History of Computing

Timeline created by axg5077
  • ABC

    The Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC) was the first electronic digital computing device. Conceived in 1937, the machine was not programmable, being designed only to solve systems of linear equations.

    ENIAC, short for 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 U.S. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory, but its first use was in calculations for the hydrogen bomb.

    The Colossus machines were electronic computing devices used by British codebreakers to read encrypted German messages during World War II. These were the world's first programmable, digital, electronic, computing devices. They used vacuum tubes (thermionic valves) to perform the calculations.
  • Transistors

    First demonstrated by AT&T's Bell Laboratories, they regulate current or voltage flow and act as a switch for electronic signals. Transistors performed functions similar to vacuum tubes, but they were much smaller, cheaper, less power hungry, and more reliable.

    Processors around during that time include the Harvard Mark I, ENIAC, and UNIVAC. The UNIVAC was physically smaller then the ENIAC, but more powerful.
  • DEC PDP-8

    DEC PDP-8
    The PDP-8 was the first successful commercial minicomputer, produced by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in the 1960s. DEC introduced it on 22 March 1965, and sold more than 50,000 systems, the most of any computer up to that date. It was the first widely sold computer in the DEC PDP series of computers.
  • RCA Spectra 70

    RCA Spectra 70
    The RCA Spectra 70 was a line of electronic data processing (EDP) equipment manufactured by the Radio Corporation of America’s computer division beginning in April 1965. The Spectra 70 line included several CPU models, various configurations of core memory, mass-storage devices, terminal equipment, and a variety of specialized interface equipment.
  • IBM 360

    IBM 360
    The IBM 360 is a mainframe computer system family announced by IBM in 1965. It was the first family of computers designed to cover the complete range of applications, from small to large, both commercial and scientific. The design made a clear distinction between architecture and implementation, allowing IBM to release a suite of compatible designs at different prices.
  • Mark-8

    The Mark-8 is a microcomputer design from 1974, based on the Intel 8008 CPU (which was the world's first 8-bit microprocessor). The Mark-8 was designed by graduate student Jonathan Titus and announced as a 'loose kit' in the July 1974 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine.
  • 6800 8-bit Microprocessor

    6800 8-bit Microprocessor
    The 6800 is an 8-bit microprocessor produced by Motorola and released shortly after the Intel 8080 in late 1974.It had 78 instructions, including the famous, undocumented Halt and Catch Fire (HCF) bus test instruction.It may have been the first microprocessor with an index register.
  • MITS Altair

    MITS Altair
    The MITS Altair 8800 was a microcomputer design from 1975 based on the Intel 8080 CPU and sold by mail order through advertisements in Popular Electronics, Radio-Electronics and other hobbyist magazines.
  • Z80 Microprocessor

    Z80 Microprocessor
    The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed and sold by Zilog from July 1976 onwards. It was widely used both in desktop and embedded computer designs as well as for military purposes. The Z80 and its derivatives and clones make up one of the most commonly used CPU families of all time, and, along with the MOS Technology 6502 family.
  • Apple I

    Apple I
    The Apple I,was an early personal computer. They were designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak.Wozniak's friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. The Apple I was Apple's first product, demonstrated in April 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. It went on sale in July 1976 at a price of $666.66, because Wozniak liked repeating digits and because they originally sold it to a local shop for $500 and added a one-third markup.
  • VisiCalc

    VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet program available for personal computers. It is often considered the application that turned the microcomputer from a hobby for computer enthusiasts into a serious business tool.VisiCalc sold over 700,000 copies in six years.

    The IBM Personal Computer XT, was IBM's successor to the original IBM PC. It was released as IBM product number 5160 in 1983, and came standard with a hard drive. It was based on essentially the same architecture as the original PC, with only incremental improvements; a new 16-bit bus architecture would follow in the AT. The XT was mainly intended as an enhanced machine for business use.
  • Apple Lisa

    Apple Lisa
    A key feature of the Lisa was its graphical user interface-an idea borrowed from the Xerox Alto computer. At $10,000, the Lisa proved too expensive for most consumers.
  • Apple Macintosh

    Apple Macintosh
    The $2,495 Macintosh featured a graphical user interface that made programs easier to use than those on the command-line based IBM PC.