Thursday, April 20, 2006

How Civilization Got Powered Up with a Brand New Tool. Ver 6.3
"The purpose of technology is to free us up to be and do our best."
The Industrial Revolution freed up our bodies, the Computer Revolution frees up our minds.
Heart of the Beast Software!

Bit = the basis of the binary number system, on/off, zero/one, signifiers of voltage differences.
Byte = 8 bits in a line, representing a letter, number, symbol or action. For instance, by the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) convention, the letter A is represented 01000001.
Kilobyte = 1,000 bytes
Megabyte = 1,000 kilobytes (1,000,000 bytes)
Gigabyte = 1,000 megabytes (1,000,000,000 bytes)
Terabyte = 1,000 gigabytes, (1,000,000,000,000 bytes)
Petabyte = 1,024 terabytes, one quadrillion bytes.
Exabyte = 1024 petabytes or 2^60 = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 bytes.

Free Online Dictionary of Computing
Find your old computer, history and timeline

3000 B.C. - The abacus is developed in Babylonia.
2500 B.C. - The first written story, Gilgamesh. Written in Sumerian cuneiform by the first recorded author Shin-eqi-unninni, Gilgamesh recounts our eternal lot, a longing stretch towards the infinite and our reluctant embrace of the temporal.

600 B.C. - The Greek Thales theorizes a connection between electricity and magnetism.

500 B.C. - The Greek Simonides describes his "memory palace" as a way to remember vast amounts of information.

1400 A.D. - Moslem astronomers understand the mathematical use of zero.
1492 - Columbus discovers America and a new age of globalization begins.
1500s - Geneva becomes the world's center for the mother of all machines, the clock.
1600 - Galileo brings together the experiential and mathematical into a single stream which leads to the development of the scientific method.
1623 - The first mechanical calculator, the Shickard calculating clock, is able to add and subtract.
1630 - The slide rule.
1646 - Sir T. Brown first uses the word "computer" referring to people employed to make calculations for calendars, "The calendars of these computers...." The word “computer ” was commonly used to describe a person hired to “compute ” tedious calculations. Consisting mostly of women, their efforts were commonly calculated in units of “kilogirls. ” Arguably, according to David Alan Grier in his book, When Computers were human, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries research scientists contracted out long, complex, calculations, first to individuals and then to groups of people set up in offices, dividing their labor into addition, subtraction and multiplication, and then assembling and checking the results.
1652 - The Pascal calculator.
1673 - The Leibniz calculator can multiply, add, divide, subtract.
1679 - The Binary Revolution begins. Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz, philosopher and mathematician, stumbles onto the binary number system. Using only zeroes and ones he is able to express any letter or number.
1700's - Enough people have learned to read that the concept of a free press begins to make sense.
1712 - The first successful steam engine is built by Thomas Newcomen and developed over the next ninety years by James Watt and Richard TreviRevolutione Industrial Revoution begins.
1780 - Ben Franklin discovers electricity.
1800's, early - Hans Christian Orsted discovers that electricity in motion creates a magnetic field that can be converted to mechanical energy. Up to this point electricity has no practical use other than generating heat.
1801 - Jacquard invents the punch-card-operated loom, creating a model for future punch-card-operated computers.
1820 - The Arithmometer, the first mass produced commercial calculator. 1820 - Complicated astronomical calculations are being carried out by "computers" made up of rooms full of young boys, adding and subtracting through 12 hour shifts with an hour off for lunch.
1831 - Faraday builds the first electric generator.
1837 - Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail develop a simple way to send an electronic signal to a distant receiver. Their invention is called the telegraph, the first example of electronic communication.
1840 - Babbage's Difference and Analytical engines promise steam driven machines that will mechanize the calculations of complex astronomical tables, mechanizing thought itself. He draws thousands of detailed drawings, developing the fundamentals on which today's computers operate. Although the machine is so mechanically complex that it is never able to overcome its own friction, the basic engine is in place.
1840 - Augusta Ada, Countess of Lovelace, the first computer software genius, programs Babbage's Analytical engine and understands the powers of simulating a generalized machine that will do your bidding.
1854 - English mathematician George Boole creates Boolean Algebra and lays the groundwork for information theory : and, or, not.
1855 - G.E. Scheutz builds the first practical mechanical computer with a printout. 1866 - Cyrus Field lays the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable and global telecommunications takes off.
1870's - Using a numeric code, Melvil Dewey develops a universal classification system for books.
1871 - Japan's major export is green tea. 1875 - Frank Baldwin opens the first American Calculator shop.
1876 - Telephone, Alexander Graham Bell.
1877 - Phonograph, Thomas Edison.
1881 - The first International Electrical Congress meets in order to begin defining standards for the newly emerging electrical industry, defines Ohm's Law.
1886 - William Burroughs develops the first successful mechanical adding machine with a keyboard.
1890 - The first automated U.S. Census is tabulated on the Hollerith Tabulating Machine. Because of the extra reports this automation is able to generate, the census cost nearly twice as much as projected, creating a controversy about the benefits of automation that continues to this day.
1893 - The Millionaire, the first efficient four function calculator hits the market.
1895 - Charles Fey invents the first slot machine, the forerunner of today's video game.
1900 - 1910 - mechanical calculators become commonplace.
1903 - Nikola Tesla patents electrical logic circuits called "gates" or "switches."
1900's, early - The Czech word "robot" is first used to describe mechanical workers in Karel Capek's play R.U.R.
1912 - The vacuum tube.
1921 - Trans-Atlantic radio-telephone service.
1923 - A patent is issued in the United States for the first television camera.
1924 - IBM founded.
1928 - The cathode ray tube (CRT).
1936 - The British mathematician, logician and cryptographer Alan Turing describes the very idea of a universal machine, the "Turing Machine," in a paper "On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem." A universal machine is a device capable of emulating any kind of mechanical process, including the mechanical solution of complex mathematical problems. The Turing Machine is so simple it can be described on a single sheet of paper, yet it is capable of achieving the complexity of a modern computer (see Byte magazine, November, 1987, Vol. 12, No. 13, p. 345 for a one page description of the TM).
1937 - Atanasoff formulates the principles of the first electronic digital calculator, including the use of base-2, binary, on-off, or "digital" signals. He builds the world's first working model of the electronic digital computer. In 1973 a U.S. district court recognizes him as the official inventor of the computer.
1937 - April 25, Guernica bombed. For the first time media is able to deliver almost instantaneous images of an event.
1938 - Chester F. Carlson invents Xerography.
1938 - LSD discovered, going on to become an integral catalyst to the wired revolution.
1941 - Konrad Zuse's Z3 becomes the first electromechanical-general-purpose-program-controlled calculator.
1943 - The Mark I. IBM's first electronic digital computer, uses mechanical relays. Does not allow for "If Then" or "Go To" instructions. A need to alter the flow of processing is recognized.
1943 - The U.S. Army appropriates $61,700 to build ENIAC, the first productive electronic-digital computer (no relays).
1945 - Trying to make the Mark I work, Grace Hopper discovers the first computer bug - crushed in a relay. She goes on to develop the world's first programming career.
1945 - Vannevar Bush describes the first personal computer in an article "As We May Think," in the Atlantic Monthly magazine. What Bush has in mind is a miniature machine called the memex - memory extender - consisting of a desk, screens, keyboards, levers, that will act as a calculator, word processor, picture editor and filer.
1946 - Mauchly and Eckert finish ENIAC (electronumerical integrator and computer) and turn it on February 13. Budgeted at $61,700 three years earlier, ENIAC ends up costing $486,804. The machine is designed to compute the trajectory of artillery shells during World War II, but the war ends before the system can be put to use. It is then used to run feasibility studies for the development of the hydrogen bomb. ENIAC weighs 30 tons, contains 70,000 resistors, 18,000 vacuum tubes, 3,00 neon bulbs, 500,000 soldered joints.
1946 - Von Neuman builds the logical framework for a generalized, programmable machine: a central processor, memory, arithmetic unit, input/output devices, operating in a step by step manner.
1946 - The Edvac computer is able to switch between different programs.
1940 ’s, late - The Mathematical Tables Project, under the direction of John von Neumann of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, wanted to check the accuracy of ENIAC. Twenty five human computers took 21 days to do what ENIAC was able to do in nine hours.
1947 - Bell Labs invents the transistor, allowing huge amounts of information to be handled by very small, inexpensive, cool devices, which replace thousands of vacuum tubes.
1947 - IBM decides not to invest in the commercial manufacturing of computers. With a world-wide installed base of 6, they view the data-processing market as saturated.
1949 - MIT's Claude Shannon builds the first chess playing computer, called Caissac.
1950 - Steve Wozniak born.
1950 - Alan Turing proposes the classic test of machine intelligence in a paper titled Computer Machinery and Intelligence. "A machine may be deemed intelligent when it can pass for a human being in a blind test."
1950 - Japan privatizes its radio industry, priming the pump of the Japanese electronics industry.
1951 - Univac, the first commercial computer, is constructed by Remington Rand for the Bureau of Census.
1951 - Grace Hopper conceives of a program known as a compiler.
1951 - The first significant public demonstration of a computer producing graphics on the screen. Edward R. Murrow interviews MIT professor Jay Forester on the television show See It Now. An "electronic digital computer" named Whirlwind is attached to a television set. Whirlwind displays both the graph of a rocket trajectory and the moving image of a bouncing ball.
1954 - Ed Deming convinces Japan to try "quality" as a way to build their exports.
1955 - Computer aided instruction (CAI) is pioneered.
1955 - A McDonald's hamburger franchise costs $950.
1956 - Thomas Watson, Jr. becomes CEO of IBM.
1956 - Japan is admitted to the United Nations.
1956 - Trans-Atlantic cable telephone service is inaugurated.
1956 - Elvis.
1956 - In America, for the first time, white-collar workers who work with information, outnumber blue-collar workers who produce goods.
