History of Computing

This timeline records important milestones in computing. Where possible release dates are entirely accurate. Where no information is available the first day of the year has been chosen.

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Bombe

The Bombe was an electromechanical device used by British cryptologists to help decipher German Enigma-machine-encrypted secret messages during World War II. The US Navy and US Army later produced their own machines to the same functional specification, but engineered differently from each other and from the British Bombe. The initial design of the bombe was produced in 1939 at the UK Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park by Alan Turing, with an important refinement devised in 1940 by Gordon Welchman. The engineering design and construction was the work of Harold Keen of the British Tabulating Machine Company. It was a substantial development from a device that had been designed in 1938 in Poland at the Biuro Szyfrów (Cipher Bureau) by cryptologist Marian Rejewski, and known as the "cryptologic bomb". The bombe was designed to discover some of the daily settings of the Enigma machines on the various German military networks: specifically, the set of rotors in use and their positions in the machine; the rotor core start positions for the message—the message key—and one of the wirings of the plugboard.y info here

Colossus

Colossus was the name of a series of computers developed by British codebreakers in 1943-1945 to help in the cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher. Colossus used thermionic valves (vacuum tubes) and thyratrons to perform Boolean and counting operations. Colossus is thus regarded as the world's first programmable, electronic, digital computer, although it was programmed by plugs and switches and not by a stored program. Colossus was designed by the engineer Tommy Flowers to solve a problem posed by mathematician Max Newman at the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park. Alan Turing's use of probability in cryptanalysis contributed to its design. It has sometimes been erroneously stated that Turing designed Colossus to aid the cryptanalysis of the Enigma. Turing's machine that helped decode Enigma was the electromechanical Bombe, not Colossus.

World War II VE day

World War II ends in Europe

Windows 10

Windows 10 is a personal computer operating system released by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems.Windows 10 introduces what Microsoft described as a "universal" application architecture; expanding on Metro-style apps, these apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code—including PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub and HoloLens. Windows 10's user interface was revised to handle transitions between a mouse-oriented interface and a touchscreen-optimized interface based on available input devices—particularly on laplets; both interfaces include an updated Start menu that comprises a design similar to Windows 7 with 8's tiles. Windows 10 also introduces Task View, a virtual desktop system, the Microsoft Edge web browser and other new or updated applications, integrated support for fingerprint and face recognition login, new security features for enterprise environments, DirectX 12 and WDDM 2.0 to improve the operating system's graphics capabilities for games. Microsoft described Windows 10 as an 'operating system as a service' that would receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality, augmented with the ability for enterprise environments to receive non-critical updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that will only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their five-year lifespan of mainstream support. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, argued that the goal of this model was to reduce fragmentation across the Windows platform, as Microsoft aimed to have Windows 10 installed on at least one billion devices in the two to three years following its release.

Bletchley Park

Alan Turing reports to Bletchley park

BBC Micro released

The BBC Microcomputer System, or BBC Micro, was a series of microcomputers and associated peripherals designed and built by the Acorn Computer company for the BBC Computer Literacy Project, operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Designed with an emphasis on education, it was notable for its ruggedness, expandability and the quality of its operating system.

Windows 3.1 released

Windows 3.1x (codenamed Janus) is a series of 16-bit operating systems, produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers. The series began with Windows 3.1, which was first sold during April 1992 as a successor to Windows 3.0. Subsequent versions were released between 1992 and 1994 until the series was superseded by Windows 95. During its lifespan, Windows 3.1 introduced various enhancements to the still MS-DOS-based platform, including improved system stability, expanded support for multimedia, TrueType fonts, and workgroup networking. Windows 3.1 was originally released on April 6, 1992; official support for Windows 3.1 ended on December 31, 2001, and OEM licensing for Windows for Workgroups 3.11 on embedded systems continued to be available until November 1, 2008.

