The Internet is the
worldwide, publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks that
transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It
is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of smaller domestic,
academic, business, and government networks, which together carry various
information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer,
and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.
The Internet has
revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The
invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for
this unprecedented integration of capabilities. The Internet is at once a
world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination,
and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their
computers without regard for geographic location.
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.”
The Complex Number Calculator (CNC)
The Complex Number Calculator (CNC) is completed. In 1939, Bell Telephone
Laboratories completed this calculator, designed by researcher George Stibitz.
In 1940, Stibitz demonstrated the CNC at an American Mathematical Society
conference held at Dartmouth College. Stibitz stunned the group by performing
calculations remotely on the CNC (located in New York City) using a Teletype
connected via special telephone lines. This is considered to be the first
demonstration of remote access computing.
Konrad Zuse finishes
the Z3 computer. The Z3 was an early computer built by German engineer Konrad
Zuse working in complete isolation from developments elsewhere. Using 2,300
relays, the Z3 used floating point binary arithmetic and had a 22-bit word
length. The original Z3 was destroyed in a bombing raid of Berlin in late 1943.
However, Zuse later supervised a reconstruction of the Z3 in the 1960s which is
currently on display at the Deutsches Museum in Berlin.
Harvard Mark-1 is
completed. Conceived by Harvard professor Howard Aiken, and designed and built
by IBM, the Harvard Mark-1 was a room-sized, relay-based calculator. The machine
had a fifty-foot long camshaft that synchronized the machine’s thousands of
component parts. The Mark-1 was used to produce mathematical tables but was soon
superseded by stored program computers.
Transistor inventors William Shockley (seated), John Bardeen, and Walter
William Shockley, and Walter Brattain invent the transistor while at Bell
Labs. They received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1956 for their work.
Associates of Minneapolis built the ERA 1101, the first commercially produced
computer; the company´s first customer was the U.S. Navy. It held 1 million bits
on its magnetic drum, the earliest magnetic storage devices. Drums registered
information as magnetic pulses in tracks around a metal cylinder. Read/write
heads both recorded and recovered the data. Drums eventually stored as many as
4,000 words and retrieved any one of them in as little as five-thousandths of a
Ferranti Mark 1 Tom Kilburn standing sitting is Keith Lonsdale (right)
and B.W. (Brian) Pollard
The Ferranti Mark 1 is delivered to Thomas Kilburn and Frederic Williams at
Manchester University in England. Nine more are sold between 1951 and 1957.
IBM shipped its
first electronic computer, the 701. During three years of production, IBM sold
19 machines to research laboratories, aircraft companies, and the federal
The IBM 650 magnetic
drum calculator established itself as the first mass-produced computer, with the
company selling 450 in one year. Spinning at 12,500 rpm, the 650´s magnetic
data-storage drum allowed much faster access to stored material than drum memory
Laboratories announced the first fully transistorized computer, TRADIC. It
contained nearly 800 transistors instead of vacuum tubes. Transistors —
completely cold, highly efficient amplifying devices invented at Bell Labs —
enabled the machine to operate on fewer than 100 watts, or one-twentieth the
power required by comparable vacuum tube computers.
MIT researchers built the TX-0, the first general-purpose, programmable
computer built with transistors. For easy replacement, designers placed each
transistor circuit inside a "bottle," similar to a vacuum tube. Constructed at
MIT´s Lincoln Laboratory, the TX-0 moved to the MIT Research Laboratory of
Electronics, where it hosted some early imaginative tests of programming,
including a Western movie shown on TV, 3-D tic-tac-toe, and a maze in which
mouse found martinis and became increasingly inebriated.
The first high-level computer language (FORTRAN) is released by an IBM team
lead by John W. Backus.
The first hard disk drive is created at IBM by a team lead by Reynold B.
Johnson. The '305 RAMAC' (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control) held
5MB of data on fifty 24 inch disks at a cost of about $10,000 per MB.
A group of
engineers led by Ken Olsen left MIT´s Lincoln Laboratory founded a company
based on the new transistor technology. In August, they formally created
Digital Equipment Corp. It initially set up shop in a largely vacant woolen
mill in Maynard, Mass., where all aspects of product development — from
management to manufacturing — took place.
A new language,
FORTRAN (short for FORmula TRANslator), enabled a computer to perform a
repetitive task from a single set of instructions by using loops. The first
commercial FORTRAN program ran at Westinghouse, producing a missing comma
diagnostic. A successful attempt followed.
the original Engineering Research Associates group led by Bill Norris left
Sperry Rand to form a new company, Control Data Corp., which soon released its
model 1604 computer.
USSR launches Sputnik, first artificial earth satellite.
Bell System announces it's Data-Phone service which permits transmission of
data over regular telephone circuits.
In response to the launch of Sputnik the US Department of Defense issues
directive 5105.15 establishing the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).
The directive tasks the agency with 'direction or performance of such advanced
projects in the field of research and development...'.
First integrated circuit, 1958 Texas Instruments, Inc
Jack Kilby demonstrates the first integrated circuit to fellow researchers and
executives at Texas Instruments.