1956 - With the help of Marvin Minsky, John McCarthy, an assistant professor at Dartmouth college, coins the phrase Artificial Intelligence (AI).
1957 - Sputnik, the missing link in the global information society, is launched by Russia, establishing an era of global satellite communications and sparking the Space Race. American education becomes convinced that it must spark an interest in science among students. Millions of dollars are spent, and 30 years later a poll shows that 75% of all graduate students in America are studying to become lawyers.
1957 - IBM introduces FORTRAN, the first "high-level" computer language.
1958 - IBM passes up the chance to purchase a small company that has just developed a process called Xerography, discounting the technology as, "unimportant."
1958 - In response to Sputnik, President Eisenhower establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), funding one of the all-time success stories of basic research. Before Fulbright, Kennedy and Mansfield get their hands on ARPA in 1970 (changing its name to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [DARPA]) it funds basic computer research, resulting in America's world leadership in computer science.
1958 - The Council of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) authorizes the appointment of a committee to consider "the social responsibilities of computer people to advance socially desirable applications of computers and to help prevent socially undesirable applications."
1958 - John McCarthy, inventor of the artificial intelligence language LISP, conceives of a new class of software, "soft robots." These robots mold themselves to the needs of the user, learning the user's computer habits.
1958 - William Higginbotham hooks together an analog computer and an oscilloscope to produce the first videogame: a small dot that bounces back and forth across the screen called, "Tennis for Two."
1959 - A video recorder is the size of an upright piano.
1959 - The IBM RAMAC, the first disk based computer of consequence, uses disk platters four feet in diameter.
1960 - SpaceWar may be the most important computer game ever. The first version was developed for the PDP-1 at MIT. The game has been under constant development since.
1960 - J.C.R. Licklider formulates the goal of interactive computing in his paper "Man-Computer Symbiosis." Interactive computing implies a continuous dialog between user and computer, where Users get their hands on the information they need, when they need it, instead of waiting for reports back from "batch" or "back-room" processing.
1960 - Project Multiple Access Computing/Machine Aided Cognition (MAC) explores interactive time-sharing computing at MIT, decentralizing and democratizing powerful computers.
1961 - The RAND Corporation proposes a scheme something like the Internet and persuades the military to fund development.
1961- The silicon revolution explodes, when Robert Noyce and Jack Kirby of Texas Instruments solve the most important electronic engineering problem of their time, how to integrate all the components of an electronic circuit onto a single flake of silicon. This new integrated circuit (IC) replaces thousands of transistors with a single silicon chip. The electronics industry is revolutionized again. Virtually every scientist, in every corner of the world, recognizes the need for a computer in areas of pure mathematics, where calculations are too big a burden for human beings. ICs first hit the market at $120 each.
1961 - Hackers invent themselves at MIT - establishing a glorious tradition well documented in Steven Levy's book Hackers.
1961 - The IBM System 360 becomes the first programmable processor.
1961 - Spacewar, the first popular computer game, is written by Steve Russell while a student at MIT. Spacewar is based on the Lensmen series of operas by "Doc" Smith.
1962 - Sketchpad, the first interactive graphics program, is designed by Ivan Sutherland.
1962 - In the same issue reporting the Cuban missle crisis (November 2), The New York Times, first uses the term "personal computer."
1963 - The first portable electronic calculator is introduced by the Bell Punch Company.
1964 - The IBM 360 mainframe dominates. Computers are now being used for numerous large commercial applications.
1964 - The Beatles appear on Ed Sullivan and everything is set loose upon a sea of hope and generational transformation. An era of fun and pranksterism begins in ernest.
1964 - The first criminally prosecuted computer crime. Texas Hancock is sentenced to five years for pirating 5 million dollars worth of his employer's software.
1964 - The first personal computer (PC), the Linc. It costs $40,000, has a personal filing system, keyboard, interactive display, and is "transportable."
1964 - Costing less than $10,000, and able to plug into a regular power supply, the DEC PDP-1 is introduced as the first commercial minicomputer. IBM dismisses it as too small to do any "real" computing.
1964 - The first word processor, IBM's Magnetic Tape/Selectric Typewriter.
1964 - Douglas Engelbart of the Stanford Research Institute develops the first Mouse. The purpose of his research is to discover how human beings best interface with computers. His outline describing how mice should be employed is overlooked by developers, and the mouse is generally ignored until 1983 when Apple's Lisa is introduced.
1964 - Dartmouth BASIC (Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is developed by Kemeny and Kirk in order to give students access to big computers with only a semester or two of study.
1964 - Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man, by Marshall McLuhan is published. Although barely mentioning computers, the book raises two fundamental questions about the modern world: what is electronic communication, and how does electronic communication affect the consciousness of the world? McLuhan concludes, "Since electric energy is independent of the place or kind of work cooperation, it creates patterns of decentralism and diversity in the work to be done. This is a logic that appears plainly enough in the difference between firelight and electric light, for example. People grouped around a fire or candle for warmth or light are less able to pursue independent thoughts, or even tasks, than people supplied with electric light. In the same way, the social and educational patterns latent in automation are those of self-employment and artistic autonomy. Panic about automation as a threat of uniformity on a world scale is a projection into the future of mechanical standardization and specialism, which are now past." The computer challenges this conclusion with a new threat of mass uniformity, global centralism, standardization of the work to be done, and specialism in the work place. Will we all become code cutters for the Global Computer?
1965 - Ted Nelson, computer visionary, coins the word "hypertext" for his vision of a global-computer- software-storage scheme that provides the computer user with instant access to all books, papers, music, pictures, anything that can be digitized and stored on a computer. The goal of this vision, “To save the world from stupidity. ” Jim Hinds wrote to ask, So do you Remember this guy? His Xanadu was 10 or 15 years ahead of the Internet and web-space of interlinked documents. Maybe you still have that old paperback comic book that gave us credibility as "computer geniuses." I thought about his real vision of Xanadu as I looked at this web page. But I hear you say: "So I know about Xanadu, It's just the web, so what's so different about this article? It looks just like all the web articles..." OK, here is the difference, and why it's more like Ted Nelson's Xanadu than anything you have seen in the past. Ted Nelson actutally had links that tailored themselves to the reader. They might give a different destination according to the vocabulary of the reader, for example. The hyper-links in the text were NOT put there by the author. All the hyperlinks are generated automagically as the text is parsed and fed out to us. The links are selected from 'what's hot' out here in internet land. Yahoo has LOTS of stats on who clicks on what. And what we are likely to click on next. And the links are generated with that in mind. (and if Yahoo can generate 'better' customer leads -- by being more tailored to what the advertising content is selling, then Yahoo wins, Netscape loses, etc.) Good old free market place. These links will get more and more tailored to you and me as technology progresses. So here is the link, it's not really much until you grok that the selection of the linked text is all generated automagically:;_ylt=ArstM5_HeV0bUXHTjsdtq4sE1vAI
1965 - Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, observes that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. In subsequent years the pace slowed, but continues to double approximately every 18 months, and this is the current definition of Moore's Law, which Moore himself has blessed.
1966 - “Ghost In the Machine, ” Arthur Koestler.
1967 - Alan Kay and Ed Cheadle develop the FLEX computer with multiple windows and graphics. It proves too difficult to use and leads Kay to describe the Dynabook: a computer for under $1,000 that will satisfy the most demanding of computer users, children. Kay realizes that the technology just isn't available to successfully develop the machine. However, 20 years later, in 1987, rumors of Kay and Dynabook begin to surface from Apple Computer, where Kay is employed to, "think."
1967 - The world's largest memory - 1M byte - is installed in MIT's DEC PDP-6.
1968 - Douglas C. Engelbart gives the first public demonstration of Hypertext.
1968 - The Consultative Committee on International Telephone and Telegraph (CCITT) releases its Group I fax standards. An 8.5 X 11 inch sheet of paper takes roughly six minutes to transmit across standard analog lines.
1968 - The Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) brings together researchers to connect four very different mainframe computers into the first “network ” and develop protocols used today for file transfer, remote log in and electronic mail.
1968 - The Hal computer mutinies in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
1968 - First 1K RAM chip manufactured by Intel.
1968 - Wendy Carlos turns a Moog computer into Bach fuges and preludes and releases Switched On Bach to rave reviews.
1969 - CompuServe drives the initial emergence of the online service industry.
1969 - Busicom, a Japanese calculator manufacturer, contracts with Intel to produce a set of dedicated chips for its programmable calculators. Rather than develop chips designed only to work with this particular product, Ted Hoff of Intel introduces a new era in integrated electronics by developing a general-purpose four-bit chip, the 4004. This is the universal engine, a general-purpose, programmable, combination of all the elements of a computer onto a single chip of silicon. The 4004 is able to address 4K of RAM and perform 60,000 instructions a second. Hoff had the insight to use Intel's memory technology to store instructions in the form of software rather than hard-wired circuits. This breakthrough "computer on a chip" is hailed as a milestone on par with the lightbulb, telephone and airplane.
1969 - Kenneth Thompson of Bell Labs writes the first version of UNIX for the DEC PDP 7 minicomputer, unleashing the essence of communal computing: remote access and timesharing. This new "open" operating environment offers companies the first real economically attractive alternative to IBM's mainframe products and pricing.
1969 - ARPANET, the Internet ’s direct ancestor, goes live and immediately crashes. The Internet is born.
1969 - The United States Department of Justice files an antitrust suit against IBM. While ultimately dropped, for the next 13 years IBM lives under the specter of a federally mandated breakup.
1970 - Cambridge mathematician John Conway invents the Game of Life computer simulation.
1970 - Stanford develops the Mycin inference engine, the first expert system, dedicated to diagnosing blood infections.
1970's, early - Hewlett Packard introduces the 9830 programmable desktop calculator with an attached 5 megabyte hard disk. It provides BASIC in ROM, and has 16K of available user memory.
