26 May, 2005 at 11:14 1 comment

A History of Computers from Bebep BYTES Back


Using the associated index, we will take a cruise through history to discover some of the key developments that have brought us to our present state of computing, including the development of numbers, the introduction of mechanical aids to calculation, the evolution of electronics, and the impact of electronics on computing.
No one person may be credited with the invention of computers, but several names stand proud in the crowd. The following offers some of the more notable developments and individuals, with great regret for any omissions.

350 Million Years BC The first tetrapods leave the oceans

30,000 BC to 20,000 BC Carving notches into bones

8500 BC Bone carved with prime numbers discovered

1900 BC to 1800 BC The first place-value number system

1000 BC to 500 BC The invention of the abacus

383 BC to 322 BC Aristotle and the Tree of Porphyry

300 BC to 600 AD The first use of zero and negative numbers

1274 AD Ramon Lull’s Ars Magna

1285 AD to 1349 AD William of Ockham’s logical transformations

1434 AD The first self-striking water clock

1500 AD Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical calculator

1600 AD John Napier and Napier’s Bones

1621 AD The invention of the slide rule

1625 AD Wilhelm Schickard’s mechanical calculator

1640 AD Blaise Pascal’s Arithmetic Machine

1658 AD Pascal creates a scandle

1670 AD Gottfried von Leibniz’s Step Reckoner

1714 AD The first English typewriter patent

1726 AD Jonathan Swift writes Gulliver’s Travels

1735 AD The Billiard cue is invented

1761 AD Leonhard Euler’s geometric system for problems in class logic

1800 AD Jacquard’s punched cards

Circa 1800 AD Charles Stanhope invents the Stanhope Demonstrator

1822 AD Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine

1829 AD Sir Charles Wheatstone invents the accordion

1829 AD The first American typewriter patent

1830 AD Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine

1834 AD Georg and Edward Scheutz’s Difference Engine

1834 AD Tally sticks: The hidden dangers

1837 AD Samuel Morse invents the electric telegraph

1847 AD to 1854 AD George Boole invents Boolean Algebra

1857 AD Sir Charles Wheatstone uses paper tape to store data

1860 AD Sir Joseph Wilson Swan’s first experimental light bulb

1865 AD Lewis Carroll writes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

1867 AD The first commercial typewriter

1868 AD First skeletons of Cro-Magnon man discovered

1869 AD William Stanley Jevons invents the Jevons’ Logic Machine

1872 AD Lewis Carroll writes Through the Looking-Glass

Circa 1874 AD The Sholes keyboard

1876 AD Lewis Carroll writes The Hunting of the Snark

1876 AD George Barnard Grant’s Difference Engine

1878 AD The first true incandescent light bulb

1878 AD The first shift-key typewriter

1879 AD Robert Harley publishes article on the Stanhope Demonstrator

1880 AD The invention of the Baudot Code

1881 AD Allan Marquand’s rectangular logic diagrams

1881 AD Allan Marquand invents the Marquand Logic Machine

1883 AD Thomas Alva Edison discovers the Edison Effect

1886 AD Lewis Carroll writes The game of Logic

1886 AD Charles Pierce links Boolean algebra to circuits based on switches

1890 AD John Venn invents Venn Diagrams

1890 AD Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machines

Circa 1900 AD John Ambrose Fleming invents the vacuum tube

1902 AD The first teleprinters

1906 AD Lee de Forest invents the Triode

1921 AD Karel Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots)

1926 AD First patent for a semiconductor transistor

1927 AD Vannevar Bush’s Differential Analyser

Circa 1936 AD The Dvorak keyboard

1936 AD Benjamin Burack constructs the first electrical logic machine

1937 AD George Robert Stibitz’s Complex Number Calculator

1937 AD Alan Turing invents the Turing Machine

1938 AD Claude Shannon’s master’s Thesis

1939 AD John Vincent Atanasoff’s special-purpose electronic digital computer

1939 AD to 1944 AD Howard Aiken’s Harvard Mark I (the IBM ASCC)

1940 AD The first example of remote computing

1941 AD Konrad Zuse and his Z1, Z3, and Z4

1943 AD Alan Turing and COLOSSUS

1943 AD to 1946 AD The first general-purpose electronic computer — ENIAC

1944 AD to 1952 AD The first stored program computer — EDVAC

1945 AD The “first” computer bug

1945 AD Johann (John) Von Neumann writes the “First Draft”

1947 AD First point-contact transistor

1948 AD to 1951 AD The first commercial computer — UNIVAC

1949 AD EDSAC performs it’s first calculation

1949 AD The first assembler — “Initial Orders

Circa 1950 AD Maurice Karnaugh invents Karnaugh Maps

1950 AD First bipolar junction transistor

1952 AD G.W.A. Dummer conceives integrated circuits

1953 AD First TV Dinner

1957 AD IBM 610 Auto-Point Computer

1958 AD First integrated circuit

1962 AD First field-effect transistor

1962 AD The “worst” computer bug

1963 AD MIT’s LINC Computer

1970 AD First static and dynamic RAMs

1971 AD CTC’s Datapoint 2200 Computer

1971 AD The Kenbak-1 Computer

1971 AD The first microprocessor: the 4004

1972 AD The 8008 microprocessor

1973 AD The Xerox Alto Computer

1973 AD The Micral microcomputer

1973 AD The Scelbi-8H microcomputer

1974 AD The 8080 microprocessor

1974 AD The 6800 microprocessor

1974 AD The Mark-8 microcomputer

1975 AD The 6502 microprocessor

1975 AD The Altair 8800 microcomputer

1975 AD Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft

1975 AD The KIM-1 microcomputer

1975 AD The Sphere 1 microcomputer

1976 AD The Z80 microprocessor

1976 AD The Apple I and Apple II microcomputers

1977 AD The Commodore PET microcomputer

1977 AD The TRS-80 microcomputer

1979 AD The VisiCalc spreadsheet program

1979 AD ADA programming language is named after Ada Lovelace

1980 AD Danny Cohen writes “On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace

1981 AD The first IBM PC

1997 AD The first Beboputer Virtual Computer

Further Reading

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