History of Computers

By j_bez82
  • Complex Number Calculator

    Complex Number Calculator
    This calculator, created by George Stibitz, was the first example of remote access computing.
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    History of Computers

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    First Generation

    The first generation of computers used vacuum tubes for circuitry. Vacuum tubes were invented in 1906 by physicist Lee De Forest. These tubes generated a lot of heat and were expensive to run. They only used machine language and could solve only one problem at a time.
  • ABC Completed

    ABC Completed
    The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) created by Professor John Vincent Atanasnoff at Iowa State College. This became the basis for several fundamental computer ideas.
  • ENIAC

    ENIAC
    The Electrical Numerical Integrator and Calculator was invented by J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly at University of Pennsylvania. It was considered to be the first substantial computer. It used 18,000 vacuum tubes, about nine times what other computers of the day used. It took up around 1,800 square feet of floor space.
  • Transistor Invented

    Transistor Invented
    William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain of Bell Labs invented the first transistor in 1947, but it wouldn't replace vacuum tubes until the late 1950s.
  • UNIVAC

    The first commercial computer, the UNIVAC, was used by the U.S. Census Bureau. It cost about one million dollars.
  • TX-O

    TX-O
    The first computer built with transistors was the TX-O by MIT researchers. This was the first general purpose, programmable computer.
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    Second Generation: Transistors

    Invented in 1947 but not used until the late 1950s, transistors were smaller and more reliable than vacuum tubes. They made computers smaller, faster, cheaper, and more energy efficient. The allowed computers to use symbolic or assembly languages, which used words, rather than only binary language. Most early computers made with transistors were used in the atomic energy industry.
  • Chip invented

    Chip invented
    The first circuit or chip was invented by Jack St. Clair Kilby of Texas Instruments. The chip was a collection of tiny transistors that fixed the complications of soldering many transistors together. The chip made computers smaller and faster.
  • PDP-1

    PDP-1
    The PDP-1 was a smaller computer with a graphic display. It did not need air conditioning. The first video game was written for this computer. It was called SpaceWar! and was written by MIT researchers.
  • IBM System/360

    IBM System/360
    IBM issued this system with 6 compatible computers with 40 peripherals while the company was transitioning from using transistors to using integrated circuits.
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    Third Generation: Integrated Circuits

    Transistors were replaced by silicon chips, also called semiconductors. They were a miniature version of many transistors soldered together. These increased speed and efficiency of computers. The third generation also led to computers that were smaller, cheaper, and thus more widely accessible. Computers adopted operating systems and began to used keyboards and monitors for input and output.
  • PDP-8

    PDP-8
    The DEC created the PDP-8, which was the first mini-computer and was used widely by businesses and laboratories.
  • HP-2115

    HP-2115
    Hewlett-Packard created first general purpose business computer, HP-2115 that supported many languages such as BASIC, ALGOL, and FORTRAN.
  • Apollo Guidance Computer

    Apollo Guidance Computer
    This computer orbited the earth on the Apollo 7 and steered Apollo 11 to the surface of the moon.
  • Intel 4004 Chip

    Intel 4004 Chip
    Created by Frederico Faggin and Ted Hoff, the Intel 4004 Chip integrated all the components of a computer onto a single chip.
  • First e-mail is sent

    Ray Tomlinson of Bolt, Beranek, and Newman sends the first e-mail with the message "QWERTYUIOP."
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    Fourth Generation: Microprocessors

    The microprocessor consisted of thousands of integrated circuits on one silicon chip. This led to computers becoming smaller, faster, and more widely available. In the fourth generation of computers, the development of networks led to the Internet. Also created in this generation is the Graphic User Interface (GUI), the mouse, and handheld devices.
  • ENIAC and ABC questioned

    The patentability of ENIAC was questioned because of Atanasnoff’s work on the ABC. The court favored Atanasnoff’s work and gave him the credit he rightfully deserved.
  • Alto

    Alto
    The Alto by Xerox Palo Alto Research Center was the first computer with a mouse and menus, icons, and local area network.
  • TRS-80

    TRS-80
    Tandy Radio Shack creates a home computer with a 64,000 character memory and disk drive.
  • Personal Computer

    Personal Computer
    IBM launches the personal computer (PC), which greatly expanded the personal computer market and used Microsoft's MS-DOS operating system.
  • Macintosh

    Macintosh
    Apple releases the Macintosh, a mouse-driven computer with Graphic User Interface and a more affordable price than the PC.
  • Internet

    The modern Internet gains support when the National Science Foundation formed the NSFNET, linking computer centers from several potent universities.
  • C++

    The C++ programming language became prominent when Bjarne Stroustrup invented this event-driven language.
  • World Wide Web

    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is created by Tim Berners-Lee who developed HTML (HyperText Markup Language). It was made accessible to public in 1991.
  • Windows 3.0

    Windows 3.0
    Microsoft created Windows 3.0, the first successful version for PC. It made applications more user-friendly.
  • Mosaic Web Browser

    Mosaic Web Browser
    The first commercial software that allowed graphical access to internet, Mosaic Web Browser, was released in 1993.
  • iPod released

    iPod released
    Apple releases the first iPod, which would become the most popular MP3 player.
  • WiFi

    WiFi
    Intel creates wireless fidelity (WiFi) which makes Internet wirelessly available. It is used in many businesses.
  • iPhone

    iPhone
    Apple launches the iPhone, revolutionizing the cell phone industry and hand-held devices.
  • Mobile apps grow

    Mobile apps grow
    Mobile applications grow exponentially, creating a new industry for hand-held devices and smartphones.
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    Fifth Generation: Artificial Intelligence

    In the past couple of years and continuing in the future, the fifth generation of computers, artificial intelligence, is being developed. The goal is to develop devices that can communicate with natural language input. Artificial intelligence uses parallel processing a superconductors. An example of artificial intelligence being used today is voice recognition.