1970's, early - Xerox founds the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) to create the Office of the Future. Alan Kay coins the phrase "personal computer."
1971 - IBM introduces the first floppy disk drive and sets the 8" floppy-disk standard.
1971 - Journalist Don Hoefler refers to a 100 square mile valley southeast of San Francisco as Silicon Valley because of all the high-tech industry there. So long "plums, prunes and pears." Hello "severe industrial pollution."
1971 - THE MICRO REVOLUTION IGNITES: Electronic News publishes the first add for a microchip, the four-bit 4004 - the first computer on a chip, 2,300 transistors. For the first time the public is let in. Hobbyists are in heaven and Dr. Marcian E. (Ted) Hoff Jr. is recognized as the “inventor ” of what many see as the heart of the computer revolution (see 1969, above).
1971 - IBM introduces the 3270 network environment, liberating the computer from the machine room, providing a terminal system for the masses, changing the lives of mainframe programmers forever, and providing non-computer types with access to a previously inaccessible world via terminals that can be scattered anywhere - even on a manager's desk.
1971 - The Kenbak-1 PC, the first commercially available PC, could be programmed to make lights blink in patterns. It is aimed at the education market. Retailing at $750, four are sold.
1971 - Esquire magazine publishes the first national article on the computer underground. The article details the escapades of Captain Crunch (John Draper) and "phone phreaking," a method of gaining access to long-distance phone lines for free. He accomplishes this wizardry with frequencies generated by blowing into a free whistle packed with Captain Crunch breakfast cereal. Steve Wozniak (nicknamed the Woz) builds the first "blue box" to electronically emulate the whistle. Steve Jobs helps market the boxes. They reportedly make some cash. Something is happening here, but Mr. Jones doesn't know what it is.
1971 - Project Gutenberg (, with the vision of distributing free public domain “eBooks, ” begins when Michael Hart is given an operator's account with $100,000,000 of computer time by the operators of the Xerox Sigma V mainframe at the Materials Research Lab at the University of Illinois.
1972 - For Rolling Stone magazine Stuart Brand (of Whole Earth Catalog fame) writes the first article on computer lifestyle, entitled "Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums," chronicling the fringes of computer existence at Xerox PARC, MIT and the Stanford Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab. Brand is instrumental in making the counterculture decide that computers are on their side, and not the enemy.
1972 - Seymour Cray leaves Control Data and founds Cray Research.
1972 - Intel introduces the 8008 microprocessor, the first 8-bit machine to hit the market. The 8008 addresses 16K bytes of memory and executes 300,000 instructions a second.
1972 - Bob Albrecht forms the People's Computer Company and writes My Computer Likes Me - opening computers to housewives, househusbands and children.
1972 - Alan Kay develops the Smalltalk operating environment for Xerox's personal computer, the $30,000 Alto. The Alto has a keyboard, mouse, windows, and a high resolution display.
1972 - Nolan Bushnell starts Atari and ships the first arcade computer game ever, Pong.
1972 - Email is born when Ray Tomlinson devises a program for computer addresses that separates the user from the computer being used with @.
1973 - IBM's SCAMP project attempts to move computing into the hands of single users and develops the world's first personal computer. SCAMP could be used as a desktop calculator, an interactive APL programming device, and as a "dispenser" of canned applications. The successful demonstration of the prototype in 1973 led to the launch of the IBM 5100 Portable Computer two years later.
1973 - Lee Felsenstein and The Computer Memory Project, Berkeley, California, take computer power to the streets and open up its first public terminal.
1973 - Toshiba introduces Japan's first RAM chip, the TLCS-12. 1973 - In Radio Electronics Magazine Don Lancaster publishes plans for a generalized TV Typewriter that will actually display letters and numbers on a television screen. The article sends a lightening bolt through hobbyists around the country, and a lot of people jump into the digital fire, the hard way.
1973 - Scelbi Computer Consulting announces the first general purpose computer built around the 8008. The big advantage of having access to this power is that, at last, the user can program a machine to model the final product he or she wants without having to go through programmers.
1973 - The Micro 8 Build it Yourself Kit, using an 8008 is the subject of an article in Popular Electronics. Information technology takes another huge step forward, and the "Days of Madness" begin in earnest.
1974 - Ted Nelson publishes the handbook of the hacker's ethic, Dream Machines and Computer Lib. "All information should be free, authority should be mistrusted, decentralization should be promoted, and money is a necessary annoyance." This classic book remains the single best non-technical introduction to computing available. Write Dream Machines,702 S. Michigan, South Bend, IN 46618.
1974 - Bill Gates founds Microsoft.
1974 - Gary Kildall founds Intergalactic Digital Research (later just Digital Research) and develops the first general-purpose operating system, CP/M, for Intel ’s 8-bit 8008 and its most widely copied clone, Zilog ’s Z80. CP/M makes floppy-disk storage easilly available to Intel-like microprocessors and vastly eases the development of "high-level" software.
1974 - Don Lancaster's TUT-1 is the first personal computer able to display text on a screen. Up to this point blinking lights have been all the rage.
1974 - Lee Felsenstein's VDM1 video display terminal interfaces with both a television screen and a printer. 1974 - Intel announces another landmark, the 8080 (10 times faster than the 8008, with the ability to address 64K RAM). The 8080 is the first microprocessor powerful enough to drive "useful" programs, and leads directly to the development of the commercially-popular personal computer. Motorola announces the 6008.
1970s, mid - Semiconductors replace magnetic core memory, and the price of memory falls dramatically.
1975 - The January Popular Electronics has as its cover story the 8-bit Altair micro kit using the Intel 8080. Thousands of electronic hobbyists receive the subliminal signal that the era of the personal computer has arrived in earnest. At last there is a machine powerful enough to write software for, commonly immortalizing this date as the beginning of the high-tech revolution. You can't do much with the Altair other than make lights blink, and this by meticulously flipping a series of switches. The machine comes in a metal box and requires hours of soldering.
1975 - Bill Gates, not yet twenty, writes a version of basic that will run on a microprocessor and demonstrates that Intel's microprocessors can serve as the "brains" of a truly useful computer
1975 - The Homebrew Computer Club (arguably the first micro user's group) is founded in Gordon French's garage in Menlo Park, CA. Among the luminaries in membership are the two Steves, Wozniak and Jobs, who go on to found Apple Computer.
1975 - Sol Libes founds what he considers the first PC user's group, the Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey.
1975 - Adam Osborne self-publishes An Introduction to Microcomputers, Volume 0. A severe critic of personal computer design, Osborne is encouraged to build a machine of his own design, or "shut up!" He does just that in 1981.
1975 - Shugart, introduces the 5 1/4 inch floppy-disk drive.
1975 - The micro industry announces forty different microprocessors.
1975 - IBM announces the first "luggable" computer, the 5100, weighing in at 50 pounds. The system is able to run APL and BASIC, includes 16K RAM, has cassette storage, and sells for $9,000.
1975 - The first full-screen word processor, Electric Pencil, runs on the Altair and Sol personal computers. At last non-technical people can use the microcomputer to do something practical, like write a letter to Mom.
1975 - Digital Research debuts the CP/M operating system, the first standard operating system for the Intel 8080. Now software writers can concentrate on writing applications instead of Input/Output routines and CP/M becomes the platform necessary for the development of a large base of business applications.
1975 - The first issue of Byte magazine.
1975 - Paul Terrell opens the first (or second) computer store, The Byte Shop, in Mountain View, California (some say Dick Heiser got Arrowhead Computers going in Santa Monica before then).
1975 - Xerox withdraws from the mainframe game.
1975 - Bill Gates, after having his version of Basic stolen, is the first programmer to call attention to the problem of software piracy. He writes an "Open Letter" to hobbyists comparing software piracy to intellectual theft.
1975 - The Whole Earth Catalog published.
1975 - The Woz designs the Apple I. For $250 you could buy a complete circuit board, no case, no power supply, monitor or keyboard. The Woz has written his own version of BASIC to run on a microprocessor from MOS Technologies, a Motorolla spinoff. Able to display 40 characters across a television screen, the computer revolution is suddenly in ful swing.
1976 - Gary Kildall of Digital Research releases the CP/M operating system for Intel 8080/85 and Zilog Z80 based microcomputers. The combination of CP/M and S-100 bus computers becomes an early "industry standard" for microcomputers, and is widely used through the late 1970s and into the mid-80s. By greatly reducing the amount of programming required to write an application on a new manufacturer's computer, CP/M increases the market size for both hardware and software.
1976 - The Information Center concept is invented by IBM in order to decrease the application development burden being placed on data processing. IBM reasons that if end users assume some responsibility for their own applications, the Data Processing Department (DP) (always running at least 6 months behind requests) will be able to dig out of its backlog. The concept calls upon DP to assist users in buying and using micros. Pandora's Box is pried wide open.
1976 - The first Supercomputer, the Cray 1, blows a whole new revolution into the revolution.
1976 - Xerox PARC decides that hobby computer companies will never sell many machines, and misses the chance to dominate the fledgling PC market. They simply don't understand how hungry the public is for personal computing power, and instead focus on The Office of the Future.
1976 - Steve Jobs convinces Kentucky Fried Computers to carry his new computer board, the Apple 1.
1976 - The Zilog Z-80 microprocessor debuts, able to address 64K of RAM.
1976 - Steve Wozniak (the Woz) debuts his masterpiece, the first version of the Apple II (built around the Motorola 6502 microprocessor, able to directly address 64K RAM) to the Homebrew Computer Club. Designed by the Woz, Steve Jobs and Alan Baum, the goal of the Apple II is to squeeze the maximum number of features out of a minimum number of parts, and to deliver a complete computer in one box: keyboard, power supply, BASIC and color graphics. The Apple II can easily be hooked to a color television. The demand for such a machine turns out to be much greater than anyone suspects.
