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.
The timelines on this web page are divided into five sections, each beginning and ending with a defining event in the history of computers. The first timeline begins with the invention of the abacus in 3,000BC. The abacus was the first human-made numerical calculator. The era ends with the invention of the ENIAC, the world's first electronic computer in 1943.
|The second timeline starts with the EDVAC, the first stored program computer. It proceeds through a variety of vacuum tube-based computers until the debut of the microprocessor in 1971, the 4004 by Intel.|
|After the arrival of the microprocessor, many different computer companies appeared and began developing their own microprocessors and microcomputers. Companies such as Apple, Compaq, and Commodore started during this period of confusion. At the conclusion of the timeline is the first home personnal computer by IBM in 1981.|
|Computers began to steadily and rapidly increase in speed and power while becoming more compact and more user friendly from the early 1980's on. The progress, however came in many small steps, rather than fewer major events like earlier years. This timeline ends in 1990, as computers in homes became more and more popular.|
|From the start of the decade to today, PCs in the home have become immensely popular. Computers have increased their role from professional and business machines to entertainment and educational tools. Telecommunications advancements such as the Internet have shown themselves to be useful both in education and business.|
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.