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TCoCD The History of Number Crunching

The History of Number Crunching

under construction

... 0000 ... 1800 ... 1900 ... 1940 ... 1950 ... 1960 ... 1970 ... 1980 ... 1990 ... 2000 ...

550 Hindu mathematicians give a numeral representation to zero.
1445 Johannes Gutenberg invents the Buchdruck.
1518 Adam Riese (1492-1539) presents Rechnen auf Linien.
1610 John Napier  John Napier  invents Napier's BonesNapier's Bones
1614 John Napier discusses logarithms in Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio.
1622 William Oughtred  William Oughtred  invents the circular slide rulecircular slide rule
1624 Wilhelm Schickard  Wilhelm Schickard  constructs the first mechanical calculating machine, his Calculating ClockSchickard's Calculating Clock
1633 William Oughtred invents the rectangular slide rule.
1642 Blaise Pascal  Blaise Pascal  builds the PascalinePascaline
1679 Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz  Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz  describes calculating with binary numbers in De Progressione Dyadica.
1685 Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz invents the Stepped ReckonerStepped Reckoner
1709 Giovanni Poleni invents the PinwheelPinwheel

1801 Joseph-Marie Jaquard invents the automatic loom.  automatic loom
1820 Thomas de Colmar constructs the ArithmometerArithmometer
1822 Charles Babbage  Charles Babbage  constructs the Difference EngineDifference Engine
1834 Charles Babbage & Lady Ada of Lovelace design the Analytical Engine.
1847 George Boole develops the Boolean Algebra.
1861 J.P.Reis (Germany) holds a lecture on Telephony by Galvanic Current.
1862 Reis Telephone
1874 German high school teacher Ferdinand Braun discovers the semiconductor effekt at the crystal detector (Leipzig).
1876 Alexander Graham Bell (USA) has his Bell Telephone patented.
1879 Braun's cathode ray tube.
1881 E. Thacher builds a cylindrical slide rulecylindrical slide rule
1884 Hermann Hollerith  Hermann Hollerith  constructs the census tabulatorcensus tabulator
1885 Dorr. E. Felt builds the ComptometerComptometer
1887 William S. Burroughs founds the American Arithmometer Company.
1890 US Census Office orders 56 census tabulators.
1892 Otto Steiger constructs the MillionaireMillionaire
1897 Joseph John Thomson discovers the electron.

1905 American Arithmometer Company becomes the Burroughs Adding Machine Company.
1906 Lee de Forrest (USA) and Robert von Lieben (with E.Reiss and S.Strauss, Austria) independently discover the amplifying effect on the electronic vacuum tube with grid (triode).
1911 Tabulating Machine Company, International Time Recording Company, Bundy Manufacturing and Computing Scale Company of America merge to form the Computing Tabulating Recording Company (CTR).
1913 Tom Watson, Sr. becomes president of CTR.
high vacuum tube by J.Langmuir (USA)
1919 Eccles and Jordan (Ireland) develop the flip-flop made from electronic tubes.
1924 first demonstration of a television with Karolus Cell in Germany (A. Karolus, Germany)
International Business Machines (IBM) is incorporated.  old IBM logo
1938 Konrad Zuse.  Konrad Zuse  constructs the V1, later renamed the Z1.
William R. Hewlett & David Packard found Hewlett-Packard.
1939 John Atanasoff & Clifford Berry build the Atanasoff-Berry-Computer (ABC).

1941 Konrad Zuse constructs the Z3Zuse Z3
1939-44 Howard A. Aiken builds the Harvard Mark IHarvard Mark I
1945 J. Presper & John Mauchly finish ENIAC, the first electronic computer.  ENIAC
J.Presper Eckert & John Mauchly found the Electronic Control Corporation (ECC).
1947 William Shockley, Walter H. Brattain & John Bardeen from Bell Telephone Laboratories demonstrate the point-contact transistor amplifier. The name transistor is short for "transfer resistance" (December, 23).  Shockley, Brattain & Bardeen  point-contact transistor
"first actual bug found"  first actual bug found
American computer engineer Howard Aiken predicts that only six computers would be needed to satisfy the computing needs of the United States.
Hewlett-Packard Inc. is incorporated.  Hewlett-Packard
John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Schockley of Bell Telephone Laboratories file for a patent on the first transistor.
1948 William Shockley invents the junction transistor.
1949 Remington Rand buys the Eckert Mauchly Computer Corporation (formerly the ECC).

