The Evolution of Computers: A Timeline


In the twenty-first century, very few can imagine life without a computer. Now all the operations we carry out are only on the computer. We get scared to think about what it would have to, be if we had to write some text on paper and handle it because we can easily do it on the computer, check out all the mistakes and print it. Now, we had reached on the era of Cloud Computing and 3D Printing. In this section, we would like to tell you about how the computer evolution took place.

Back in the forties, computers could be compared only with some very big devices. Just imagine that a single computer, it required a lot of electronic equipment and a large spacious room. At that time, the very first computers worked only on a very expensive vacuum tubes. Computers were afforded by just big companies and big institutions.

Here are the details of how computer technology evolved in all these years.

1940s: 1st Generation

1939: In the backdrop of World War II, scientist John V. Atanasoff and his graduate student, Clifford Berry, started developing the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) at Iowa State College (now University), which was completed in 1942. This is considered by many as the first electronic digital computer, although it wasn’t programmable.

1941: Konrad Zuse, a German civil engineer, completed his work on the Z3, the world’s first programmable (using punched film stock) fully automatic digital computer.

1943: Britain’s secret code-breaking computer, Colossus, got operational. It was used to decipher German codes during World War II.

1944: Howard Aiken, a Harvard engineer working with IBM, developed the Mark I, a room-sized, relay-based calculator.

1945: John von Neumann wrote a report on the stored-program concept, known as the First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC. This concept became the cornerstone of computer design in the post-war years.

1946: ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first general-purpose electronic computer, became operational. It was built by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert at the University of Pennsylvania.

1947: The invention of the transistor at Bell Labs. Transistors would replace vacuum tubes in computer designs and lead to smaller, faster machines.

1949: Maurice Wilkes assembled the EDSAC, the first practical stored-program computer, at the University of Cambridge.

1950s: 2nd Generation – Transistors

1950: floppy disk from the Tokyo Imperial University Yoshiro Nakamats invention. Its marketing rights were obtained by IBM. Created storage era.

1951: Grace Murray Hopper completed a high-level language compiler.

1951: Whirlwind: U.S. Air Force’s first computer-controlled real-time defense system development is completed.

1951: UNIVAC-1: the first commercial computer systems. Designer: J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. Used by the U.S. Census Department census, marking computer applications into a new era of commercial applications.
1952: EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Computer): led by the Von Neumann designed and completed. Name: Electronic Discrete Variable Computer.
1953: At this point in the world there are about 100 computers in operation.
1953: core memory is developed.
1954: IBM’s John Backus and his research team began developing FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation), 1957 years to complete. Is a suitable computer language used in scientific research.
1956: The first conference on artificial intelligence was held at Dartmouth College.
1957: IBM developed the first dot-matrix printers.
1957: FORTRAN successful development of high-level language.

1959: 1959 to 1964 designed computers generally known as the second generation of computers. Extensive use of transistors and printed circuits. Computer volume shrinking function continuously enhanced to run FORTRAN and COBOL, receiving English characters command. A large number of applications.

1959: Grace Murray Hopper began to develop COBOL (COmmon Business-Orientated Language) language, was completed in 1961.

Despite using transistors greatly reduced the size of the computer, reducing its price, reducing the failure. But from the requirements of the people are still far worse, and the various sectors of the computer also had a greater demand, production more stronger, lighter, cheaper machines has become a priority, and the invention of integrated circuits as “timely” when spring is here. Its high degree of integration, not only so that the volume is reduced, but also the speed, fault reduction. People began to manufacture a revolutionary microprocessor. Computer technology after years of accumulation, and finally onto a silicon paved highway.
September 12, 1958: In the Robert Noyce (INTEL company’s founder) under the leadership of the invention of the integrated circuit. And soon launched a microprocessor. But since the invention of the microprocessor is borrowed from Japanese company’s technology, so the Japanese patent does not recognize them, because the Japanese did not receive due benefits. Over 30 years, the Japanese admitted, so Japanese companies can gain a portion of the profits. But in 2001, the patent also fails.


1960s: 3rd Generation – Microprocessors

1960: ALGOL: first a structured programming language was introduced.
1961: IBM’s Kennth Iverson launched APL programming language.
1963: PDP-8: DEC introduced the first minicomputer.
1964: 1964 to 1972 computers generally known as the third generation of computers. Extensive use of integrated circuits, the typical model is IBM360 series.
1964: IBM released PL / 1 programming language.
1964: the first set released IBM 360 series compatible.
1964: DEC released PDB-8 minicomputer.
1965: Moore’s published processor performance doubling every year. Later, its content has changed.
1965: Lofti Zadeh founded fuzzy logic to handle approximation problem.
1965: Thomas E. Kurtz and John Kemeny complete BASIC (Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) language development. Particularly suitable for computer education and beginners, has been widely promoted.
1965: Douglas Englebart put forward the idea of ​​a mouse, but no further. Until 1983 by Apple Computer, Inc. widely adopted.
1965: The first supercomputer CD6600 developed.
1967: Niklaus Wirth began developing the PASCAL language, completed in 1971.
1968: Robert Noyce and several of his friends founded the INTEL Corporation.
1968: Seymour Paper and his research group at MIT developed the LOGO language.
1969: ARPANET program started, this is the prototype of the modern INTERNET.
April 7, 1969: The first launch of a network protocol standard RFC.