Discovery of PN junction

In the mid-1930s Russell Ohl, an electrochemist at Bell Telephone Labs in Holmdel, NJ, began investigating the use of silicon rectifiers as radar detectors. He found that increasing the silicon purity helped improve their detection ability. On 23 February 1940, he tested a small silicon slab that yielded strange, surprising results. When exposed to bright light, the current flowing through the slab jumped appreciably. He also noticed that different parts of the crystal yielded opposite electrical effects when tested with a "cat's whisker" style probe.

Windows 8 released

Windows 8 introduced major changes to the operating system's platform and user interface to improve its user experience on tablets, where Windows was now competing with mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS. In particular, these changes included a touch-optimized Windows shell based on Microsoft's "Metro" design language, the Start screen (which displays programs and dynamically updated content on a grid of tiles), a new platform for developing apps with an emphasis on touchscreen input, integration with online services (including the ability to sync apps and settings between devices), and Windows Store, an online store for downloading and purchasing new software. Windows 8 added support for USB 3.0, Advanced Format hard drives, near field communications, and cloud computing. Additional security features were introduced, such as built-in antivirus software, integration with Microsoft SmartScreen phishing filtering service and support for UEFI Secure Boot on supported devices with UEFI firmware, to prevent malware from infecting the boot process.

First web page

On August 6, 1991,Tim Berners-Lee posted a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup, inviting collaborators. This date also marked the debut of the Web as a publicly available service on the Internet, although new users could only access it after August 23.

First integrated circuit.

An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small plate ("chip") of semiconductor material, normally silicon. This can be made much smaller than a discrete circuit made from independent components. ICs can be made very compact, having up to several billion transistors and other electronic components in an area the size of a fingernail. The width of each conducting line in a circuit can be made smaller and smaller as the technology advances; in 2008 it dropped below 100 nanometer, and now it is tens of nanometers.

ENIAC

ENIAC; (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer) was the first electronic general-purpose computer. It was Turing-complete, digital, and capable of being reprogrammed to solve "a large class of numerical problems". ENIAC was initially designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the United States Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory. When ENIAC was announced in 1946 it was heralded in the press as a "Giant Brain". It had a speed of one thousand times that of electro-mechanical machines. This computational power, coupled with general-purpose programmability, excited scientists and industrialists.

UNIVAC

The UNIVAC I (UNIVersal Automatic Computer I) was the second commercial computer produced in the United States. It was designed principally by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, the inventors of the ENIAC. Design work was started by their company, Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation, and was completed after the company had been acquired by Remington Rand (which later became part of Sperry, now Unisys). In the years before successor models of the UNIVAC I appeared, the machine was simply known as "the UNIVAC". The first UNIVAC was accepted by the United States Census Bureau on March 31, 1951, and was dedicated on June 14 that year. The fifth machine (built for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission) was used by CBS to predict the result of the 1952 presidential election. With a sample of just 1% of the voting population it famously predicted an Eisenhower landslide while the conventional wisdom favored Stevenson.

PROLOG language developed

Prolog is a general purpose logic programming language associated with artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. Prolog has its roots in first-order logic, a formal logic, and unlike many other programming languages, Prolog is declarative: the program logic is expressed in terms of relations, represented as facts and rules. A computation is initiated by running a query over these relations. The language was first conceived by a group around Alain Colmerauer in Marseille, France, in the early 1970s and the first Prolog system was developed in 1972 by Colmerauer with Philippe Roussel. Prolog was one of the first logic programming languages, and remains the most popular among such languages today, with many free and commercial implementations available. The language has been used for theorem proving, expert systems, as well as its original intended field of use, natural language processing. Modern Prolog environments support creating graphical user interfaces, as well as administrative and networked applications.

