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This list is very much incomplete and still being compiled. Any additions, please contact me.

1700s

Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871) attended Cambridge University and founded the Astronomical Society in 1820. His Difference Engine was never completed in his lifetime. However he completed plans for his Analytical Engine in 1847.


1935

At Cambridge University, Alan Turing conceived the idea of the modern computer.


1937

Charles Babbage's unpublished notes were rediscovered.


1944

The first fully functioning digital computer, called Colossus was built.


1945

ENIAC was completed, and initially thought to be the first functioning digital computer (as Colossus was unknown).


1948

The Manchester 'Baby' performed its first calculation on 21st June 1948.


1949

EDSAC built at Cambridge University by Maurice Wilkes.

BINAC built by Eckert & Mauchly's Electronic Control Co., Philadelphia. (some people disagree as to whether it actually worked or not)


1951

EDVAC, the successor to ENIAC was completed.


1952

IBM 701 was International Business Machine's (IBM) first mass-produced electronic computer.


1957

IBM 610 Auto-Point computer was described as "IBMs first personal computer".


1972

8008 The 8008 microprocessor was introduced in November.


1973

The Micral Six months after the arrival of the 8008 microprocessor, the Micral was the first computer based on a microprocessor. Designed and built in France but a bit of a flop in America.


1974

The Mark-8 In June, Radio Electronics magazine published an article on building a micro-computer based upon the 8008 microprocessor. It turned out quite popular.


1975

The Altair 8800 First shipped in April 1975 and priced at a 'bargain' $375 and containing 256 bytes of RAM (that's bytes, not Kb or Mb!)

Microsoft Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in April 1975. The BASIC language interpreter, written by Gates and Allen was the first high-level language available on a home computer.

6502 MOS Technology introduced the 6502 microprocessor in June 1975.

Kim-1 launched by MOS Technology a little while after the 6502.


1976

Apple Computer Company formed on 1st April by Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak, along with Ronald G.Wayne

The Apple I, Steven Wozniak's first contribution to the personal computer field. It was based on the MOStek 6502 chip. Cost: $666.66


1977

Commodore PET launched in April 1977. Based on the 6502 microprocessor and containing 14K b ROM and 4Kb of RAM.

TRS-80 launched by Tandy/Radio Shack launched another 6502 based computer in August 1977. This one with 4Kb of ROM and 4Kb of RAM.


1978

Acorn Computers formed by Chris Curry and Herman Houser.


1979

Launch of the Acorn System One.


1980

Launch of the Acorn Atom, which was Acorn's first attempt to break into the home market.


1981

August 12th - IBM introduces the 5150 personal computer, based upon Intel's 8-to-16 bit 8088 processor. When Digital Research declined their request for an operating system, IBM went to Microsoft, who had bought the rights to Seattle Computer Products' QDOS (later renamed as PC-DOS, then MS-DOS)


1983

The Apple Lisa, the first computer to have a graphical user interface (GUI) and based on the Motorola 68000 processor.


1984

The launch of the Apple Macintosh, which was the first affordable computer to have a GUI. Based on the Motorola 68000 processor (running at 8MHz), it would still set you back $2500.


1991

Difference Engine 2 was finally built to Charles Babbage's original specifications. It was accurate to 31 decimal places.

Linux first released by Linus Torvalds, who was a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland.


1993

FreeBSD 1.0 released in December



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