1976 - Japan debuts its first microprocessor, the Toshiba T3444.
1976 - The first Personal Computer Festival, Atlantic City.
1977 - The first 4K RAM chips begin to show up.
1977 - The Attached Resource Computer Network (ARCNET) becomes the first commercial technology for high-speed local-area networking.
1977 - One of the most interesting new products is Commodore's new $595 PET computer, the first "appliance" computer. It is self contained in one box, including attached keyboard and monitor, graphics, cassette storage, and plenty of room for hackers to hack. Thousands of graphic games immediately become available.
1977 - Radio shack releases the first TRS-80 ("Trash 80") home computer for $399. More than one person buys the machine, or some other brand, only to find they can never figure out how to make it do anything.
1977 - Jim Warren organizes the first West Coast Computer Faire and surprises everyone by actually making money.
1977 - Computerland opens its first franchise store. Location: Moristown, NJ.
1977 - Apple, under the leadership of Steve Jobs hires Mike Markkula to design a business plan, setting up Apple as a real business run by other than engineers and hackers. By this time the manufacturers of the Altair, IMSAI, MITS and Sol are belly up. Apple runs its first color ad in Playboy in order to bring national attention to the Apple II. Apple incorporates, and the world takes a subtle and irreversible shift away from pranksterism towards pinstripes - most people still know nothing about what's going on. IBM dismisses the Apple II as too small to do any real computing.
1977 - Dennis Hayes and Dale Heatherington form Hayes Microcomputer to market 300 baud modems for the Apple II and the emerging PC market.
1977 - Chrsitmas Eve, the Woz and Randy Wiggington finally get the disk drive for the Apple II to read and write something.
1978 - Intel delivers its 16-bit enhancement to the 8080, the 8086, able to address 1 megabyte of memory. Tim Patterson builds an 8086 coprocessor card and tries to license CP/M-86 from Digital Research (the manufacturers of CP/M) to bundle with his board. Digital turns him down and Patterson writes his own CP/M clone to run on the 8086. When IBM is planning its PC release(2 years later), it approaches Digital Research, talks break down, and IBM turns to Microsoft for an operating system. Microsoft licenses Patterson's clone and turns it into DOS 1.0.
1978 - Apple begins shipping its 5 1/4 inch disk drive making the machine suitable for business applications. The hardware and software interface is laid out by the Woz during a legendary marathon programming session. The design is recognized as brilliant by the hacking community, and the Woz takes his rightful place in the Pantheon of computer heroes.
1978 - Jef Raskin writes the first true computer maual for the Apple II.
1978 - The first company sponsored telecommuting program established by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina provides employees with personal computers that allow them to key in medical claim forms from home.
1978 - The optical laser videodisc is introduced.
1978 - Ed Zaron demonstrates Dr. Memory, the first word processor for the Apple II.
1978 - The first computerized bulletin board system is established by Ward Christensen and Randy Weis. Its phone number is 312/545-8086 (you can still call today).
1978 - MicroPro releases the precursor to WordStar, WordMaster. WordStar goes on to be the most pirated program in history, giving MicroPro a clear winner, and a word processor people love to hate.
1978 - Wayne Ratliff develops the Vulcan data base system, which he markets himself, until bought out by Ashton-Tate in 1980, and renamed dBASE II. Early advertisements enflame sensibilities with, "What do a bilge pump and other data base products have in common? They both suck!"
1978 - Epson, a Japanese company, releases the MX-80 dot-matrix printer, firing the first serious salvo in the printer wars.
1978 - Computerland, the first serious retail computer store opens.
1979 - Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston form Software Arts to release the tail that wags the micro dog, VisiCalc, the world's first electronic spreadsheet. Designed to run on an Apple II with 32K, the market begins to buy Apples just to get its hands on something really practical. Apple sales jump from 50,000 to 125,000 per year.
1979 - Peachtree General Ledger, the first micro accounting package, is released to run under CP/M.
1979 - Microsoft introduces BASIC for the 8086.
1979 - The French government establishes a World Center for Personal Computing and Human Development to help the Third World take a shortcut into the information age. Internal and political infighting turn the Center into a long cut, and it shuts down in 1986.
1979 - Japan ships its first commercial personal computer, the NEC PC 8001.
1979 - The Beatles release their final album.
1979 - Apple finally releases its first word processor, AppleWriter.
1979 - CompuServe becomes the first service to offer electronic mail capabilities and technical support to personal computer users.
1979 - Novell Data Systems, the future parent of Novell Networks, launches.
1979 - The Source is introduced at the N.Y. National Computer Conference as a way for personal computers to begin reaching into public data bases. Founded by Bill Von Meister, the idea was to send airline reservations, restaurant reviews, banking information, and anything else people wanted into their homes. The Source was the first online service aimed at the average consumer and the forerunner of what would become AOL.
1979 - Sony introduces a revolution in portable data, the Walkman.
1979 - Motorola releases the 32-bit MC68000, able to address 16 megabytes of RAM.
1979 - Steve Jobs and Bill Atkinson from Apple visit Xerox PARC for a demonstration of Smalltalk. When they leave they begin a migration of talent from Xerox to Apple.
1979 - Wayne Ratliff, a programmer at U.S. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, designs dBASE, originally named “Vulcan, ” to help him win the football pools. He places his first ads for the product in BYTE magazine, selling the product for $50.00 1980 ’s - As the ‘80 ’s progress a number of familiar names come and go: Wang, Lanier, TRS-80/TRS-DOS, CP/M, SOL, Osborne, Kay-Pro, Cromemco, Stellation II, Digital Research, MicroPro, Ashton-Tate, Vic, Commodore, Atari, Northstar, Morrow … These companies were largely victims of the futile attempt to freeze the past to guarantee their future.
1980 - Rory Donaldson burns out typing manuscripts over and over and joins the micro revolution in order to get his hands on a word processor. His first computer-related job is to interview Jim Hinds, computer nerd and entrepreneur, for Maise Cohen's MicroXchange newsletter. His first question, "Jim, do you think this whole computer thing is a fad?" Jim answered, "Yes, but it's a very long fad."
1980 - Mindstorms, Seymour Papert's classic book on children, computers, powerful ideas and the LOGO programming language is published.
1980 - CompuServe is the first online service to offer “real-time chat ” with its CB Simulator.
1980 - The first 16K RAM chips begin to show up.
1980 - Intel delivers the 8087 math coprocessing chip, bringing floating point math to the not-yet-released IBM PC.
1980 - IBM is rumored to be working on a secret project headed up by Don Estridge. Code-named Chess, they are studying how to enter the PC market. IBM orders programming and operating system software from Bill Gates at Microsoft. Kay Nishi, a Microsoft partner, reportedly stands up and declares, "Gotta do it! Gotta do it!" Microsoft, tying its future to IBM and Intel's coattails, licenses an 8086 operating system (Quick and Dirty DOS, QDOS written in Intel assembler) from Tim Paterson at Seattle Computer, releases DOS 1.0 (at $40 a copy), and the rest of Mr. Gates's fortune is legend.
1980 - Intel shocks the industry with the announcement of a new generation of microprocessor, the iAPX-432, a full 32-bit microprocessor with 32 bit I/O as well as an internal 32 bit architecture.
1980 - Apple "does something wrong" and releases the kludgey Apple III without proper testing. Customers are advised to drop the machine from a height of three inches to seat the memory chips and the Apple III dies a slow, painful, degrading, expensive death.
1980 - Apple goes public at $22 a share.
1980 - InfoWorld publishes its first issue.
1980 - IBM opens its first product center in Philadelphia. Most industry observers cannot read the handwriting on the wall.
1980 ’s, early - The Japanese start making memory chips cheaper than their American competitors, develop the 3 ” floppy disk, and announce a “Fifth Generation ” computer project promising the delivery of artificial intelligence to the desktop. First generation, machine language; Second generation, assembly language; Third generation, high-level languages like Fortran, Forth generation, user languages like VisiCalc, WordStar, dBase; Fifth generation, artificial intelligence (AI) languages like Prolog.
1981 - Forth generation computer languages, like VisiCalc, finally have enough credibility to be mentioned in the professional computer trades.
1981 - Kenji Urada, 37, is run over by a robot on which he is working, becoming the world's first robot fatality.
1981 - The Osborne 1, 24 pound luggable computer is announced. A complete system, bundled with 64K RAM, monitor, keyboard, 2 disk drives, WordStar, MailMerge, SuperCalc, CP/M, and Microsoft Basic - all for the unprecedented price of $1,795. It is an instant classic.
1981 - Xerox releases the 8010 Star System and 820 micro. The Star, PARC's first commercial computer, is overpriced ($16,000 - $25,000 per) and is a closed box running a proprietary operating system. The 820 is "the same old 8-bit CP/M," very poorly executed, and running a "tweaked" version of WordStar.
1981 - IBM strikes the market with the first 16 bit microbullet machine, the IBM PC, the machine that kills CP/M. Daringly built around Intel's 8088 16-bit microprocessor, the 8088 has a 20-bit address bus, meaning it can address up to 2 to the 20th power, or one full megabyte of memory. Up to this point addressability in deliverable PCs is limited to 64K. The IBM PC copies the open architecture of the Apple II, making the innards of the machine totally accessible to third party developers. With the IBM logo on the front these little computers take on a certain air of legitimacy. Every machine needs a copy of Microsoft's new PC-DOS 1.0 operating system (an additional $40). The only annoying feature of the PC is the keyboard, which has keys in unfamiliar places (for some reason never explained).
1981 - Apple rolls out a huge “Welcome ” campaign to welcome IBM into the fray. Little do they know.
1981 - Sinclair releases the ZX80 $100 micro, first through mail order and then through your local drugstore. As limited as the machine is, it sells like crazy.
1981 - The first 64K RAM chips begin to show up.
1981 - Epson shows off the first laptop computer, the HX-20.
