The Information Age – Innovation Overload

Computers once filled entire rooms. Now they threaten to fit in our pockets.

1946: RCA begins mass production of the Model 630TS television. It remains the standard for nearly a decade.

1947: John Bardeen and Walter Brattain, under the guidance of William Shockley, build the first transistor. Silicon transistors and the semiconductor industry will follow.

1950: Colour television makes it public debut.

1951: The UNIVAC 1, the first commercial computer, is released.

1964: IBM introduces the System/360, one of the first general purpose mainframe computers to be widely used by corporations. Douglas Engelbart builds the first mouse prototype for use with a graphical user interface.

1972: Atari releases Pong, the first commercial videogame.

1975: The Altair 8800 widely regarded as the first personal computer, arrives. It costs $397 as a kit and $495 assembled. That year, Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft.

1976: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple Computer in a garage.

1979: Sony releases the Walkman, the first portable music device, stimulating the market for personal electronics.

1980: The groundwork for the World Wide Web is laid with the development of Enquire, a program which links words within a document to other files

1981: IBM releases the 5150, the original massmarket personal computer, which runs on Microsoft’s DOS operating system.

1982: Mitch Kapor founds Lotus. The next year, the company releases Lotus 1-2-3 which becomes the premier spreadsheet program for the IBM PC

1984: Apple unveils the Macintoch, the first mainstream computer featuring a graphical user interface.

1985: Microsoft introduces Windows 1.0.

1991: Quantum Computer Services becomes America Online (AOL). The dial-up service expands quickly, providing users with e-mails and chat rooms and ultimately becoming the world’s largest Internet service provider in its time.

1992: Marc Anderson and seven others create Mosaic, the first widely used Web browser, which becomes publicly available the following year. It is reworked and released as Netscape Navigator in 1994.

1995: Yahoo launches as a Web portal and quickly becomes the most widely used means of scouring the Web. Amazon debuts as an online bookstore.

1998: The BlackBerry is introduced by Research in Motion.

1999:The BackRub search engine, named after its method of ranking search results by their backlinks, becomes Google.

2001: Apple releases the iPod, which soon dominates the portable music market.

2004: Facebook is launched, following social networking sites such as Friendster (2002) and MySpace (2003)

2005: YouTube, which allows users to posts videos for public viewing, is founded. Google buys it for $1.65 billion.

2007: Apple unveils the iPhone, which marries music and video playback to wireless communication.


Sources: Cornell University Library, Encyclopedia Britannica, Wired PC Magazine, PC World, PBS, News Reports


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