LISP language developed

Lisp (historically, LISP) is a family of computer programming languages with a long history and a distinctive, fully parenthesized Polish prefix notation. Originally specified in 1958, Lisp is the second-oldest high-level programming language in widespread use today; only Fortran is older (by one year). Like Fortran, Lisp has changed a great deal since its early days, and a number of dialects have existed over its history. Today, the most widely known general-purpose Lisp dialects are Common Lisp and Scheme. Lisp was originally created as a practical mathematical notation for computer programs, influenced by the notation of Alonzo Church's lambda calculus. It quickly became the favored programming language for artificial intelligence (AI) research. As one of the earliest programming languages, Lisp pioneered many ideas in computer science, including tree data structures, automatic storage management, dynamic typing, conditionals, higher-order functions, recursion, and the self-hosting compiler. The name LISP derives from "LISt Processing". Linked lists are one of Lisp language's major data structures, and Lisp source code is itself made up of lists. As a result, Lisp programs can manipulate source code as a data structure, giving rise to the macro systems that allow programmers to create new syntax or new domain-specific languages embedded in Lisp. The interchangeability of code and data also gives Lisp its instantly recognizable syntax. All program code is written as s-expressions, or parenthesized lists. A function call or syntactic form is written as a list with the function or operator's name first, and the arguments following; for instance, a function f that takes three arguments might be called using (f arg1 arg2 arg3).

FORTRAN developed

Fortran (previously FORTRAN, derived from Formula Translating System) is a general-purpose, imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. Originally developed by IBM in the 1950s for scientific and engineering applications, Fortran came to dominate this area of programming early on and has been in continuous use for over half a century in computationally intensive areas such as numerical weather prediction, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, computational physics and computational chemistry. It is one of the most popular languages in the area of high-performance computing and is the language used for programs that benchmark and rank the world's fastest supercomputers. Fortran encompasses a lineage of versions, each of which evolved to add extensions to the language while usually retaining compatibility with previous versions. Successive versions have added support for structured programming and processing of character-based data (FORTRAN 77), array programming, modular programming and generic programming (Fortran 90), high performance Fortran (Fortran 95), object-oriented programming (Fortran 2003) and concurrent programming (Fortran 2008).

BASIC developed

BASIC (an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, or Bending Acronyms So the Initials look Cute) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use. In 1964, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz designed the original BASIC language at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn. Versions of BASIC became widespread on microcomputers in the mid-1970s and 1980s. Microcomputers usually shipped with BASIC, often in the machine's firmware. Having an easy-to-learn language on these early personal computers allowed small business owners, professionals, hobbyists, and consultants to develop custom software on computers they could afford. BASIC remains popular in many dialects and in new languages influenced by BASIC, such as Microsoft's Visual Basic. In 2006, 59% of developers for the .NET Framework used Visual Basic .NET as their only programming language.

Java released

Java is a computer programming language that is concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, and specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers "write once, run anywhere" (WORA), meaning that code that runs on one platform does not need to be recompiled to run on another. Java applications are typically compiled to bytecode that can run on any Java virtual machine (JVM) regardless of computer architecture. Java is, as of 2014, one of the most popular programming languages in use, particularly for client-server web applications, with a reported 9 million developers. Java was originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems (which has since merged into Oracle Corporation) and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems' Java platform. The language derives much of its syntax from C and C++, but it has fewer low-level facilities than either of them. The original and reference implementation Java compilers, virtual machines, and class libraries were originally released by Sun under proprietary licences. As of May 2007, in compliance with the specifications of the Java Community Process, Sun relicensed most of its Java technologies under the GNU General Public License. Others have also developed alternative implementations of these Sun technologies, such as the GNU Compiler for Java (bytecode compiler), GNU Classpath (standard libraries), and IcedTea-Web (browser plugin for applets). There were five primary goals in the creation of the Java language: It should be "simple, object-oriented and familiar" It should be "robust and secure" It should be "architecture-neutral and portable" It should execute with "high performance" It should be "interpreted, threaded, and dynamic"