1981 - The Apple PC performs the first computer wedding. The bride and groom say "I do" by pressing the "y" key.
1981 - Ted Nelson, author of Dream Machines and Computer Lib, publishes Literary Machines, the report on Project Xanadu, concerning word processing, electronic publishing, hypertext, thinkertoys. For more information on Xanadu contact Xanadu, 8480 Fredericksburg #138, San Antonio, Texas 78229.
1981 - The Logo programming language becomes readily available, giving young students an alternative to BASIC. Children begin programming in droves in order to make a "turtle" crawl across the screen.
1981, 1982 - Apollo Computer and Sun Microsystems close the gap between mini and micro by offering full-featured workstations boasting high-speed CPUs, large amounts of RAM, high resolution displays, large disks, networking, true multitasking, windowing. All features that will soon be available on basic micros.
1982 - The first 256K RAM chips begin to show up.
1982 - GRID Systems Corp releases the first battery-powered portable computer.
1982 - The Woz experiments again, and sponsors the first of two Micro Us Computer and Rock Festivals. With the help of rock impresario Bill Graham he puts on what is billed as a Woodstock/Microcomputing festival, and is said to personally loose $12 million. He says that its his way of saying thanks to everyone who supports Apple.
1982 - Microsoft releases Multiplan, the first DOS spreadsheet.
1982 - Nolan Bushnell opens Pizza Time Theater as a franchise where people come to eat pizza and play with computers. Pizza Time makes a million, and two years later hits Chapter Eleven.
1982 - Intel announces the iAPX-286 microprocessor, designed expressly to support a multitasking, multi-user environment, and address 16 megabytes of memory. The iAPX-286 becomes the central processor of the IBM AT in 1984, incorporating 130,000 transistors.
1982 - Harper and Row publishes In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America ’s Best-Run Companies, by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman. The book becomes the bible of business, even though Peters later admits that the premise of the book was largely based on false data. Most of the companies mentioned (such as Wang, Lanier, Data General, Xerox, IBM) end up belly-up or in crisis.
1982 - Cullinet becomes the first software company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1982 - Arguably, the worst computer game ever developed, E.T., single handedly destroys the American video-game industry and the Atari 2600.
1983 - MBA, the first integrated software package is announced for the IBM PC and is immediately blown out of the water by Lotus 1-2-3.
1983 - The LOTUS 1-2-3 tail is released to wag the IBM PC dog. 1-2-3 does for the IBM PC what VisiCalc did for the Apple II. It immediately reaches #1 on Softsell's Top Ten and Lotus goes on to be the largest volume micro publisher in the world.
1983 - The Osborne computer corporation, rumored to be the fastest growing corporation in the history of American business, shoots itself in the foot and files for bankruptcy. They announce a new machine before they are able to deliver, and sales of the old machine dry up overnight. It is rumored that Adam Osborne has left the Silicon Valley for the valleys of Hollywood, where he begins work on a science fiction movie script and begins a new company, Software Seed Capital, for the purpose of publishing software that sells for less than $100.
1983 - Borland releases Turbo Pascal, directly to the customer, for $50.00
1983 - Apple Lisa announced, at an overpriced $10,000.
1983 - IBM releases the ill-fated PC Junior. (The Peanut) However, the Jr. does herald a return to the old Selectric keyboard layout.
1983 - Time magazine selects the microcomputer as "Man of the Year."
1983 - Compaq Computer Corporation, the portable IBM clone, reports the largest first year earnings in the history of American business, 111 million dollars.
1983 - Compact Disc Audio (CD-A) is the first in a series of 12mm, pre-recorded laserdisc formats to hit the market (Philips/Sony). Within six years the long playing record will nearly be a thing of the past.
1983 - The Fifth Generation by Feigenbaum and McCorduck is published and sends chills through the U.S. computer industry. The theme of this book is artificial intelligence (AI) and Japan's computer challenge to the world. Projects backed by the Japanese government promise so-called "fifth generation" computers - machines that can perform logical functions approaching human reasoning by harnessing multiprocessors. The computer language they choose for this project is Prolog. Many people who read the book look upon Japan's entry into AI as the ultimate threat to the American computer industry and America's role as a world leader. The four generations of computers to this point: 1) electronic vacuum tube; 2) transistorized computers; 3) integrated circuit computers; 4) very-large-scale-integrated computers (VLSI). The design of these four generations follow von Neumann's general step-by-step design for computers. The Fifth generation promises a whole new world of architectures, memory organization and languages wired to handle symbols as well as numbers. By 1986 there are some fifty known groups working on multiprocessor projects around the world.
1984 - IBM leads the micro market and wants it all.
1984 - IBM announces its ability to build 1M RAM chips.
1984 - Apple airs its famous 1984 "Big Brother" ad during Super Bowl Sunday. The Los Angeles Raiders go on to defeat the Washington Redskins 38-9.
1984 - Apple releases the Macintosh to rave reviews. Built around the Motorolla 68000 microprocessor, the Mac has a 16-bit data bus, 32-bit registers and 24-bit addressing able to address 16-megs of memory directly. Built on top of Bill Atkinson's QuickDraw routines, Alan Kay says it is the first PC worthy of criticism. However, it soon becomes apparent that, without support for a letter-quality printer, Apple has ignored lessons it should have learned with the ill-fated Lisa. The Mac is underpowered, a single disk drive, and has very little software.
1984 - Micro/mainframe file transfer becomes a reality.
1984 - Integrated (seamless?) software proliferates: Symphony, Framework, Aura, Electric Desk.... Most people don't really seem to care, and the once booming PC market begins a downward slide towards commodity pricing and the big yawn. The long expected home market simply refuses to materialize.
1984 - Magazines targeted to computerphiles number 450, the largest number ever devoted to a single subject.
1984 - Samples of 32-bit microchip architecture abound. The future of personal computing is tied to this architecture even though it is expected to take another 5 years to take off.
1984 - The Computer Museum opens in Boston.
1984 - IBM lowers the price of the PC by 23%.
1984 - AT&T enters the micro fray, but is hard pressed to find any sales people who know how to turn a micro on, let alone sell one.
1984 - Microsoft announces Windows for the PC, trying to make the PC look and feel a little like a Mac.
1984 - Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, and the richest self-made millionaire in America, admits that he personally lost about one-quarter billion dollars in 1983 due to a severe decline in the value of Apple stock. He verbally commits Apple to developing Alan Kay's Dynabook. Kay is hired by Apple.
1984 - IBM celebrates the third anniversary of the PC by unveiling its version of the future of multitasking, multi-user systems, the AT (advanced technology). Built around the Intel 80286 microprocessor the AT integrates 130,000 transistors, has a16-bit data bus, 16-bit registers, and a 24-bit address bus, allowing users to break the 640 KB RAM barrier. Also unveiled is IBM's "Top View" multitasking/windowing environment at a list price of $149. "Top View" takes advantage of mouse technology. Microsoft/IBM DOS 3.0 and 3.1 are announced. Everyone else takes a significant blow and scrambles to stay afloat. IBM dominates about 75% of the market.
1984 - Telecommunications is all the rage. Multi-user systems are all the rage. Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems are all the rage. Idea Processors are all the rage. Sidekick is all the rage.
1984 - Apple releases rumors of a new 16 bit Apple II (the classic Woz machine, compatible with all old 6502 software). The machine is to run all the old Apple II software plus a whole new generation of 16-bit stuff. Suddenly there's renewed hope in Mudville.
1985 - Dedicated word processing is dead.
1985 - The buzzwords of the year, "Security," "TopView," "Laser," "Windows," "Chapter Eleven."
1985 - G. Salton and Chris Buckley develop SMART (Salton's Magical Automatic Retriever of Text), the first digital search engine.
1985 - Take a CD audio disk, put computer data on it, hook it to a PC, and you have CD-ROM.
1985 - Apple scraps the Lisa, and gives it phoenix-like qualities by renaming it the Macintosh XL. Before you can turn around the XL is scrapped and Apple posts a $17 million loss, the first loss in the company's history. Apple still has over $200 million in cash, and may be the most cash-rich company in America.
1985 - The first version of Microsoft Windows ships, providing the PC community with its first “Mac ” like graphical user interface.
1985 - IBM introduces its own DOS “shell, TopView. Character based and kludgey, by the end of the year TopView totally disappears and IBM finds itself more closely tied to Microsoft than ever.
1985 - Steve Jobs is retired upstairs and John Scully takes over the full reigns at Apple. Stock plunges. Jobs begins selling off stock and resigns, or is fired, depending on which expert you listen to.
1985 - Apple begins to sue to protect the “look and feel ” of its Mac interface.
1985 - The Apple Laserwriter is introduced with the Postscript page description language - signaling the beginning of the desktop publishing craze with the first popularly priced laser printer capable of producing full-page, 300-dot-per-inch (dpi) output. Based on a photocopier engine by Canon, the Laserwriter is priced at $7,000, 1/3 of what laser printers cost to this point.
1985 - Borland launches a competitive upgrade program that allows consumers to trade in their old software for new.
1985 - The Woz resigns from Apple to start a new consumer electronics business. The rumors of a new "Woz" machine from Apple are put to an uncomfortable rest, at least for the time being.
1985 - LOTUS buys out the once proud VisiCorp for a crummy $1,000,000. That's the end of VisiCalc.
1985 - Pundits insist that the micro market is saturated. Everyone has an opinion about why the bottom has dropped out of the market. People are up to their necks in overpriced, hard-to-use hardware and software.
1985 - LOTUS releases the Jazz integrated software package with the hope that it will finally be the tail to wag the Macintosh dog. It isn't. For some reason Lotus decides not to release a Mac version of 1-2-3, and makes one of the greatest marketing blunders of all time.
1985 - Microsoft releases the Multiplan spreadsheet in the hope that it will be the tail to wag the Mac dog. It isn't. While praised for its user interface, the Mac continues to be slow, closed, and toy-like with its small screen. BIG companies seem to want BIG computers.
