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Short History of Computers and Computer Programming



Name Motivation
Driven By
Year
  Solution

  No technical aids for scientific calculations
only clocks, sextants or other measuring devices
 
1600
   
John Napier Tables Crisis
people spent hours pouring over figures
in every 40 volumes of mathematical tables there were about 47,000 errors
Banking Industry
1617
  Napier's bones - first attempt to reduce time and effort spent - each rod has a multiplication table for a particular digit - used by several inventors
Blaise Pascal Arithmetic Calculations
Tax Collection
1642
  First digital calculator - wheels with a carry mechanism revolving clockwise
subtract using marks on oppositie side of wheel and increasing in opposite direction
gear cutting not perfected - mechanisms would fall out of order
Joseph-Marie Jacquard Quantities of fabric could be produced at a faster rate than complex patterns could be woven by skilled weavers
Textile Industry
1804
  Jacquard looms - use a tape of stiff pasteboard cards with weaving instructions imprinted on them
Charles Babbage in every 40 volumes of mathematical tables there were about 47,000 errors
- table of squares to five places
logarithmic tables without errors
Tables Crisis
1821
  Difference Engine - would stamp result on a copper plate - completed by Scheutz in 1873 - printed tables successfully
Charles Babbage General purpose computer that follows instructions from punched cards
 
1833
  Analytical Engine - completed by Science Museum in 1991 (weighs 2.6 Tonnes with 4,000 parts)
Luigi Menabrea Promote French Decimal System
- produce Logarithmic and Trigonometric Tables
French Government
1842
  Reported and extended Babbage's work on the Analytical Engine to show that it can be used for any analytical function
Ada Lovelace  
 
1842
  First Program for the Analytical Engine - to calculate Bernoulli numbers
William Burroughs  
 
1886
  First commercially successful mechanical adding machine
Hermann Hollerith U.S. Census - Time needed to tabulate results extends beyond the next census date
U.S. Government
1890
  Electo-mechanical machine for adding and sorting perforated card data - sold to Russians for their first census in 1895
Vladimir Zworykin  
Westinghouse
1929
  Cathode Ray Tube invented
George Stibitz Speed-up complex number calculations
Bell Labs
1940
  Complex Number Calculator - first binary calculator - instructions via paper tape
Konrad Zuse Solve systems of linear equations
 
1941
  Z3 - electro-mechanical computer controlled by relays - instructions on paper tape
Howard Aiken 2 to 3 months to produce a ballistic table
U.S. Navy
1942
  Mark I - electro-mechanical computer controlled by relays - 18,000 vacuum tubes - 6,000 switches - instructions on paper tape - data on punched cards - output on punched cards - multiply 11 digit numbers in 3sec
Grace Hopper  
U.S. Navy
1944
  First programmer for the Mark I
John von Neumann Solution of fluid dynamics equations - Successor to the forthcoming ENIAC
U.S. Navy
1945
  EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) - stored-program computer
Eckert & Mauchly Trajectory Tables
U.S. Army
1945
  ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator) - 80 Tons - 5000 additions and 360 multiplications per sec - multiply 10 digit numbers in 3msec
William Shockley Alternative to Vacuum Tube Relays
Telephone Companies
1947
  Invented Transistor with John Bardeen and Walter Brattain
Grace Hopper Introduce mneumonics that will be translated into machine code
Readability
1949
  Designed the first compiler
Maurice Wilkes von Neumann's concept of stored programs
Cambridge Computing Laboratory
1949
  EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) - first operational, stored program computer
Maurice Wilkes Readability
Cambridge Computing Laboratory
1950
  Symbolic Assembly Language on EDSAC
IBM  
 
1953
  701 - IBM's first vacuum-tube stored-program computer
John Backus  
 
1954
  FORTRAN - first high-level programming language
Gene Amdahl  
 
1954
  First operating system for the IBM 704
IBM  
 
1959
  1620 and 1790 - first transistorized computer
Ken Iverson Algebraic Manipulation
 
1961
  APL Language
Kurtz & Kemeny Programming for Beginners
 
1964
  BASIC Language
Intel  
 
1968
  Founded by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce
Nicklaus Wirth Structured Programming
 
1969
  PASCAL Language
Ken Thompson Interactivity and Time-sharing
Bell Labs
1970
  UNIX operating system
Intel  
 
1971
  4004 - the first microprocessor
John Blankenbaker  
 
1971
  First personal computer - Kenbak I
Denis Ritchie UNIX in a high level language
Bell Labs
1973
  C programming language
Microsoft  
 
1975
  Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
Apple  
 
1977
  Personal computer industry launched
IBM Playing Catch Up
 
1981
  Enters personal computer market
Microsoft  
 
1982
  MS-DOS - operating system for PCs
Bjarne Stroustrup Upgradability
Bell Labs
1983
  C++ programming language
IBM Advanced Technology
 
1984
  PC AT 80286 microprocessor
Sun Microsystems Develop UNIX
 
1988
  Help AT&T develop next version of UNIX - will lead to Solaris in 1991
Intel  
 
1989
  80486 microprocessor - > 1M transistors per chip
Microsoft  
 
1992
  Windows 3.1 - operating system for PCs
Microsoft Networks and Security
 
1993
  Windows NT - operating system for PCs
Intel  
 
1993
  Pentium I microprocessor
Linus Torvalds Open Source
 
1994
  Linux Kernel - version 1.0 released
James Gosling One code - many machines
Sun Microsystems
1995
  Java




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