History of Technology Timeline | Britannica

History of Technology Timeline | Britannica

  • 3.3 million years ago: The first tools
    The history of technology begins even before the beginning of our own species. Sharp flakes of stone used as knives and larger unshaped stones used as hammers and anvils have been uncovered at Lake Turkana in Kenya. The tools were made 3.3 million years ago and thus were likely used by an ancestor such as Australopithecus.
  • 1 million years ago: Fire
    When humanity first used fire is still not definitively known, but, like the first tools, it was probably invented by an ancestor of Homo sapiens. Evidence of burnt material can be found in caves used by Homo erectus beginning about 1 million (and maybe even 1.5 million) years ago.
  • 20,000 to 15,000 years ago: Neolithic Revolution
    During the Neolithic Period several key technologies arose together. Humans moved from getting their food
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A Brief History of the Internet

A Brief History
of the Internet

This chapter is a brief summary of the history of Computers. It is supplemented by the two PBS documentaries video tapes “Inventing the Future”
And “The Paperback Computer”. The
chapter highlights some of the advances to look for in the documentaries.

In particular, when viewing the movies you should look for two things:

  • The progression in hardware representation of a bit of data:
    1. Vacuum Tubes (1950s) – one bit on the size of a thumb;
    2. Transistors (1950s and 1960s) – one bit on the size of a fingernail;
    3. Integrated Circuits (1960s and 70s) – thousands of bits on the size of a hand
    4. Silicon computer chips (1970s and on) – millions of bits on the size of a finger nail.

  • The progression of the ease of use of computers:
    1. Almost impossible to use except by very patient geniuses (1950s);
    2. Programmable by highly
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A Look at the History of Computers

Before the age of electronics, the closest thing to a computer was the abacus, although, strictly speaking, the abacus is actually a calculator since it requires a human operator. Computers, on the other hand, perform calculations automatically by following a series of built-in commands called software.

In the 20th century, breakthroughs in technology allowed for the ever-evolving computing machines that we now depend upon so totally, we practically never give them a second thought. But even prior to the advent of microprocessors and supercomputers, there were certain notable scientists and inventors who helped lay the groundwork for the technology that’s since drastically reshaped every facet of modern life.

The Language Before the Hardware

The universal language in which computers carry out processor instructions originated in the 17th century in the form of the binary numerical system. Developed by German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the system came about

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Computer History

Computer History

An Illustrated History of Computers

Part 1


John Kopplin © 2002

The first computers were people! That is, electronic computers
(and the earlier mechanical computers) were given this name because they
performed the work that had previously been assigned to people.
“Computer” was originally a job title: it was used to describe
those human beings (predominantly women) whose job it was to perform the
repetitive calculations required to
compute such things as navigational tables, tide charts, and planetary
positions for astronomical almanacs. Imagine you had a job where hour after
hour, day after day, you were to do nothing but compute multiplications.
Boredom would quickly set in, leading to carelessness, leading to mistakes. And
even on your best days you wouldn’t be producing answers very fast. Therefore,
inventors have been searching for hundreds of years

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History of Computers – Long, Long Ago

History of Computers – Long, Long Ago

Definition of a Computer
Simplest definition of a computer: A device that processes input and generates

Key words:

  • Input
  • Output
  • Processes
  • Information

Modern Computers are electronic, complex, and interactive, but can be reduced
to simple input-output processing devices


History of Computers: 3000 BC to Present

History of Computers – Long, Long Ago
The Abacus

  • beads on rods to count and calculate
  • still widely used in Asia!


History of Computers – Way Back When
The Slide Rule 1630

  • based on Napier’s rules for logarithms
  • used until 1970s



History of Computers – 19th Century
Jacquard Loom

  • used metal cards with punched holes to guide weaving process
  • first stored program – metal cards
  • first computer manufacturing
  • still in use today!



Charles Babbage – 1792-1871
Difference Engine c.1822

  • huge calculator, never finished

Analytical Engine 1833

  • could store numbers
  • calculating “mill” used punched metal cards for instructions
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History of Computers – A Brief Timeline of Their Evolution

The computer was born not for entertainment or email but out of a need to solve a serious number-crunching crisis. By 1880, the U.S. population had grown so large that it took more than seven years to tabulate the U.S. Census results. The government sought a faster way to get the job done, giving rise to punch-card based computers that took up entire rooms.

Today, we carry more computing power on our smartphones than was available in these early models. The following brief history of computing is a timeline of how computers evolved from their humble beginnings to the machines of today that surf the Internet, play games and stream multimedia in addition to crunching numbers.

1801: In France, Joseph Marie Jacquard invents a loom that uses punched wooden cards to automatically weave fabric designs. Early computers would use similar punch cards.

1822: English mathematician Charles Babbage conceives

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Who Invented the Internet? – HISTORY

As you might expect for a technology so expansive and ever-changing, it is impossible to credit the invention of the internet to a single person. The internet was the work of dozens of pioneering scientists, programmers and engineers who each developed new features and technologies that eventually merged to become the “information superhighway” we know today.

Long before the technology existed to actually build the internet, many scientists had already anticipated the existence of worldwide networks of information. Nikola Tesla toyed with the idea of a “world wireless system” in the early 1900s, and visionary thinkers like Paul Otlet and Vannevar Bush conceived of mechanized, searchable storage systems of books and media in the 1930s and 1940s. 

Still, the first practical schematics for the internet would not arrive until the early 1960s, when MIT’s J.C.R. Licklider popularized the idea of an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. Shortly thereafter, computer scientists developed

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Brief History of the Internet

The original ARPANET grew into the Internet. Internet was based on the idea that there would be multiple independent networks of rather arbitrary design, beginning with the ARPANET as the pioneering packet switching network, but soon to include packet satellite networks, ground-based packet radio networks and other networks. The Internet as we now know it embodies a key underlying technical idea, namely that of open architecture networking. In this approach, the choice of any individual network technology was not dictated by a particular network architecture but rather could be selected freely by a provider and made to interwork with the other networks through a meta-level “Internetworking Architecture”. Up until that time there was only one general method for federating networks. This was the traditional circuit switching method where networks would interconnect at the circuit level, passing individual bits on a synchronous basis along a portion of an end-to-end circuit between

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