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Technology - History Timeline

Updated: Monday, June 26, 2000


Technology is the practical knowledge and skills humans have a cumulated to make the world a better place to life and to control the environment. Humanity has been continually improving life and productivity based on the skills built up over thousands of years. The progress and accumulation of human knowledge and technology has continued to accelerate and grow as better ways have been learned and knowledge has been shared across humanity, over history of our existence. And, the rate of improvement and growth in technology is increasing.

The interesting thing about technology is how new ideas spread in waves from person to person. As people see the value of new ideas they adopt them and incorporate them into their own lives and work. As communications speed up around the world the spread of ideas speed up and the rate at which good ideas are adopted increase. Also interesting is how rapidly technology and ideas build on each other there seems to be a strong tendency of one set of ideas stimulating other new ideas. This seems to be driven by people trying to constantly improve and do better than previously.

What drives the rate ideas and improvements? Clearly one factor is how great an improvement the new idea is over the existing technology. Another factor is the communications technologies available by which the new ideas can be learned. A third factor is the actual movement of people who have learned a technology from one area to another. In the 18th century the English tried to restrict the spread of their manufacturing technologies by restricting the ability of people who had key knowledge from leaving the country. In the 20th century the US government works to restrict the spread of critical defense and weapon's technologies by restricting the ability of people, with key knowledge, from publishing or communicating anything about their work or from traveling to certain parts of the world as well as restricting where they can work and live.

This document is continually growing. If you would like me to let you when updated versions are posted to the web, please send  an Email with -
Subject: ADD Tech History
To: jwg1000@hotmail.com

Regards,
John Giudice

 

Timeline of Technology History

Year

Description of events

250,000 BC Hand Tools - The earliest hand tools made by early humans date from 250,000 BC and have been found across Africa, Western Asia and Europe. These tools were hand axes which used flint or other stones as a cutting edge.
100,000 BC First modern Homo sapiens in what is now southern Africa.
70,000 BC Neanderthal man begins the use of fire and advanced tools
35,000 BC Cro-Magnon man replaces Neanderthal man.
15,000 BC Cro-Magnon man replaced by later cultures
11,000 BC Rye Cultivation - Microfossils indicate that people, in the area that is now Syria, were cultivating rye. There was a long period (1000's of years) while people learned to successfully domesticate plants and animals for agriculture.  (12)
10,000 BC Squash Cultivation - Microfossils indicate that squash was being cultivated in the area that is now Ecuador. This was probably a form of slash and burn agriculture. (12)
9000 BC Pig Raising - Fossil evidence suggests pig were being raised in the area that is now Turkey. Also there is evidence that people were raising wheat here as well. (12)
7975 BC Squash Cultivation - Squash seeds indicate that squash was being cultivated in the area that is now Mexico. (12)
10,000 - 4000 BC Semi-permanent agricultural settlements appear in Asia and Europe. These are followed by the growth of cities and more advanced skills, including pottery and improved cultivation.
4000 BC Cosmetics - Egyptians were using cosmetics.

Dairy Farming - Art and writing text from the periods indicate that people had learned how to successfully dairy farm. (12)

3200 BC First phonetic writing - Egyptians were using hieroglyphic writing on clay tablets (between 3300 BC and 3200 BC) to record delivers of linen and oil to the King Scorpion I as a tithe tax. (10)

A few hundred years (3000 BC) later the Sumerians in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys develop the phonetic writing. The exact date of the beginning of Sumerian writing is in doubt.

3000 BC Forked Plows - Farmers in Mesopotamia began using forked plows, which were much more effective tools for farming.
2400 BC Earliest surviving papyrus scroll with writing, believed to be from Egyptians.
2000 BC The flush toilet was being used by Minoan civilization in Crete.

Medical Sutures - The Egyptians are believed to have begun the use of needle and threads to sew up wounds.