Perl developed

Perl is a family of high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages. The languages in this family include Perl 5 and Perl 6. Though Perl is not officially an acronym, there are various backronyms in use, such as: Practical Extraction and Reporting Language. Perl was originally developed by Larry Wall in 1987 as a general-purpose Unix scripting language to make report processing easier. Since then, it has undergone many changes and revisions. The latest major stable revision of Perl 5 is 5.20.1, released in September 2014. Perl 6, which began as a redesign of Perl 5 in 2000, eventually evolved into a separate language. Both languages continue to be developed independently by different development teams and liberally borrow ideas from one another. The Perl languages borrow features from other programming languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, and sed. They provide powerful text processing facilities without the arbitrary data-length limits of many contemporary Unix commandline tools, facilitating easy manipulation of text files. Perl 5 gained widespread popularity in the late 1990s as a CGI scripting language, in part due to its parsing abilities. In addition to CGI, Perl 5 is used for graphics programming, system administration, network programming, finance, bioinformatics, and other applications. It is nicknamed "the Swiss Army chainsaw of scripting languages" because of its flexibility and power, and possibly also because of its "ugliness". In 1998, it was also referred to as the "duct tape that holds the Internet together", in reference to both its ubiquitous use as a glue language and its perceived inelegance.

Python developed

Python is a widely used general-purpose, high-level programming language. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code than would be possible in languages such as C. The language provides constructs intended to enable clear programs on both a small and large scale. Python supports multiple programming paradigms, including object-oriented, imperative and functional programming or procedural styles. It features a dynamic type system and automatic memory management and has a large and comprehensive standard library. Python interpreters are available for installation on many operating systems, allowing Python code execution on a majority of systems. Using third-party tools, such as Py2exe or Pyinstaller, Python code can be packaged into stand-alone executable programs for some of the most popular operating systems, allowing for the distribution of Python-based software for use on those environments without requiring the installation of a Python interpreter. CPython, the reference implementation of Python, is free and open-source software and has a community-based development model, as do nearly all of its alternative implementations. CPython is managed by the non-profit Python Software Foundation.

Spectrum 48K released

The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research Ltd. Referred to during development as the ZX81 Colour and ZX82, the machine was launched as the ZX Spectrum by Sinclair to highlight the machine's colour display, compared with the black-and-white of its predecessor, the ZX81. The Spectrum was ultimately released as eight different models, ranging from the entry level model with 16 KB RAM released in 1982 to the ZX Spectrum +3 with 128 KB RAM and built in floppy disk drive in 1987; together they sold in excess of 5 million units worldwide (not counting numerous clones). The Spectrum was among the first mainstream audience home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA. The introduction of the ZX Spectrum led to a boom in companies producing software and hardware for the machine, the effects of which are still seen; some credit it as the machine which launched the UK IT industry. Licensing deals and clones followed, and earned Clive Sinclair a knighthood for "services to British industry". The Commodore 64, Oric-1 and Atmos, BBC Microcomputer and later the Amstrad CPC range were rivals to the Spectrum in the UK market during the early 1980s. Over 24,000 software titles have been released since the Spectrum's launch and new titles continue to be released, with over 100 new ones in 2012. In 2014, a bluetooth keyboard modeled on the Spectrum was announced.

BBC Master 128

The BBC Master was a home computer released by Acorn Computers in early 1986. It was designed and built for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was the successor to the BBC Micro Model B. The Master 128 remained in production until 1993

