35 Years of IT: 1967-2002

Key dates in the evolution of technology, from 1967 to present

Follow the evolution of computing during Computerworld's lifetime with this timeline; for a look at additional developments in the industry, see Computerworld's Flashback series, which covers the period from 1950 to the 1998 when the series was first published.

dot.gif
clear.gif

1967

First Computerworld cover
Digital Equipment Corp. introduces the PDP-10.
clear.gif

(June) First issue of Computerworld is published. It's eight pages.

dot.gif
clear.gif

1968

Bob Dennard
Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce found Integrated Electronics Corp., later known as Intel.
clear.gif
Bob Dennard of IBM invents dynamic RAM, which soon completely replaces magnetic core memory.
clear.gif
The U.S. Patent Office issues the first patent for computer software to Martin Goetz.
clear.gif
Mutinous computer HAL stars in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey."
dot.gif
clear.gif
1969 ARPAnet, precursor to the Internet, goes live.
clear.gif
A U.S antitrust suit forces IBM to unbundle its applications, languages and systems software.
clear.gif
Edgar F. "Ted" Codd invents the relational database.
clear.gif
Ken Thompson leads development of Unix at Bell Labs.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1970 Digital ships its first 16-bit minicomputer, the PDP-11/20.
dot.gif
clear.gif

1971

Intel 4004
(July) Ray Tomlinson of BBN sends the first message from one network to another.
clear.gif

Intel markets the 4004 CPU, the first microprocessor.

dot.gif
clear.gif
1972 First electronic pocket calculator is developed by Texas Instruments.
clear.gif
Dennis Ritchie of AT&T Bell Labs develops the language C. Its predecessor was called B.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1973 (May) Xerox PARC researcher Bob Metcalfe coins the term "ethernet" in a memo.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1974 (June) A Marsh's Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, is first to use bar-code scanning for groceries.
dot.gif
clear.gif

1975

Bill Gates and Paul Allen
(January) The Altair 8800, the first personal computer, makes the cover of Popular Electronics.
clear.gif

Microsoft Corp. is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

dot.gif
clear.gif
1976 Honeywell ships Multics Relational Data Store, the first commercial relational database.
clear.gif
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak form Apple Computer Inc.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1977 (April) Dennis C. Hayes begins selling the first modem designed for desktop computers.
clear.gif
(September) Radio Shack sells 10,000 TRS-80 microcomputers in their first month on the market.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1978 Digital ships its first VAX-11/780.
clear.gif
Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston develop VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1979 Oracle introduces the first commercial SQL relational database management system.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1980 AT&T begins licensing Unix to computer vendors for resale on workstations and servers.
clear.gif
Comdisco gets into the disaster recovery business.
clear.gif
Bjarne Stroustrup at AT&T Bell Labs develops C with Classes, which will evolve into C++.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1981 (August) IBM announces its Personal Computer.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1982 Novell Inc. demonstrates the first PC LAN, which will eventually become NetWare.
clear.gif
First computer virus ?in the wild? infects Apple II computers.
clear.gif
Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto found Compaq Computer Corp. to make IBM-compatible PCs.
clear.gif
(January) The U.S. government drops its 13-year-old antitrust case against IBM.
clear.gif
(February) Sun Microsystems Inc. is founded to build low-cost Unix workstations.
clear.gif
(December) Time magazine declares the computer as ?Machine of the Year.?
dot.gif
clear.gif
1983 Radio Shack offers a book-size computer, the Model 100 -- the first laptop.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1984 (February) The first printed mention of Y2K is published in Computerworld.
clear.gif
(May) Michael Dell starts Dell Computer Corp. with $1,000 in his college dorm room.
clear.gif
Hewlett-Packard Co. launches the first successful laser printer, the LaserJet.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1985 First ?business intelligence? computer system is designed for Procter & Gamble Co.
clear.gif
Aldus Corp. introduces PageMaker, launching the desktop publishing industry.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1986 DuWayne Peterson at Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. becomes first million-dollar CIO.
clear.gif
U.S. Congress passes the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to deal with computer trespasses.
clear.gif
Burroughs merges with Sperry to create Unisys Corp.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1987 (January) Alabama bans PCs from its legislative chamber because of the annoying ?tap, tap, tap.?
clear.gif
(April) IBM announces OS/2.
clear.gif
(June) College dropout Bill Gates, 31, becomes the youngest billionaire in the U.S.
clear.gif
(October) Computer-driven ?program trading? crashes the stock market. The Dow drops 500 points.
clear.gif
(November) Borland?s Quattro spreadsheet triggers a legal battle over software ?look and feel.?
dot.gif
clear.gif

1988

40Tline_as400.jpg
IBM debuts the AS/400 midrange computer (code-named Silverlake).
clear.gif
(October) Steve Jobs? Next Inc. unveils a $6,500 computer that will be sold only to students.
clear.gif
(November) Robert Morris releases his ?worm? program, which cripples the Internet for days.
clear.gif
(March) CERN physicists Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau propose the World Wide Web.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1990 Thomas H. Davenport, Michael Hammer and James Champy promote Business Process Re-engineering.
clear.gif
(September) IBM and Microsoft split on OS/2 and Windows development.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1991 (October) Linus Torvalds releases the first Linux kernel.
clear.gif
Philip Zimmermann releases free PGP (?Pretty Good Privacy?) public-key encryption system.
clear.gif
National Science Foundation lifts restrictions on commercial use of the Internet.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1992 (April) Microsoft releases Windows 3.1.
clear.gif
SAP AG releases SAP R/3.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1993 (March) After losing half its market value, IBM selects Nabisco's Louis Gerstner as its new CEO.
clear.gif
(August) Apple ships the Newton MessagePad, its first personal digital assistant.
clear.gif
(September) Peter de Jager publishes the first warning about Y2K in Computerworld.
dot.gif
clear.gif

1994

40Tline_andreeesen.jpg
(March) Marc Andreessen and colleagues form Mosaic Communications -- soon changed to Netscape.
clear.gif
(July) Microsoft modifies its OS licensing terms to end a four-year antitrust investigation.
clear.gif

(November) A flaw is discovered in Intel?s Pentium CPUs that can cause incorrect calculations.

dot.gif
clear.gif

1995

40Tline_bezos.jpg
Amazon.com, founded by Jeff Bezos, launches an online store for books and music.
clear.gif

(August) Midnight crowds line up at computer stores as Microsoft releases Windows 95.

dot.gif
clear.gif
1996 (January) After seven months of brewing, Sun ships Java.
clear.gif
(June) EDS is spun off from parent General Motors Corp.
dot.gif
clear.gif
1997 The widely used DES encryption algorithm is cracked.
clear.gif
IBM's Deep Blue computer beats chess world champion Garry Kasparov in a six-game tournament.
dot.gif
clear.gif

1998

(February) Compaq acquires Digital Equipment Corp. for $9.6 billion.
clear.gif

U.S. Justice Department and 20 states sue Microsoft for violating antitrust laws.

dot.gif
clear.gif
1999 The Y2k date rollover problem requires expensive code fixes and raises public alarm.
clear.gif
(November) U.S. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson rules that Microsoft is a monopoly.
dot.gif
clear.gif
2000 (February) Hackers take down Yahoo!, CNN.com and E*Trade with massive denial-of-service attacks.
clear.gif
Dot-com companies are decimated as venture capital dries up and stock prices collapse.
dot.gif
clear.gif

2001

40Tline_compaq_2.jpg
HP announces plan to buy Compaq for $25 billion.
dot.gif
clear.gif
2002 Worldcom, which operates a major portion of the Internet's backbone, files for bankruptcy.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon