The growth of computing in the 20th century


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The growth of computing in the 20th century

  1. 1.  The meteoric rise of computers in the 20th century started from a humble beginning. If not for a few pioneers that had the foresight to see the many uses of computers we might not have the technologies and conveniences of today. Many thought that computers could do simply more than “compute” much like a calculator but as we know today, computers are as essential as oxygen is to our daily survival.
  2. 2.  1936: The first freely programmable computer is developed by Konrad Zuse  1939: A fledgling company is started by David Packard and Bill Hewlett known as Hewlett Packard
  3. 3.  1943: University of Pennsylvania professors John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert—build the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). The ENIAC shown below spanned 20’ X 40’ and contained 18000 vacuum tubes
  4. 4.  1950: Engineering Research Associates of Minneapolis built the ERA 1101, the first commercially produced computer. This unit used drum memory and was of the first to uses magnetic storage. It could hold 1,000,000 bits of data.  1953: IBM ships its first computer, the 701. During three years of production, IBM sold 19 machines to research laboratories and government agencies
  5. 5.  1954: This year saw the emergence of International Business Machines, a major power in computer manufacturing and technology development. IBM’s 650 is considered the first mass-produced computer, with the company selling 450 in one year. The 650´s magnetic drum spun at 12,000 rpm’s allowing much faster access to stored material than drum memory machines.  In 1961 it was estimated that International Business Machines owned as much as 81 percent of the computer manufacturing market
  6. 6.  In 1964 IBM introduced the System/360, this was a family of six equally compatible computers and 40 peripherals that could work together. IBM had invested $5 billion for the system and as orders climbed to 1,000 per month their return on investment quickly escalated. It was also at this time IBM was making a transition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits, and its major source of revenue moved to electronic computer systems.
  7. 7.  In 1977 the personal computer is produced by several competitors. The world is starting to see the usefulness of personal computing at an affordable price  The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) in released with an option for 4 or 8 kilobytes of memory and 2 cassette drives and keyboard  Likewise an emerging company called, “Apple” releases the Apple II to much fan fare. The Apple II was revolutionary in that it had switching power supply's, printed circuit motherboard, keyboard, case assembly, manual, game paddles, and included a game known as "Breakout.”  Tandy Radio Shack releases the TRS-80 personal computer that sells 10,000 units at a price of $599.95.
  8. 8.  In 1981 IBM introduced its version of the personal computer and thus ignited a fast growth of the personal computer market. IBM’s first personal computer ran on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor and used Microsoft´s MS-DOS operating system. This operating system and personal computer format would be the standard for many years. IBM once again flexed its computer manufacturing muscle to the world.  In 1984 the Commodore 64 was released at a price of $595 and touted a very robust 64 kilobytes of memory. The personal computer offered many software tiles and was considered a pioneer in versatility at the time. The Commodore 64 went on to sell over 22 million units of its lifespan.
  9. 9.  As personal computing grew in the late 1970’s and then boomed in the early 1980’s the world of computing started to see the emergence of brilliant minded individuals that focused on the user experience and growth of computing as much as they focused on technological advancements. As computing moved away from command line style computing and into GUI or graphical user interfaces, we as consumer saw the emergence of names like:  Bill Gates  Steve Jobs
  10. 10.  As a child, Bill Gates always had interests in technology. Gates attended Harvard until 1977 when he left form a company he called Microsoft.  While at Harvard Gates became proficient at writing the programming language BASIC for the MITS Alltair Microcomputer  Gates later proposed after splitting with MITS and seeing BASIC being copied freely, that software developers should charge for and copyright their work. Thus we have the initial beginning of Microsoft Incorporated.
  11. 11.  As Gates company and prowess began to grow he entered into software development agreements with International Business Machines.  Microsoft created MS-DOS/ OS2/ and eventually Windows which we are accustomed to today.  Gates and Microsoft are widely credited with revolutionizing modern computing with their Windows Operating system and Windows is still the largest most commonly used operating systems in computers today.
  12. 12.  Steve Jobs started Apple Computers with his partner Steve Wozniak in 1976.  Previously Jobs had held a positions at Atari designing software for systems before branching out with the money from a Volkswagen bus he had sold to create Apple  Jobs and Wozniak went on to create user friendly personal computers through the late 1970’s and early 80’s. The Apple brand had grown to a 1.2 billion dollar company.  Jobs left Apple as the product line fell out of favor with consumers and the he felt creative differences with his partners within the company.
  13. 13.  After leaving Apple, Jobs created a software company called NEXT.  He then bought a an animation company from a producer named George Lucas which is today's Pixar studios.  After the failure of Next but the success of Pixar, Apple purchase NEXT and Jobs came back to rejoin Apple as CEO in 1997  From 1997 until his death from cancer on October 5, 2011, Jobs was considered the master innovator of modern computing. He along with Apple is responsible for such innovations as the Ipod, Itunes, Ipads, Iphones, and the consolidation of computing into handheld, easy to use devices. Thus revolutionizing today’s computing.
  14. 14.  Computing Devices have grown exponentially over the past hundred years through the foresight of a select few who saw the potential in computers as an everyday application.  We once started from giant mainframes which covered thousands of square feet but yet could only hold minimal amounts of data or compute minuscule amounts of process to devices no bigger than our hands that can execute billions of processes per second and store massive amounts of data while using easy to use graphical user interfaces .  This truly illustrates how far we have come!
  15. 15. 2013, N.A., Steve Jobs Biography, retrieved July 11, 2013 from 2013, Bellis, M., Bill Gates Biography and History, retrieved July 14, 2013 from 2012, Zimmerman, K., Computer History, retrieved July 19, 2013 from 2013, N.A., The History of Computers, retrieved June 30, 2013 from 2013, N.A., Timeline of Computer History, retrieved July 5, 2013 from