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128

Sinclair developed the ZX Spectrum 128 (code-named Derby) in conjunction with their Spanish distributor Investrónica. Investrónica had helped adapt the ZX Spectrum+ to the Spanish market after the Spanish government introduced a special tax on all computers with 64 KB RAM or less, and a law which obliged all computers sold in Spain to support the Spanish alphabet and show messages in Spanish. The appearance of the ZX Spectrum 128 was similar to the ZX Spectrum+, with the exception of a large external heatsink for the internal 7805 voltage regulator added to the right hand end of the case, replacing the internal heatsink in previous versions. New features included 128 KB RAM, three-channel audio via the AY-3-8912 chip, MIDI compatibility, an RS-232 serial port, an RGB monitor port, 32 KB of ROM including an improved BASIC editor, and an external keypad. The machine was simultaneously presented for the first time and launched in September 1985 at the SIMO '85 trade show in Spain, with a price of 44,250 pesetas. Because of the large number of unsold Spectrum+ models, Sinclair decided not to start selling in the UK until January 1986 at a price of £179.95. No external keypad was available for the UK release, although the ROM routines to use it and the port itself remained. The Z80 processor used in the Spectrum has a 16-bit address bus, which means only 64 KB of memory can be directly addressed. To facilitate the extra 80 KB of RAM the designers used bank switching so that the new memory would be available as eight pages of 16 KB at the top of the address space. The same technique was also used to page between the new 16 KB editor ROM and the original 16 KB BASIC ROM at the bottom of the address space. The new sound chip and MIDI out abilities were exposed to the BASIC programming language with the command PLAY and a new command SPECTRUM was added to switch the machine into 48K mode, keeping the current BASIC program intact (although there is no way to switch back to 128K mode). To enable BASIC programmers to access the additional memory, a RAM disk was created where files could be stored in the additional 80 KB of RAM. The new commands took the place of two existing user-defined-character spaces causing compatibility problems with some BASIC programs. The ZX Spectrum 128 had no internal speaker like its predecessors. The sound was produced from the television speaker instead.

Turing Test

"Computing Machinery and Intelligence", written by Alan Turing and published in 1950 in Mind, is a seminal paper on the topic of artificial intelligence in which the concept of what is now known as the Turing test was introduced to a wide audience. Turing's paper considers the question "Can machines think?" Since the words "think" and "machine" cannot be defined in a clear way that satisfies everyone, Turing suggests we "replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words." To do this, he must first find a simple and unambiguous idea to replace the word "think", second he must explain exactly which "machines" he is considering, and finally, armed with these tools, he formulates a new question, related to the first, that he believes he can answer in the affirmative. Rather than trying to determine if a machine is thinking, Turing suggests we should ask if the machine can win a game, called the "Imitation Game". It involves three participants in isolated rooms: a computer (which is being tested), a human, and a (human) judge. The human judge can converse with both the human and the computer by typing into a terminal. Both the computer and human try to convince the judge that they are the human. If the judge cannot consistently tell which is which, then the computer wins the game. Turing writes 'What will happen when a machine takes the part of A in this game?' Will the interrogator decide wrongly as often when the game is played like this as he does when the game is played between a man and a woman? These questions replace our original, 'Can machines think?'" As Stevan Harnad notes, the question has become "Can machines do what we (as thinking entities) can do?" In other words, Turing is no longer asking whether a machine can "think"; he is asking whether a machine can act indistinguishably from the way a thinker acts. This question avoids the difficult philosophical problem of pre-defining the verb "to think" and focuses instead on the performance capacities that being able to think makes possible, and how a causal system can generate them. Some have taken Turing's question to have been "Can a computer, communicating over a teleprinter, fool a person into believing it is human?" but it seems clear that Turing was not talking about fooling people but about generating human cognitive capacity.

Lyons LEO

The LEO I (Lyons Electronic Office I) was the first computer used for commercial business applications. Overseen by Oliver Standingford and Raymond Thompson of J. Lyons and Co., and modelled closely on the Cambridge EDSAC, LEO I ran its first business application in 1951. In 1954 Lyons formed LEO Computers Ltd to market LEO I and its successors LEO II and LEO III to other companies. LEO Computers eventually became part of English Electric Company (EELM) and then International Computers Limited (ICL) and ultimately Fujitsu. LEO series computers were still in use until 1981

EDVAC

EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer) was one of the earliest electronic computers. Unlike its predecessor the ENIAC, it was binary rather than decimal, and was a stored program computer.

COBOL developed

COBOL ( an acronym for common business-oriented language) is a compiled computer programming language designed for business use. It is imperative, procedural and, since 2002, object-oriented. It was designed in 1959 by the Conference on Data Systems Languages (CODASYL) and was largely based on previous programming language design work by Grace Hopper, commonly referred to as "the mother of COBOL". COBOL is primarily used in business, finance, and administrative systems for companies and governments. In 1997, Gartner Group estimated that there were a total of 200 billion lines of COBOL in existence which ran 80% of all business programs. COBOL was one of the first programming languages to be standardised: the first COBOL standard was issued by ANSI in 1968. The standard has been revised four times since then, with ISO publishing the latest standard as ISO/IEC 1989:2014.

JavaScript

JavaScript is a dynamic computer programming language. It is most commonly used as part of web browsers, whose implementations allow client-side scripts to interact with the user, control the browser, communicate asynchronously, and alter the document content that is displayed. It is also used in server-side network programming with frameworks such as Node.js, game development and the creation of desktop and mobile applications. JavaScript is classified as a prototype-based scripting language with dynamic typing and first-class functions. This mix of features makes it a multi-paradigm language, supporting object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.

Blogs

A blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).

YouTube

YouTube is a video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005 and has been owned by Google since late 2006. The site allows users to upload, view, and share videos, and it makes use of Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media video. Available content includes video clips, TV clips, music videos, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

Facebook

Facebook is an online social networking service headquartered in Menlo Park, California. Its name comes from a colloquialism for the directory given to students at some American universities. Facebook was founded on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow Harvard University students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. The founders had initially limited the website's membership to Harvard students, but later expanded it to colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities and later to their high-school students. Facebook now allows anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old worldwide to become a registered user of the website, although proof is not required. After registering to use the site, users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, and receive notifications when others update their profiles. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as "People From Work" or "Close Friends". Facebook had over one billion active users as of September 2012, of which approximately 9% were fake. By that point, Facebook was adding about half a petabyte of data every 24 hours, amounting to about 180 petabytes per year. Due to the large volume of data collected about users, the service's privacy policies have faced scrutiny, among other criticisms. Facebook, Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching a peak market capitalization of $104 billion

eBay

eBay Inc., is an American multinational corporation and e-commerce company, providing consumer-to-consumer & business-to-consumer sales services via Internet. It is headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, and became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble; it is a multi-billion dollar business with operations localized in over thirty countries. The company manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide. In addition to its auction-style sales, the website has since expanded to include "Buy It Now" shopping; shopping by UPC, ISBN, or other kind of SKU (via Half.com); online classified advertisements (via Kijiji or eBay Classifieds); online event ticket trading (via StubHub); online money transfers (via PayPal) and other services. eBay.com is not a free website, rather it charges users an invoice seller fee on the basis of if they have sold or listed any items.

Amazon

Amazon.com, Inc. is an American international electronic commerce company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the largest Internet based company in the United States. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore, but soon diversified, selling DVDs, VHSs, CDs, video and MP3 downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—notably, Amazon Kindle e-book readers, Kindle Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire Phone — and is a major provider of cloud computing services.

Spacewar!

Spacewar! is one of the earliest digital computer games. It is a two-player game, with each player taking control of a starship and attempting to destroy the other. A star in the center of the screen pulls on both ships and requires maneuvering to avoid falling into it. In an emergency, a player can enter hyperspace to return at a random location on the screen, but only at the risk of exploding if it is used too often. Steve "Slug" Russell, Martin "Shag" Graetz, and Wayne Wiitanen of the fictitious "Hingham Institute" conceived of the game in 1961, with the intent of implementing it on a DEC PDP-1 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After Alan Kotok obtained some sine and cosine routines from DEC, Russell began coding, and, by February 1962, had produced his first version. It took approximately 200 hours of work to create the initial version. Additional features were developed by Dan Edwards, Peter Samson, and Graetz.

Colossal Cave

Colossal Cave Adventure (also known as ADVENT, Colossal Cave, or Adventure) gave its name to the computer adventure game genre. It was originally designed by Will Crowther, a programmer and caving enthusiast who based the layout on part of the Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky. The Colossal Cave subnetwork has many entrances, one of which is known as Bedquilt. Crowther reproduced portions of the real cave so faithfully that one caver who had played the game could easily navigate through familiar sections in the Bedquilt region on her first visit.