Arthur L. Schawlow and Charles H. Townes publish Infrared and Optical Masers
describing what would later be known as the laser (Light Amplification by
Stimulated Emission of Radiation) while at Bell Labs. Earlier in the year they
also apply for a patent which is granted in 1960, the same year Theodore
Maiman builds the first working model while at the Hughes Aircraft Company .
SAGE — Semi-Automatic Ground Environment — linked hundreds of radar stations
in the United States and Canada in the first large-scale computer
communications network. An operator directed actions by touching a light gun
to the screen. The air defense system operated on the AN/FSQ-7 computer (known
as Whirlwind II during its development at MIT) as its central computer. Each
computer used a full megawatt of power to drive its 55,000 vacuum tubes,
175,000 diodes and 13,000 transistors.
Japan´s NEC built the country´s first electronic computer, the NEAC 1101.
IBM´s 7000 series
mainframes were the company´s first transistorized computers. At the top of the
line of computers — all of which emerged significantly faster and more
dependable than vacuum tube machines — sat the 7030, also known as the
"Stretch." Nine of the computers, which featured a 64-bit word and other
innovations, were sold to national laboratories and other scientific users.
The first computer
hackers emerge at MIT. They borrow their name from a term to describe members of
a model train group at the school who "hack" the electric trains, tracks, and
switches to make them perform faster and differently. A few of the members
transfer their curiosity and rigging skills to the new mainframe computing
systems being studied and developed on campus.
communication satellite, Echo, was launched.
Joseph Licklider publishes Man-Computer Symbiosis.
The precursor to the minicomputer, DEC´s PDP-1 sold for $120,000. One of 50
built, the average PDP-1 included with a cathode ray tube graphic display,
needed no air conditioning and required only one operator.
AT&T designed its Dataphone, the first commercial modem, specifically for
converting digital computer data to analog signals for transmission across its
long distance network. Outside manufacturers incorporated Bell Laboratories´
digital data sets into commercial products. The development of equalization
techniques and bandwidth-conserving modulation systems improved transmission
efficiency in national and global systems.
While at MIT Leonard Kleinrock publishes the first paper on packet switching
networks Information Flow in Large Communication Nets.
Datamation magazine, IBM had an 81.2-percent share of the computer market in
1961, the year in which it introduced the 1400 Series. The 1401 mainframe, the
first in the series, replaced the vacuum tube with smaller, more reliable
transistors and used a magnetic core memory.
(Laboratory Instrumentation Computer) offered the first real time laboratory
data processing. Designed by Wesley Clark at Lincoln Laboratories, Digital
Equipment Corp. later commercialized it as the LINC-8.
MIT students Slug
Russell, Shag Graetz, and Alan Kotok wrote SpaceWar!, considered the first
interactive computer game. First played at MIT on DEC´s PDP-1, the large-scope
display featured interactive, shoot´em-up graphics that inspired future video
games. Dueling players fired at each other´s spaceships and used early
versions of joysticks to manipulate away from the central gravitational force
of a sun as well as from the enemy ship.
Steve Russell finishes the first computer game Spacewar! while at MIT,
inspired by E.E. Doc Smith's Lensman novels. Later that year he and Alan Kotok
would create the first joysticks. Other people involved were Peter Samson,
Wayne Wiitanen, Dan Edwards, Martin Graetz, Steve Piner, and Robert A
The first live trans-Atlantic television broadcast is hosted by Walter
Cronkite and made via ATT's Telstar 1 satellite, launched 13 days earlier on
Joseph Licklider and Wesley Clark publish 'On-Line Man-Computer Communication'
discussing their 'Galactic Network' concept that would allow people to access
data from any site connected through a vast network.
Joseph Licklider becomes the first head of the computer research program at
ASCII — American
Standard Code for Information Interchange — permitted machines from different
manufacturers to exchange data. ASCII consists of 128 unique strings of ones and
zeros. Each sequence represents a letter of the English alphabet, an Arabic
numeral, an assortment of punctuation marks and symbols, or a function such as a
Doug Engelbart invents the 'X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System',
known today as the mouse.
The first mouse was a simple hollowed-out wooden block, with a single push
button on top
RAND's Paul Baran publishes On Distributed Communications: Introduction to
Distributed Communications Network which outlines packet-switching networks.
This paper did discuss nuclear war, and is probably the source of the false
rumor that the Internet was built with the goal of withstanding a nuclear
IBM announced the
System/360, a family of six mutually compatible computers and 40 peripherals
that could work together. The initial investment of $5 billion was quickly
returned as orders for the system climbed to 1,000 per month within two years.
At the time IBM released the System/360, the company was making a transition
from discrete transistors to integrated circuits, and its major source of
revenue moved from punched-card equipment to electronic computer systems.
supercomputer, designed by Seymour Cray, performed up to 3 million
instructions per second — a processing speed three times faster than that of
its closest competitor, the IBM Stretch. The 6600 retained the distinction of
being the fastest computer in the world until surpassed by its successor, the
CDC 7600, in 1968. Part of the speed came from the computer´s design, which
had 10 small computers, known as peripheral processors, funneling data to a
large central processing unit.
processing made its debut in IBM´s SABRE reservation system, set up for
American Airlines. Using telephone lines, SABRE linked 2,000 terminals in 65
cities to a pair of IBM 7090 computers, delivering data on any flight in less
than three seconds.
