Computers and Computing

  H i s t o r y  

CPT 105 · Franklin College · Erich Prisner · 2002-2007

What is a computer anyway? See here for calculating machines, Check this interesting Wikipedia article on the history of Computer hardware

When? Who? Where? What?
1938 Konrad Zuse Berlin Z1, the first (mechanical) digital computer, based on relays. Memory was based on steel "needles". Private project. Initial motivation was to solve systems of (30) linear equations for the aircraft industry he was working at.

Click here and on Programme - Simulationen to get an impression.

39-42 Atanasoff, Berry Iowa State University The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC), the first electronic digital computer using triode valves. Aim was to solve systems of linear equations. Memory used capacitors, secondary storage via punch cards.
1941 Zuse Berlin Z3, program-controlled electromechanical digital computer with relays, supported by Nazi military.
1941 Alan Turing & ... Bletchlley Park, GB Colossus, invented to break German enigma code, 1500 valves, 10 machines until 1945. Not a general-purpose computer.
1943 Howard H. Aiken Harvard, IBM Mark I, electronic relay computer. used punched cards for storage and control. used for military, navy, and the atomic bomb project. programmer was Grace Hopper
1946 John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly Pennsylvania ENIAC, 18000 valves (vacuum tubes), 70000 resistors, .... . Was not digital---based on the decimal system. Hard wired---without separate processor and memory.
1946 John von Neumann the concept of a stored-program computer
1948 Max Newman, F. C. Williams Manchester, GB the first computer with stored-program capability, CRT memory
1949 Jay W. Forrester MIT magnetic core memory
1947 John Bardeen, Walter Brattain & Wiliam Shockley Transistor
1951   Remington Rand UNIVAC I, the first commercially available computer.
1954/57 John Backus IBM FORTRAN programming language
1955 BellLabs first transistor computer
1958 Jack Kilby & Robert Noyce Integrated Circuit (IC, chip)
1969     The ARPANET
1971 Ted Hoff Intel Intel 4004 Computer Microprocessor, CPU, Memory, Input, Output controls All on one chip.
1974 John Backus IBM the first parallel computer
1975 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak   first Apple computer
1979 Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin   the first spreadsheet program, "VisiCalc", was released-
1980 Microsoft Microsoft creates the operating system MS-DOS for IBM
1981 IBM the IBM PC is introduced.
1981 Philips, Sony (audio) CD
1984 Apple Macintosh Computer with mouse and GUI
1991 Tim Berners-Lee CERN start of WWW
1991 Philips computer CD
1993 Intel Pentium chip
1994 Linus Thorvald   Linux operating system is released.
1995 James Gosling Sun Java programming language
1995 Microsoft Windows operating system