PONG

Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games; it is a tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. While other arcade video games such as Computer Space came before it, Pong was one of the first video games to reach mainstream popularity. The aim is to defeat an opponent in a simulated table-tennis game by earning a higher score. The game was originally manufactured by Atari Incorporated (Atari), who released it in 1972. Allan Alcorn created Pong as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the idea on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey, which later resulted in a lawsuit against Atari. Surprised by the quality of Alcorn's work, Bushnell and Atari co-founder Ted Dabney decided to manufacture the game. Pong quickly became a success and is the first commercially successful arcade video game machine, which helped to establish the video game industry along with the first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey. Soon after its release, several companies began producing games that copied Pong '​s gameplay, and eventually released new types of games. As a result, Atari encouraged its staff to produce more innovative games. The company released several sequels that built upon the original's gameplay by adding new features. During the 1975 Christmas season, Atari released a home version of Pong exclusively through Sears retail stores. It was also a commercial success and led to numerous copies. The game has been remade on numerous home and portable platforms following its release. Pong has been referenced and parodied in multiple television shows and video games, and has been a part of several video game and cultural exhibitions.

Elite

Elite is a seminal space trading video game, written and developed by David Braben and Ian Bell and originally published by Acornsoft for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron computers in 1984. Elite's open-ended game model, advanced game engine and revolutionary 3D graphics led to it being ported to virtually every contemporary home computer system, and earned it a place as a classic and a genre maker in gaming history. The game's title derives from one of the player's goals of raising their combat rating to the exalted heights of "Elite". Elite was one of the first home computer games to use wire-frame 3D graphics with hidden line removal. Another novelty was the inclusion of The Dark Wheel, a novella by Robert Holdstock which gave players insight into the moral and legal codes to which they might aspire.

Hunt the Wumpus

Hunt the Wumpus is an early video game, based on a simple hide and seek format featuring a mysterious monster (the Wumpus) that lurks deep inside a network of rooms. It was originally a text-based game written in BASIC. It has since been ported to various programming languages and platforms including graphical versions.

Deep Blue beats Gary Kasparov

First computer program to defeat a world champion at chess in a match under tournament regulations

Space Invaders

Space Invaders is an arcade video game developed by Tomohiro Nishikado and released in 1978. It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in the United States by the Midway division of Bally. Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting games and the aim is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. In designing the game, Nishikado drew inspiration from popular media: Breakout, The War of the Worlds, and Star Wars. To complete it, he had to design custom hardware and development tools. It was one of the forerunners of modern video gaming and helped expand the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry (see golden age of video arcade games). When first released, Space Invaders was very successful. The game has been the inspiration for other video games, re-released on numerous platforms, and led to several sequels. The 1980 Atari 2600 version quadrupled the system's sales and became the first "killer app" for video game consoles. Space Invaders has been referenced and parodied in multiple television shows, and been a part of several video game and cultural exhibitions. The pixelated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon, often used as a synecdoche representing video games as a whole.

Doctor Who first airs

Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC from 1963 to the present day. The programme depicts the adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord—a time-travelling humanoid alien. He explores the universe in his TARDIS, a sentient time-travelling space ship. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.

PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 (PS2) is a video game console that was manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is Sony's second installment in the PlayStation Series.