1970s: 4th Generation – Microcomputer

1970: The first one RAM chip introduced by the INTEL capacity 1K.
1970: Ken Thomson and Dennis Ritchie began developing the UNIX operating system.
1970: Forth programming language developed.
1970: The Internet prototype of the ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency network) basically completed. Non-military departments began to open, many universities and the business sector began to access.
November 15, 1971: Marcian E. Hoff in the successful development of a company INTEL 4004 microprocessor, with 2,300 transistors, is a four system clock frequency 108KHz, 60,000 instructions per second.
In subsequent days, the development of key indicators processor glance.
Processor clocked millions of instructions per second
4004 108 KHz 0.06
8080 2MHz 0.5
68000 8MHz 0.7
8086 8MHz 0.8
68000 16 MHz 1.3
68020 16 MHz 2.6
80286 12MHz 2.7
68030 16MHz 3.9
386 SX 20MHz 6
68030 25MHz 6.3
68030 40MHz 10
386 DX 33MHz 10
486 DX 25MHz 20
486 DX2-50 50MHz 35
486 DX4/100 100MHz 60
Pentium 66MHz 100
Pentium 133MHz 240
Pentium 233MHz MMX 435
Pentium Pro 200 MHz 440
Pentium II 233MHz 560
Pentium II 333MHz 770
1971: PASCAL language development is completed.
1972: 1972 after a computer used to be called the fourth generation of computers. Based on LSI and VLSI later. Computers more powerful, smaller. People began to suspect that your computer can continue to shrink, especially heat problems can be resolved? People began to explore the development of fifth generation computers.
1972: C language development is completed. Its main designer was one of the developers of UNIX systems Dennis Ritche. This is a very powerful language development system software, especially loved by others.
1972: Hewlett-Packard invented the first hand-held calculator.
April 1, 1972: INTEL launched 8008 microprocessor .
1972: ARPANET began to move toward the world, INTERNET revolution began.
1973: Pong arcade game released, has been widely welcomed. Inventor Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari later.
1974: The first one has a parallel computer architecture CLIP-4 launch.

Five, computer technology getting into the brilliant. Before this, computer technology mainly in mainframes and minicomputers areas of development, but with the ultra-large scale integrated circuit and microprocessor technology, computer technology into the homes of ordinary people barrier layers have been exceeded. Especially from INTEL released its microprocessors for personal computers after 8080, this will be the surging tide up, but also the emergence of a large number of beach-goers the information age, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc., since they are computer industry development also plays an important role. In this period, the Internet technology, multimedia technology has also been an unprecedented development, the computer really started to change people’s lives.

1974 April 1: INTEL released its 8080 8-bit microprocessor chip.
December 1974: MITS released Altair 8800, the first commercial personal computer, valued at $ 397, with 256 bytes of memory.
1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen finished first in the MITS Altair BASIC program running on the computer.
1975: IBM Corporation introduced his laser printer technology. 1988 to market its color laser printers.
1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft company. Now become the largest and most successful software company. Three years after the income of $ 500,000, increased to 15 people. 1992 amounted to $ 2.8 billion, 10,000 employees. The biggest breakthrough was in 1981 for the IBM PC, operating system development, from the beginning after a huge impact on the computer industry.
1975: IBM 5100 release.
1976: Stephen Wozinak and Stephen Jobs founded Apple Computer Corporation. And launched its Apple I computer.
1976: Zilog Z80 processor launch. 8-bit microprocessor. CP / M is an operating system for its development. Many well-known software such as: Wordstar and dBase II X5470 processors.
1976: 6502, 8-bit microprocessor release, designed for Apple II computers.
1976: Cray 1, the first commercial supercomputer. Integrates 200,000 transistors per second for 1.5 billion floating-point operations.
May 1977: Apple II computer model release.
1978: Commodore Pet Release: there 8K RAM, cassette deck, 9 inches monitor.
June 8, 1978: INTEL released its 16-bit microprocessor 8086. But because of its very expensive, it launched 8 of 8088 to meet the needs of the market for low-cost processors, and was IBM’s first generation of the PC used. The available clock frequency of 4.77,8,10 MHz. About 300 instructions, 29000 integrates more transistors.
1979: Arcade game “Space Invaders” release, caused a sensation. Soon make a similar large-scale popular game consoles, their income than the U.S. film industry.
1979: Jean Ichbiah developed Ada computer language.
June 1, 1979: INTEL has released eight of the 8088 microprocessor, solely in order to meet the needs of low-cost computers.
1979: Commodore PET released using a 1MHz 6502 processor, monochrome display, 8K memory on a computer, and may need to buy more memory expansion.
1979: the invention of low-density disks.
1979: Motorola Announces 68000 microprocessor. Apple’s major suppliers for the Macintosh, successor 68020 used in the Macintosh II models.
1979: IBM Corporation seeing the PC market share by Apple and other computer companies, decided to also develop their own personal computers, in order to expedite the launch of their products, they are a lot of work with third parties, including Microsoft, to assume its operation system development work. Soon they will be in the August 12, 1981 launched the IBM-PC. But also the rise of Microsoft later, Shi adequate fertilizer.

