Category: Computer

Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM) 0

June 21, 1948: Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine Runs First Program

1948 – What was first expected to be a practical use computer, the SSEM, or Small-Scale Experimental Machine became the first stored-program computer. Basically, it stores program instructions into it’s electronic memory. This 32-bit word length, cathode-ray tube computer was designed to only run subtraction and negation through hardware. Other functions could be run, but only through software. The first program was run on this day. It was written by Professor Tom Kilbum. The seventeen-instruction stored-program took 52 minutes to run. The program was tasked to find the highest proper factor of 218 (262,144). Full Day in Tech History podcast show...

X Window System 0

June 19, 1984: X Window System

1984 – Jim Gettys and Bob Scheifler announced collaboration of a new operating system in the X Window System. This gives the basic framework for a GUI. Currently, it is refered to as X11, R7.7. I’ve spent the last couple weeks writing a window system for the VS100. I stole a fair amount of code from W, surrounded it with an asynchronous rather than a synchronous interface, and called it X. Overall performance appears to be about twice that of W. The code seems fairly solid at this point, although there are still some deficiencies to be fixed up. We at...

Compaq Deskpro 4000N - the first NetPC 0

June 16, 1997: NetPC Announced

1997 – Several computer companies banded together to help create the NetPC. A disk-less computer that got all information, including install – from a corporate server or the Internet. Basically, these would be similar to thin clients or “Dumb terminals” for work computers. No CD drive, no floppy disc and limited disk space. Cases were sealed so nobody could get inside to reconfigure the computer. Installs would be handled via the Internet, therefore, no personal software could be installed. Microsoft and Intel unveiled the system at the PC Expo trade show. NetPC would work with Compaq, Dell, IBM, HP, Acer, Gateway 2000, Mitac,...

Pittsburgh Supercomputer 0

June 9, 1986: Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Opens

1986 – The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center opens. It links 5 supercomputer centers together – Princeton, San Diego, Illinois, and Cornell University. PSC is a leading partner in the TeraGrid, the National Science Foundation’s cyberinfrastructure program. Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 9 Linux Kernel 2.0 is released iPhone 2.0 launches MessageMedia and Revnet join to become North America’s largest e-mail marketer Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe! iTunes | Android | RSS | More

Coleco Adam 0

June 5, 1983: Coleco Adam Computer

1983 – Coleco announced at the Consumer Electronics Show the Coleco Adam. It was their first attempt at a computer hybrid system – gaming and desktop computing. The $725 price tag didn’t hurt, either. With a Zilog Z80 processor and 80 kB RAM with 16 kB video RAM, the Adam could do what you needed. Also available was a printer, tape drive, and spots for 3 expansion cards. Unfortunately, the computer didn’t do as well as the company wanted. They expected a half-million sold by December, but didn’t reach that goal. Ultimately, the Coleco Adam was discontinued in 1985. Full Day in...

IBM Model 70 0

June 2, 1988: IBM PS/2 Model 70

1988 – While not the first version of the PS/2, the Model 70 was introduced with the 80386 processor. 16, 20, and 25 MHz clock speeds. The Model 70 also used a 25 MHz Intel 486 processor in a complex called the Power Platform. If you wanted to upgrade to the 80486, you would have to replace the PS/2’s BIOS chip along with the processor board. The model 70-A21 sold for $11,295 and included 2 MB of RAM, 120 MB ESDI hard drive, MS-DOS and OS/2. If you wanted a monitor for it, you would have to put down an additional...

CD-V format 0

May 30, 1987: Compact Disc Video (CD-V) Format

1987 – North American Phillips Company introduced the compact disc video format. Using the same technology as LaserVision, the “CD’s with Pictures” would be gold in color and the same size as an audio CD. They could hold up to 800 MB – which would allow for a full length movie in SD, or a video music album. The CD-V didn’t last that long, dissolving by 1991. Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 30 TurboLinux OS 7 released Windows NT 3.51 released (adding Power PC support) The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first paper in the US Podcast:...

wordperfect office 0

May 25, 1999: Corel WordPerfect Office 2000

1999 – A program first developed by Brigham young University for Data General minicomputers, WordPerfect was the word processing application for anyone using a computer in the 80’s and 90’s. I remember writing reports and papers using this software growing up, along with Quattro Pro for bookkeeping and printing daily reports at work. However, in 1994, WordPerfect started to gain some major competition when computers turned to GUI, and DOS was getting put on the back burner. Corel, the owners of WordPerfect since 1996, wanted to ramp up production of not only the word processor, but also their other products in...