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Timeline of computing
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Timeline of computing

This article is a supplemental part of the
History of computing series.
 History of computing hardware (before 1960s)
 History of computing hardware (1960s-present)
 History of operating systems

This article presents a detailed timeline of events in the history of computing. For a narrative explaining the overall developments, see the related History of computing.

Computing timelines: 500 BC-1949, 1950-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-present


See also:

Graphical Timeline

Preset = TimeHorizontal_AutoPlaceBars_UnitYear ImageSize = width:800 barincrement:16 PlotArea = left:30 right:45 bottom:40 Colors = id:canvas value:rgb(0.97,0.97,0.97) id:grid1 value:gray(0.7) id:grid2 value:gray(0.88) id:black value:rgb(0,0,0) id:section value:rgb(0.8,0.8,0) id:mark1 value:rgb(0.7,0,0) id:years value:gray(0.5) BackgroundColors = canvas:canvas Period = from:1940 till:2005 ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:1940 gridcolor:grid1 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:1940 gridcolor:grid2 AlignBars = justify BarData= bar:title # bar:periods bar:dummy0 # empty bar functions as separator bar:section1 barset:quotes bar:dummy1 bar:section2 barset:first_use bar:dummy2 bar:section3 barset:hardware_systems bar:dummy3 bar:section4 barset:operating_systems bar:dummy4 bar:section5 barset:sys_dev_software bar:dummy5 bar:section6 barset:applications bar:dummy6 # explanation: attribute 'barset' instead of 'bar' means consecutive data lines are automatically placed on new bar # data lines are lines containing at: or from: & till: attributes # 'barset:break' means 'reset barcounter' = next line will be placed at first bar in barset # 'barset:skip' means 'increment barcounter' = skip one bar for next data line (to allow extra space # for text containing line break = ~) PlotData = mark:(line,black) width:16 fontsize:S # bar:periods # from:1964 till:1972 text:"3rd Generation" width:16" # at:1975 text"
Microsoft founded" # at:1976 text"Apple Computer founded" # at:1983 text"Borland founded" fontsize:M width:16 color:section mark:(line,section) shift:(5,-6) bar:title from:start till:end text:"History of Computing" fontsize:XL anchor:middle align:center width:25 color:canvas mark:(line,canvas) bar:section1 from:start till:end text:"Predictions/(Concepts)" bar:section2 from:start till:end text:"First use/(Inventions)" bar:section3 from:start till:end text:"Hardware Systems/(Processors)" bar:section4 from:start till:end text:"Operating Systems" bar:section5 from:start till:end text:"Programming Languages" bar:section6 from:start till:end text:"New Application Areas" shift:(5,-5) fontsize:S mark:(line,mark1) width:8 barset:quotes at:1943 text:"'I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.' Thomas J. Watson, chairman of IBM" at:1949 text:"'Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons'" at:1950 text:"'"We'll have to think up bigger problems if we want to keep them busy.' Howard Aiken" at:1950 text:"(Turing Test)~_Alan Turing" shift:(5,5) at:1965 text:"Moore's law: processor complexity will double every year,~revised in 1975: complexity will double every two years. Gordon E. Moore" # barset:skip shift:(5,-5) at:1977 align:right shift:(-5,-5) text:"'There is no reason anyone would want a computer~in their home' (Ken Olson, Chairman DEC)" shift:(5,5) at:1981 text:"(Quantum Computer)~_Richard Feynmann fontsize:S barset:first_use shift:(5,-5) at:1940 text:"teletype" at:1947 text:"(transistor)" at:1948 text:"random access memory" at:1948 text:"magnetic drum" at:1949 text:"registers" at:1953 text:"magnetic core memory" at:1956 text:"hard disk" at:1957 text:"dot matrix printer" at:1958 text:"integrated circuit" at:1962 text:"spooling,~interrupts,~virtual memory~paging~(ATLAS)" barset:skip barset:break at:1963 text:"mouse" at:1965 text:"time-sharing" at:1965 text:"fuzzy logic" at:1965 text:"packet switching" at:1969 text:"ARPANET precursor~of Internet" barset:skip at:1969 text:"RS-232" at:1970 text:"dynamic RAM" at:1971 text:"floppy disk" at:1971 text:"microprocessor~(4004)" barset:skip at:1972 text:"game console~(PONG)" barset:skip at:1973 text:"TCP/IP 1982 ??" at:1973 text:"ethernet" at:1975 text:"single-board~computer" barset:break at:1976 text:"laser printer" at:1976 text:"supercomputer~(Cray)" barset:skip at:1979 text:"compact disk" at:1981 text:"WIMP (GUI)" at:1981 text:"CGA video card" at:1982 text:"MIDI" at:1982 text:"RISC cpu" at:1982 text:"portable~PC" barset:skip barset:skip at:1983 text:"math~coprocessor" barset:skip at:1983 text:"PC harddisk" at:1984 text:"GNU project" at:1984 text:"DNS (Domain~Name Server)" barset:skip at:1984 text:"IDE interface" at:1985 text:"Expanded Memory" at:1985 text:"Postscript" barset:break at:1985 text:"EGA video card" at:1985 text:"CD_ROM" at:1986 text:"SCSI interface" at:1987 text:"massive parallel~computing~(Connection Machine)" barset:skip barset:skip at:1987 text:"VGA video card" at:1987 text:"PC sound card (AD-LIB)" at:1988 text:"optical chip" at:1988 text:"EISA bus" at:1989 text:"ATA interface" at:1990 text:"SVGA video card,~VESA driver" barset:skip at:1991 text:"ISA bus" at:1992 text:"CD-I" at:1994 text:"DNA computing" # major or well known operating systems selection based on # http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_computing_500_BC-1949 barset:hardware_systems at:1940 text:"Model I~Relay Calculator" barset:skip at:1941 text:"Atanasoff~Berry Computer" barset:skip at:1941 text:"Z3" at:1943 text:"Harvard Mark I" at:1943 text:"Relay Interpolator" at:1943 text:"Colossus" at:1946 text:"ENIAC" barset:break at:1962 text:"ATLAS" at:1964 text:"IBM 360" at:1964 text:"DEC PDP-8" at:1965 text:"CDC 6600~1st supercomputer" barset:skip at:1971 text:"electronic~calculator~TI" barset:skip at:1971 text:"(4004)" at:1972 text:"scientific~calculator~HP" barset:skip at:1972 text:"(8008)" at:1972 text:"1st 32-bit~ supermini" barset:skip at:1974 text:"(8080)" at:1974 text:"(MC 6800)" at:1974 text:"Altair 8800~personal~computer" barset:skip barset:break at:1976 text:"(Z80)" at:1976 text:"(6502)" at:1976 text:"Cray-1" at:1977 text:"Apple II" at:1977 text:"TRS-80" at:1978 text:"(8086)" at:1979 text:"PET" at:1979 text:"(68000)" at:1980 text:"VIC-20" at:1980 text:"ZX80" at:1981 text:"8010~'Star'" barset:skip at:1981 text:"ZX81" at:1981 text:"IBM PC" at:1982 text:"BBC~Micro" barset:skip at:1982 text:"C64" barset:break at:1982 text:"(80286)" at:1982 text:"Compaq~Portable" barset:skip at:1982 text:"ZX Spectrum" at:1983 text:"Lisa" at:1983 text:"IBM XT" at:1983 text:"IBM PC jr" at:1983 text:"Macintosh" at:1984 text:"LaserJet printer" at:1984 text:"IBM AT" at:1985 text:"Amiga 1000" at:1985 text:"Atari ST" at:1986 text:"Amstrad 1512" at:1987 text:"Acorn Archimedes" at:1987 text:"Connection Machine" at:1987 text:"IBM PS/2" barset:break at:1989 text:"(80486)" at:1993 text:"(66 MHz Pentium)" at:1998 text:"iMac" at:1999 text:"PowerMac" at:2000 text:"(1 GHz Pentium)" at:2003 text:"PowerPC G5 at:2003 text:"Athlon 64 # major or well known operating systems selection based on # http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operating_systems_timeline barset:operating_systems at:1965 text:"OS/360" at:1967 text:"CP/CMS" at:1969 text:"ACP" at:1969 text:"Unix" at:1972 text:"VM/CMS" at:1974 text:"MVS" at:1976 text:"CP/M" at:1978 text:"Apple DOS 3.1" at:1978 text:"VMS" at:1980 text:"OS-9" at:1981 text:"MS-DOS" at:1982 text:"SunOS" at:1983 text:"Lisa OS" barset:break at:1984 text:"Macintosh OS" at:1985 text:"AmigaOS" at:1985 text:"Atari TOS" at:1985 text:"Windows 1.0" at:1986 text:"AIX" at:1986 text:"GS-OS" at:1986 text:"HP-UX" at:1987 text:"IRIX" at:1987 text:"Minix" at:1987 text:"OS/2" at:1987 text:"Windows 2.0" at:1988 text:"OS/400" at:1989 text:"NeXTSTEP" at:1989 text:"RISC OS" at:1989 text:"SCO Unix" at:1990 text:"BeOS" at:1990 text:"OSF/1" at:1991 text:"Linux" barset:break at:1992 text:"Solaris" at:1992 text:"Windows 3.1" at:1993 text:"Windows NT 3.1" at:1994 text:"Red Hat Linux" at:1995 text:"OpenBSD" at:1995 text:"OS/390" at:1995 text:"Windows 95" at:1996 text:"Debian GNU/Linux" at:1997 text:"Mac OS 7.6" at:1998 text:"Windows 98" at:1999 text:"Mac OS 8" at:2000 text:"Mac OS 9" at:2000 text:"Windows ME" at:2000 text:"Windows 2000" at:2001 text:"Mac OS X" at:2001 text:"Windows XP" at:2001 text:"z/OS" at:2003 text:"Windows~Server~2003" shift:(5,1) # major or well known programming languages & dev tools selection based on # http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_programming_languages # generally only first versions are listed barset:sys_dev_software at:1945 text:"Plankalkül" at:1952 text:"A-0" at:1954 text:"Mark I" at:1954 text:"FORTRAN" at:1958 text:"Algol 58" at:1959 text:"LISP" at:1960 text:"COBOL" at:1962 text:"APL" barset:break at:1962 text:"Simula" at:1964 text:"PL/I" at:1964 text:"BASIC" at:1968 text:"Logo" at:1971 text:"Pascal" at:1972 text:"Smalltalk" at:1972 text:"C" at:1972 text:"PROLOG" barset:break at:1978 text:"VISICALC" at:1979 text:"REXX" at:1979 text:"DBASE-II" at:1983 text:"Ada" at:1983 text:"C++" barset:skip at:1983 text:"Turbo~Pascal" barset:break at:1985 text:"PARADOX" at:1985 text:"PostScript" at:1986 text:"Eiffel" at:1987 text:"HyperTalk" at:1987 text:"SQL" at:1987 text:"Perl" at:1991 text:"Python" at:1991 text:"Visual Basic" barset:break at:1993 text:"AppleScript" at:1995 text:"Delphi" at:1995 text:"JavaScript" at:1995 text:"Java" at:1997 text:"PHP" at:2000 text:"D" at:2000 text:"C#" at:2001 text:"KYLIX" barset:applications at:1951 text:"electronic music" at:1960 text:"compiler compiler" at:1962 text:"computer game" at:1965 text:"bulletin board" at:1965 text:"email (1971 ?)" at:1965 text:"super computing" at:1968 text:"interactive computing~(mouse, windows, hypertext,~full screen word processing)" barset:skip barset:skip barset:break at:1969 text:"networking" at:1970 text:"flight data processor" at:1972 text:"arcade video game" at:1977 text:"spreadsheet" at:1979 text:"Usenet" at:1984 text:"WYSIWIG word processing" at:1989 text:"World Wide Web" # extra years mark:(line,grid1) bar:dummy1 shift:(2,-8) fontsize:XS textcolor:years at:1940 text:40 at:1950 text:50 at:1960 text:60 at:1970 text:70 at:1980 text:80 at:1990 text:90 shift:(-10,-8) at:2000 text:2000 bar:dummy2 shift:(2,-8) at:1940 text:40 at:1950 text:50 at:1960 text:60 at:1970 text:70 at:1980 text:80 at:1990 text:90 shift:(-10,-8) at:2000 text:2000 bar:dummy3 shift:(2,-8) at:1940 text:40 at:1950 text:50 at:1960 text:60 at:1970 text:70 at:1980 text:80 at:1990 text:90 shift:(-10,-8) at:2000 text:2000 bar:dummy4 shift:(2,-8) at:1940 text:40 at:1950 text:50 at:1960 text:60 at:1970 text:70 at:1980 text:80 at:1990 text:90 shift:(-10,-8) at:2000 text:2000 bar:dummy5 shift:(2,-8) at:1940 text:40 at:1950 text:50 at:1960 text:60 at:1970 text:70 at:1980 text:80 at:1990 text:90 shift:(-10,-8) at:2000 text:2000 TextData = textcolor:black fontsize:XS pos:(30,2) text:"produced with " pos:(620,2) text:"reference "