Timeline of Computer History

Alan Turing

Alan Turing is found dead at age 42

English mathematician Alan Turing is found dead in his bed with a cyanide-laced apple on his night stand. Turing had published a seminal paper, On Computable Numbers, in 1936 in which he theorized about the nature of human and machine intelligence. During World War II, Turing applied his mathematical genius to codebreaking efforts, including solving the riddle of the German ENIGMA encryption machine.

IBM 650

IBM 650 magnetic drum calculator introduced

IBM establishes the 650 as its first mass-produced computer, with the company selling 450 in just one year. Spinning at 12,500 rpm, the 650´s magnetic data-storage drum allowed much faster access to stored information than other drum-based machines. The Model 650 was also highly popular in universities, where a generation of students first learned programming.

RAND Corporation’s JOHNNIAC

The RAND Corporation’s JOHNNIAC runs

The JOHNNIAC computer is one of 17 computers that followed the basic design of Princeton's INstitute of Advanced Study (IAS) computer. It was named after John von Neumann, a world famous mathematician and computer pioneer of the day. Completed in 1954, JOHNNIAC was used for scientific and engineering calculations. It was also repeatedly expanded and improved throughout its 13-year lifespan. Many innovative programs were created for JOHNNIAC, including the time-sharing system JOSS that allowed many users to simultaneously access the machine.

Apple HyperCard

HyperCard revives hypertext

Cover from March 1949 Astounding Science Fiction

A Logic Named Joe is published

M3 computer with temperature sensor and custom antenna to increase range

University of Michigan Micro Mote is Completed

Nest Learning Thermostat

Nest Learning Thermostat is Introduced

CompacTape cartridge