computer historyComputer History may well begin with the Chinese abacus, however our computer history here begins with the electronic or more properly the electric computer.

1931: First calculator, the Z1, is built in Germany by Konrad Zuse.
1936: Englishman Alan M. Turing while at Princeton University formalizes the notion of calculableness and adapts the notion of algorithm to the computation of functions. Turing’s machine is defined to be capable of computing any calculable function.
1937: George Stibitz builds the first binary calculator at Bell Telephone Laboratories. computer history
1938: Hewlett-Packard Co. is founded to make electronic equipment. computer history
1939: First Radio Shack catalog is published. computer history
1940: At Bell Labs, George Stibitz demonstrates the Complex Number Calculator, which may be the first digital computer.
1940: First color TV broadcast. computer history
1940: Remote processing experiments, conducted by Bell Laboratories, create the first terminal. computer history
1941: Colossus computer is designed by Alan M. Turing and built by M.H.A. Neuman at the University of Manchester, England.
1944: Mark I (IBM ASCC) is completed, based on the work of Professor Howard H. Aiken at Harvard and IBM. It is a relay-based computer. computer history
1946: Binac (Binary Automatic Computer), the first computer to operate in real time, is started by Eckert and Mauchly; it is completed in 1949. computer history
1946: ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), with 18,000 vacuum tubes, is dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania. It was 8 by 100 feet and weighed 80 tons. It could do 5,000 additions and 360 multiplications per second. computer history
1946: Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation is formed as the Electronic Control Co. to design a Universal Automatic Computer (Univac). computer history
1947: Alan M. Turing publishes an article on Intelligent Machinery which launches artificial intelligence.
1948: IBM introduces the 604 electronic calculator.
1948: IBM builds the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC), a computer with 12,000 tubes.
1948: Transistor is invented by William Bradford Shockley with John Bardeen and Walter H. Brattain.
1950: Maurice V. Wilkes at Cambridge University uses assembler (symbolic assembly language) on EDSAC.
1951: Maurice V. Wilkes introduces the concept of microprogramming.
1951: UNIVAC I is installed at the Bureau of Census using a magnetic tape unit as a buffer memory.
1951: Wang Laboratories, Inc. is founded by An Wang in Boston. computer history
1951: Whirlwind computer becomes operational at MIT. It was the first real-time computer and was designed by Jay Forrester and Ken Olsen.
1952: IBM introduces the 701, its first electronic stored-program computer.
1952: UNIVAC I predicts an Eisenhower landslide with 7% of the votes, just one hour after the polls close.
1952: U.S. Department of Justice sues IBM for monopolizing the punched-card accounting machine industry. computer history
1953: First magnetic tape device, the IBM 726, is introduced with 100 character-per-inch density and 75 inches-per-second speed.
1953: IBM ships its first stored-program computer, the 701. It is a vacuum tube, or first generation, computer.
1954: FORTRAN is created by John Backus at IBM. Harlan Herrick runs the first successful FORTRAN program. computer history
1954: Gene Amdahl develops the first operating system, used on IBM 704.
1955: Remington-Rand merges with Sperry Gyroscope to form Sperry-Rand. computer history
1956: Burroughs acquires Electrodata and the Datatron computer, which becomes the Burroughs 205.
1956: Government antitrust suit against IBM is settled; consent decree requires IBM to sell as well as lease machines. computer history
1956: The acronym artificial intelligence is coined by John McCarthy.
1957: Digital Equipment Corporation is founded by Ken Olsen.
1958: ALGOL, first called IAL (International Algebraic Language), is presented in Zurich.
1958: First electronic computers are built in Japan by NEC: the NEC-1101 and -1102.
1958: Seymour Cray builds the first fully transistorized supercomputer for Control Data Corp., the CDC 1604. computer history
1958: Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments makes the first integrated circuit.
1959: COBOL is defined by the Conference on Data System Languages (Codasyl), based on Grace Hoppers Flow-Matic.
1959: Jack S. Kilby at Texas Instruments files a patent for the first integrated circuit.
1960: First electronic switching central office becomes operational in Chicago.
1960: Removable disks first appear.
1961: IBM delivers the Stretch computer to Los Alamos. This transistorized computer with 64-bit data paths is the first to use eight-bit bytes; it remains operational until l971.
1962: H. Ross Perot founds EDS (Electronic Data Systems) in Dallas, TX.
1963: Tandy acquires Radio Shack (9 stores).
1964: BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Language) is created by Tom Kurtz and John Kemeny of Dartmouth. First time-sharing BASIC program runs.
1965: Digital Equipment ships the first PDP-8 minicomputer.
1965: First computer science Ph.D. is granted to Richard L. Wexelblat at the University of Pennsylvania.
1965: IBM ships the first System 360, its first integrated circuit-based, or third generation, computer.
1966: Texas Instruments offers the first solid-state hand-held calculator.
1969: PASCAL compiler is written by Nicklaus Wirth and installed on the CDC 6400.
1971: IBM introduces the 370/135 and 370/195 mainframe computers.
1971: Floppy disks are introduced to load the IBM 370 microcode.computer history
1971: Intel Corporation announces the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004, developed by a team headed by Marcian E. Hoff.