1950 Alan Turing proposes the Turing Test criterion for an intelligent machine.
1951 John Eckert & John Mauchly finish UNIVAC 1, the first mass-produced electronic computer.
Coronado Corporation changes its name to Texas Instruments Inc.  logo Texas Instruments
1952 The IBM 701 goes into production. Multiplication: 0.4 ms.
Heinz Nixdorf founds the Labor für Impulstechnik.
1953 Jay Forrester invents the (ceramic ferrite) core memory.
1954 Texas Instruments announces the start of commercial production of silicon transistors (May).
Jack Tramiel founds Commodore Business Machines as a typewriter repair service.  logo Commodore
1955 William Shockley founds Shockley Semiconductor in Palo Alto, California.
1956 The Nobel Prize in physics is awarded to John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley for their work on the transistor.
The world's first fully transitorized computer is completed, the TX-O (Transistorized Experimental Computer), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
IBM introduces the RAMAC 305, the first hard drive, with 50 two-foot diameter platters. Total capacity is 5 MB (November).
1957 Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) is founded (August).  logo Digital Equipment Corp.
John Backus, et. al. design FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslator).
IBM introduces the IBM 608, the first all-transistor commercial calculator.
A group of eight engineers leave William Shockley's company to form Fairchild Semiconductorslogo Fairchild Semiconductor
1958 Robert N. Noyce & Jack St. L. Kilby (USA) make the first integrated circuit, an RC oscillator. It contains five components on a piece of germanium half an inch long and thinner than a toothpick (September).  first integrated circuit
1959 first planar transistor  first planar transistor
LISP (LISt Processing) is implemented by McCarthy at the MIT.
IBM's first fully transistorized computers: IBM 1401 and 1620
COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language) is developed on behalf of the Department of Defense.
At Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce constructs an integrated circuit with components connected by aluminum lines on a silicon-oxide surface layer on a plane of silicon.

1960 Theodore Maiman builds the first laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).
IBM develops the first automatic mass-production facility for transistors, in New York.
Digital Equipment Corp. introduces the minicomputer, the PDP-1, for US$120,000. It is the first commercial computer equipped with a keyboard and monitor. PDP stands for Program, Data, Processor.
C. Hoare programs the Quicksort algorithm.
first MOS transistor from Fairchild (MOS = Metal Oxide Semiconductor)
1961 Burroughs Company introduces multiprogramming and virtual memory.
Fairchild Semiconductor releases the first commercial integrated circuit.
1962 K. E. Iverson develops APL (A Programming Language).
Douglas Engelbart invents the mouse pointing device for computers.
1963 Charles Tandy buys the RadioShack Corporation (April). The Tandy Radio Shack company will become one of the main producers of home computers in the late 1970s.  logo Tandy logo Radio Shack
Douglas Engelbart receives a patent on the mouse pointing device for computers.
1964 John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz develop the BASIC programming language at Dartmouth College. BASIC is an acronym for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. BASIC becomes the most popular introductory programming language for microcomputers, often stored in ROM, and executing commands interactively.
IBM introduces the System/360IBM System/360
Sperry introduces the UNIVAC 1108Sperry
Texas Instruments receives a patent on the integrated circuit.
The American Standard Association adopts ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) as a standard code for data transfer. This standard, defining 7-bit character codes, will be used for most personal computers in the Western world.
IBM coins the term word processing.
1965 Digital Equipment Corp. introduces the PDP-8.
first analog integrated circuit: µA 709  µA 709
Gordon Moore, head of research and development for Fairchild Semiconductor, predicts that transistor density on integrated circuits would double every 12 months for the next ten years. This prediction is revised in 1975 to doubling every 24 months, and becomes known as Moore's Law.
1966 Joseph Weizenbaum (MIT)  Joseph Weizenbaum  programs Eliza.
Hewlett-Packard starts manufacturing computers.
Steven Gray founds the Amateur Computer Society, and begins publishing the ACS Newsletter. Some consider this to be the birth-date of personal computing (May).
AT&T Bell Labs announces the invention of magnetic bubble memoryAT&T
1967 The first Consumer Electronics Show is held in New York City.
The first electronic desktop calculator, the Anita Mark VIII by Norman Kitz (England).  Anita Mark VIII
The DATEX network is started up in Germany.
1968 Robert Noyce & Gordon Moore leave Fairchild Semiconductors and found Integrated Electronics (Intel). Intel begins as a memory chip producer, but will soon switch to the new field of microprocessors.  logo Intel
Niklaus Wirth  Niklaus Wirth  develops Pascal.
International Research Corp., in San Martin, California, develops the architecture for a computer-on-a-chip modelled on an enhanced PDP-8/S concept. Until now, the CPU (central processing unit) has been a collection of chips and other components on a circuit board. Moving as many as possible onto a single chip will greatly aid miniaturization, reduce costs, and increase speed (February).
Ed Roberts & Forest Mims found Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems (MITS). In a few years, MITS will make a desperate switch from producing calculators to computers, and begin a revolution in hobbyist computing.  logo MITS
Nixdorf AG is founded.  logo Nixdorf AG
The US Patent & Trademark Office grants patent 3,387,286 to Dr. Robert Dennard, of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. The patent is for a one-transistor DRAM cell and the basic idea in the three-transistor cell (June).
Douglas C. Engelbart, of the Stanford Research Institute, demonstrates his system of keyboard, keypad, mouse, and windows at the Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco's Civic Center. He demonstrates use of a word processor, a hypertext system, and remote collaborative work with colleagues.
1969 Jerry Sanders and seven others leave Fairchild Semiconductor to form Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)logo Advanced Micro Devices
Seymour Cray of Control Data  logo Contol Data  builds the CDC 7600, the first supercomputer.  CDC 7600
Dennis Ritchie & Kenneth Thompson begin work on the UNIX operation system.
US DoD (ARPA): first sites connected via the Arpanet.
XEROX opens the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)logo Xerox
Bill Gates & Paul Allen, calling themselves the "Lakeside Programming Group", sign an agreement with Computer Center Corporation to report bugs in PDP-10 software, in exchange for computer time.
Gary Starkweather, at Xerox's research facility in Webster, New York, demonstrates using a laser beam with the xerography process to create a laser printer.