1985 - Atari and Commodore release their 68000 based systems. Slick machines, but by this time most software developers, hardware engineers and retailers are pretty gun-shy, and hesitate to jump on any new bandwagons.
1985 - IBM announces the 32-bit Intel 80386 microprocessor (integrating 275,000 transistors) for its new line of machines. At the same time they announce that there will be no PC II, thus bolstering sales of the basic PC, and opening the door to a flood of Asian knock-offs. The 386 promises virtually unlimited computer power on the desktop, and is able to directly address 4G-bytes of memory (4,000,000,000 bytes).
1985 - Rumors of a new IBM operating System, called variously CP/DOS, DOS 286, DOS 5.0 and, finally, OS/2 1.1 with Presentation Manager. Designed to rival Windows, the product won ’t finally ship until 1988 and is met with scathing reviews for its $340 price tag and huge memory requirements (16MB at a time when the price of 1MB of memory is approaching $100).
1985 - Communities downstream from Silicon Valley report an abnormally high incidence of birth defects. The waste by-products of high-tech manufacturing has turned the Silicon Valley into what one observer has called, "the most toxic square mile on earth." So much for the "clean" revolution.
1985 - The first "hackers" conference, billed as the Woodstock of hackers.
1985 - Digital Equipment (DEC) (first acquired by Compaq in 1998 and now Hewlett Packard) becomes the first company to establish a dot-com,
1985 - MicroPro decides to compete with its flagship product WordStar, by releasing two new products, Easy and WordStar 2000, products that few people could ever quite grasp as relevant.
1985 - Prototype flat pannel monitors first appear.
1986 - The Woz rejoins Apple and rumors of the Woz machine pick right up where they left off. Before the end of the year a signature version of the Woz machine, the Apple GS, is delivered.
1986 - Nicholas Negroponte founds the Media Lab at MIT to collect, process and lead a redefinition of communications media and technologies.
1986 - Delivery of the 82786 graphics coprocessor for the PC.
1986 - Among 100 million videocassette users worldwide, some 46% occasionally use illegally copied software, creating an appetite that fuels an exploding market.
1986 - The Homebrew Computer Club, granddaddy of them all, holds its last meeting and the Boston Computer Society celebrates its tenth anniversary. Arguably the oldest user group in the world, the Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey continues strong into its 12th year.
1986 - The first Microsoft CD-ROM Conference, billed as the Woodstock of CD-ROM.
1986 - CD-Interactive (CD-I) is propagated as the home-entertainment, computer, data-base standard of the future that will finally get a computer into every home.
1986 - Intel begins shipping its new 80386, 32-bit microprocessor, and plans on shipping 100,000 by year's end.
1986 - Compaq computer delivers the first 80386 computers and software finally catches up with hardware, allowing multitasking and the release of programs like DesqView and Microsoft Windows.
1986 - ENIAC celebrates its 40th birthday.
1986 - The Gold Standard begins to take a real back seat to the Information Standard. Buzzword of the year, "information."
1986 - The National Science Foundation declares, "The top priority, right now the very single priority in the research community... is parallelism." Theories of parallel processing, where information is processed continuously and collectively (instead of in a bit-by-bit fashion as in today's von Neumann-type machines) begin to describe the way nerve cells interact to solve problems. The human brain continues to have more memory available than all the RAM manufactured in the world in a year.
1986 -Sixteen-dimensional hypercube processing, where 65,536 processors in a system are each connected to 16 other processors until each processor can reach any other through a maximum of 16 intermediary processors. Ask Dan Hillis at MIT about it.
1986 - In order to get their hands on the above power the MIT Media Lab purchases a Connection Machine from Thinking Machines, Corp. The most massively parallel of all parallel computers, it is able to break a problem into 65,536 parts, each processor crunching a different part - opening doors wide to questions that have been closed to this point.
1986 - Bell Labs, by now recognized as a national treasure, demonstrates a "ballistic transistor" that is reportedly able to run at speeds hundreds of times faster than any current transistor.
1986 - Motorola delivers state-of-the-art 20-MHz 68020 32-bit samples for $771 each, in 100 piece quantities. The real difference between the Intel 386 and Motorola 68020 is largely one of marketing. IBM, part owner of Intel, uses the Intel technology. Apple uses Motorola. Technologically the 68020 is regarded as superior by most technical types, although both sides have their champions. The 68020 has a 32-bit address bus, 32-bit internal registers, and 32-bit addressing able to directly address 4-gigabytes of memory.
1986 - IBM-PC clones are for sale with 256K RAM, 2 disk drives, amber monitor and letter-quality printer for $999. 1986 - Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper, 79-year-old code developer of Cobol, retires from the Navy. 1986 - Borland releases Turbo Prolog, a $99 Artificial Intelligence (AI) language for the IBM PC. Hackers and school children are let into the world of AI for a nominal fee. Whatever happened to Japan's fifth-generation threat? Perhaps the best response to this threat is to get Prolog into the hands of third graders. The new generation of 80386 and 68020 microcomputers, coupled with $99 AI software, promise enormous drama.
1986 - IBM sells off all its product centers. Most retailers are not able to read the handwriting on the wall. 1986 - Steve Jobs forms NeXT, Inc. to develop some kind of vague, computerized learning environment. It has something to do with simulation being the driving force behind the next computer revolution.
1986 - The Apple Mac finally overcomes 80% of its flaws by releasing double-sided drives, hard disk drives, a meg, or more, of RAM, a new keyboard, a new operating system, and a commitment to IBM PC connectivity. Sales climb to 40,000 - 50,000 a month.
1986 - Software concept of the year, 3-D spreadsheets.
1986 - The PC takes a giant shift away from stand-alone tool to an integral part of office automation. Information needs to be shared rather than locked up in discrete little boxes. "Connectivity" becomes the next big step in office automation. How do we connect all these stand alone PCs? How will we directly connect our nervous systems to the global computer?
1986 - IBM slashes the price of PCs another 20% in an attempt to compete with the Asian clones that are digging deeply into its pockets. Rumors are that IBM is getting out of the PC business. Other rumors have it that the PC II is sitting in warehouses, just waiting to be delivered.
1986 - The Super Personal, Super Desktop PC is just around the corner. It may be called the Crayette and may be deliverable before 1990. Built around 32-bit transputer chips, the hardware and software do not run multiple tasks by time-slicing a single CPU, but by running different processes on different processors with separate memory - a network of CPUs, all of which are available to the user. Rumors of Atari's new breed of operating system, Helios, begin to bubble.
1986 - Microsoft goes public.
1986 - TRW, under contract from the Department of Defense, introduces the Mark III Artificial Neural System Processor. Its multiple processors have three-dimensional connections, approximating about 8,000 brain neurons - compared with almost 10 billion for the human brain. Computers continue to do one thing well: crunch numbers. They still aren't much good at learning, utilizing their senses, making cognitive associations, or combining unrelated experiential data to produce new data.
1986 - Microchips made of proteins manufactured by E. Coli bacteria become a futuristic consideration. In theory, a computer could be built the size of a sugar cube with 10 million times the memory of today's machines. Not only that, with the development of micro fiber optics information could be moved on protons instead of on today's electrons, allowing an exponential increase in the speed of data transmission. IBM and Bell Labs say they are working on such things. The bio-engineers and the computer engineers are working on the same stuff.
1986 - When asked, IBM refuses to discuss its future PC plans.
1986 - Eric Drexler publishes Engines of Creation in which he discusses Nanotechnology - the technical ability to craft individual molecules out of atoms, creating substance at will. Nonotechnology promises a revolution as profound as the other two: the replacement of sticks and stones with metals, and the harnessing of electricity.
1987 - The first "Hypertext" systems begin to be released. "Hypertext," a word coined by computer visionary Ted Nelson allows readers to link text, graphics and other digital information through the use of windows and the criss-crossing of documents. Click on a word and new areas of the document's meaning are instantly opened for deeper presentation. Designed for the Mac, OWL International releases the first consumer Hypertext system. To contact Ted Nelson write XOC, POB 7213, Menlo Park, CA 94026.
1987 - Apple releases Bill Atkinson's HyperCard, bundled free with every new Mac. HyperCard utilizes the scripting language HyperTalk and makes it extremely easy to develop simple applications on the fly.
1987 - Excel 1.0 for Windows ships, and blows Lotus right out of the water.
1987 - Windows 2.0 ships.
1987 - Hitachi America finishes the HD63645 LCD graphics controller which is able to support LCD monitors with 12 times the pixel resolution (2048 x 1024) of the current Mac SE (512 x 342).
1987 - Steve Jobs recruits H. Ross Perot to the board of NeXT, Inc. NeXT releases its first product, the Write Now word processor for the Mac.
1987 - Apple announces the second generation Mac, the Mac II, delivering a key weapon in the battle for the hearts and minds of the PC community. The micro community officially splits into two camps, IBM PC versus Apple Mac.
1987 - Early rumors of the Intel 80486 microprocessor surface at Spring Comdex.
1987 - IBM announces the InfoWindow Videodisc interface and software.
1987 - Wanting to get rid of all the PC clones and re-harness the genie, IBM discontinues the PC, XT and AT to focus on its new 80386 based PS/2 systems, composed of both new hardware (including IBM's first mouse) and software (OS/2). With unprecedented hype and glitz IBM unveils what it calls, "the next generation of personal computing," a whole new platform on which to build its vision of the future. Still only about 1/10th of 1% the power of a Cray Supercomputer, the PS/2 PCs show the way to "personal supercomputers" with the ability to support up to 16 microprocessors running concurrently. All the PS/2 glitz and fanfare aside, the older PC “clones ” continue to dominate the market.