105 Chinese had developed inexpensive and strong paper. This paper was made from rags, tree bark and hemp. Ts'ai Lun of the Chinese court is credited with developing the first paper.
190 Abacus was developed in China.
200 Printing was in widespread use for texts in China.
610 Papermaking was introduced to Japan from China.
750 Paper was in use in Central Asia
800 Paper has appeared in Egypt
1000 Chinese invent gunpowder.
1041 First movable type printing system with clay characters is developed in China by Bi Sheng. (15)
1050 The decimal number system is brought to Spain by Arabs. (15)
1086 Magnetic compass for navigation is developed in China by Shen Kua a scientist. (15)
1150 The first European papermaking mill is established in Spain.
1250 Guns are first manufactured in China. (15)
1329 Printed books made from metal type are produced in Korea. (15)
1450 Johann Gutenberg (German) set up a press in Mainz and started printing large Latin Bibles. He is also believed to have printed smaller books and leaflets. Gutenberg was one of the first in Europe to use movable type to make up a page. Printing spread through out Europe. Northern printers focused on printing mainly religious books, while Italian printers focused on secular books. "Gutenberg's critical invention was the his specially designed mold for casting precisely similar pieces of type in large numbers." according the historian Daniel J. Boorstin (in his book the Discovers). (15)
1457 The first color printing appears in use.
1498 Toothbrush appears in use in China. The brush is made from hog bristles. (15)
1500 China bans new ship building technology. (15)
1603 Thermometer is invented by Galeleo. (15)
1614 Logarithms were developed by John Napier (Scotland) making multiplying easier and this is still the foundation much of the scientific and technical communicate based their calculations on.
1632 The slide rule was developed by William Oughtred (England). The slide rule evolved to become the primary tool engineers and scientist used to do their calculations until the development of calculators and computers in the 1960's and 1970's.
1638 The first printing press in America was assembled by Stephen Daye (a locksmith) and his son Matthew in Cambridge, MA.
1642 Calculating machine is developed by Blaise Pascal (France) to ease the work of his tax-collector father, but he finds no takers. It is seen as too complicated. (15)
1656 The pendulum clock was developed by Christian Huygens (The Netherlands).
1671 Mechanical calculator that can add, subtract, divide and multiple is developed by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (German). (15)
1683 Anton van Leeuwenhoek (The Netherlands) discovered bacteria.
1701 Horse drawn mechanical drill to plant seeds in rows is developed by Jethro Tull. (15)
1765 Steam Engine is developed by James Watt (England)

Erasers are put on pencils by Eberhard. (15)

1783 Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier (France) developed the first hot air balloon.
1787 Lithographic printing process (called polyautography) was developed by Alois Senefelder in Munich Germany.
1798 Prior to this point all manufactured items were uniquely assembled. Pieces were hand fitted together to make things work. Eli Whitney impressed government officials when he took apart a dozen muskets, scrambled the parts and then reassembled the weapons in working order. Prior to this, muskets were each hand-tooled, and parts could not be interchanged. Whitney's new manufacturing process, known as the "uniformity system,". With this new manufacturing method, it was now possible to create mechanical components that could be recombined to produce new machines, setting the stage for the American Industrial Revolution and improving manufacturing in Europe.
1800 The first practical batteries were developed in the 1790's and first documentation was in a letter to the Royal Society of London. (7)

The US government establishes the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., United States.

1816 Karl D. Von Sauerbronn (German) developed the first bicycle.

First photographic negative is developed by chemist Joseph Niepce (France). (15)