1980s: Rise of Microcomputers

1981: IBM introduced the IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, marking a new epoch in the history of computing.

1982: The computer mouse was introduced to a wider public when it was included with the Apple Lisa.

1983: Microsoft released MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System), which would become the dominant operating system for the IBM PC and its clones.

1984: Apple launched the Macintosh, the first successful mouse-driven computer with a graphical user interface.

1985: Microsoft released its first version of Windows, Windows 1.0, which was not a full operating system, but an extension of MS-DOS.

1986: The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a leading body in internet standards, was formally established.

1987: IBM introduced the PS/2 machines which made the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive and video graphics array (VGA) standard for the first time.

1988: CD-ROM, which stands for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory, was standardized by the Yellow Book. This revolutionized data storage.

1990s: Personal Computers

1990: In a monumental step towards the digital age we know today, Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist, invented the World Wide Web while working at CERN.

1991: Linux, a Unix-like, open-source operating system, was first released by Linus Torvalds, an undergraduate student at the University of Helsinki.

1992: Microsoft released Windows 3.1, which included enhanced graphics, better performance, and support for multimedia.

1993: The release of the Mosaic web browser enabled the internet to become more easily accessible to non-technical users, sparking the Internet boom.

1994: Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, marking the rise of e-commerce and online shopping.

1995: JavaScript was developed at Netscape Communications by Brendan Eich, shaping dynamic and interactive web pages. In the same year, Microsoft released Windows 95, which included a new user interface and the first appearance of the “Start” button.

1996: Sergey Brin and Larry Page formally started Google, a major milestone in the era of Internet search engines.

1997: Netflix was founded, transforming the way movies and television shows are consumed.

1998: Microsoft released Windows 98, which included support for USB and DVD-ROM, and the introduction of the Quick Launch bar.

1999: The Wi-Fi standard (IEEE 802.11) was approved, paving the way for wireless networking and internet connectivity.

2000: Mobile Computing

2000: The dot-com bubble burst, causing a significant shake-up in the tech industry. Nonetheless, this year also marked the launch of the USB 2.0, offering a dramatic increase in data transfer rates.

2001: Apple Inc. introduced the first iPod, revolutionizing portable music players. In the same year, Microsoft released Windows XP, a version known for its improved performance and usability.

2002: LinkedIn was launched, providing a platform for professional networking online.

2003: Social networking took a leap forward with the launch of MySpace. Moreover, Skype started its journey this year, changing the face of online communication.

2004: The era of social media began with the birth of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates at Harvard University. Meanwhile, Google went public, signaling a new phase in the company’s growth.

2005: YouTube was founded, enabling people to share and watch videos online. The same year marked the advent of Reddit, the so-called “front page of the internet.”

2006: Twitter was launched, adding a new dimension to social networking with its unique 140-character limit format (later expanded). Also, Amazon introduced its web services (AWS), laying the groundwork for cloud computing.

2007: Apple released the first iPhone, reshaping the landscape of mobile technology forever.

2008: Google launched Chrome, a web browser that would become hugely popular in the years to follow. This same year, Bitcoin’s concept was introduced by an anonymous person (or group) known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

2009: Microsoft released Windows 7, which was praised for its increased speed and user-friendly interface. This year also saw the birth of WhatsApp, revolutionizing global communication with its easy-to-use messaging platform.

2010: Instagram was launched, offering a platform for sharing photos and videos, which quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Also, Apple introduced the iPad, kick-starting the market for tablet computers.


The journey of computer evolution is a testament to human ingenuity and innovation. From enormous, room-filling machines to sleek handheld devices, the transformation is nothing short of astounding. This timeline only scratches the surface of the countless milestones and breakthroughs in computer history. As we move forward, we can anticipate even more ground-breaking advancements. The exponential growth of technology hints at a future where computers will continue to become even more integrated into our daily lives, perhaps in ways we can’t even imagine yet. It’s an exciting time to witness the evolution of computers, as each new development expands our understanding of what’s possible.

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