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Computer Technology Milestones
 
We stand on the shoulders of giants. These are just a few of the many (with a midget thrown in):
 
1645 Blaise Pascal invents a mechanical calculator. He produced a dozen of them.
 
1705 Gottfried Leibniz publishes "Explication de l'Arithmétique Binaire", which fully documents the binary number system.

1801 Joseph Jacquard invents the programmable loom. It used punched cards. Pictures
 
1840 Charles Babbage begins work on the Analytical Engine. (He didn't finish it.)
 
1843 Ada Lovelace creates a program for Babbage's Analytical Engine.
 
1847 George Boole defines Boolean logic, upon which all digital computers rely.
 
1890 US Census Bureau uses punch cards and tabulating machines designed and built by Herman Hollerith to tabulate 1890 census in only 1 year, instead of 12 years, as was forecasted for manual tabulation.
 
1898 Nikola Tesla files for patents that include the electronic AND gate.
 
1937 Claude Shannon publishes A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits  Formalized the creation of electronic logic circuits.
 
1941 Konrad Zuse completes Z3 computer The first working programmable, digital computer that used binary arithmetic. Remarkably advanced design but used relays. Germany

1944
IBM delivers ASCC ("Harvard Mark I") electronic calculator to Harvard University Electro-mechanical (not truly electronic)  length: 51 feet, height: 8 feet, weight: 5 tons, 3304 relays
 
1946 Eckert and Mauchly complete ENIAC at University of Pennsylvania. Truly electronic, but not binary. (It used decimal arithmetic.) Weight: 50 tons, vacuum tubes: 18,000
 
 
1948 Claude Shannon publishes A Mathematical Theory of Communication 
 
1964 IBM introduces System/360. Same programs run on a wide range of computers, from small to large. Development costs, especially software, almost sink IBM.
 
1969 Unix operating system is developed at Bell Labs.
 
1970s Arpanet is born (and later morphs into the Internet). 1974 Internet map
 
1971 Intel releases the 4004 microprocessor. Federico Faggin's creation, the first "computer on a chip".
 
1974 Bob Metcalfe invents Ethernet -- just one of many milestones from Xerox's Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC)
 
 
1974 Gary Kildall delivers CP/M 1.0, an operating system for the 8080 CPU.
 
1980 Tim Paterson writes QDOS, which would become MS-DOS and PC-DOS.
 
1981 Adam Osborne introduces the Osborne 1 portable computer.  4 MHz Zilog Z80 CPU. 64 KB RAM. 5 inch CRT display. Weight: 23 pounds. Operating system: CP/M. Bundled WordStar, Visicalc, Database software. Instant success with 10,000 units shipped each month.
 
1981 IBM launches the IBM-PC.  CPU: Intel 8088, 4.7 MHz.  Memory: 16 kilobytes. Storage: 1 or 2   5.25 inch, 360 kilobyte floppy disk drives. If booted with no diskettes, it would run Microsoft's interpreted BASIC from its ROM.
 
 
1983 Osborne Computer filles for bankruptcy. Moral: While still producing a successful product, don't announce your new improved product until you're ready to deliver the new product. Otherwise, buyers will hold their purchases until the new product ships and refuse to buy the old product. D'oh! This is now called The Osborne Effect.
 
 
1986 1) Eagle Computer goes public. 2) Newly rich founder dies in Ferrari crash same day as IPO. 3) Eagle files bankruptcy. Yes, all in the same year. Rags to riches to rags. One moral: don't steal IBM's intellectual property. (Compaq had been smarter when they hired a team to write the BIOS for their PC clone.)
 
1988 Robert Morris launches the first Internet worm.