The Evolution and Future of Computer Technology

  • The loom punch cards

    The loom punch cards
    Joseph Marie Jacquard invents a loom that uses punched wooden cards to automatically weave fabric designs. Early computers would use similar punch cards.
  • The computer was made

    The computer was made
    English mathematician Charles Babbage conceives of a steam-driven calculating machine that would be able to compute tables of numbers. The project, funded by the English government, is a failure. More than a century later, however, the world’s first computer was actually built.
  • The punch card system

    The punch card system
    Herman Hollerith designs a punch card system to calculate the 1880 census, accomplishing the task in just three years and saving the government $5 million. He establishes a company that would ultimately become IBM.
  • Turning machine

    Turning machine
    Alan Turing presents the notion of a universal machine, later called the Turing machine, capable of computing anything that is computable. The central concept of the modern computer was based on his ideas.
  • Memory is stored

    Memory is stored
    Atanasoff and his graduate student, Clifford Berry, design a computer that can solve 29 equations simultaneously. This marks the first time a computer is able to store information on its main memory.
  • Computer for the government

    Computer for the government
    Mauchly and Presper leave the University of Pennsylvania and receive funding from the Census Bureau to build the UNIVAC, the first commercial computer for business and government applications.
  • first computer language

    first computer language
    Grace Hopper develops the first computer language, which eventually becomes known as COBOL. Thomas Johnson Watson Jr., son of IBM CEO Thomas Johnson Watson Sr., conceives the IBM 701 EDPM to help the United Nations keep tabs on Korea during the war.
  • The computer chip

    The computer chip
    Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce unveil the integrated circuit, known as the computer chip. Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his work.
  • Evolution of the computer

    Evolution of the computer
    Douglas Engelbart shows a prototype of the modern computer, with a mouse and a graphical user interface (GUI). This marks the evolution of the computer from a specialized machine for scientists and mathematicians to technology that is more accessible to the general public.
  • The first dynamic access memory chip

    The first dynamic access memory chip
    The newly formed Intel unveils the Intel 1103, the first Dynamic Access Memory (DRAM) chip.
  • Multiple Ethernet

    Multiple Ethernet
    Robert Metcalfe, a member of the research staff for Xerox, develops Ethernet for connecting multiple computers and other hardware.
  • Microsoft was made

    Microsoft was made
    The January issue of Popular Electronics magazine features the Altair 8080, described as the "world's first minicomputer kit to rival commercial models." Two "computer geeks," Paul Allen and Bill Gates, offer to write software for the Altair, using the new BASIC language. On April 4, after the success of this first endeavor, the two childhood friends form their own software company, Microsoft.
  • Circuit board computer

    Circuit board computer
    Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak start Apple Computers on April Fool’s Day and roll out the Apple I, the first computer with a single-circuit board.
  • Apple II

    Apple II
    Jobs and Wozniak incorporate Apple and show the Apple II at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It offers color graphics and incorporates an audio cassette drive for storage.
  • Word processing

    Word processing
    Word processing becomes a reality as MicroPro International releases WordStar.
  • First IBM personal computer

    First IBM personal computer
    The first IBM personal computer, code-named “Acorn,” is introduced. It uses Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system. It has an Intel chip, two floppy disks and an optional color monitor. Sears & Roebuck and Computerland sell the machines, marking the first time a computer is available through outside distributors. It also popularizes the term PC.
  • Laptop

    Laptop
    Apple’s Lisa is the first personal computer with a GUI. It also features a drop-down menu and icons. It flops but eventually evolves into the Macintosh. The Gavilan SC is the first portable computer with the familiar flip form factor and the first to be marketed as a “laptop.”
  • Advanced audio and video capabilities.

     Advanced audio and video capabilities.
    Microsoft announces Windows, its response to Apple’s GUI. Commodore unveils the Amiga 1000, which features advanced audio and video capabilities.
  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

     HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
    Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, the high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva, develops HyperText Markup Language (HTML), giving rise to the World Wide Web.
  • Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi
    The term Wi-Fi becomes part of the computing language and users begin connecting to the Internet without wires.
  • Microsoft windows

    Microsoft windows
    2001: Apple unveils the Mac OS X operating system, which provides protected memory architecture and pre-emptive multi-tasking, among other benefits. Not to be outdone, Microsoft rolls out Windows XP, which has a significantly redesigned GUI.
  • Mozilla Firefox

     Mozilla Firefox
    Mozilla’s Firefox 1.0 challenges Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, the dominant Web browsers. Facebook, a social networking site, launches.
  • Youtube was made

    Youtube was made
    YouTube, a video sharing service, is founded. Google acquires Android, a Linux-based mobile phone operating system.
  • MacBook pro

    MacBook pro
    Apple introduces the MacBook Pro, its first Intel-based, dual-core mobile computer, as well as an Intel-based iMac. Nintendo’s Wii game console hits the market.
  • The iPhone

    The iPhone
    The iPhone brings many computer functions to the smartphone
  • Windows 7

    Windows 7
    Microsoft launches Windows 7, which offers the ability to pin applications to the taskbar and advances in touch and handwriting recognition, among other features.
  • iPad

    iPad
    Apple unveils the iPad, changing the way consumers view media and jumpstarting the dormant tablet computer segment.
  • Chromebook

    Chromebook
    Google releases the Chromebook, a laptop that runs the Google Chrome OS.
  • Apple watch

    Apple watch
    Apple releases the Apple Watch. Microsoft releases Windows 10.