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Terms in this set (36)
The Abacus, 3000 B.C.
The Abacus was originally invented in the Middle Eastern area. This rather amazing computing device is still very much used in many Asian countries today. Skilled Abacus handlers can get basic arithmetic results just about as fast as you might get with a four-function calculator.
Napier Bones, 1617
John Napier used some bones marked with special scales to simplify arithmetic by using addition for multiplication and subtraction for division. It set the stage for the slide rule.
Slide Rule, 1622
William Oughtred created the slide rule. This device allows sophisticated mathematical calculations, which was widely in use until around 1970.
Numerical Calculating Machine, 1642
Blaise Pascal built the first numerical calculating machine. This device works similar to the old car odometers and could perform addition and subtraction. Multiplication was performed with repeated additions.
Jacquard's Loom, 1805
Joseph Jacquard invented flexible cards that are punched with information in such a manner that it is possible to program how cloth will be weaved. It it one of the first examples of programming.
Analytical Machine, 1833
Charles Babbage invented a machine that can read instructions from a sequence of punched cards. This became the first general purpose computing machine. He is considered "The Father of Computers". In the 1990s many malls had a video games store called Babbages which was named after him. You do not see those stores today because they were bought out by GameStop.
Countess Ada Lovelace was Charles Babbage's assistant. She designed programs that work for Babbage's analytical machine. Some concepts in today's modern languages are based on ideas she came up with before electronic computers were ever invented. She is considered "The Mother of Programming". Today a programming language is named after Ada.
Tabulating Machine, 1884
Herman Hollerith invented a tabulating machine that records statistics for the U.S. Bureau of census. Hollerith started a tabulating company, which after various name changes eventually becomes International Business Machines. Most people simply call it IBM.
Differential Analyzer, 1925
Vannevar Bush, a professor at MIT, built a large scale computing machine capable of sophisticated mathematical computations.
The first electronic digital computer was invented by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry at Iowa State University. They called it the Atanasoff Berry Computer or ABC
Konrad Zuse builds a calculating machine capable of automatic computations in Germany during World War II.
This computer was developed in England in various stages and helps to decrypt the secret code message of German communication during Word War II.
Mark I, 1944
This relay-based computer was developed by Harvard University and IBM. Grace Hopper, then a Navy Lieutenant, becomes the first programmer of the Mark I.
The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) is the first functionally useful fully-electronic computer. The computer is two stories tall, weighs 80 tons, contains 19,000 vacuum tubes, and is programmed by walking inside the computer.
Mark II, 1947
On September 9, 1947 this computer stopped working. A technician found and removed moth from one of its relays. This was the first computer bug. The actual moth is currently on display at the San Diego Computer Museum.
UNIVAC I, 1951
The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer) was the world's first commercially available computer. While the Mark I and the ENIAC were not for sale, any company with enough money could actually purchase a UNIVAC I computer. The computer became famous when it correctly predicted the results of the 1952 presidential election.
IBM 701, 1953
IBM started to sell the first computer with a stored computer program. This computer uses vacuum tubes and is called a first-generation computer.
FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslator) was invented by John Backus at IBM. It is the first commercially successful programming language and is designed for engineers and mathematicians.
Integrated Circuit, 1958
Jack Kilby, of Texas Instruments, at Richardson, Texas, invented the planar transistor, which allows creation of integrated circuits and later micro chips in a very small space. This invention is a turning point between the monstrously huge and expensive computers of the past, and the much smaller and cheaper modern computers of today.
Video Games, 1958/1962
The first video game was called Tennis for Two. It was created by William Higinbotham and played on a Brookhaven National Laboratory oscilloscope. Since this game did not use an actual computer monitor, some give credit for the first video game to SpaceWar written by Stephen Russell at MIT in 1962.
The business programming language COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language) was developed based on the design of Grace Hopper.
IBM 360, 1964
IBM sold the first series of compatible computers. This means that a program created on one computer can be transported and used on another, compatible computer
Tom Kurtz and John Kemeny of Dartmouth created BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Language). This language will later be the first programming language for personal computers.
Niklaus Wirth, a Swiss professor, created the programming language Pascal, designed for teaching computer science with proper structured programming to university students. It became the first language used for the AP Computer Science Examination.
Altair was the first personal computer. It was created by Ed Roberts and Bill Yates. The computer costs $397.00 and has storage for 256 bytes.
Apple Computer, 1977
The Apple Computer Company was created and introduced the Apple II Personal Computer. It becomes the first commercially successful personal computer
Commodore and Tandy started selling personal computers. The Commodore and the Apple computer required a television interface to view computer operations. The Tandy RadioShak computer has its own CRT (monitor).
Dan Bricklin created VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program, which became the first wide spread software to be sold. Dan Bricklin initially lived in a hut somewhere in the mountains of Montana and received an average of $30,000.00 a week for his invention. He did not benefit from the tremendous boom in the spreadsheet market, because his software could not get a patent.
MicroPro released WordStar, which becomes the most popular word processing software program in the late seventies and eighties.
IBM PC, 1981
IBM introduced the IBM P.C. It is a computer with a monochrome monitor and two floppy drives. Hard drives were not yet available for personal computers. IBM's entry into the personal computer market gives the personal computer a serious image as a true business computer and not some sophisticated electronic game playing machine.
IBM decided not to create its own operating system for the personal computing market and decide to out-source development of its operating system for its trivial little personal computer department. Many companies rejected IBM's proposal. Microsoft, an unknown little company run by Bill Gates, agrees to create the operating system for the IBM Personal Computer and becomes a company larger than IBM.
Portability and Compatibility, 1982
The Compaq Portable is known for two things. It was the first portable computer. By today's standards it was nothing like a modern laptop. The 28 pound computer was the size of a small suitcase, and looked very much like one as well. The removable bottom was the keyboard which would reveal a 9 inch monitor and a couple of floppy drives. Compaq was also the first computer to be 100% compatible with an IBM PC.
Apple started to sell the Apple Macintosh computer. The mouse technology was already developed earlier by Xerox Corporation and Apple actually introduced this technology with its Lisa computer in 1982. The Lisa computer costs $10,000 and was a commercial failure. The "Mac" was the first commercially successful computer with the mouse/windows technology. A macintosh is a type of apple - and the favorite for the person who created the Macintosh - hence its name.
Laptop PCs, 1991
Most PC vendors started to sell laptop PCs. The early laptops all have monochrome monitors and lack the power and memory storage of desktop computers.
Windows 3.1, 1992
Microsoft introduced Windows 3.1, which is its first major windows software seller. It is a Windows type interface, but it is based on the DOS operating system.
Windows 95, 1995, U.S.
Microsoft introduces Windows 95, which now is an operating system similar to the Macintosh computer.