Thomas Kurtz and
John Kemeny created BASIC, an easy-to-learn programming language, for their
students at Dartmouth College.
Corporation releases its PDP-8 computer, the first mass-produced minicomputer.
The PDP-8 sold for $18,000, one-fifth the price of a small IBM 360 mainframe.
The speed, small size, and reasonable cost enabled the PDP-8 to go into
thousands of manufacturing plants, small businesses, and scientific
Ted Nelson coins
the word 'hypertext'.
Tom Van Vleck and Noel Morris create a Mail command for the Compatible
Time-Sharing System at MIT.
Gordon Moore declares that computing power will double every 18 months, a
prophecy that holds true today and is known as Moore's Law. Moore and Robert
Noyce would later leave Fairchild semiconductor to start Intel in the summer
Thomas Marill and Lawrence Roberts set up the first WAN (Wide Area Network)
between MIT's Lincoln Lab TX-2 and System Development Corporation's Q-32 in
California. Later they would write Toward a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared
Computers describing it.
Machines (CBM) is founded. Its founder Jack Tramiel emigrated to the US after
WWII where he began repairing typewriters. In 1965, he moved to Toronto and
established Commodore International which also began making mechanical and
entered the general purpose computer business with its HP-2115 for
computation, offering a computational power formerly found only in much larger
computers. It supported a wide variety of languages, among them BASIC, ALGOL,
John van Geen of
the Stanford Research Institute vastly improved the acoustically coupled
modem. His receiver reliably detected bits of data despite background noise
heard over long-distance phone lines. Inventors developed the acoustically
coupled modem to connect computers to the telephone network by means of the
standard telephone handset of the day.
Donald Davies coins the term 'packets' and 'packet switching'.
ARPA's Bob Taylor receives funding for a networking experiment that would tie
together a number of Universities the agency was funding. With no formal
requests and in under an hour Charles Herzfeld agrees to fund what three years
later would become the ARPANET.
Wesley Clark comes
up with the idea of using dedicated hardware to perform network functions
while at a meeting of ARPA principal investigators. The devices would
eventually be called Interface Message Processors (IMP's), and today are
generally referred to as routers.
The final standard for ASCII is published. (An earlier version that included
only upper-case letters was proposed by Bob Bemer in May 1961.)
Lawrence Roberts publishes the first design paper on ARPANET entitled Multiple
Computer Networks and Intercomputer Communication at ACM's Gatlinburg
Guidance Computer made its debut orbiting the Earth on Apollo 7. A year later,
it steered Apollo 11 to the lunar surface. Astronauts communicated with the
computer by punching two-digit codes and the appropriate syntactic category
into the display and keyboard unit.
The first WAN to
use packet switching is tested at the National Research Laboratory (NRL) in
Joseph Licklider and Robert Taylor publish The Computer as a Communications
Larry Roberts of ARPA releases a Request for Quotation (RFQ) looking for bids
to constructing a network of 4 IMPs, with possible growth to 19. Many large
companies like ATT and IBM do not submit bits, saying that such a network was
A small consulting company called Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) located in
Cambridge wins the ARPA IMP contract. The group, headed by Frank Heart, would
have $1 million and less than a year to turn theory into a working system.
Research Projects Agency) goes online in December, connecting four major
U.S. universities. Designed for research, education, and government
organizations, it provides a communications network linking the country in
the event that a military attack destroys conventional communications
Sept. 1, 1969 .
First ARPANet node installed at UCLA Network Measurement Center. Kleinrock
hooked up the Interface Message Processor to a Sigma 7 Computer.
Oct. 1, 1969 . Second node installed at Stanford Research Institute;
connected to a SDS 940 computer. The first ARPANet message sent: "lo."
Trying to spell log-in, but the system crashed!
Nov. 1, 1969 . Third node installed at University of California, Santa
Barbara. Connected to an IBM 360/75.
Dec. 1, 1969 . Fourth node installed at University of Utah. Connected to a
Xerox opens Palo
Alto Research Center (PARC). In 1970, Xerox Corporation hired Dr. George
Pake to lead a new research center in Palo Alto, California. PARC attracted
some of the United States’ top computer scientists, and produced many
groundbreaking inventions that transformed computing—most notably the
personal computer graphical user interface, Ethernet, the laser printer, and
Southern National Bank in Valdosta, Ga., installed the country´s first
automatic teller machine(ATM).
March 1970 .
Fifth node installed at BBN, across the country in Cambridge, Mass.
July 1970 . Alohanet, first packet radio network, operational at University
Phreaking-John T. Draper (later nicknamed Captain Crunch, Crunch, or
Crunchman) discovered that a toy whistle that was, at the time, packaged in
boxes of Cap'n Crunch Cereal could be easily modified to emit a tone at
precisely 2600 hertz, the same frequency that was used by AT&T long lines to
indicate that a trunk line was ready and available to route a new call.
effectively disconnect one end of the trunk, allowing the still-connected
side to enter an operator mode. Experimenting with this whistle inspired
Draper to build blue boxes, electronic devices capable of reproducing other
tones used by the phone company. He was sentenced in October 1971 to five
years' probation for toll fraud.
thereafter, Esquire magazine publishes "Secrets of the Little Blue Box" with
instructions for making a blue box, and wire fraud in the United States
escalates. Among the perpetrators: college kids Steve Wozniak and Steve
Jobs, future founders of Apple Computer, who launch a home industry making
and selling blue boxes.
is introduced by Ray Tomlinson, a Cambridge, Mass., computer scientist. He
uses the @ to distinguish between the sender's name and network name in the
released. In 1966, Ralph Baer designed a ping-pong game for his Odyssey
gaming console. Nolan Bushnell played this game at a Magnavox product show
in Burlingame, California. Bushnell hired young engineer Al Alcorn to design
a car driving game, but when it became apparent that this was too ambitious
for the time, he had Alcorn to design a version of ping-pong instead. The
game was tested in bars in Grass Valley and Sunnyvale, California where it
proved very popular. Pong would revolutionize the arcade industry and launch
the modern video game era.
microprocessor made its debut. A vast improvement over its predecessor, the
4004, its eight-bit word afforded 256 unique arrangements of ones and zeros.
For the first time, a microprocessor could handle both uppercase and
lowercase letters, all 10 numerals, punctuation marks, and a host of other
Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is designed and in 1983 it
becomes the standard for communicating between computers over the Internet.
One of these protocols, FTP (File Transfer Protocol), allows users to log
onto a remote computer, list the files on that computer, and download files
from that computer.
March 1973 .
First ARPANET international connections to University College of London
(England) and NORSAR (Norway).
the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center designed the Alto — the first work
station with a built-in mouse for input. The Alto stored several files
simultaneously in windows, offered menus and icons, and could link to a
local area network. Although Xerox never sold the Alto commercially, it gave
a number of them to universities. Engineers later incorporated its features
into work stations and personal computers.
the 8080 processor
Vint Cerf and
Bob Kahn publish "A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection," which
details the design of TCP.
first commercial packet-switching network and civilian equivalent of
ARPANET, was born. The brainchild of Larry Roberts, Telenet linked customers
in seven cities. Telenet represented the first value-added network, or VAN —
so named because of the extras it offered beyond the basic service of
edition of Popular Electronics featured the Altair 8800 computer kit, based
on Intel´s 8080 microprocessor, on its cover. Within weeks of the computer´s
debut, customers inundated the manufacturing company, MITS, with orders.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen licensed BASIC as the software language for the
Altair. Ed Roberts invented the 8800 — which sold for $297, or $395 with a
case — and coined the term "personal computer." The machine came with 256
bytes of memory (expandable to 64K) and an open 100-line bus structure that
evolved into the S-100 standard. In 1977, MITS sold out to Pertec, which
continued producing Altairs through 1978.
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
Shown top row, from left,
are: Steve Wood, Bob Wallace and Jim Lane; second row, Bob O'Rear, Bob
Greenberg, March McDonald and Gordon Letwin; and front row, Bill Gates,
Andrea Lewis, Marla Wood and Paul Allen.
The 5100 was IBM's first
production personal computer . The 5100 has an integral CRT display,
keyboard, and tape drive. It was available with APL, BASIC, or both, and
with 16, 32, 48, or 64 Kbytes of RAM.
IBM Portable PC
US $19,975 w/ 64K RAM
IBM proprietary, 1.9MHz
16K, 64K max
5" monochrome monitor
64 X 16 text
Internal 200K tape (DC300)
tape/printer I/O port
APL and/or BASIC
Apple Computer founded by
Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs introduced the Apple II. Based on a board of
their design, the Apple II, complete with keyboard and color graphics
US $1298 with 4K RAM
US $2638 with 48K RAM
MOS 6502, 1.0 MHz
4K min, 48K max
280 X 192, 40 X 24 text
6 colors maximum
composite video output
8 internal expansion slots
generic cassette drive
external 143K floppy (1978)
Woz Integer BASIC in ROM
candidate Jimmy Carter and running mate Walter Mondale use email to plan
sends her first email. Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, sends out
an e-mail on March 26 from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE)
in Malvern as a part of a demonstration of networking technology.
The Cray I made
its name as the first commercially successful vector processor. The fastest
machine of its day, its speed came partly from its shape, a C, which reduced
the length of wires and thus the time signals needed to travel across them.
The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) came fully assembled and was
straightforward to operate, with either 4 or 8 kilobytes of memory, two built-in
cassette drives, and a membrane "chiclet" keyboard.
Tandy Radio Shack´s first desktop computer — the TRS-80 — sold 10,000 units,
well more than the company´s projected sales of 3,000 units for one year. Priced
at $599.95, the machine included a Z80 based microprocessor, a video display, 4
kilobytes of memory, BASIC, cassette storage, and easy-to-understand manuals
that assumed no prior knowledge on the part of the consumer.
Atari launches the
Video Computer System game console. Atari released the Atari Video Computer
System (VCS) later renamed the Atari 2600.
TCP split into
TCP and IP
Instruments Inc. introduced Speak & Spell, a talking learning aid for ages 7
and up. Its debut marked the first electronic duplication of the human vocal
tract on a single chip of silicon. Speak & Spell utilized linear predictive
coding to formulate a mathematical model of the human vocal tract and
predict a speech sample based on previous input. It transformed digital
information processed through a filter into synthetic speech and could store
more than 100 seconds of linguistic sounds.
the Model 400 and 800 Computer. Shortly after delivery of the Atari VCS game
console, Atari designed two microcomputers with game capabilities: the Model
400 and Model 800. The two machines were built with the idea that the 400
would serve primarily as a game console while the 800 would be more of a
home computer. Both sold well, though they had technical and marketing
problems, and faced strong competition from the Apple II, Commodore PET, and
established. USENET was invented as a means for providing mail and file
transfers using a communications standard known as UUCP. It was developed as
a joint project by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill by graduate students Tom Truscott, Jim Ellis, and Steve
Bellovin. USENET enabled its users to post messages and files that could be
accessed and archived. It would go on to become one of the main areas for
large-scale interaction for interest groups through the 1990s.
John Shoch and
Jon Hupp at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center discover the computer
"worm," a short program that searches a network for idle processors.
Initially designed to provide more efficient use of computers and for
testing, the worm had the unintended effect of invading networked computers,
creating a security threat.
and others found 3Com (Computer Communication Compatibility)
Technology created the first hard disk drive for microcomputers. The disk
held 5 megabytes of data, five times as much as a standard floppy disk, and
fit in the space of a floppy disk drive. The hard disk drive itself is a
rigid metallic platter coated on both sides with a thin layer of magnetic
material that stores digital data. Along with the benefit of increased
storage, hard disks have one major drawback: Permanent installation into the
computer decreases their portability.
writes program called "Enquire Within," predecessor to the World Wide Web.
completed the first portable computer, the Osborne I, which weighed 24
pounds and cost $1,795. The price made the machine especially attractive, as
it included software worth about $1,500. The machine featured a 5-inch
display, 64 kilobytes of memory, a modem, and two 5 1/4-inch floppy disk
IBM decided to enter the
personal computer market in response to the success of the Apple II
It was IBM model number 5150,
and was introduced on August 12, 1981.
IBM Personal Computer (PC)
Intel 8088, 4.77MHz
16K, 640K max
80 X 24 text
optional 160KB 5.25-inch disk drives
cassette & keyboard only
internal expansion slots
IBM PC-DOS Version 1.0
The word “Internet” is used
for the first time.
introduces the Commodore 64. The C64, as it was better known, sold for $595,
came with 64KB of RAM and featured impressive graphics. Thousands of
software titles were released over the lifespan of the C64. By the time the
C64 was discontinued in 1993, it had sold more than 22 million units and is
recognized by the 2006 Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest
selling single computer model of all time.
The use of
computer-generated graphics in movies took a step forward with Disney´s
release of "Tron." One of the first movies to use such graphics, the plot of
"Tron" also featured computers - it followed the adventures of a hacker
split into molecules and transported inside a computer. Computer animation,
done by III, Abel, MAGI, and Digital Effects, accounted for about 30 minutes
of the film.
developed Lotus 1-2-3, writing the software directly into the video system
of the IBM PC. By bypassing DOS, it ran much faster than its competitors.
Along with the immense popularity of the IBM´s computer, Lotus owed much of
its success to its working combination of spreadsheet capabilities with
graphics and data retrieval capabilities.
splits into the ARPANET and MILNET. Due to the success of the ARPANET as a way
for researchers in universities and the military to collaborate, it was split
into military (MILNET) and civilian (ARPANET) segments. This was made possible
by the adoption of TCP/IP, a networking standard. The ARPANET was renamed the
“Internet” in 1995.
"War Games" introduces the public to hacking, and the legend of hackers as
cyberheroes (and anti-heroes) is born. The film's main character, played by
Matthew Broderick, attempts to crack into a video game manufacturer's computer
to play a game, but instead breaks into the military's nuclear combat
computer (codenamed WOPR, a pun on the military's real system called BURGR)
misinterprets the hacker's request to play Global Thermonuclear War as an
enemy missile launch. The break-in throws the military into high alert, or
DefCon 1 (Defense Condition 1).
year, authorities arrest six teenagers known as the 414 gang (after the area
code to which they are traced). During a nine-day spree, the gang breaks into
some 60 computers, among them computers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory,
which helps develop nuclear weapons.
House of Representatives begins hearings on computer security hacking
Computer Corp. introduced first PC clone that used the same software as the
IBM PC. With the success of the clone, Compaq recorded first-year sales of
$111 million, the most ever by an American business in a single year.
In his novel
"Neuromancer," William Gibson coined the term "cyberspace."
and shipped the first 3 1/2" floppy drives and diskettes in 1981. The first
signficant company to adopt the 3 1/2" floppy for general use was
Hewlett-Packard in 1982, an event which was critical in establishing
momentum for the 3 1/2" format and which helped it prevail over the other
contenders for the microfloppy standard, including 3 1/4", 3", and 3.9"
System (DNS) is established -designed by Jon Postel, Paul Mockapetris, and
Craig Partridge, with network addresses identified by extensions such as
.com, .org, and .edu.
Gibson coins the term “cyberspace.”
introduces the Macintosh on January 24th
Motorola 68000, 7.83 Mhz
128K, later 512K
9-inch monochrome screen
Two DB9 serial ports
External floppy port
Internal 400K SSDD floppy
optional external floppy ($495)
(graphical user interface
Except for the very
expensive and unpopular Apple Lisa which came out in 1983, the Macintosh is
considered to be the first commercially successful computer to use a GUI
(Graphical User Interface), as seen above.
