1948

The Manchester Mark I

The Manchester Mark I

Britain’s Manchester Mark I is the first computer that can store a program electronically rather than requiring programmers to set switches manually.

1949

The EDSAC

The EDSAC

The EDSAC (Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator), built at the University of Cambridge, is capable of translating alphabetic shorthand into the binary it needs to understand the problem posed.

Popular Mechanics – March 1949

Popular Mechanics – March 1949

Popular Mechanics predicts:”Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons”.

DeMorgan Theorems

DeMorgan Theorems

Augustus DeMorgan, in conjunction with Boole, formalized a set of logical operations now known as DeMorgan transformations.

1950

The Whirlwind

The Whirlwind

Whirlwind – the biggest computer project of its time – becomes operational. Whirlwind is not only fast, but uses only 400 vacuum tubes (compared to the nearly 18,000 in ENIAC).

A UNIVAC tape drive

A UNIVAC tape drive

Tape drives start to replace punch cards.

1951

The UNIVAC

The UNIVAC

UNIVAC is delivered to U.S Census Bureau three years late. It’s a hit, with revolutionary features such as mercury delay lines for memory and magnetic tape for input instead of punched paper.

1952

A hard drive that used a drum.

A hard drive that used a drum.

Magnetic drums appear on the scene.

1953

Jay Forrester

Jay Forrester

After spending four years in development, Jay Forrester and a team at the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology install magnetic core memory into the Whirlwind computer, giving it a twice-as-fast access time of six microseconds.

1954

Texas Instruments announces the start of commercial production of silicon transistors.

The IBM 650

The IBM 650

IBM brings out the 650, the first mass-produced computer. It’s a great success, with 120 installations in first year.

The Burroughs B205

The Burroughs B205

The Burroughs B205 uses vacuum tubes and a magnet drum main memory system. An arithmetic operation takes several milliseconds. The B205 was also the favorite control console in Batman, the original television series beginning in 1966.

1956

IBM 305 Ramac

IBM 305 Ramac

IBM introduces the 305 RAMAC (random access method for accounting and control), the first magnetic hard disk storage system. The RAMAC stores 5 megabytes (MB) of data, is the size of two large refrigerators, and costs $10,000 per MB. The device can store five million characters of data on 50 disks, each 24 inches in diameter. Each disk can hold the equivalent of 25,000 punch cards.

The first transistorized computer is completed, the TX-O (Transistorized Experimental computer), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

1958

The Cray’s 1604

The Cray’s 1604

Control Data Corporation introduces Seymour Cray’s 1604. At $1.5 million, it’s half the cost of the IBM computer.

Jack Kilby

Jack Kilby

Jack Kilby completes first integrated circuit, containing five components on a single piece of silicon.

1960

The first integrated circuits reach the market, costing $120. NASA selects Noyce’s invention for the on-board computers of the Gemini spacecraft.

The PDP-1

The PDP-1

Digital Equipment Corporation introduces its first minicomputer, the PDP-1, priced at a relatively modest 120.000$.

LISP makes its debut as the first computer language designed for writing artificial intelligence programs.

2,000 computers are in use in the United States.