1987 - For all you parallel processing buffs, Parallel Prolog and Parallel LISP become available, offering new opportunities to increase computer power at a magnitude. Put this power to be able to program multiple low-cost, high-volume processors (like the 80386 and 68030) into the hands of 13 year olds and see what happens.
1987 - The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History opens a permanent interactive video technology showcase where people can view and use the latest developments in PC and laser-disc based training.
1987 - The first significant rumblings about "Spreadsheetitis." People are spending so much time creating spreadsheets and generating elaborate reports that productivity is suffering. The advent of desktop publishing threatens to bring American productivity to its knees now that even a simple memo has to go through numerous "pasteups" and revisions before it gets dumped to the laser printer.
1987 - Kodak unveils a 1-Terabyte optical disk.
1987 - Canon USA introduces the Canon CAT information appliance. Designed by Jeff Raskin, one of the early Apple Mac developers. It combines word processing, spreadsheet, database and communications into a $1,495 box.
1987 - Apple announces Multifinder and Hypercard - opening the Mac's software to a new generation of user and programmer development.
1987 - IBM announces a major new look for IBM software, "Systems Applications Software" (SAS). The market is tantalized with the promise of a universal computer that looks and feels exactly the same to the end-user no matter if he/she is using a micro, mini or mainframe.
1987 - Motorola officially launches its MC68030 microprocessor, with parallel features, and acknowledges development of a 68040. It is rumored that Intel will deliver its 80486 as early as 1989.
1987 - Sears and IBM announce the name of their new online service Prodigy.
1987 - Apple gives Steve Case the go-ahead on AppleLink Personal Edition, Apples first foray into online customer support.
1988 - OS/3 is said to be deliverable, just as soon as Microsoft sells enough copies of OS/2 to pay the bills. To date not one copy of OS/2 has been shipped. Soon, very soon.
1988 - Microsoft becomes the world's largest PC software company.
1988 - Apple shows its CD-ROM drive at the third annual Microsoft CD-ROM Conference.
1988 - Lotus announces 1-2-3 version 3.0, a three dimensional spreadsheet.
1988 - The buzz word is RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer architecture). Apollo computer announces a RISC-based supercomputer that incorporates a 64 bit bus and costs less than $80,000. Motorola is testing its 88000 family of RISC microprocessors. Sun and AT&T begin migrating their Unix development to RISC. IBM combines PS/2 and RISC in its 6152 academic workstation.
1988 - Microsoft teams up with 3Com to develop a network version of MS-DOS.
1988 - Microsoft ships its one millionth mouse, and mouse haters begin to break rank.
1988 - The U.S. has an installed base of approximately 25 million personal computers. The U.S.S.R. has a base of a few thousand, most without printers.
1988 - The first computer-literate generation arrives.
1988 - Robert Morris, Jr., a Cornell graduate student, releases the Internet ’s first worm. After causing millions of dollars of damage Morris is convicted of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and sentenced to three years of probation, 400 hours of community service, a fine of $10,050, and the costs of his supervision. His appeal, filed in December, 1990, was rejected the following March.
1988 - Apple sues Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, charging them with violating the look and feel of the Mac's user interface. Then, 3 weeks later, Microsoft sues Apple. Fortunately, 75% of all graduate students in America are in Law School. Seventy-five percent of all graduate students in Japan are studying electronics and engineering.
1988 - The U.S. Patent Department awards the first patent ever on an animal, a genetically engineered mouse designed at Harvard University.
1988 - Stuart Brand begins his book Media Lab with a quote from Rory Donaldson, "How will we directly connect our nervous systems to the global computer?" Stuart Brand answers the question this way, "Through full-bodied, full-minded conversation." Rory answers it this way, "Boy children will get a circumcision, a chip implant, and RS232 connectivity on the same day. Girl children will just get the chip implant and RS232 connectivity."
1988 - Sun ’s John Gage observes, “The network is the computer. ”
1988 - Ashton-Tate releases dBASE IV to devastating reviews, and the end of another once stellar software company peeks over the horizon.
1988 - Steve Jobs shows the first NeXT computer, the final iteration of 1980's micro technology. Eyes turn away and look to the next NeXT machine, true 1990's processing.
1988 - OS/2 with Presentation manager finally ships. Only one problem, unless you have an IBM printer, you can ’t print.
1989 - The buzzword of the year is "workstation." People are faxing to and from their cars, while making cellular phone calls, and dreaming of digital-audio-tape (DAT) machines and high-definition television (HDTV). Leisure time becomes a thing of the past.
1989 - Structured Querry Language (SQL) appears to be all the rage, but no one seems to quite know what it is. IBM says that it knows.
1989 - The Beatle's Apple Corporation sues Apple Computer for using the name Apple on a machine (Mac) that supports music hardware and software.
1989 - IBM takes the wraps off of Office Vision, its Macintosh-like grand scheme for brining SAA applications to the desktop, and claims it as the most significant software announcement in its history. At the desktop, application software will look and feel the same across all platforms: OS/2, OS/44, VM, MVS.
1989 - Hewlett-Packard ships its metaphor for the desktop, hearts and minds of OS/2 users, New Wave at $199 a copy.
1989 - Operating systems and desktop "look and feel" start to become really confusing in the PC world. There's DOS 3.2, DOS 4.0, OS/2, OS/2 Extended Edition, Windows 286, Windows 386, OS/2-386, mice, no mice, Unix, Xenix, and many more... This panoply is something IBM is going to have to sort out if it wants to unify the PC into something the User can comprehend.
1989 - Seymour Cray dumps silicon as the base for computer chip design and starts a new company, Cray Computer in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to produce the Cray 3 gallium arcenide based supercomputer - exponentially faster, smaller, cooler than the current champion, the Cray 2. 1989 - Motorola takes the wraps off the highly anticipated 68040.
1989 - In April Intel unwraps the 80486 microprocessor (Pentium) containing 1 million transistors. In August Apricot, an English company, begins shipping the first 25 MHz 486 system. It runs MS-DOS 4.01 and OS/2 Extended Edition, costs $18,000 -- 80486 fever strikes. The chip is important because it incorporates into its design functions formerly done by support chips.. Math co processing and caching are built in, allowing for a lower cost machine than one built around the 386.
1989 - The 80586 microchip begins to take shape in the hardware and software developer's back rooms. It will contain 4 million transistors.
1989 - Elwood Edwards records, "Welcome", "You've got mail", "File's done", and "Goodbye."
1989 - CompuServe acquires The Source.
1989 - AppleLink changes name to America Online (AOL), a service offered through Quantum.
1989 - Apple rumors about a new low-priced Mac with the new Version 7.0 operating system in ROM. Certain pundits query, "Dynabook at last?"
1989 - Intel begins actively advertising against one of its own chips, the 80286. Bill Gates says that from now on its 386 on up.
1989 - with the powerful acceptance of the Intel 386 and the Motorola 68020, at last there are micros in the marketplace powerful enough to run Unix.
1989 - Motorola and Hitachi lawsuits seem to be slowing the development of the 68040.
1989 - Intel purchases Digital Video Interactive (DVI) from RCA. 1989 - Apple shows the capability of an Apple developed chip that is capable of acting like a video digitizer, a graphics coprocessor, and a processor capable of recording and showing video in real time. Such a capability allows the user to paste multiple windows of real-time video into other applications, like a word processor. Gurus contend that it is technology like this that will allow Apple to continue to contend against IBM.
1989 - The Berlin Wall comes tumbling down, 11/9/89. We have a whole new global view.
1990 - Tim Berners-Lee suggests a solution for creating, viewing and editing computer documents. Building a visual hypertext browser and editor, he calls his creation “WorldWideWeb. ”
1990 - Windows 3.0 ships. IBM ships OS/2 1.3.
1990 - Alan Emtage develops Archie, the first Internet (pre-Web) search engine.
1990 - Hugh Loebner offers $10,000 to the first computer able to pass the Turing Test. 1990 - The world ’s first web site,, goes live.
1990 - "I'm not sure technology changes things that much; it changes them if we are concerned with what the results are. But if we deal with the new technologies as closely as we have dealt with the old ones, then we will come to appearances that aren't superficial. What I hope won't happen is that we are quickly satisfied with technology itself. What is to be hoped for is an interaction of people with technology, rather than a quick acceptance of what technology does. There's so much button pushing now, and the results are so spectacular that there's a temptation, which I hope is avoided, of just taking what the technology gives and not doing anything with it." John Cage
1990 - John Perry Barlow, Mitch Kapor and John Gilmore form the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
1991 - DOS version of America On Line (AOL) is launched.
1991 - Microsoft Office debuts at a suggested retail price of $495.
1992 - Microsoft releases the Access database ($99), providing a Window ’s specific alternative for the end-user, rather than the high-end developer ($495 and more).
1992 - By the accounts of most pundits, IBM's time has long passed.
1993 - CERN, owner of the rights of the work of British software engineer Tim Berners-Lee, announces that anyone can use the Web ’s protocols and technology for free. Berners-Lee, finding the use of the Internet far too cumbersome, had developed a set of protocols and technologies that provides the foundation for today ’s Web, including: the Hypertext Transfer Protocol that allows jumping directly from one Internet file to another; the concept of the uniform resource locator (URL); the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).
1993 - The Web contains an estimated 130 sites.
1993 - Mosaic, the first web browser launched.
1993 - Marc Andreesen, a computer science major, posts the first version of Mosaic on the Internet. Internet for the masses is born (
1994 - The Wandrer and WebCrawler systematically traverse the Web collecting and indexing sites, including (in WebCrawler's case) the full text of found documents.
1994 - Digital Equipment's Alpha 64-bit memory is able to set 1,000 indexing crawlers loose at once, leading to the creation of AltaVista.
1994 - The birth of Internet Service Providers.
1994 - The Coors Brewing Company is credited with placing the Internet ’s first banner ad.
