Milestones in Computer Development


2000 B.C. The abacus is first used for computations.
1642 A.D. Blaise Pascal creates a mechanical adding machine for tax computations. It is unreliable.
1670 Gottfried von Liebniz creates a more reliable adding machine that adds, subtracts, multiplies, divides, and calculates square roots.
1842 Charles Babbage designs an analytical engine to perform general calculations automatically. Ada Augusta (a.k.a. Lady Lovelace) is a programmer for this machine.
1890 Herman Hollerith designs a system to record census data. The information is stored as holes in cards, which are interpreted by machines with electrical sensors. Hollerith starts a company that will eventually become IBM.
1939 John Atanasoff, with graduate student Clifford Berry, designs and builds the first electronic digital computer. His project was funded by a grant for 650$.
1946 J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly design and build the ENIAC computer. It used 18,000 vacuum tubes and cost $500,000 to build.
1946 John von Neumann proposes that a program be stored in a computer in the same way that data are stored. His proposal, called the "von Neumann architecture," is the basis for modern computers.
1951 Eckert and Mauchly build the first general-purpose commercial computer, the UNIVAC.
1957 An IBM team, led by John Backus, designs the first successful high-level programming language, FORTRAN, for solving engineering and science problems.
1958 The first computer to use the transistor as a switching device, the IBM 7090, is introduced.
1964 The first computer to use integrated circuits, the IBM 360, is announced.
1965 The CTSS (Compatible Time-Sharing System) operating system is introduced. It allows several users simultaneously to use, or share, a single computer.
1970 A first version of the UNIX operating system is running on the DEC PDP-7.
1971 Nicklaus Wirth designs the Pascal programming language as a language for teaching structured programming concepts.
1972 Dennis Ritchie of Bell Laboratories in New Jersey develops the language C.
1973 Part of the UNIX operating system is implemented in C.
1975 The first microcomputer, the Altair, is introduced.
1975 The first supercomputer, the Cray-1, is announced.
1976 Digital Equipment Corporation introduces its popular minicomputer, the DEC VAX 11/780.
1977 Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs found Apple Computer.
1978 Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston develop the first electronic spreadsheet, called VisiCalc, for the Apple computer.
1979-82 Bjarne Stroustrup of Bell Laboratories in New Jersey introduces "C with Classes."
1981 IBM introduces the IBM PC.
1983-85 C with Classes is redesigned and reimplemented as C++.
1984 Apple introduces the Macintosh, the first widely available computer with a "user-friendly" graphical interface using icons, windows, and a mouse device.
1988 Work on standardization of C++ begins.
1989 Microsoft Corporation introduces Windows for IBM computers.
1989 The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publishes the first standard for the C programming language.

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