineers working at Xerox was John Warnock. He 1982 developed a language called John Warnock & Charles "Interpress" that could be used to Geschke control Xerox laser printers. He and his boss, Charles M. 'Chuck' Geschke, tried for two years to convince Xerox to turn Interpress into a commercial product. When this failed, they decided to leave Xerox and try it on their own. John Warnock and Chuck Geschke named their company Adobe, after a little creek that ran behind the house of Warnock in Los Altos, California. You sometimes see it mentioned in wine guides on maps of Napa Valley where some of the finest Californian wines are made. — L. Leurs The 'sewing machine' was the very first Compaq computer.When this machine came out, there were no clones. An IBM compatible had the three magic letters on the case. Compaq Period. Part of the reason was that 1982 IBM had published the source code for Rod Canion, co-founder their BIOS (basic input/output system)so that they could claim that anyone who brought out their own Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill BIOS had infringed on IBM's Murto, founders copyrights and would have to stop. —Paul Braun War of the Words: Microsoft Word versus WordPerfect Dec. 1982 Satellite Software International ships WordPerfect for DOS for $500. Microsoft Word Apr. 1983 1983 Microsoft introduces Multi-Tool Word Bill Gates at al for DOS. Nov. 1983 WordPerfect 3.0 for DOS ships at $500. Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 1.0 for $375. —Marquette University Named for one of its designer's daughters, the Lisa (pictured below left) was supposed to be the Next Big Graphical interface with Thing. It was the first personal computer— Lisa computer to use a Graphical User 1983 Interface. Aimed mainly at large businesses, Apple said the Lisa would Apple increase productivity by making computers easier to work with. —Glen Sanford Released with much fanfare in January of 1984, the Macintosh was the first affordable computer to include a Graphical User Interface. It was built around the new Motorola Macintosh computer 68000 chip, which was significantly 1984 faster than previous processors, Apple running at 8 MHz. The Mac came in a small beige case with a black and white monitor built in. It came with a keyboard and mouse, and had a floppy drive that took 400k 3.5" disk—the first personal computer to do so. It originally sold for $2,495. — Glen Sanford The purpose of the domain name system is to allow any computer on the Internet to figure out what IP com address (for example, 184.108.40.206) Domain name system net corresponds with a particular computer hostname (for example, 1984 org "www.ahref.com"), and also what Paul Mockapetris gov hostname, if any, corresponds with mil an IP(internet protocol) address. Your computer needs to know remote computers' IP addresses to figure out how and where to send things like email messages and requests for web pages. —ep Productions, Inc In 1984, the same year that the Macintosh was introduced, Apple Computer released the first program called AppleWorks. (Select this link for more information on AppleWorks for the Apple II). It was a strange time for consumers: the Macintosh was newer, had fancy fonts and styles, had a wonderfully clear display, but all the software that was Apple Works available for it was a simple word 1984 processor called "MacWrite" and a Apple paint program called "MacPaint." On the other hand, AppleWorks made the old Apple II more capable than the Mac, since it combined a word processor, a database, and a spreadsheet, and it let you create in any of those "modules" and move the information into either of the others. It was, in other words, an integrated program. —Gareth Jones After seeing the Office System on the Lisa computer, Lissner conceived the idea of a single program that would put word processing, database, and spreadsheet capabilities together, and run on an Apple II. It was originally called "Apple Pie", and he began work on it in 1982. Lissner took two years to complete his program, and did it 1987 AppleWorks & Claris entirely in assembly language to achieve better speed. He wrote Rupert Lissner versions of the program to work on both the Apple II and Apple III computers, making use of the same filetypes and data structures. Apple Pie files created on an Apple II could be used on an Apple III, and vice- versa. —Steven Weyhrich Excel was originally written for the 512K Apple Macintosh in 1984-1985. Excel was one of the first spreadsheets to use a graphical interface with pull Excel down menus and a point and click 1985 capability using a mouse pointing Microsoft device. [This] was easier for most people to use than the