The History of Computing

Timeline created by arv5057
  • Babbage starts desiging the Analytical Engine

    Charles Babbage began designing a new general-purpose calculating device in 1834. It was never completed but many of the characteristics that define modern computers was embodied by this machine.
  • IBM is created

    In 1924 The Tabulating Machine Company changed to International Business Machines, also known as IBM. IBM has become a major player in the computer industry.
  • Period: to

    John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry worked on a prototype

    Between 1937 and 1942 these two men worked on a prototype of an electronic computer. This computer was the first to use vacuum tubes. It used vacuum tubes instead of mechanical switches for processing circuitry.
  • Harvard Mark 1

    Harvard Mark 1
    In 1939 emerged a mechanical computer. It was originally planned out to integrate 73 IBM Automatic Accounting Machines into a single unified computing unit, but turned into the ASCC, which has now taken on the name the Harvard Mark 1. image from
  • The ABC was first demonstrated

    In 1939 The Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) was first demonstrated.It was not the best computer, but it opened the way for the computer generation.
  • Period: to

    The Z3 was created

    During World War II, a German engineer by the name of Zuse was working on a system that was designed to work with binary numbers. The computer was much like the ABC, but did not surface until long after the war.
  • ENIAC was started

    In 1943, a team started work on ENIAC ( Electronic Numerical Intgrator and Computer). It was designed to calculate trajectory tables for the U.S. Army.
  • COLOSSUS created

    A team of British developers created COLOSSUS. It was an electronic device designed to decode messages encrypted by the German Enigma machine. It contained 1,800 vacuum tubes.
  • Period: to

    ENIAC was in service

    ENIAC was created in 1943 and remained in service until 1955. Throughout this time it recieved many upgrades and was continually pressed into service.
  • ENIAC was finished

    Although ENIAC was designed it calculate trajectory tables for the U.S. Army, it was not finished until November 1945, which was 3 months after World War II ended.
  • ENIAC was dedicated at the More School of Electrical Engineering of the University of Penn

    On February 15, 1946 ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was dedicated at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering. This machine was used to make atomic energy calculations and compute trajectories for new missle technologies.
  • Transistors regulate current or voltage flow

    In 1947 transistors regulate current ot voltage flow and act as a switch for electronic signals.
  • Second-generation computers

    Second-generation computers
    Second-generation computers used transistors instead of vacuum tubes. They also ran programming language compliers that allowed programmers to write instructions using English-like commands rather then machine language.
  • Period: to

    Transitors replace vaccuum tubes

    By the late 1950's transistors replaced vacuum tubes as the processing and memory technology for most computers. This made way for second-generation computers, and transistors were the difference between the first and second generation computers.
  • UNIVAC Created

    UNIVAC Created
    The first commercially successful digital computer. This type of computer used technology that required lots of space and electrical power. The cost of a UNIVAC averaged about $930,000. image from image from
  • Third-generation computers become possible

    In 1958 Jack Kilby developed integrated circuits. This new technology made it possible to pack the equivalent of thousands of vacuum tubes or transitors onto a single mini chip. This reduced the size, weight and power requirements for devices like computers.
  • Period: to

    First 2 computers to incorporate integrated circuits were created

    Between this time two of the first computers to incorporate Jack Kilby's integrated circuits were the RCA Spectra 70 and the IBM 360.
  • DEC PDP-8 introduced

    In 1965 Digital Equipment Corporation introduced the first commercially successful minicomputer. Minicomputers were meant to be much smaller and less powerful than mainframe computers.
  • First orders for IBM 360 computers were filled

    First orders for IBM 360 computers were filled
    The IBM 360 was one of the first computers to incorporate integrated circuits. This date is known as the advent of third-generation computers. image from
  • Fourth-generation computers appeared

    Fourth-generation computers appeared
    Fourth-generation computers appeared in 1971. The fourth-gineration computers were icroprocessed-based computer systems. They were faster, smaller and less expensive than third-generations.
  • 6800 8-bit microprocessor released

    In 1974 Motorola realeased the 6800 8-bit microprocessor.
  • MITS Altair announced

    In 1975 Ed Roberts and the Micro Intrumentation and Telemetry Systems company announced the MITS Altair. It was the first commercial microcomputer.
  • Z80 microprocessor introduced

    Zilog introduced the Z80 microprocessor. It was an enhanced microprocessor that was used in many early computer systems.
  • Apple Computer Corporation founded

    In 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded the Apple Computer Corporation. at the same time they released the Apple 1. It was a kit containing a system board with 4KB of RAM.
  • Apple 2 introduced

    Apple 2 introduced
    In 1978 Apple introduced the Apple 2. It was a preassembled computer that featured color graphics, expansion slots, a disk drive and much more. It was a very successful computer of its time. image from
  • IBM markets a PC

    In 1981 IMB began marketing a personal computer or PC. When the PC version of VisiCalc came out, IBM PC became the top-selling personal computer.