1944 - 1971
1972 - 1981
1981 - 1990
1990 - 1998
Welcome to Computer Chronicles: From Stone to Silicon! This page is designed to inform people young and old about how the computers that we use today came into being. The voyage starts in about 3000 BC, with the invention of the abacus in ancient China. It proceeds through the development of vacuum tubes, transistors, integrated circuits, microprocessors and countless other inventions until the computer of today. In addition to the timeline is a page of humorous quotes, spanning from the early years to the present. In order to make this page continually grow in value, we urge you to share with us your memories of computers, whether it be from 1948 or 1998. Or, if you wish, please share what you think the computer industry will evolve into. We hope you have a pleasurable experience. Feel free to share your suggestions and comments with us! We would love to hear them.
About this page
This page is best viewed in 800x600, 24 bit color, with Netscape Navigator 4.x. However, we have been very careful to make it viewable in all major browsers including Internet Explorer 3 and 4, Netscape 3, and Opera. Although we do not recommend using Lynx, Netscape 2, or Internet Explorer 2, the page is viewable by those browsers. We also took care to make sure that it was easily viewable in low resolutions like 640x480, and with a small amounts of color, at 256 (8-bit color). We also tested with resolutions up to 1280x1024.
This page was designed mainly on a Pentium 150 running Windows 95 in 1024x768 in 16 bit color, with a 28.8 KBPS internet connection using Netscape Navigator 4.05 as its primary browser. All pages were designed by Windows Notepad (or the BeOS equivelent), although some file sizes became too large and we were forced to use Wordpad to continue editing. Other computers used were a a Pentium 90, 486 DX-33 and a 486 DX-66 (all running Windows 95), a 386 DX-40 running DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1, and a Pentium 166 running BeOS.
There were many things that we learned from this project besides the wealth of information that we sorted through to post on the timeline. These things include:
Windows Notepad gives an "Out of memory" error if the size of you text (HTML) file goes over 51.9 kilobytes. This cause much frustration, because it was not until the third or fourth time, on a different computer did we relize what was happening. It did not make sense that we could start up another Netscape window but we couldn't add one more character to the document. That was when we began actively using Wordpad.
If you have more than 31 things open at a time in 1024x768 resolution, Windows95 makes a second row of icons on the taskbar.
The best way to stay connected to the Internet even while eating lunch is to keep a ping session going continually. As long as data is going in and out, the connection stays active.
When working on with a team, the golden rule is: Have only one person editing a file at the same time. Otherwise it gets messy trying to figure out what happened to what and who did it where and why.