command line interface of PC-DOS spreadsheet products. —D. J. Power To appreciate PostScript, you have to know how the market worked before it became available. In those days, if you needed typesetting equipment, you went to Acme Typesetters, and they would sell you an Acme system with an Acme output device. Then you would follow at least two weeks of training to learn how to use the system. The Acme system would be Postscript incompatible with equipment from 1985 any other manufacturer. In most Adobe cases, it would even be difficult or impossible to exchange data with Chuck Geschke and John Warnock other systems. If you owned a personal computer, you could hook it up to a dot-matrix printer that would output low quality bitmap character. Graphics could be done but the quality was only acceptable to the nerds that bought computers in those days. —L. Leurs Aldus PageMaker is released for the Macintosh in July and desktop publishing is born. Because of advances in printing technology and the Macintosh WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) operating system, publishers can now arrange text into columns and headlines and move Page Maker their text around the page. Users can 1985 also easily incorporate graphics into Paul Brainard & Aldus their page. Soon the days of X-Acto knives and hot wax were gone forever as publishers began to create their pages on screen and print. This is also very cost effective for professional printers who no longer needed expensive typesetting, drawing and page layout equipment. —Melissa Creech Microsoft first began development of the Interface Manager (subsequently renamed Microsoft Windows) in September 1981. Although the first prototypes used Multiplan and Word- like menus at the bottom of the screen, the interface was changed in 1982 to use pull-down menus and dialogs, as used on the Xerox Star. Microsoft finally announced Windows in Windows 1.0 November 1983, with pressure from 1985 just-released VisiOn and impending Microsoft TopView. Windows promised an easy-to-use graphical interface, device-independent graphics and multitasking support. The development was delayed several times, however, and the Windows 1.0 hit the store shelves in November 1985. The selection of applications was sparse, however, and Windows sales were modest. —pcbiography.net My love affair with the T1100+ began in the early Summer of 2000. While perusing the offerings of an annual street wide garage sale in my neighbourhood, I spotted what appeared to be an old word processor for sale for $25. I looked it over. The 1985 Laptop computer owner pointed out rather flatly that it ran DOS and was fully functional. His Toshiba spouse was much more enthusiastic about my investigations, adding how useful it had been. — www.cyberus.ca/~pgillil/toshiba.htm l Announced in January 1986, the Mac Plus was the answer to complaints that the original Mac was not expandable. It doubled the ROM of the 512k from 64k to 128k, and increased the RAM to 1 MB (expandable to 4 MB). It was the first Mac to include a SCSI port, allowing 1986 for a variety of external peripherals, MacPlus and was the first mac to use the now familiar platinum case color Apple (although it initially shipped in beige). The Mac Plus originally sold for $2600, and was sold to educational markets as the Mac ED. —Glen Sanford The conceptor of the Amiga 1000 was Jay Miner, who created the Atari 800 many years before. He wanted to make the most powerful computer ever, then he joined a little California Amiga 1000 company called Amiga. He used the principle of the three coprocessors Jay Milner (again) to help the main processor. — oldcomputers.com Today, LCDs are everywhere we look, but they didn't sprout up overnight. It took a long time to get from the discovery of liquid crystals to the multitude of LCD applications we now enjoy. Liquid crystals were first discovered in 1888, by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer. Reinitzer observed that when he melted a curious cholesterol-like substance (cholesteryl benzoate), it first became a cloudy liquid and then cleared up as its temperature rose. Upon cooling, Liquid Crystal Display the liquid turned blue before finally crystallizing. Eighty years passed (LCD) before RCA made the first experimental LCD in 1968. Since then, Toshiba A liquid crystal display (LCD) test LCD manufacturers have steadily developed ingenious variations and cell improvements on the technology, taking the LCD to amazing levels of technical complexity. And there is every indication that we will continue to enjoy new LCD developments in the future! —Marshall Brain The Internet bulletin-board system Quantum Computer Services acquires a new name, America Online (AOL), and focuses on recruiting a diverse, broad-based subscribership. From 1986 or 1989? 1989 to 1998, AOL grows from its roots as an insignificant start-up with America On Line (AOL) barely 100,000 members, to an industry leader with more than 14 million members. — The Moschovitis Group The "Brain" virus is probably the earliest MS-DOS virus. At one time it was the most widespread of PC viral programs. Brain is a boot sector infector, somewhat longer than some of the more recent BSIs. Brain occupies three sectors itself, and, as is usual 1987 Computer virus with BSIs, repositions the normal boot sector in order to "mimic" the boot process. As the boot sector is only Brain a single sector, Brain, in infecting a disk, reserves two additional sectors on the disk for the remainder of itself, plus a third for the original boot sector. —Robert M. Slade Adobe® Illustrator® 10 software defines the future of vector graphics with groundbreaking creative options and powerful tools for efficiently publishing artwork on the Web, in print, everywhere. Produce superb Illustrator Web graphics using symbols and innovative slicing options. Explore creative ideas with live distortion Adobe tools. Publish in record time with dynamic data-driven graphics and other productivity features. —Adobe Software engineer Tim Gill founded Quark in 1981, producing the first word processor for the Apple II computer. Gill named the company Quark after the subatomic particle proposed as a building block for all XPress matter—an appropriate metaphor for the role that QuarkXPress would soon Quark come to play in the electronic publishing industry. —Quark In 1987 Canon USA Inc. released a new computer named the Canon Cat. This computer was targeted at low- level clerical worked such as secretaries. After six months on the market and with 20,000 units sold, Cat Canon discontinued the Cat. The Cat featured an innovative text based user Canon interface that did not rely upon a mouse, icons, or graphics. The key person behind the Cat was Mr. Jef Raskin, an eclectic gadgeteer, who began the design of the Cat during his work on the first Macintosh project at Apple Computer in 1979. —David T. Craig On the evening of November 2, 1988, a self-replicating program was released upon the Internet (1) This program (a worm) invaded VAX and Sun-3 computers running versions of 1988 Berkeley UNIX, and used their Worm resources to attack still more computers (2). Within the space of hours this program had spread across the U.S., infecting hundreds or thousands of computers and making many of them unusable due to the burden of its activity. This paper provides a chronology for the outbreak and presents a detailed description of the internals of the worm, based on a C version produced by decompiling. —Donn Seeley In service for nearly 10 years, Disinfectant was probably the most popular Macintosh anti-viral program of all time. It was free, it was so perfectly programmed that it caused no extension conflicts, and it was updated promptly every time a Anti-virus software new virus was discovered. Disinfectant was an application and a companion INIT, providing both on- demand and and on-access or background scanning. John Norstad retired Disinfectant on 6 May, 1998. —John Norstad A broad term for one of the fastest computers currently available. Such computers are typically used for number crunching including scientific simulations, (animated) graphics, analysis of geological data (e.g. in Graphics super petrochemical prospecting), computers structural analysis, computational fluid dynamics, physics, chemistry, electronic design, nuclear energy Apollo, Ardent, Stellar, research and meteorology. Perhaps Cray CRAY-1 SuperComputer the best known supercomputer manufacturer is Cray Research. —Free On-line Dictionary of Computing My love affair with the T1100+ began in the early Summer of 2000. While perusing the offerings of an annual street wide garage sale in my neighbourhood, I spotted what Portable Macintosh appeared to be a old word processor for sale for $25. I looked it over. The 1989 owner pointed out rather flatly that it Apple ran DOS and was fully functional. His spouse was much more enthusiastic about my investigations, adding how useful it had been — www.cyberus.ca/~pgillil/toshiba.htm l A twist on integrated software began with the introduction of Microsoft Office: a single box containing versions of Microsoft's word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation programs, along with a few alterations that let them work Office together in an integrated way. Like integrated programs, such "suites" are very popular. Other software