Herrick Grade School


Time Line


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Study this timeline. Read through the information and check out some of the links provided. You will be tested on both the information (facts) and the dates.

3000 BC The Abacus is invented,1 consisting of beads on a frame used for calculating large numbers.
1622 William Oughtred develops the slide rule in England.1
1673 Gottfried Leibniz builds a mechanical calculating machine that multiplies, divides, adds, and subtracts.1
1833 Charles Babbage designs the Analytical Machine that follows instructions from punched-cards. It is the first general purpose computer.1
1867 First Commercial Typewriter invented by Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, & Samuel W. Soule.5
1886 William Burroughs develops the first commercially successful mechanical adding machine.1
1931 First calculator, the ZI is built in Germany by Konrad Zuse.1
1933 First electronic talking machine, the Voder, is built by Dudley, who follows in 1939 with the Vocoder (Voice coder).1
1940 At Bell Labs, George Stibitz demonstrates the Complex Number Calculator, which may be the first digital computer.1
1941 Colossus computer is designed by Alan M. Turing and built by M.H.A. Neuman at the University of Manchester, England.1

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. Grace Murray Hooper is the first computer programmer for the Mark I.1


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.1

Term bit for binary digit is used for the first time by John Tukey.1


EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator) is developed at the University of Cambridge by Maurice V. Wilkes.1

Transistor is invented by William Bradford Shockley with John Bardeen and Walter H. Brattain.1

1949 EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) supports the first tests of magnetic disks.1
1951 UNIVAC I is installed at the Bureau of Census using a magnetic tape unit as a buffer memory.1 It becomes the first commercial computer.4
1958 Seymour Cray builds the first fully transistorized supercomputer for Control Data Corp., the CDC 1604.1
1960 Benjamin Curley develops the first minicomputer, the PDP-1, at Digital Equipment Corporation.1 The first commercial computer equipped with a keyboard and monitor.2
1961 Silicon chips first appear.4
1963 Douglas Engelbart invents the mouse pointing device for computers.2
1964 At Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, the BASIC programming language runs for the first time.2
1970 Bell Labs develops Unix. Unix will become the dominant operating system of high end microcomputers, or workstations.2

Floppy disks are introduced to load the IBM 370 microcode.1

John Blankenbaker builds the first personal computer, the Kenbak I.1

1973 Xerox develops first Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN) technology.4
1975 Microsoft is founded after Bill Gates and Paul Allen adapt and sell BASIC to MITS for the Altair PC.1
1977 Apple Computer is founded and introduces the Apple II personal computer.1 Founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.2
1981 Commodore introduces the VIC-20 home computer, which sells over one million units.1
1982 Microsoft licenses MS-DOS to 50 microcomputer manufacturers in the first 16 months of availability.1

Apple introduces the Macintosh computer.1

The Tandy 1000 personal computer becomes the #1 selling IBM PC-compatible in its first year.1

1988 A nondestructive worm spreads via the Internet network and brings several thousand computers to their knees.1

Apple introduces its long awaited portable Macintosh.1

Grid introduces a laptop computer with a touch sensitive pad that recognizes handwriting -- the GridPad.1

The battery-powered notebook computer becomes a full function computer including hard and floppy disk with the arrival of Compaq's LTE and LTE/286.1

1990 Microsoft introduces Windows 3.0.1
1995 The first Online bookstore, Amazon.com, is launched in Seattle by Jeffrey P. Bezos. By late 1998 the cyberstore sold books to 4.5 million people from more than 160 countries.3
1999 Computer users around the world are worried about Y2K. The Millenium Bug is on its way! Very few errors were actually encountered when Jan. 1, 2000 rolled around.

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  1. "A Chonology of Computer History." http://www.cyberstreet.com/hcs/museum/chron.htm
  2. "Chronology of Personal Computers" http://www.islandnet.com/~kpolsson/comphist/
  3. "Computer Chronology" http://users.commkey.net/fussichen/otdcomp.htm
  4. "Greatest Achievement's Computer Timeline" http://www.greatachievements.org/greatachievements/ga_8_3.html
  5. "QWERTY" - Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY
  6. "The History of Computers" http://www.merchantos.com/articles/informational/the-history-of-the-computer/

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by: Casey Jo Burrus
Last Updated: December 28, 2013

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December 28, 2013