Timeline of Computer History
 

1948  
Computers
IBM´s SSEC
IBM´s Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator computed scientific data in public display near the company´s Manhattan headquarters. Before its decommissioning in 1952, the SSEC produced the moon-position tables used for plotting the course of the 1969 Apollo flight to the moon.
Speed:50 multiplications per second
Input/output:cards, punched tape
Memory type:punched tape, vacuum tubes, relays
Technology:20,000 relays, 12,500 vacuum tubes
Floor space:25 feet by 40 feet
Project leader:Wallace Eckert
Robots & Artificial Intelligence
Norbert Wiener
Norbert Wiener published "Cybernetics," a major influence on later research into artificial intelligence. He drew on his World War II experiments with anti-aircraft systems that anticipated the course of enemy planes by interpreting radar images. Wiener coined the term "cybernetics" from the Greek word for "steersman."

In addition to "cybernetics," historians note Wiener for his analysis of brain waves and for his exploration of the similarities between the human brain and the modern computing machine capable of memory association, choice, and decision making.
Software & Languages
Claude Shannon
Claude Shannon´s "The Mathematical Theory of Communication" showed engineers how to code data so they could check for accuracy after transmission between computers. Shannon identified the bit as the fundamental unit of data and, coincidentally, the basic unit of computation.

 


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