Timeline of Computer History

Star Trek title screen

Star Trek debuts with multiple computation devices

One of the most popular television series of all-time, Star Trek tells of the journeys of the starship Enterprise and its 5-year mission of exploration. Star Trek speculated on technologies such as voice-recognition, handheld computing and communications, human computer interaction, and machine-supported medical diagnosis. The technologies displayed influenced generations of filmmakers, writers, and especially technologists--some of whom are still working today to create technologies featured on the show.


IBM 1360 Photo-Digital Storage System

IBM 1360 Photo-Digital Storage System

The IBM 1360 Photo-Digital Storage System is installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The system could read and write up to a trillion bits of information—the first such system in the world. The 1360 used thin strips of film on which were written data created by an electron beam and a wet photographic development process. The system used sophisticated error correction and a pneumatic robot to move the film strips to and from a storage unit. Only five were built.


Seymour Papert with LOGO 'turtle'

Seymour Papert designs LOGO

Seymour Papert designs LOGO as a computer language for children. Initially a drawing program, LOGO controlled the actions of a mechanical "turtle," which traced its path with pen on paper. Electronic turtles made their designs on a video display monitor.

Papert emphasized creative exploration over memorization of facts: "People give lip service to learning to learn, but if you look at curriculum in schools, most of it is about dates, fractions, and science facts; very little of it is about learning. I like to think of learning as an expertise that every one of us can acquire."


Ginny Strazisar of BBN, author of the first TCP/IP router

Internetting as a Business

John von Neumann

John von Neumann writes First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC

PlayStation 2 game console

Sony releases the PlayStation 2

Seymour Papert with LOGO 'turtle'

Seymour Papert designs LOGO

IBM Microdrive

IBM Microdrive