Microsoft suites have been offered by Lotus, Corel, and Sun. —Gareth Jones Touchpads are relative motion devices. That is, there is no isomorphism from the screen to the touchpad. Instead, relative motion of the user's fingers causes relative motion of the cursor. The buttons below or above the pad serve as Touch sensitive mouse standard buttons. You can also pad/touchpad click by tapping your finger on the touchpad, and drag with a tap following by a continuous pointing motion (a click-and-a-half). Some touchpads also have "hotspots": locations on the touchpad that indicate user intentions other than pointing. For example, on certain touchpads, moving your finger along the right edge of the touch pad will control the scrollbar and scroll the window that has the focus vertically. Moving the finger on the bottom of the touchpad often scrolls in horizontal direction. Some touchpads can emulate multiple mouse buttons by either tapping in a special corner of the pad, or by tapping with two or more fingers. —en.wilipedia.org.wiki/Touchpad The Object Management Group (OMG) is an open membership, not- for-profit consortium that produces Multi media platform and maintains computer industry specifications for interoperable specifications enterprise applications. Our membership includes virtually every Object Management large company in the computer Group, including industry, and hundreds of smaller ones. Most of the companies that Microsoft, IBM, AT&T and shape enterprise and Internet others computing today are represented on our Board of Directors. —www.omg.org/ The story of one of the original "killer apps" begins in Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA) with a college professor named Glenn Knoll. Glenn was a photo enthusiast who maintained a darkroom in the family basement. He 1990 was also a technology aficionado Photo Shop intrigued by the emergence of the personal computer. His two sons, Thomas and John, inherited their Adobe father's inquisitive nature. And the vision for future greatness began with their exposure to Glenn's basement darkroom and with the Apple II Plus that he brought home for research projects. —Derrick Story In November of 1996, Macromedia was getting tired of hearing about our product when they worked with Disney to use Macromedia1s Shockwave product. So Macromedia approached us about working together. We had been running FutureWave for 4 years with a total investment of $500,000 and the idea of having access to the resources of a 1992 larger company to help us get Macromedia FutureSplash established in a market that was full of competitors and growing slowly seemed like a good one. So in December of 1996, we sold FutureWave Software to Macromedia and FutureSplash Animator became Macromedia Flash 1.0 — Jonathan Gay In 1993, Apple Computer Inc. introduced the world to the first PDA, the Newton®. They were dubbed PDAs (personal digital assistants) by John Sculley, former chairman of Apple Computer Inc, and were sold as the ultimate information appliance. Sculley predicted PDAs would become ubiquitous tools that would hold Personal Digital Assistant telephone numbers, keep your 1993 calendar, store notes, plus send and Apple receive data wirelessly. Although, the Newton was not able to deliver all of those features at the time it was released. For the next three years, PDA sales dwindled, and were almost off the charts. Then, in March 1996, Palm™, Inc. delivered the industry's first truly compelling handheld computer, the PalmPilot. A robust yet small go- anywhere device that helped people manage and organize their personal and professional lives by providing instant, anytime access to schedules, important phone numbers, to-do lists and other key information. This new type of information management was met with tremendous acceptance. Mobile, busy people embraced the small and powerful Palm™ handhelds. — www.handango.com/PDAHistory.jsp ?siteId=1 Apple sees the camera being used for business, education and "memories". It is fully automatic, with a built-in flash. A window at the rear of the camera is surrounded by four buttons which control the flash, picture resolution, self-timer, and delete functions. The camera can store up to QuickTake 100 camera 32 images at a resolution of 320 x 240 1994 pixels - each a quarter of a 13 inch Apple monitor screenful - or eight 640 x 480 pixel images - each a full 13 inch monitor screenful - for up to a year in its internal flash memory. The resolution can be changed on a shot- by-shot basis if required —John Henshall inventors.about.com/library/invento rs/bldigitalcamera.htm In March 1995, Iomega launched the low-cost Iomega Zip 100MB drive for the consumer and