Computer Technology Milestones
We stand on the shoulders of giants. These are just a few of the many (with a midget thrown in):
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.
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
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.
1974 Gary Kildall delivers CP/M 1.0, an operating system for the 8080 CPU.
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. 1988 Robert Morris launches the first Internet worm.
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.