Before the Macintosh, all
computers were 'text-based' - you operated them by typing words onto the
keyboard. The Macintosh is run by activating pictures (icons) on the screen
with a small hand-operated device called a "mouse". Most modern-day
computers now operate on this principle, including modern Apple computers
and most others which run the Microsoft Windows operating system.
IBM Introduces a
IBM Portable PC 5155
Intel 8088 @ 4.77MHz
256K, 640K max
9-inch amber display
CGA graphics, 80 X 25 text
Two 360KB 5.25-inch disk drives
1 parallel, 1 serial, CGA video
IBM PC-DOS Version 2.10 (disk)
Services, which later changes its name to America Online, debuts. It offers
email, electronic bulletin boards, news, and other information.
becomes the first registered domain
Able to hold 550
megabytes of prerecorded data, the new CD-ROMs grew out of regular CDs on
which music is recorded. Their capacity is great enough that they rarely
fill up, even with information that would take up thousands of pages of
paper. The first general-interest CD-ROM product released after Philips and
Sony announced the CD-ROM in 1984 was "Grolier´s Electronic Encyclopedia,"
which came out in 1985. The 9 million words in the encyclopedia only took up
12 percent of the available space. The same year, computer and electronics
companies worked together to set a standard for the disks so any computer
would be able to access the information.
The Amiga 1000
is released. Commodore’s Amiga 1000 sold for $1,295 dollars (without
monitor) and had audio and video capabilities beyond those found in most
other personal computers. It developed a very loyal following and add-on
components allowed it to be upgraded easily.
Internet gained support when the National Science foundation formed the
NSFNET, linking five supercomputer centers at Princeton University,
Pittsburgh, University of California at San Diego, University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, and Cornell University. Soon, several regional networks
developed; eventually, the government reassigned pieces of the ARPANET to
the NSFNET. The NSF allowed commercial use of the Internet for the first
time in 1991, and in 1995, it decommissioned the backbone, leaving the
Internet a self-supporting industry. The NSFNET initially transferred data
at 56 kilobits per second, an improvement on the overloaded ARPANET. Traffic
continued to increase, though, and in 1987, ARPA awarded Merit Network Inc.,
IBM, and MCI a contract to expand the Internet by providing access points
around the country to a network with a bandwidth of 1.5 megabits per second.
In 1992, the network upgraded to T-3 lines, which transmit information at
about 45 megabits per second.
hosts on ARPAnet/Internet
more and more break-ins to government and corporate computers, Congress
passes the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it a crime to break
into computer systems.
introduced its PS/2 machines, which made the 3 1/2-inch floppy disk drive
and video graphics array standard for IBM computers. The first IBMs to
include Intel´s 80386 chip, the company had shipped more than 1 million
units by the end of the year. IBM released a new operating system, OS/2, at
the same time, allowing the use of a mouse with IBMs for the first time.
hosts on the Internet
Cisco router shipped
million PCs sold in US
Robert Morris´ worm
flooded the ARPANET. Then-23-year-old Morris, the son of a computer security
expert for the National Security Agency, sent a nondestructive worm through the
Internet, causing problems for about 6,000 of the 60,000 hosts linked to the
network. A researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California
discovered the worm. Morris was sentenced to three years of probation, 400 hours
of community service, and a fine of $10,050. Morris, who said he was motivated
by boredom, programmed the worm to reproduce itself and computer files and to
filter through all the networked computers. The size of the reproduced files
eventually became large enough to fill the computers´ memories, disabling them.
the 80486 microprocessor and the i860 RISC/coprocessor chip, each of which
contained more than 1 million transistors. The RISC microprocessor had a
32-bit integer arithmetic and logic unit (the part of the CPU that performs
operations such as addition and subtraction), a 64-bit floating-point unit,
and a clock rate of 33 MHz. The 486 chips remained similar in structure to
their predecessors, the 386 chips. What set the 486 apart was its optimized
instruction set, with an on-chip unified instruction and data cache and an
optional on-chip floating-point unit. Combined with an enhanced bus
interface unit, the microprocessor doubled the performance of the 386
without increasing the clock rate.
(world.std.com) debuts as the first provider of dial-up Internet access for
consumers.Tim Berners-Lee of CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics)
develops a new technique for distributing information on the Internet. He
calls it the World Wide Web. The Web is based on hypertext, which permits
the user to connect from one document to another at different sites on the
Internet via hyperlinks (specially programmed words, phrases, buttons, or
graphics). Unlike other Internet protocols, such as FTP and email, the Web
is accessible through a graphical user interface.
100,000 hosts on
Associates founded; anti-virus software available for free
The first effort
to index the Internet is created by Peter Deutsch at McGill University in
Montreal, who devises Archie, an archive of FTP sites.
The World Wide
Web was born when Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, the high-energy
physics laboratory in Geneva, developed HyperText Markup Language. HTML, as
it is commonly known, allowed the Internet to expand into the World Wide
Web, using specifications he developed such as URL (Uniform Resource
Locator) and HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). A browser, such as Netscape
or Microsoft Internet Explorer, follows links and sends a query to a server,
allowing a user to view a site. Berners-Lee based the World Wide Web on
Enquire, a hypertext system he had developed for himself, with the aim of
allowing people to work together by combining their knowledge in a global
web of hypertext documents. With this idea in mind, Berners-Lee designed the
first World Wide Web server and browser — available to the general public in
1991. Berners-Lee founded the W3 Consortium, which coordinates World Wide
shipped Windows 3.0 on May 22. Compatible with DOS programs, the first
successful version of Windows finally offered good enough performance to
satisfy PC users. For the new version, Microsoft revamped the interface and
created a design that allowed PCs to support large graphical applications
for the first time. It also allowed multiple programs to run simultaneously
on its Intel 80386 microprocessor.
provides point-and-click navigation, is created at the University of
Minnesota and named after the school mascot. Gopher becomes the most popular
interface for several years.
system, WAIS (Wide Area Information Server), is developed by Brewster Kahle
of Thinking Machines Corp
operating system is introduced. Designed by Finnish university student Linus
Torvalds, Linux was released to several Usenet newsgroups on September 17th,
Internet" is coined by Jean Armour Polly
microprocessor is released. The Pentium was the fifth generation of the
‘x86’ line of microprocessors from Intel, the basis for the IBM PC and its
clones. The Pentium introduced several advances that made programs run
faster such as the ability to execute several instructions at the same time
and support for graphics and music.
developed by Marc Andreeson at the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications (NCSA). It becomes the dominant navigating system for the World
Wide Web, which at this time accounts for merely 1% of all Internet traffic.
Web grows by
341,000 percent in a year
The White House
launches its website, www.whitehouse.gov.
sites are established and mass marketing campaigns are launched via email,
introducing the term “spamming” to the Internet vocabulary.
Communications Corporation is founded. Netscape was originally founded as
Mosaic Communications Corporation in April of 1994 by Marc Andreessen, Jim
Clark and others. Its name was soon changed to Netscape and it delivered its
first browser in October of 1994.
writes the business plan for Amazon.com
licenses technology from Spyglass to create Web browser for Windows 95.
founded. Founded by Stanford graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo,
Yahoo started out as "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" before being
renamed. Yahoo originally resided on two machines, Akebono and Konishiki,
both named after famous Sumo wrestlers. Yahoo would quickly expand to become
one of the Internet’s most popular search engines.
America Online, and Prodigy start providing dial-up Internet access.
releases the Internet programming language called Java.
Department of Defense computers sustain 250,000 attacks by hackers.
federal web sites.
18,000 Web sites as of August 1995
million people are using the Internet, with roughly 30 million of those in
North America (United States and Canada), 9 million in Europe, and 6 million
in Asia/Pacific (Australia, Japan, etc.). 43.2 million (44%) U.S. households
own a personal computer, and 14 million of them are online.
tv.com sold to CNET for $15,000. Browser wars begin.
Microsoft two biggest players.
Web sites of the United States Department of Justice (August), the CIA
(October), and the U.S. Air Force (December).
On July 8, 1997,
Internet traffic records are broken as the NASA website broadcasts images
taken by Pathfinder
on Mars. The broadcast generates 46 million hits in one day.
“weblog” is coined. It’s later shortened to “blog.”
sold for $150,000
networking site Six Degrees launches
Google opens its
first office, in California.
reaches a partial settlement with the Justice Department that allows
personal computer makers to remove or hide its Internet software on new
versions of Windows 95.
announces plans to give its browser away for free.
US Depart of
Commerce outlines proposal to privatize DNS.
ICANN created by
Jon Postel to oversee privatization. Jon Postel dies.
Shawn Fanning invents Napster, a computer application that allows users to
swap music over the Internet.
The number of Internet users worldwide reaches 150 million by the beginning
of 1999. More than 50% are from the United States.
“E-commerce” becomes the new buzzword as Internet shopping rapidly spreads.
Netscape; Andreesen steps down as full-time employee.
declared over; Netscape and Microsoft share almost 100% of browser market.
Microsoft declared a monopoly by US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson.
Suddenly the low
price of reaching millions worldwide, and the possibility of selling to or
hearing from those people at the same moment when they were reached, promised
to overturn established business dogma in advertising, mail-order sales,
customer relationship management, and many more areas. The web was a new
killer app—it could bring together unrelated buyers and sellers in seamless
and low-cost ways. Visionaries around the world developed new business models,
and ran to their nearest venture capitalist. While some of the new
entrepreneurs had experience in business in economics, the majority were
simply people with ideas, and didn't manage the capital influx prudently.
Additionally, many dot-com business plans were predicated on the assumption
that by using the Internet, they would bypass the distribution channels of
existing businesses and therefore not have to compete with them; when the
established businesses with strong existing brands developed their own
Internet presence, these hopes were shattered, and the newcomers were left
attempting to break into markets dominated by larger, more established
businesses. Many did not have the ability to do so.
The dot-com bubble
burst on March 10, 2000, when the technology heavy NASDAQ Composite index
peaked at 5048.62 (intra-day peak 5132.52), more than double its value just a
year before. By 2001, the bubble's deflation was running full speed. A
majority of the dot-coms had ceased trading, after having burnt through their
venture capital and IPO capital, often without ever making a profit.
To the chagrin
of the Internet population, deviant computer programmers begin designing and
circulating viruses with greater frequency. “Love Bug” and “Stages” are two
examples of self-replicating viruses that send themselves to people listed
in a computer user's email address book. The heavy volume of email messages
being sent and received forces many infected companies to temporarily shut
down their clogged networks.
The Internet bubble bursts, as the fountain of investment capital dries up
and the Nasdaq stock index plunges, causing the initial public offering
(IPO) window to slam shut and many dotcoms to close their doors.
buys Time Warner for $16 billion. It’s the biggest merger of all time.
high-speed Internet technology is now seen as a viable alternative to copper
and fiber optic lines placed in the ground
There are 20,000,000 websites on the Internet, numbers doubling since
In one of the
biggest denial-of-service attacks to date, hackers launch attacks against
eBay, Yahoo!, CNN.com., Amazon and others.
into Microsoft's corporate network and access source code for the latest
versions of Windows and Office.
Napster is dealt
a potentially fatal blow when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San
Francisco rules that the company is violating copyright laws and orders it
to stop distributing copyrighted music. The file-swapping company says it is
developing a subscription-based service.
About 9.8 billion electronic messages are sent daily.
Council adopts the first treaty addressing criminal offenses committed over
uncompressed real-time gigabit HDTV transmission across a wide-area IP
network takes place on Internet2.
As of January,
58.5% of the U.S. population (164.14 million people) uses the Internet.
Worldwide there are 544.2 million users.
The death knell tolls for Napster after a bankruptcy judge ruled in
September that German media giant Bertelsmann cannot buy the assets of
troubled Napster Inc. The ruling prompts Konrad Hilbers, Napster CEO, to
resign and lay off his staff.
The Code Red
worm and Sircam virus infiltrate thousands of web servers and email
accounts, respectively, causing a spike in Internet bandwidth usage and
that Internet users illegally download about 2.6 billion music files each
Spam, unsolicited email, becomes a server-clogging menace. It accounts for
about half of all emails. In December, President Bush signs the Controlling
the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM
Act), which is intended to help individuals and businesses control the
amount of unsolicited email they receive.
Apple Computer introduces Apple iTunes Music Store, which allows people to
download songs for 99 cents each.
unsolicited email, becomes a server-clogging menace. It accounts for about
half of all emails.
The SQL Slammer
worm causes one of the largest and fastest spreading DDoS attacks ever,
taking only 10 minutes to spread worldwide
called MyDoom or Novarg, spreads through Internet servers. About 1 in 12
email messages are infected.
reaches a record high—$117 billion in 2004, a 26% increase over 2003.
network service and website launched in February 2004
There are more
than 92 million websites online.
that they will give for free virtually every service for which it charged a
monthly fee, with income coming instead from advertising.
acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction
launches its various consumer versions of Microsoft Vista
music downloads triple to 6.7 million downloads per week.
The online game,
World of Warcraft, hits a milestone when it surpasses 9 million subscribers
worldwide in July.
one billion iTunes downloads
people use the Internet according to Internet World Stats
giant Google surpasses Microsoft as "the most valuable global brand," and
also is the most visited Web site
NASA successfully tests the first deep space communications network
modeled on the Internet, using the Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN)
software to transmit images to/fron a science spacecraft ~20 million miles
Google's crawler reaches 1
trillion pages, although only a fraction are indexed by the search engine.
For comparison, Google's original index had 26 million pages in 1998, and
reached 1 billion in 2000
The Middle East, India, and
other parts of Africa and Asia see a major degradation in Internet service,
including outages, after several undersea cables carrying Internet traffic
to the region are cut within 1 week (Jan-Feb)
IPv6 addresses are added for
the first time to 6 of the root zone servers (4 Feb)
YouTube becomes unreacheable
for a couple of hours after Pakistan Telecom starts an unauthorized
announcement of YouTube's subnet prefix (24 Feb)
US Department of Commerce
relaxes control over ICANN, in favor of a multi-national oversight group
Domain tasting gets severely
curtailed after ICANN raises the 2008-introduced fee for erroneously
registered domains from $0.20 to $6.95; domain kiting however conitnues
Twitter is asked by the US
Government to delay planned maintenance of its service on 15 June as a
result of heavy use by Iranian users during unrest in that country
.se domains become
unreachable for an hour on 12 Oct after an incorrectly configured software
update modifies all registrations
ICANN opens up applications
for internationalized domain names (16 Nov)
US$1M+ Domain Sales:
Insure.com (16M in Oct), Toys.com (5.1M in Feb), Candy.com (3M), Fly.com
Social media is content
created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing
technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people
discover, read and share news, information and content. It's a set of
technologies, tools and platforms facilitating the discovery, participation
and sharing of content. It is transforming monologues (one to many) into
dialogues (many to many) and the democratization of information,
transforming people from content readers into publishers. Social media has
become extremely popular because it allows people to connect in the online
world to form relationships for personal and business. Businesses also refer
to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media
Credit: U.S. Department Of Commerce , Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development, International Data Corporation, the W3C
Consortium, Nielsen/NetRatings, and the Internet Society, Computer History
Museum,Hobbes' Internet Timeline
Data compiled from The
British Antarctic Study, NASA, Environment Canada, UNEP, EPA and
other sources as stated and credited Researched by Charles
Welch-Updated daily This Website is a project of the The Ozooe Hole