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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

                                                    —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
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
                             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

     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

                                                             — 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.

                                    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

                                       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
                                     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
                "Edison invented
                the motion
                pictures as a
                supplement to his
                phonograph, in
                the belief that
                sound plus a
                moving picture
                would provide
                than sound alone.
                But in a short time
                the movies proved
                to be good enough
                without sound. It
                has been said that
                although the
                motion picture
                and the
                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
                of talking

                      —Edward W.
Kellog ,June 1955,
    Journal of the
                            Could there exist, at least in principle,
                            a definite method or process by which
                            it could be decided whether any given
                            mathematical assertion was

                            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

                                                 — 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!


                               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
                                     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
                                      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

                                                           —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,
                                 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.
                                          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
                                          —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
                                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.

                                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
                                  —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
                                  —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.
                      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
                      —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
                      —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.
                                    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!)!
                                 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,
       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
                             —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
                             —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-
                                                     —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
                                                     —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.
                         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.
                         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
                                                                               —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
                        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
                        —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.

                        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.
               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
                            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
                            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.

                                  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.

                                  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
                                    —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
                                    For the next three years, PDA sales
                                    dwindled, and were almost off the
                                    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™
                              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
                              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
                   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
              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
                                                      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


                                                      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
                               successfully with
1997   Athlon                  Pentium chips

       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


                          A 7.5 million transistor
                          processor incorporates
                          MMX technology,
                          which is designed
                          specifically to process
             Pentium II   video, audio, and
             processor    graphics data efficiently

                       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
                       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

                        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
                        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,
                        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
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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