1970 Intel creates the 1103 chip, the first generally available 1024-bit dynamic RAM memory chip.
Fairchild introduced the first 256-bit static RAM called the 4100.
1971 Intel introduces the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004. Clock speed of the CPU is 108 kHz. Performance is 60,000 operations per second. It uses 2300 transistors on a die of 3x4 mm, based on 10-micron technology. It can address 640 bytes. Initial price is US$200. Documentation manuals were written by Adam Osborne.  Intel 4004
In major trade publications including Electronic News, Intel officially introduces the MCS-4 (Microcomputer System 4-bit) microcomputer system. It is comprised of the 4001 ROM chip, 4002 RAM chip, 4003 shift register chip, and the 4004 microprocessor.
Nolan Bushnell founds Atarilogo Atari
Stephen Wozniak &ill Fernandez build a computer with lights and switches, from parts rejected by local companies. They call it the Cream Soda Computer, as they drank Cragmont cream soda while they worked.
IBM introduces the memory disk, or floppy disk, an 8-inch floppy plastic disk coated with iron oxide.
Intel introduces the 1101 chip, a 256-bit programmable memory (PROM), and the 1701 chip, a 256-byte erasable read-only memory (EROM).
Wang  logo Wang  introduces the Wang 1200 word processor system.
1972 Texas Instruments unveils its first line of electronic calculators, the TI-2500  Texas Instruments TI-2500, TI-3000, and TI-3500  Texas Instruments TI-3500 (September)
The Pioneer 10 spacecraft is launched, powered by Intel 4004 computing power (March, 2).
National Semiconductor  logo National Semiconductor Corp.  introduces the IMP-16 microprocessor
Intel introduces its 200-KHz 8008 chip, the first commercial 8-bit microprocessor, part of the MCS-8 product family of chips. It accesses 16 KB of memory. It uses 3500 transistors, based on 10-micron technology. Speed is 60,000 instructions per second (April).  Intel 8008
Rockwell announces the PPS-4 microprocessor family, similar to Intel's MCS-4.  logo Rockwell
Gary Kildall implements PL/1 on the Intel 4004 processor.
Xerox decides to build a personal computer to be used for research. The result is the Alto computer.
Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP-35, the first scientific hand-held calcuator.  Hewlett-Packard 35
Bill Gates & Paul Allen form the Traf-O-Data company. They had developed an 8008-based computer hardware/software system for recording automobile traffic flow on a highway.
At Texas Instruments, Gary Boone and Michael Cochran create the TMS1000 one-chip microcomputer. It integrates 1 KB ROM and 32 bytes of RAM with a simple 4-bit processor.
1973 Gary Kildall writes a simple operating system in his PL/1 language. He calls it CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers).
Stephen Wozniak joins Hewlett-Packard.
IBM introduces the IBM 3340 hard disk unit, known as the Winchester, IBM's internal development code name. It used four 8-inch diameter platters, giving it a capacity of 70 MB.
Digital Equipment introduces the PDP-8A with 1KB memory for US$875.
Bob Metcalfe invents the Ethernet connectivity system.
Xerox builds the Alto workstation computer at its Palo Alto Research Center. It uses the advanced Smalltalk language, a mouse input device, and the Ethernet technique of linking Alto computers to each other. Less than 2000 are built in total.
the first integrated 4kbit memory, a dynamic RAM