small business Zip disk and drive market. It was an instant success that revolutionized the storage industry, 1995 becoming one of the fastest-selling Iomega and most successful peripherals in the history of computing. Today, Iomega has sold more than 55 million Zip drives and 350 million Zip disks To demonstrate what they saw as a possible future in digital devices, the Green Team locked themselves away in an anonymous office on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, cut all regular communications with Java Sun, and worked around the clock for 18 months. Sun Microsystems In the summer of 1992, they emerged with a working demo, an interactive, handheld home-entertainment device controller with an animated touchscreen user interface. In the demo, the now familiar Java technology mascot, Duke, was shown waving and doing cartwheels on the screen. The device was called *7 ("StarSeven"), named after an "answer your phone from any extension" feature of the phone system in the Green Team office. Duke was actually a representation of the *7's "agent", a software entity that did tasks on behalf of the user. —Jon Byous The basic idea of a plasma screen is to illuminate tiny colored fluorescent lights to form an image. Each pixel is Flat screen made up of three fluorescent lights -- a red light, a green Sony light and a blue light. The plasma display varies the intensities of the different lights to produce a full range of colors In the early 90s—the dawn of history as far as the World Wide Web is concerned— relatively few users were communicating across this global network. They used an assortment of shareware and other software for Microsoft Windows® operating system. Internet Explorer In 1995, Microsoft hosted an Internet Strategy Day and Microsoft announced its commitment to adding Internet capabilities to all its products. In fulfillment of that announcement, Microsoft Internet Explorer arrived as both a graphical Web browser and the name for a set of technologies. —www.microsoft.com/windows 40 million people connected to the Internet, more that $1 billion commerce per year, 1996 rapidly growing internet Internet's 25th anniversary companies like Netscape Tim Berner-Lee This processor competes successfully with 1997 Athlon Pentium chips processor Advanced Micro Devices A new technology used in IBM's Deskstar 16 GP, a 16.8 GB drive, Giant bringing down the Magneto- cost of memory to Resistive 25 cents per heads megabyte IBM A 7.5 million transistor processor incorporates MMX technology, which is designed specifically to process Pentium II video, audio, and processor graphics data efficiently Pentium 5.2 GB rewriteable capacity on a double- sided cartridge, enough to hold a full length 2 1998 hr movie (not be confused with DVD- DVD-RAM drive ROM) iPod is not based on a new concept. Companies before Apple released hard drive based music players, but none had the charm and elegance in the Apple implementation. Unlike the competitors, 2001 iPod the iPod used a high Apple speed FireWire interface to transfer files on and off of it, and it used a tiny hard drive, that made the device a quarter of the size of comparable products. —Saad A person's computer should be worn, much as eyeglasses or clothing are worn, and interact with the user based on the context of the situation. With heads-up displays, unobtrusive input devices, personal wireless local area Wearable networks, and a host of 2005 other context sensing computer and communication tools, the wearable computer can act as an intelligent assistant, whether it be through a Remembrance Agent, augmented reality, or intellectual collectives. —Wearable Computing, MIR things haven't changed as much as the hype would have it. I think that years from now, when the details have been washed away by the acid rains of time, four major commercial 20th events will stand out in the history of personal 2006 anniversary of computers: the advent the MacPlus of the microprocessor which drove prices of computers down to the point where individuals could buy them and led to the first flowering of the present computer revolution, the ascendancy of the software industry and the shift from "users will program them" to "users will run software packages", the Mac interface and its followers which brought the benefits of computers to a far broader audience and fundamentally changed the way we use computers of all sizes and software of all kinds, and (to tread on dangerous ground since the event is relatively recent) the blossoming of the Internet. To sum up the history: cheap hardware, application, software, human interface, & internet —Jef Raskin
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