1971: John Blankenbaker builds the first personal computer, the Kenbak I.
1971: Sperry-Rand takes over the RCA computer product line.
1972: Cray Research is founded.
1972: First electronic pocket calculator is developed by Jack Kilby, Jerry Merryman, and Jim VanTassel of Texas Instruments.
1972: Gary Kildall at Naval Postgraduate School writes PL/1, the first programming language for the Intel 4004 microprocessor.
1974: Intel introduces the 8080, an 8 bit microprocessor that will be used in numerous personal computers.
1975: Cray-1 supercomputer is introduced.
1975: Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) introduces the Altair personal computer, named after a Star Trek episode, A Voyage to Altair. The kit cost $397 for a 256 byte computer. The I/O consisted of switches and lights. It was designed by Ed Roberts, who hires Bill Gates and Paul Allen to write a BASIC interpreter for the machine.
1975: Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
1975: The first computer store opens in Santa Monica, CA.
1976: Seymour Cray engineers and delivers Cray 1 with 200,000 freon-cooled ICs and 100 million floating point operations per second (MFLOP) performance.
1976: Superminicomputers are introduced by Perkin-Elmer and Gould SEL.
1977: Apple Computer is founded and introduces the Apple II personal computer.
1977: Apple, Commodore, and Tandy begin selling personal computers.
1977: Datapoint introduces ARC system, the first local area network.
1978: The first COMDEX trade show is held.
1980: Microsoft licenses UNIX operating system from Bell Laboratories and introduces its XENIX adaptation. computer history
1981: Osborne Computer introduces the Osborne 1, the first portable computer.
1982: Compaq Computer incorporates. computer history
1982: Sun Microsystems is founded.
1982: Microsoft licenses MS-DOS to 50 microcomputer manufacturers in the first 16 months of availability.
1982: Time Magazine names the computer its Man of the Year.
1983: Compaq ships its first computer in January and sells $111M, the greatest first-year sales in the history of American business.
1984: Apple introduces the Macintosh computer. computer history
1984: The Tandy 1000 personal computer becomes the #1 selling IBM PC-compatible in its first year.
1985: Aldus introduces PageMaker for the Macintosh and starts the desktop publishing era.
1986: Burroughs merges with Sperry to form Unisys Corporation, second only to IBM in computer revenues.
1987: IBM introduces its PS/2 family and ships over 1 million units by year end. computer history
1988: The first PS/2-compatible computers are announced by Tandy, Dell Computer and others.
1988: A nondestructive worm spreads via the Internet network and brings several thousand computers to their knees.
1989: The battery-powered notebook computer becomes a full function computer including hard and floppy disk with the arrival of Compaq’s LTE and LTE/286.
1991: Notebook PCs are introduced by most PC vendors.
1992: Wang Laboratories files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. computer history
1992: Intel says its next microprocessor will be called Pentium instead of 586. computer history
1993: Microsoft unveils Windows NT.
1993: Compaq introduces the Presario, a PC family targeted for the home market.

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