Hewlett-Packard is Founded. David Packard and Bill Hewlett found Hewlett-Packard in a Palo Alto, California garage. Their first product was the HP 200A Audio Oscillator, which rapidly becomes a popular piece of test equipment for engineers. Walt Disney Pictures ordered eight of the 200B model to use as sound effects generators for the 1940 movie “Fantasia.”
As well as being the first American commercial computer, the UNIVAC I was the first American computer designed at the outset for business and administrative use (i.e., for the fast execution of large numbers of relatively simple arithmetic and data transport operations, as opposed to the complex numerical calculations required by scientific computers). As such the UNIVAC competed directly against punch-card machines (mainly made by IBM), but oddly enough the UNIVAC originally had no means of either reading or punching cards (which initially hindered sales to some companies with large quantities of data on cards, due to potential manual conversion costs). This was corrected by adding offline card processing equipment, the UNIVAC Card to Tape converter and the UNIVAC Tape to Card converter, to transfer data between cards and UNIVAC magnetic tapes.
In 1961 the first industrial robot, Unimate, joined the assembly line at a General Motors plant to work with heated die-casting machines. Unimate took die castings from machines and performed welding on auto bodies; tasks that are unpleasant for people. Obeying step-by-step commands stored on a magnetic drum, the 4,000-pound arm is versatile enough to perform a variety of tasks.
The first major transaction processing system was SABRE (Semi-Automatic Business Related Environment), developed by IBM and American Airlines.
Intel introduces the first microprocessor, the Intel 4004 on November 15, 1971
The visual display module (VDM) prototype, designed in 1975 by Lee Felsenstein, marked the first implementation of a memory-mapped alphanumeric video display for personal computers. Introduced at the Altair Convention in Albuquerque in March 1976, the visual display module allowed use of personal computers for interactive games.
The World Wide Web was born. Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, developed HTML. He came up with specifications such as URL and HTTP. He based the World Wide Web on enquiry-based system that used hypertext and enabled people to collaborate over a network. His first web server and browser became available to the public.
The first smartphone was called Simon and it was created by Intel. Besides being a mobile phone, it also contained a calendar, address book, world clock, calculator, note pad, e-mail, send and receive fax, and games. It had no physical buttons to dial with. Instead customers used a touch-screen to select phone numbers with a finger or create facsimiles and memos with an optional stylus. Text was entered with a unique on-screen “predictive” keyboard. By today’s standards, the Simon would be a fairly low-end product; however, its feature set at the time was incredibly advanced.
The Mosaic web browser is released. Mosaic was the first commercial software that allowed graphical access to content on the internet. Designed by Eric Bina and Marc Andreessen at the University of Illinois’s National Center for Supercomputer Applications, Mosaic was originally designed for a Unix system running X-windows. By 1994, Mosaic was available for several other operating systems such as the Mac OS, Windows and AmigaOS.
The iPad is a tablet computer designed and marketed by Apple for Internet browsing, media consumption, gaming, and light content creation. Released in April 2010, it established a new class of devices between smartphones and laptops.
SixthSense brings intangible, digital information out into the tangible world, and allowing us to interact with this information via natural hand gestures. ‘SixthSense’ frees information from its confines by seamlessly integrating it with reality, and thus making the entire world your computer.