PlayStation

PlayStation was the brainchild of Ken Kutaragi, a Sony executive who had just come out of his hardware engineering division at that time and would later be dubbed as "The Father of the PlayStation". The console's origins date back to 1988 where it was originally a joint project between Nintendo and Sony to create a CD-ROM for the Super Famicom. Although Nintendo denied the existence of the Sony deal as late as March 1991, Sony revealed a Super Famicom with a built-in CD-ROM drive (that incorporated Green Book technology or CDi) at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1991. However, a day after the announcement at CES Nintendo announced that it would be breaking its partnership with Sony, opting to go with Philips instead but using the same technology. The deal was broken by Nintendo after they were unable to come to an agreement on how revenue would be split between the two companies. The breaking of the partnership infuriated Sony President Norio Ohga, who responded by appointing Kutaragi with the responsibility of developing of the PlayStation project to rival Nintendo. At that time, negotiations were still on-going between Nintendo and Sony, with Nintendo offering Sony a "non-gaming role" regarding their new partnership with Philips. This proposal was swiftly rejected by Kutaragi who was facing increasing criticism over his work with regard to entering the video game industry from within Sony. Negotiations officially ended in May 1992 and in order to decide the fate of the PlayStation project, a meeting was held in June 1992, consisting of Sony President Ohga, PlayStation Head Kutaragi and several senior members of Sony's board. At the meeting, Kutaragi unveiled a proprietary CD-ROM-based system he had been working on which involved playing video games with 3D graphics to the board. Eventually, Sony President Ohga decided to retain the project after being reminded by Kutaragi of the humiliation he suffered from Nintendo. Nevertheless, due to strong opposition from a majority present at the meeting as well as widespread internal opposition to the project by the older generation of Sony executives, Kutaragi and his team had to be shifted from Sony's headquarters to Sony Music, a completely separate financial entity owned by Sony, so as to retain the project and maintain relationships with Philips for the MMCD development project (which helped lead to the creation of the DVD).

ARPANET

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was one of the world's first operational packet switching networks, the first network to implement TCP/IP, and the progenitor of what was to become the global Internet.

First emoticon created

:-)

First Internet Coke Machine

First Coke machine on the Internet, located in (then) Science Hall at Carnegie-Mellon University, and interfaced to the PDP-10 known as CMUA (later A.CS.CMU.EDU). From the Internet one could query the status of the Coke machine by typing "finger coke@CMUA".

ALGOL

ALGOL (short for ALGOrithmic Language)[1] is a family of imperative computer programming languages originally developed in the mid-1950s which greatly influenced many other languages.

Windows 7 released

Windows 7 was primarily intended to be an incremental upgrade to the operating system, intending to address criticisms faced by its predecessor, Windows Vista (such as performance improvements), whilst maintaining compatibility with hardware and software designed for Vista. While retaining a similar appearance to Vista, 7's interface was streamlined, with the addition of a redesigned taskbar that allows applications to be "pinned" to it, and new window management features. Other new features were added to the operating system, including libraries, the new file sharing system HomeGroup, and support for multitouch input. A new "Action Center" interface was also added to provide an overview of system security and maintenance information, and tweaks were made to the User Account Control system to make it less intrusive. 7 also shipped with updated versions of several stock applications, including Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and Windows Media Center.

Windows 95 released

Windows 95 integrated Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Windows products. It featured significant improvements over its predecessor, Windows 3.1, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its relatively simplified "plug-n-play" features. There were also major changes made at lower levels of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly 16-bit architecture to a pre-emptively multitasked 32-bit architecture. Accompanied by an extensive marketing campaign, Windows 95 was a major success in the marketplace at launch and shortly became the most popular desktop operating system. It also introduced numerous functions and features that were featured in later Windows versions, such as the taskbar, the 'Start' button, and the way the user navigates. It was also suggested that Windows 95 had an effect of driving other major players (including OS/2) out of business, something which would later be used in court against Microsoft. Some three years after its introduction, Windows 95 was succeeded by Windows 98. Support for Windows 95 ended on December 31, 2001.

Linux

Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for Intel x86-based personal computers. It is a leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers and supercomputers. As of June 2013, more than 95% of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers run some variant of Linux, including at least all the 44 fastest. Linux also runs on embedded systems, which are devices whose operating system is typically built into the firmware and is highly tailored to the system; this includes mobile phones, tablet computers, network routers, facility automation controls, televisions and video game consoles. Android, the most widely used operating system for tablets and smartphones, is built on top of the Linux kernel. The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The underlying source code may be used, modified, and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License. Typically, Linux is packaged in a form known as Linux distribution, for both desktop and server use. Some popular mainstream Linux distributions include Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch Linux, and the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Linux distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting utilities and libraries and usually a large amount of application software to fulfill the distribution's intended use.

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