In France, R2E introduces the Micral microcomputer, powered by an Intel 8008 microprocessor. It is the first commercial non-kit computer based on a microprocessor. The term "microcomputer" is first used in print in reference to the Micral.
Gary Kildall creates the PL/M programming language for the Intel 8008, based on PL/I.
1974 Intel releases its 2-MHz 8080 chip, an 8-bit microprocessor. It can access 64KB of memory and uses 6000 transistors (April).
Motorola introduces its 6800 chip, an early 8-bit microprocessor used in microcomputers and industrial and automotive control devices. The 6800 was designed by Chuck Peddle and Charlie Melear.  logo Motorola
National Semiconductor introduces the 16-bit IMP-16 microprocessor.
Creative Computing, the first magazine for home computerists, is founded (September).  Creative Computing
Bill Mensch, Chuck Peddle, and others leave Motorola to work for MOS Technology (August).
Despite being US$300,000 in debt, Ed Roberts is able to borrow an additional US$65,000 from the bank to complete work on what would be the Altair (September).
Hal Chamberlin and others begin publishing The Computer Hobbyist magazine (November).
Popular Electronics publishes an article by MITS announcing the Altair 8800 computer for US$439 in kit form. It uses the Intel 8080 processor. The Altair pictured on the cover of the magazine is actually a mock-up, as an actual computer was not available. Les Solomon, publisher of Popular Electronics, receives Altair number 0001. Lauren Solomon, 12 year old daughter of Les Solomon, suggests the name "Altair" for Ed Robert's new microcomputer. Altair VI was the name of where Star Trek's Enterprise was going that night (December) .
Texas Instruments introduces the TMS1000 one-chip microcomputer.
Gary Kildall, of Microcomputer Applications Associates, develops the CP/M operating system (Control Program/Monitor) in his PL/M language for Intel 8080-based systems.
Brian Kernighan & Dennis Ritchie develop the C programming language.
RCA presents the 1802, running at a blazing 6.4 MHz, considered one of the first RISC chips.  logo RCA
Xerox releases the Alto computer.
1975 Paul Allen meets with Ed Roberts to demonstrate the newly written BASIC interpreter for the Altair. Despite never having touched an Altair before, the BASIC works flawlessly (February).
Bill Gates & Paul Allen license their newly written BASIC to MITS, their first customer. This is the first computer language program written for a personal computer. (February)
MITS releases the Altair 8800 personal computer.  MITS Altair 8800
Bill Gates & Paul Allen  Paul Allen & Bil Gates  found Micro-Soft, the hyphen is later dropped (April).  logo Microsoft
first implementations of relational data bases: Magnum on DECsystem 10 and Nomad on IBM 370/168
MOS Technology announces the MC6501 processor for US$20 and the MC6502 for US$25 (June).
Wayne Green founds BYTE Magazine  The first issue is published in September.  Byte Magazine (June 1984)
IMSAI announces the IMSAI 8080 microcomputer, a clone of the Altair 8800.
Bill Gates & Paul Allen sign a licensing agreement with MITS, for their implementation of the BASIC language. Gates and Allen receive US$3,000 immediately, with royalties of $30 per copy of 4K BASIC, and $35 for 8K BASIC (July, 22).
IBM's Entry Level Systems unit unveils the IBM 5100 Portable Computer. It is a briefcase-size minicomputer with BASIC, 16 KB RAM expandable to 64 KB, tape storage drive holding 204 KB per tape, keyboard, and built-in 5-inch screen. Weight: 55 pounds. Code name during development was Project Mercury (September).
Bill Gates writes an open letter to microcomputer hobbyists, complaining about software piracy, to be published in an Altair newsletter (December).
Intel's 8048 is the first single chip microcomputer.
MOS Technology ships the 6502 microprocessor. The 6502 was developed by Chuck Peddle.
MOS Technology announces the KIM-1 Microcomputer System, with 1 MHz 6502 CPU, 1 KB RAM, 2 KB ROM monitor, 23-key keypad, LED readout, cassette and serial interfaces, for US$245.  MOS Technology KIM-1
1976 David Jackson founds Altos Computer Systems (Januar).  Altos Computer Systems
Stephen Wozniak & Steve Jobs finish work on a computer circuit board, that they call the Apple I computer (March).  Apple I
Stephen Wozniak offers his new computer (Apple) to Hewlett-Packard, who reject it as a non-viable product.
Steve Jobs & Stephen Wozniak  Steve Jobs & Stephen Wozniak  found Apple Computer  logo Apple Computer  on April Fool's Day (April, 1).
Intel introduces the 5 MHz 8085 microprocessor. Speed is 0.37 MIPS. It uses 6500 transistors, based on 3-micron technology. It supports an 8-bit bus, and operates on a single 5-volt power supply (March).
National Semiconductor releases the SC/MP 8-bit microprocessor, providing early advanced multiprocessing (April).
At the PC '76 conference at the Shelbourne Hotel in Atlantic City, Processor Technology unveils the Sol-20 microcomputer. The Sol-20 uses an Intel 8080 processor, and is sold in a kit form (June).
Gary Kildall and wife Dorothy McEwen found Intergalactic Digital Research. The name is soon shortened to Digital Researchlogo Digital Research
Advanced Micro Devices and Intel sign a patent cross-license agreement, giving Advanced Micro Devices the right to copy Intel's processor microcode and instruction codes.
IBM develops the ink jet printer.
U.S. Robotics is founded, in Skokie, Illinois.  logo U.S. Robotics
IMSAI begins shipping the IMSAI 8080 microcomputer.
The bus of the Altair is named (or renamed) the S-100 bus.
Zilog releases the 2.5 MHz Z80, an 8-bit microprocessor whose instruction set is a superset of the Intel 8080.  logo Zilog
Digital Research copyrights the CP/M operating system (May).
Texas Instruments introduces the TMS9900, the first 16-bit microprocessor. The microprocessor implements the 16-bit architecture used on the TI 990 minicomputer (June).
Commodore International buys MOS Technology (October).
The tradename Microsoft is registered (November).
Michael Shrayer completes writing the Electric Pencil word-processing program for microcomputers (December).
Shugart Associates announces its Model SA400 5¼ inch minifloppy disk drive for US$390. Disk capacity is 110 KB. The disk size is based on a cocktail napkin which a customer requested, rather than the usual eight inch size (December).
1977 Donald Knuth  Donald Knuth  begins work on TEX and METAFONT
4096-bit static bipolar RAM  4096 bit static RAM
1978 Seymour Rubinstein invents WordStar.
1979 64k dynamic RAM  64k dynamic RAM
Daniel Bricklin  Daniel Bricklin   presents VisiCalc.
Duke University and University of North Carolina (UNC): USENET
Motorola announces the 68000 microprocessor.
Intel introduces the i8088 microprocessor.  Intel i8088

1981 IBM introduces the Personal Computer (PC).
1982 Scott McNealy, Andreas von Bechtolsheim, Bill Joy, Vinod Khosla found Sun Microsystemslogo Sun Microsystems
1984 Sun Microsystems introduces its Network File Systems (NFS).
Toshiba  logo Toshiba  presents the 1 mbit memory chip.
1986 Sperry & Burroughs merge to form Unisyslogo Unisys



TCoCD The History of Number Crunching

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