Computer Histroy 1930s-1960s

COMPUTERS Development 





Dr. John V. Atanasoff and Clifford Berry design and build the first electronic digital computer. Their machine, the Atanasoff Berry: Computer, or ABC, provides the foundation for advances in electronic digital computers.

Alan Turing: develops the concept of a theoretical computing machine



During World War II, British scientist AlanTuring designs the Colossus, an electroniccomputer created for the military to break German codes. The computer’s existence is kept secret until the 1970s.



Dr. John von Neumann writes a brilliant paper describing the stored program concept. His breakthrough idea, where memory holds both data and stored programs, lays the foundation for all digital computers that have since been built.



Dr. John W. Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert,Jr. complete work on the first large scale electronic, general purpose digital computer. The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer)weighs thirty tons, contains 18,000 vacuum tubes, occupies a thirty:by:fifty:foot space, and consumes 160 kilowatts of power. The first time it is turned on, lights dim in an entire section of Philadelphia.



William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain invent the transfer resistance device, eventually called the transistor. The transistor would revolutionize computers, proving much more reliable than vacuum tubes.



The first commercially available electronic digital computer, the UNIVAC I (Universal Automatic Computer), is introduced by Remington Rand. Public awareness of computers increases when the UNIVAC I, after analyzing only five percent of the popular vote, correctly predicts that Dwight. Eisenhower will win the presidential election.



Dr. Grace Hopper considers the concept of reusable software in her paper, “The Education of a Computer.” The paper describes how to program a computer with symbolic notation instead of the detailed machine language that had been used.



The IBM model 650 is one of the first widely used computer systems. Originally planning to produce only 50 machines, the system is so successful that eventually IBM manufactures more than 1,000. With the IBM 700 series of machines, the company will dominate the mainframe market for the next decade. Core memory, developed in the early 1950s, provides much larger storage capacity than vacuum tube memory.



FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation), an efficient, easy-to-use programming language, is introduced by John Backus. The IBM 305 RAMAC system is the first to use magnetic disk for external storage. The system provides storage capacity similar to magnetic tape that previously was used, but offers the advantage of semi: random access capability.



Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments invents the integrated circuit, which lays the foundation for high: speed computers and large: capacity memories. Computers built with transistors mark the beginning of the second generation of computer hardware.



More than 200 programming languages have been created. IBM introduces two smaller, desk: sized computers: the IBM 1401 for business and the IBM 1620 for scientists. The IBM 1620 initially is called the CADET,but IBM drops the name when campus wags claim it is an acronym for, Can’t Add,Doesn’t Even Try.



COBOL, a high: level business application language, is developed by a committee headed by Dr. Grace Hopper. COBOL uses English: like phrases and runs on most business computers, making it one of the more widely used programming languages.



The number of computers has grown to18,000. Third: generation computers, with their controlling circuitry stored on chips,are introduced. The IBM System/360computer is the first family of compatible machines, merging science and business lines



Dr. John Kemeny of Dartmouth leads the development of the BASIC programming language. BASIC will be widely used on personal computers. Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) introduces the first minicomputer, the PDP:8. The machine is used extensively as an interface for time: sharing systems



Alan Shugart at IBM demonstrates the first regular use of an 8: inch floppy (magnetic storage) disk. In a letter to the editor titled, “GO TO Statements Considered Harmful,”Dr. Edsger Dijsktra introduces the concept of structured programming, developing standards for constructing computer programs. Computer Science Corporation becomes the first software company list edon the New York Stock Exchange.



Under pressure from the industry, IBM announces that some of its software will be priced separately from the computer hardware. This unbundling allows software firms to emerge in the industry. The ARPANET network, a predecessor of the Internet, is established.

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