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A Computer history timeline Counting aids Manual caculators Mechanical calculators Programmable calculators Programmable computers

Date c.3000 B.C c.1200 A.D c.1600 c.1600 1621 1623 1642 1673 1801-1804 1820 1822-1833 1834 Inventor Babylonians unknown unknown John Napier William Oughtred Wilhelm Schickard Blaise Pascal Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz Joseph Jacquard Thomas deColmar Charles Babbage Charles Babbage Device Abacus Chinese abacus Japanese abacus Napiers Bones Slide Rule Shickards Calculator Pascaline Leibniz Calculator Jacquard Loom deColmars Arithometer Difference Engine Analytical Engine Details Simple counting and calculating aid. Thought to have first been invented around this time In widespread use in China by this time (according to textbook) In widespread use in Japan by this time (according to textbook) Multiplication and division tool based on logarithms Similar in purpose and function to Napiers Bones. Based on logarithms also. Popular up until the 1960s. Interlocking geared wheels. Not much known about it. Could add, subtract, multiply and divide. Similar to Pascaline. A mechanical calculating device. Weaving machine that could be programmed with punched cards. First mass-produced mechanical calculator (Never completed) Steam powered. For calculating large tables of numbers for astronomy and engineering. Would have had > 4000 gears levers and wheels. (Never completed) Embodied many of ideas of modern computers: memory, programmable processor, input/output capabilities. Was to use punched cards, probably got that idea from Jacquard. Ada Lovelace (daughter of the poet Lord Byron) also contributed and is considered the worlds first programmer. Punched card tabulating machine created to tabulate results of the 1890 US Census. He incorporated as The Tabulating Machine Company which later became International Business Machines (a.k.a. IBM) First computer prototype to use vacuum tubes instead of mechanical switches. Also used the binary number system like a modern computer. A binary computer. Based on electromechanical relay switches. But working under the Nazi regime in Germany, his work was unknown until much later. Electromechanical relay computer with many moving parts. Used decimal number system. Electronic device made to decode encrypted ENIGMA messages. Made with vacuum tubes and based on binary arithmetic. General purpose computer. Vacuum tubes. Designed to calculate trajectory tables for the US Army, but wasnt finished until shortly after the war. Programmed via switches and patch cables. First commercially successful digital computer. Vacuum tubes. Also used magnetic tape for storage. Took punched cards too. Remington-Rand is the corp that actually marketed and sold UNIVAC, because Eckert-Mauchly ran out of money.


Herman Hollerith

Hollerith Tabulating Machine Altanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) Z3 Harvard Mark I COLLOSUS ENIAC

1937-1942 ~1942-1945 1939 1943 1943-1945

John V. Atanasoff and Clifford E. Berry Konrad Zuse Howard Aiken (IBM sponsored) A British team incl. Alan Turing John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp.



Late 1950s 1965 1965 1965 1971

Various RCA IBM Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) Ted Hoff (INTEL)

Various RCA Spectra 70 IBM 360 PDP-8 Intel 4004

Second generation computers, based on transistors. One of the first Third Generation Computers based on integrated circuits (IC) Another of the first Third Generation Computers. Based on IC technology. First commercially successful minicomputer (also IC-based) First Fourth Generation Computer, i.e. first microprocessor. That is, the first complete processor on a single chip built using integrated circuit technology. Followed by 8008, 8085, 8080, 8086,8088,80286,80386,80486, 80586 (a.k.a Pentium), Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium IV. Early predecessor of processor first used in Macintosh computers, the 68000. Based on Intels 8080, versions still used today in embedded computing tasks. Early hobbyist personal computer First truly commercial hobbyist microcomputer. Another early microcomputer kit for hobbyists. Early personal computer with color graphics and actually useful software (VisiCalc) Predecessor of the most popular personal computer platform in use today. First commercial personal computer with a Graphical User Interface (GUI) based on ideas from Xerox PARC research lab. First commercially successful computer with a GUI

1974 1976 1974 1975 1977 1978 1981 1983 1984

Motorola Zilog Jonathan A. Titus Ed Roberts Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs IBM Apple Computer Apple Computer

6800 Z80 Mark-8 MITS Altair Apple I Apple II IBM PC Lisa Macintosh