1822 Charles Babbage, England, created the difference engine, which was the first mechanical computer.
1823 William Sturgeon (England) developed the electromagnet.
1825 The Leyden Jar was developed at the University of Leiden. This was one of the first electrical capacitors and used to store electrical charges.
1832 A laboratory model electric generator or dynamo was developed by Michael Faraday (England).
1833 Hippolyte Pixii (France) developed a hand driven electric generator.
1835 The first photograph was taken by William Henry Fox. His camera focused light on to a sheet of paper covered with silver nitrate. This began the field of photograph. Previously all images that people wanted to preserve had to be drawn or painted by artists.
1841 First paperback books where introduced in Tauchnitz Verlag Germany.
1863 William A. Bullock (American) developed a printing press that printed from rolls of paper, rather than individual sheets. This invention speed up the printing process.
1866 Charles Hall of the US developed the methods for refining Aluminum using electrolytic action. This is the fundamental method used to day to manufacture refined Aluminum. Previously it was not practical to make significant quantities of the metal.
1867 Dynamite was developed by Alfred Noble (Sweden)
1869
February
Dimitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (Russian) completed the first of his numerous periodic charts of the elements. This was the foundation of the modern periodic chart of the elements and included the know 63 elements, with spaces for new elements predicated to be there. (Scientific American September 1998) Mendeleev was the first to publish his charts. At the same time in Germany, Julius Lothar Meyer was also developing a periodic table for his chemistry books that turned out to be very similar to Mendeleev's. Meyer's table did not get published until 1870. Mendeleev claimed to be unaware of Meyer's table.
1870 John Wesley Hyatt (American) developed the first plastic, cellulose nitrate. This material was patented and achieved a strong commercial success.
1873 Joseph Glidden developed the most popular form of barbed wire. The invention of low cost barbed wire made it feasible for farmers and ranchers to fence in their land. The fencing in of open land lead to range wars in the west between farmers and ranchers who had herds of cattle rooming over the open range lands.
1874 Ferdinand Braun (German) discovered that, under the right conditions, crystals can conduct electrical current in one direction, rectification. This is a critical technology for controlling electrical currents and signals. This technology was critical to the development of radios.

The typewriter is invented by Christopher Sholes and is marketed by Remington.

1876 Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer of the British Post Office said, "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not -- we have plenty of messenger boys."
1877 Reinforced concrete was developed by Joseph Monier. The material has become the foundation on which almost all modern construction and buildings are based.

Phonograph - Thomas Edison developed the phonograph for recording and playing back voices and sound. Mr. Edison's photographs used a sound in the air to move a needle that carved a tin cylinder to record the sound. To play back the sound, the needle followed the grove in the tin and the sound was played back. This was the basis for all phonographs until the invention of the audio CD in 1982. (15)

Louis-Paul Cailletet (French) succeeded in creating liquid oxygen.

1879 The electric light bulb is patented by Thomas Edison. (15)
1882 Gas lamps were the most widely used form of lighting in London England. At that time the Economist (weekly newspaper) said that "The electric light is very probably a great invention ..." (May 20, 1882)

Some of the first electric appliances were developed. Schuyler Wheeler (US) developed the electric fan. Henry Seeley (US) developed the flatiron.

1884 The first modern bicycle was developed by James Starley (England).
1885 Karl Benz (German) developed the first automobile with an internal combustion engine. The engine was pretty slow with 250 rpm. Gottlieb Daimler developed the first true automobile which was not just a carriage with a motor added on.
1886 Typesetting machines were developed which significantly reduced the time and work to set up the text for printing a page.

The dishwashing machine was patented by housewife Josephine Corcoran (American). (15)

1892 Diesel Engines - Rudolf Diesel, a German engineer, developed and patented the diesel engine. This engine was simpler then gasoline powered engines because it used the pressure and heat from compressing the fuel in the engine cylinders to ignite the fuel. Gasoline engines require an additional electrical system and spark plug to produce a spark at the correct time to ignite the gasoline in the engine cylinders.

The alternating current generator was developed by Nikola Tesla (US). He also developed alternating current electric motors. These have evolved to become the dominate type of electric motor in common use today.

1895 Guglielmo Marconi (Italian) demonstrated the technology to transmit a signal over a mile using radio waves. Marconi had thought that the radio would be used only for ship to shore communication. Radio had been invented earlier by Nikola Tesla.
1898 Liquefied hydrogen was produced by Prof. Dewar. The hydrogen was cooled to -205C, and under pressure of 180 atmospheres. Then it was released through a nozzle in a vacuum vessel. The liquid hydrogen was produced and collected into another vessel.
1899 Dr. Felix Hoffman (German) discovered aspirin.
1900 The tractor was developed by Benjamin Holt.
1901 Guglielmo Marconi (Italian) used radio waves to transmit the letter "S", in Morse code, from England to Newfoundland Canada. This was the first step in practical radio communications and broadcasting.