1994 - Thomas Nicely, a math professor, while checking some number reciprocals, discovers that Intel ’s Pentium can ’t do math and is returning incorrect answers to numbers that go beyond four decimals. Intel, instead of apologizing and committing to fix and make good, goes defensive, stonewalls, and mounts one of the most destructive PR campaigns ever - built on simple lies and obfuscation.
1994 - Netscape releases the first version of Navigator over the Internet.
1994 - "David's Guide to the World Wide Web," later to become Yahoo, debuts.
1994 - Time magazine explains why the Internet will never go mainstream.
1995 - The rise of global telecommunications companies begins to replace parochial data networks.
1995 - The PC comes out of the world of "stand-alone" computer and begins to act as a comunications node on the Global Computer Net, allowing people to do what they really want to do, communicate and interact.
1995 - The Intel 80686 and Motorola 68060 will contain 22 million transistors. 1995 - Jeff Bezos takes Amazon live.
1995 - IBM abolishes its dress code.
1995 - DEC (Digital Euipment Corporation) lifts the firewall and provides the public with access to, which by then had indexed over 16 million documents.
1995 - Jerry Yang and David Filo incorporate Yahoo.
1995 - Hotmail founded and launched as "HoTMaiL" (notice that the capitalized letters spell HTML, the language of the Web). The idea was that users should be able to access email from anywhere in the world, using any Web browser, thus freeing people from the siloed experiences typically offered then by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as America Online (AOL) and CompuServe. By the end of 1997, Hotmail boasts over 8 million subscribers and the service is purchased by Microsoft.
1995 - After the great success of WINDOWS 3.0 Microsoft totally confuse the market and releases Windows NT, Windows 95, and a bunch of other Windows products. Bundled with Windows 95 is a free version of Internet Explorer 1.0. The Browser Wars begin in earnest. Netscape Navigator owns 87% of the browser market at his point, Microsoft, 4%.
1995 - Delivering a browser (Navigator) that even my grandmother could love, Netscape goes public, sparking a massive build out of fiber optics to take advantage of this fabulous new “Internet Machine. ” Passive consumers are transformed overnight into producers - a total shift from the industrial age, when mass-produced goods were better and less expensive than anything you could make yourself. This sudden involvement of the consumer in the Internet is a complete “Lazarus Move ” that catches everyone (even Bill Gates) off guard, Everyone thought anything but the “passive ” consumer had died long ago.
1995 - Bill Gates fails to see the importance of the Internet, but suddenly gets religion and focuses his entire attention on all things Internet. Bill, in his famous “Pearl Harbor Day Manifesto, ” announces that Microsoft is an Internet company and changes its course straight into a web-based future and the Department of Justice. By running, what many people believe, “roughshod ” over the Netscape Navigator browser.
1995 - Will browsers replace Windows as an application portal? As the Web becomes built out with robust services, maybe, but this realization is years away.
1995 - AOL has 5 million members.
1995 - Pierre Omidyar launches eBay (short for Echo Bay technologies).
1996 - In an attempt to offer a “Write Once, Run Anywhere ” operating environment, Sun releases Java. Microsoft licenses Java from Sun and introduces its own solution, C+. To confuse the consumer even more, Linux, a free and open-source version of the UNIX operating system, gains traction.
1996 - Theodore Kaczynski, the “Unabomber, ” releases his manifesto about the curse of technology.
1996 - Palm Computing rolls out the Palm Pilot.
1996 - During a Wall-Street briefing IBM unveils its future, "e-business," simultaneously rediscovering its voice, it's confidence, and its ability to drive the industry's agenda. A new context is born, galvanizing a coherent framework for hundreds of products and services.
1996 - The Web contains an estimated 600,000 sites and the Internet Archive project sets out to archive every one of them on a daily basis, providing every iteration, of every web site, forever.
1996 - Polaroid introduces the first 1-megapixel digicam. List price $3,695.
1996 - Larry Page and Sergey Brin release the first version of Google (known as the BackRub crawler) on the Stanford Web site.
1997 - Grandmaster Garry Kasparov loses a chess match to IBM ’s Big Blue.
1997 - Usenet poster John Barger coins the word “weblog ” to describe his online journal.
1997 - TiVo launched.
1998 - Microsoft teams up with Chinese universities to administer I.Q. tests in order to recruit the best brains from China ’s 1.3 billion people. Out of the 2,000 tested, Microsoft hires 20 and declares, “Remember, in China, when you are one in a million, there are 13,000 other people just like you. ”
1998 - The Microsoft antitrust trials begin.
1998 - Windows 98. 1998 - Netflix debuts.
1998 - Microsoft found guilty of antitrust violations. By this time Windows, bundled with email and Internet Explorer dominates the operating system market and Office rules the applications ” Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access.
1998 - AOL buys a bruised and battered Netscape.
1998 - The final 21 unwired countries come online. We ’re global.
1999 - Blogger and other simple “weblog ” tools are released to the public.
1999 - Shawn Fanning launches a new program that changes the Internet. Called "Napster," the software enables music fans to swap songs, bootlegs, rare tracks and current releases, across the Internet, rekindling an uproar about software piracy first ignited by Bill Gates in 1975 when he accuses unauthorized users of his version of Basic of “Intellectual piracy.”
1999 - The Internet bubble is in full swing.
1999 - End, Google has 39 employees.
2000 - The “American Century” seems to grind to a halt. On March 10 the NASDAQ peaks, the great .com bubble bursts, and the Nasdag begins its painful 74% drop from a high of 5048.62. However, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on connectivity, the Y2K scare had pushed computer upgrades, email and the Internet have exploded, broadband has connected the world, satellites are up there, and information can be chopped, sliced, diced and reassembled anywhere in the world. “Outsourcing” and the new global revolution begins. The international playing field is leveled and, in Tom Friedman’s words, “The world becomes flat.”
2000 - AOL and Time Warner announce merge.
2000 - A French court rules that Yahoo is effectively able to screen out 90 percent of French users, affirming that Yahoo had violated French law by allowing Nazi goods to appear for sale on its web pages.
2000 - As year ends, Google is answering more than 1,000,000 search queries a day.
2000 - The Intel 80786 and Motorola 68070 promise to harness 100 million transistors, occupy one square inch, and run at 250 MHz.
2000 - Intellectual work and capital are being delivered from anywhere. You can have a web site and an email address, and if people are comfortable giving work to you, and if you are diligent and honest in your transactions, you are in business.
2001 - iPod debuts.
2001 - Windows XP released.
2001 - 9/11, the DOW suffers the worst five-day slide since the Great Depression.
2001 - Enron files for bankruptcy.
2001 - Google gets big and is handling more than 100 million searches a day. By mid-2003 the number is more than 250 million.
2001 - IBM, twenty years after releasing its first PC, abandons the desktop market, unable to compete with the likes of Michael Dell.
2001 - The bubble has burst and the Internet is in full retreat.
2001 - Napster shut down for good.
2001 - US Court of Appeals overturns order to break up Microsoft.
2001 - USA PATRIOT Act introduced.
2002 - iPod debuts for Windows.
2002 - Yahoo shares, valued at $475 in 2000, now trade at $9.71
2002 - Google develops the PPC (pay-per-click) business model.
2002 - SEC files fraud charges against WorldCom.
2002 - Nasdaq drops to 1,114.11, the lowest point in six years.
2002 - A UC Berkeley study reports that in 2002 humankind created 5 exabytes of stored data (movies, prints, hard drives), the equivalent of 500,000 new libraries of Congress.
2002 - Internet Explorer owns 96% of the browser market.
2002 - IBM is back on top, number one in IT services: e-business (a term they coined), enterprise software (excluding PCs), high-performance computer chips and servers: processsing, software, storage and other business systems in support of millions of PCs.
2003 - Google acquires Blogger.
2003 - Starbucks offers Wi-Fi and finds that it's spending more on health insurance than it is on coffee.
2003 - Comdex cancelled.
2003 - Myspace goes on line, creating a whole new world for sexual predators and poor behavior.
2003 - Juston Hall begins Wikipedia.
2003 - iTunes launched.
2004 - Carly Fiorina, the C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard, declares that the last 25 years of technology have just been a warm-up.
2004 - Google goes public with an initial opening price of $85. After its first day of trading the stock closes at $100.34.
2004 - Researchers are poised to revolutionize "Search." Brute force is a pretty good description of IBM's WebFountain, a huge Linux cluster that runs 9,000 programs continuously, and crawls 50 million new pages every day, in order to determine a document's relevance by considering many "measures of relevance"—including user preferences determined by previous patterns and revealed preferences. Limited to supercomputers and large corporations for the near future, when it comes to computing the near future seems to quickly become the immediate future.
2004 - The next generation Mozilla browser, Firefox, is launched.
2004 - Amazon releases the A9 search engine
2004 - Microsoft's MSN division releases a public beta version of its MSN browser.
2004 - Kazaa is downloaded more than any software in history.
2005 - Everything is going to be delivered on the Internet: radio, television, music, shopping, telephony, the World Wide Web, the Orgasmatron, everything…
2005 - IBM sells its PC business to a Chinese IT power Lenovo.
2005 - Click fraud becomes enormous.
2005 - Ray Kurzweil publishes The Singularity is Near in which he describes an epoch in which the theoretical limitlessness of the exponential expansion of computer power allows us puny humans to transcend our biology, or become superfluous, whichever comes first.
2005 - IBM proposes a 23-teraflop Blue Brain to accelerate the "singularity" of human beings and artificial intelligence.
2005 - Thomas Friedman publishes The World is Flat.
2006 - Apple moves to the Intel platform.
2006 - The Chinese Internet explodes with and


Rory Donaldson's Incomplete History of Personal Computing (ver. 6.3) and "Heart of the Beast Software"- © Copyright September 1989, 2000, 2005, 2006 by Rory Donaldson, Heart of the Beast Software. Permission to use is granted for all non-commercial applications. All corrections and contributions encouraged. All ownership rights retained by Rory Donaldson, email: