Published On: Thu, Jun 9th, 2011

History of Computers

ENIAC( Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was the first general-purpose electronic computer. It was a Turing-complete digital computer capable of being reprogrammed to solve a full range of computing problems.]

ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory. When ENIAC was announced in 1946 it was heralded in the press as a “Giant Brain”. It boasted speeds one thousand times faster than electro-mechanical machines, a leap in computing power that no single machine has since matched. This mathematical power, coupled with general-purpose programmability, excited scientists and industrialists. The inventors promoted the spread of these new ideas by teaching a series of lectures on computer architecture.

The ENIAC’s design and construction was financed by the United States Army during World War II. The construction contract was signed on June 5, 1943, and work on the computer began in secret by the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering starting the following month under the code name “Project PX”. The completed machine was announced to the public the evening of February 14, 1946 and formally dedicated the next day at the University of Pennsylvania, having cost almost $500,000 (nearly $6 million in 2010, adjusted for inflation). It was formally accepted by the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps in July 1946. ENIAC was shut down on November 9, 1946 for a refurbishment and a memory upgrade, and was transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland in 1947. There, on July 29, 1947, it was turned on and was in continuous operation until 11:45 p.m. on October 2, 1955.

ENIAC was conceived and designed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert of the University of Pennsylvania.[9] The team of design engineers assisting the development included Robert F. Shaw (function tables), Chuan Chu (divider/square-rooter), Thomas Kite Sharpless (master programmer), Arthur Burks (multiplier), Harry Huskey (reader/printer) and Jack Davis (accumulators).

Computer History
Year/Enter
Computer History
Inventors/Inventions
Computer History
Description of Event

1936

Konrad Zuse – Z1 Computer First freely programmable computer.

1942

John Atanasoff & Clifford Berry
ABC Computer
Who was first in the computing biz is not always as easy as ABC.

1944

Howard Aiken & Grace Hopper
Harvard Mark I Computer
The Harvard Mark 1 computer.

1946

John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly
ENIAC 1 Computer
20,000 vacuum tubes later…

1948

Frederic Williams & Tom Kilburn
Manchester Baby Computer & The Williams Tube
Baby and the Williams Tube turn on the memories.

1947/48

John Bardeen, Walter Brattain & Wiliam Shockley
The Transistor
No, a transistor is not a computer, but this invention greatly affected the history of computers.

1951

John Presper Eckert & John W. Mauchly
UNIVAC Computer
First commercial computer & able to pick presidential winners.

1953

International Business Machines
IBM 701 EDPM Computer
IBM enters into The History of Computers.

1954

John Backus & IBM
FORTRAN Computer Programming Language
The first successful high level programming language.

1955
(In Use 1959)

Stanford Research Institute, Bank of America, and General Electric
ERMA and MICR
The first bank industry computer – also MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) for reading checks.

1958

Jack Kilby & Robert Noyce
The Integrated Circuit
Otherwise known as ‘The Chip’

1962

Steve Russell & MIT
Spacewar Computer Game
The first computer game invented.

1964

Douglas Engelbart
Computer Mouse & Windows
Nicknamed the mouse because the tail came out the end.

1969

ARPAnet The original Internet.

1970

Intel 1103 Computer Memory The world’s first available dynamic RAM chip.

1971

Faggin, Hoff & Mazor
Intel 4004 Computer Microprocessor
The first microprocessor.

1971

Alan Shugart &IBM
The “Floppy” Disk
Nicknamed the “Floppy” for its flexibility.

1973

Robert Metcalfe & Xerox
The Ethernet Computer Networking
Networking.

1974/75

Scelbi & Mark-8 Altair & IBM 5100 Computers The first consumer computers.

1976/77

Apple I, II & TRS-80 & Commodore Pet Computers More first consumer computers.

1978

Dan Bricklin & Bob Frankston
VisiCalc Spreadsheet Software
Any product that pays for itself in two weeks is a surefire winner.

1979

Seymour Rubenstein & Rob Barnaby
WordStar Software
Word Processors.

1981

IBM
The IBM PC – Home Computer
From an “Acorn” grows a personal computer revolution

1981

Microsoft
MS-DOS Computer Operating System
From “Quick And Dirty” comes the operating system of the century.

1983

Apple Lisa Computer The first home computer with a GUI, graphical user interface.

1984

Apple Macintosh Computer The more affordable home computer with a GUI.

1985

Microsoft Windows Microsoft begins the friendly war with Apple.

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