King Gillette developed and successfully marketed the first safety razor for shaving.

1903 Orville Wright becomes the first man to successfully fly in an airplane powered by an engine. He traveled 120 feet in 12 seconds, with his brother Wilbur watching. (15)
1904 Reginald Fessenden transmitted speech by radio.
1906 Alva Fisher (US) developed the washing machine.
1907 Lee De Forest (US) invented the triode amplifying vacuum tube. The vacuum tube became the critical technology used to build modern electronic equipment. The triode tube was the first practical method to amplify electrical signals.
1911 Ernest Rutherford proposed the model of the atom.
1915 Albert Einstein completed his theory of general relativity.
1920 The first commercial radio broadcasts from KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA.
1923 Vladimir Zworykin, Russian, developed the first workable TV camera.
1926 Dr. Robert Goddard launch the first successful liquid fueled rocket, in Auburn Mass.

Erik Rotheim of Norway invented the aerosol can.

1928 Jacob Schick (US) developed the first electric razor.
1938 Chester Carlson (US) developed the technology for projecting an image on to a charged positively metal plate, then dusting the plate with negatively charged toner powder, then blowing away the extra toner with the toner particles sticking to the plate where the image was, then transferring the toner image to a positively charged piece of paper. The world's first electrophotographic image. It was until 1946 that he was able to interest Rochester based Haloid Company in developing products using the technology. Haloid called this technology xerography. Carlson had gotten a physics degree from Caltech in 1930 and during the Great Depression he could not work. In 1934 he started working at a law firm copying patent applications. He found the work of copying so boring that he developed an obsessive desire to invent a cheap and easy method of duplicating documents. (2)
1942 Enrico Fermi lead a large team that developed the first nuclear fission reactor. This work was part of the Manhattan project to develop nuclear weapons for World War II.
1944 The Mark 1 computer was developed for the US Army by Howard Aiken

Liquid-fueled rocket - Wernher von Braun (German) lead a team of engineers to develop a liquid fueled rocket that could deliver a war head 200 miles. The rocket was named the V-2 or Vengeance-2 and was used by the German war effort. They launched over 1000 rockets towards London England between September 1944 and March 1945. Each rocket weighed over 12 tons at launch. This was the first ballistic missile used in war. (20)

1945 Atom Bomb - A large team of engineers and scientists, under the technical leadership of Robert Oppenheimer working on the Manhattan Project, developed the first atomic bomb. The team was based at Los Alamos NM.They detonated the first bomb July 16, 1945 at the Trinity NM test site. Later two bombs were dropped on cities in Japan to force an end to the war with Japan, without a huge invasion of the Japanese islands. (20)
1946 The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator) was developed by J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly (US).
1948 June 30th Bell Labs announced the invention of the transistor. The transistor was developed by John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain (US) while working at Bell Labs. They were doing extensive experiments with germanium. During an experiment with germanium Brattain discovered that with two wires, two-thousandths of an inch apart the current flow was being amplified. This was the critical discovery that lead to the modern transistors replacing vacuum tubes. The transistor got its name because it is a device that transfers an electrical signal across a resistor. (Sources - Bell Labs, Scientific American Sept. 1998)
1949 IBM projected that there would be a market for 10 to 15 computers world wide. At that time computers took some 18,000 vacuum tubes and typically filled up a room.
1951 Univac - The Universal Automatic Computer (Univac) was developed by J. Eckert and John Mauchly at Remington Rand. It was the first time a computer was designed and built with the intention of producing multiple copies. Their intention was to compete with the punch card machine business that IBM was dominate in. Earlier computers had been designed and built especially for a specific project or need. The first Univac customer was the U.S. Census Bureau. (18)
1952 Computers for election projections - November 4th CBS worked with Remington Rand, and Max Woodbury a mathematician at Univ. of Pennsylvania to project the winner of the presidential election. All the expert analysis was pointing to a strong win for Adlai Stevenson over Dwight Eisenhower. However, by 8:30 PM the Univac I was projecting a win for Eisenhower. By the 1956 election, all the networks were then using computers to help make election projections. (17)
1953 General Electric was the first business to buy a Univac to process payrolls. (18)
1957 Satellites - October 4th the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into earth orbit. This was the first man made satellite launch into orbit around earth. The first satellite was no larger than a basketball and weighed 183 pounds. This launch was also proof that Russian nuclear missiles would have enough range to hit the United States. (20)

Fortran - IBM shipped its first copies of Fortran to customers. The work on Fortran was started in 1954 by John Backus (US) because he had recognized that "a half to three-quarters of operating costs of a computer were from programming and testing." (16)

1958 Charles H. Townes, Arthur L. Schawlos (US), Basov A. Prokhorov (USSR) developed the theoretical work for lasers.
1959 Jack Kilby (US) working at Texas Instruments developed the first working integrated circuit. He built a phase-shift oscillator. This invention has become the critical foundation all modern electronic products are based on.
1960 The first work model laser was invented by T.H. Maiman (US). At the time people were not at all sure of what value it would be.

Haloid-Xerox (soon renamed to Xerox Corp.) introduced the 914. The first push button plain xerographic paper copier. This product based on technology developed by Chester Carlson and first demonstrated in 1938. Plain paper coping has transformed the ability of office workers to share and communicate information. It also virtually eliminated carbon paper has a method for offices to produce multiple copies of a typed document. (2)

1961 April 12th - Yuri Gagarin (Russian) was the first human to orbit the Earth. (4)

May 5th - Alan Shepard (US) made the first sub-orbital flight by the US space program. (4)

1962 Feb 20th - John Glenn (US) was the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth. His total flight time was 4 hours 55 minutes. (4)
1963 Phillips Electronics introduced cassette tapes and players.
1964 IBM introduced the IBM System 360. This was one of the first mainframe computers built using Integrated Circuits. The IBM 360 went on to become the dominate mainframe computer for commercial applications.
1968 Computer Mouse - Doug Engelbart demonstrated, in San Francisco at the Fall Joint Computer Conference, the concepts of the computer mouse, which he referred to as "the bug", along with windows and hypertext. This was before personal computers and was implemented using a mainframe computer and having it generating images that were projected using a TV camera and transmitted to a monitor. Mr. Engelbart was leading a team of researchers at SRI (Stanford Research Institute). The ideas developed at SRI got used at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in their development of office computers. These ideas were then later incorporated into the Apple Mac and Microsoft's Windows software. (11)

Intel Corp started - Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore started Intel with $2.5 million in capital. The startup funding was raised in two days. The name Intel stood for "integrated electronics" and they had to buy the rights to the name from a motel chain that had it.

It is estimated that there were some 30,000 computers existing worldwide. Most of these were mainframe processors.

1969 Space Technology - July 20th, Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon. (4)

J.C.R. Licklider at ARAP (Advanced Research Project  Agency, DOD) drove ARAP to awarded a contract to Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) to implement an experimental network to link computers at Universities doing research. In September BBN delivered the first computerized network switch (IMP) to UCLA. The second IMP was delivered to Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in October and later to other sites including, UCSB and Univ. of Utah. This is the beginning of the ARPANET and the beginning of the worldwide Internet.  The first ARPANET message between UCLA and Stanford was a remote logon. (1), (9)

1971 The first commercial microprocessor. This product from Intel (Intel 4004  with 2.3K transistors, speed 108KHz, 4 bits) transformed the computing industry and all related technologies. It was introduced November 15,1971. The first application of the 4004 was for powering the Busicom calculator. The Intel 4004 was developed by Marcian "Ted" Hoff, Federico Faggin and Stan Mazor. They were the first to integrate all of the core elements of a computer into a single chip. (Note: Intel never did patent the microprocessor.) In 1969 Raymond Holt and a team of 25 engineers working for the Navy on a classified project, developed a microprocessor for the Navy's F-14A Tomcat fighter. This work did not become publicly known until 1998.

Project Gutenberg is begun at the Illinois Benedictine College, with the goal of collecting as many texts as possible in electronic format. These are now freely available over the Internet.

1972 Nolan Bushnell introduced the first computer video game, Pong. It was a free standing game with two players, playing against each other. The first games were installed in bars where they were highly popular. It is said that in one of the first bars it was placed, the owners thought it was broken after a few days. They found it so full of quarters that it could not take any more money.

RCA (US) developed the first compact disks.

The first Email message was sent over the ARPANET by Ray Tomlinson (US) at BBN. He first had to figure out how to separate the Email user name from the machine address. Tomlinson looked over the keyboard and decided to use the @ key because it was a unique character that could not ever be in a user's name and it meant "at". (1)

The ARPANET (Internet) had grown to 20 nodes. (9)

1974 First personal computer - In Albuquerque, NM a small company, Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems (MITS) created a small computer for personal use as a kit computer the customer had to assemble. The Altair, was brought to market using an Intel 8080 microprocessor, with 256 bytes of memory and user interface of a set of lights and panel switches. The Altair sold for about $400. ( The name Altair comes from a star system destination of the Starship Enterprise from the popular TV show Star Trek.) The kit was publicized in an issue of Popular Electronics and within a month they were getting 250 orders a day for the kits. MITS never caught up with the demand. Three years later when they sold the company they still had not caught up with the customer demand and were backordered. The computer caught the attention of two Harvard students (Bill Gates and Paul Allen) who were able to convince the folks at MITS they could make the computer more functional by writing some software for it. Paul Allen was hired to head up software development for Altair. Bill Gates and Paul Allen worked out the Basic compiler for the Altair. MITS shipped over 50,000 Altair's before the first Apple computer was ever created and shipped. (21)
1975 More than 60 sites are now linked to the ARPANET. (1)

Public key cryptography was introduced by Whitefield Diffie and Martin Hellman. (6) This form of cryptography requires two keys to encrypt or decrypt information. One key is shared publicly to everyone and the other key kept private. Without both keys the information can not be used. This technology was a critical enabler for the development of PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) the first publicly available fairly strong encryption technology.

1976 July 20th - Viking 1 landed on Mars and was the first craft from Earth to land on another planet. (4)
1977 Apple II comes to the market. This was one of the first highly popular PC products. (8)
1979 VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet, comes to market making the Apple II a useful business tool. (8)
1981 The IBM PC was introduced. This PC was designed with common industry components using a CPU from Intel. The IBM PC did not have any significant proprietary features which locked out other firms from make compatible PC's. The IBM PC design became the standard PC design that all the other high volume PC companies had to duplicate. The IBM PC user interface was text based and built using Microsoft DOS. (8)

April 12th - The first space shuttle was launched. The ship was piloted by John Young. (4)

1982 November - Lotus 123 - Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs introduced Lotus 123, a new spread sheet program to compete with VisiCalc. The product was released on Jan. 26, 1983. They sold more than 60,000 copies in the first month and the product helped the IBM PC become a successful PC platform.

Audio CD - Sony and Philips develop the Audio CD for music and records. The CD holds up to 74 minutes of music. It is said that this size was established so a complete recording of Beethoven's 5th or 9th symphony can be recorded on one CD. Sony's chairman, at that time, was a very big Beerhoven fan.

1984 The Apple Mac was introduced. This PC was highly proprietary. The design and operating systems were control by Apple. No other company could build and sell Mac's. The Mac was one of the first high volume computers to use a windowing operating system and a mouse to interact with it.  (8)

CD-ROM - Parke Lightbown builds a computer application that runs from a computer-based version of the compact disc. Until this point the CD's had only been used for music.

1985 October - Intel introduces the 80386 DX microprocessor. This 2.5 MIPS processor becomes a volume processor for a new generation on PC. The 386 processor allowed software programs to expand beyond the 650KB limits of earlier generations. With 386 PC's software programs could now support up to 4MB memory systems. (8)

November - MS Windows 1.0 - Microsoft shipped its first Windows product as a step up from character based MS DOS. The product had been announced in October 1983. The product had to work on PC's with 256KB memory and dual floppy disks (5.25" - 360KB). This was the typical PC used at that time.

1986 January 28th - Shuttle rocket Challenger explodes during the launch killing the entire crew. (4)
1987 MS Windows 2.0 - Microsoft shipped its second version of windows.
1989 ARPANET is shut down, as the Internet has grown to eclipse the need for the ARPANET. (1)

April - Intel introduces the 80486 microprocessor. This 1.18 M transistor, 20 MIPS processor becomes highly successful for the new generation on PC. This is the first microprocessor to offer a built it math coprocessor. (8)

The PC industry shipped some 21M PC's (world-wide) during the year. (8)

1991 Irving Weissman (US) discovered human stem cells for blood in bone marrow. These cells give rise to the full range of blood cells needed in the human body.

Microsoft introduced Windows 3.1 to the market. Pervious versions of Windows had been market failures and Windows 3.1 addressed many of the problems, to become the leading high volume user interface for PC's. Windows 3.1 built on a number of ideas used in the Apple Mac. Microsoft licensed technologies from Apple for this new version. (8)

The World Wide Web was developed by the efforts of Tim Berners-Lee and physics researchers at CERN (European Laboratory for Particle Physics) in Geneva Switzerland. Their goal was to allow non-technical users to access data and information from online systems without the need to learn specialized commands and instructions. Tim Berners-Lee developed some of the core technology for the World Wide Web (URL's, HTML, HTTP) as an easy way to share information across different computers. (9)

Linux - Linus Torvalds (Finland) developed a Unix like kernel operating system for the Intel 386 (with 4MB of RAM). He was an undergraduate student at the University of Helsinki. Linux was released posted on the Internet for the public world to use with a copyleft license. This allowed everyone to use it at no charge, but all improvements had to be given back to the community of users and developers. The software 1991 only ran on Intel systems. (13)

1992 Digital Equipment Corp. announced its first 64 bit microprocessor architecture, the Alpha microprocessor and its first microprocessor in the family the 21064. (5)

The PC industry shipped some 32M PC's (world-wide) during the year. (8)

The Internet was opened up to commercial business over the Internet. Prior to this point the Internet was only suppose to be used research and educational uses. (9)

1993 Web Browsers have become the dominate way to share information over the Internet. Web browsers are being developed by numerous teams and companies through out the world.

The first graphical web browser, Mosaic, is developed by a small team at the University of Illinois. (1)

March - Intel introduces the Pentium processor. The initial Pentium chips supported some 75 MIPS of processing power. (8)

Intel and Hewlett Packard form a partnership to build an generation of 64 bit computing, Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) based on technologies from both companies. This is the product family that later has become Intel's IA-64 family of processors. (The first processor based on this technology is expected in mid year 2000.) (5)

1994 Jim Clark and Marc Andresus form Netscape Communication Corp. and recruits the team of people at University of Illinois who built Mosaic. They adapt Mosaic as their product Netscape Navigator. Netscape broadly distributes Navigator freely on the Internet. (1), (9)
1995 More than 20 million people are on-line through the Internet. Numerous companies are formed to provide Internet dial-up access, including American Online, Prodigy, CompuServe. At the same time BBN, MCI and others take over responsibility for the Internet backbone network from the National Science Foundation. (1)

August 24, Microsoft introduces Windows 95 for the Intel PC family of computers.

Linux - Support is now provided for Digital Alpha processors and Hewlett Packard systems. (13)

1996 Java programming language was introduced and marketed by Sun Microsystems. Java is positioned as the language to develop new software in. Developers would now be able to "write once and run everywhere." By 1998 there are some 117 implementations of Java Virtual Machines on different computer systems.
1997 Some 50 million people are on-line and now using the Internet. (1)

IBM's Deep Blue computer defeats the world chess champion, Gary Kasparov in a match. This is the first time a chess playing computer has been able to defeat a world champion chess player. (8)

1998 April - It is estimated that there are some 200M to 320M distinct web pages, not counting the ones that are in databases and web applications that generated on demand. Also, 40% of the people in the US have a PC.

International Data Corp. estimated that as of May 1998 there were 92M Internet users and there were some 528M URL's on the Internet with some 120M devices connected to the Internet. (3)

The PC industry is expected to ship some 100M PC's (world-wide) during the year. (8)

October - John Glenn returned to Earth orbit for 7 days as part of a US Space Shuttle mission. John Glenn was the first US astronaut to orbit the Earth and at 70, is the oldest man to orbit the earth.

IDC's estimate of Web users is now at 97.3 million and is forecasting that it will grow to 131.4M in 1999.

1999 Brain Stem Cells - Jonas Frisen (Swedish) and Swedish researchers have identified stem cells in the adult brain that grow into nerve cells. This opens up the research quest to find ways to grow nerve cells for the treatment of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and spinal injuries. (14)
2000 March - Intel and AMD both started shipping PC CPU chips running at 1 Gigahertz processor speed. These chips are about 500 times faster than the first generate of CPU chips introduced 25 years (1974) ago with a clock speed of 4.77 MHz and .33 MIPS of performance. PC's with these new chips will be delivering 3,042 MIPS or a 9000 times improvement. Where will we be in 25 more years?

British scientists have successfully cloned 5 piglets from one adult pig. This is a major breakthrough in cloning since their techniques seemed to be much more repeatable than the first efforts at cloning mammals.

June 22 - Water on Mars - NASA announced that based on a new study  using high resolution photographs from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, scientist have spotted gullies and trenches and fanlike deltas that could have been carved by fast-moving water flowing down cliffs and the steep walls of craters. That liquid water once existed on Mars is generally accepted by scientists, but Michael Malin said his new study suggests strongly that water flowed on the Red Planet very recently and, perhaps, even now. He bases this on photos showing gullies and rills the look very much like similar water-carved features on Earth. (22)

June 26 - Map of the Human Genome - Detailed mapping of the human genome has been completed by teams around the world. This map provides a detailed look at some 90% of the human genome. Scientists will be able to use this map to find and sequence genes.

Sources
1 Boston Globe 9/13/98, pages K1, K4
2 Technology Review September/October 1998
3 CIO Web Business, October 1, 1998, page 20
4 Boston Globe 10/25/98, page A22
5 PC Week 10/26, 1998, page 96
6 An Introduction to Cryptography 8/98, page 14 (PGP - V6.0)
7 New York Times, November 19, 1998
8 Wall Street Journal November 16, 1998, page R4, R6, R10
9 PBS - Nerds 2.01
10 Ancient writing found - and it's on taxes - Boston Globe, 12/16/98 page A34
11 Computer Pioneer Is Given a 30th Anniversary Celebration, New York Times 12/9/98
12 Settling Down by David L. Chandler, Boston Globe 11/30/98, page C1
13 Programs to the People by Charles C. Mann, Technology Review, Jan-Feb 1999, page 36
14 Swedish Scientist Report Stem Cells in the Brain, Wall Street Journal January 8, 1999, page B8
15 Think Big by Bob Davis, Wall Street Journal January 11, 1999, Page R14
16 Born of Frustration by Leslie Goff, ComputerWorld February 8, 1999, Page 87
17 And the winner is ... by Leslie Goff, Computerworld, January 25, 1999, page 86
18 Machines on a Mission by Mary Brandel, Computerworld, January 18, 1999, page 65
19 In Love with Technology, as Long It's Dusty, by Katie Hafner, New York Times On the Web March 25, 1999
20 100 Years of Innovation, Business Week, Summer 1999 Pages 58, 64
21 Altair: Another PC Milestone by Leslie Goff, Computerworld , June 28, 1999 Page 83
22 Study Suggests Water Is on Mars, AP/Yahoo, June 22 2000

Copyright 2000 John Giudice, All Rights Reserved