Timeline of Computer History

   Heinz Nixdorf founded Nixdorf Computer Corp. in Germany. It remained an independent corporation until merging with Siemens in 1990.
Los Alamos MANIAC
John von Neumann´s IAS computer became operational at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, N.J. Contract obliged the builders to share their designs with other research institutes. This resulted in a number of clones: the MANIAC at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, the ILLIAC at the University of Illinois, the Johnniac at Rand Corp., the SILLIAC in Australia, and others.
People & Pop Culture
Cronkite with UNIVAC
On election night, November 4, CBS News borrowed a UNIVAC to make a scientific prediction of the outcome of the race for the presidency between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson. The opinion polls predicted a landslide in favor of Stevenson, but the UNIVAC´s analysis of early returns showed a clear victory for Eisenhower. Its sharp divergence from public opinion made newscasters Walter Cronkite and Charles Collingwood question the validity of the computer´s forecast, so they postponed announcing UNIVAC´s prediction until very late.
Software & Languages
Grace Hopper with UNIVAC 1
Grace Hopper completes the A-0 Compiler. In 1952, mathematician Grace Hopper completed what is considered to be the first compiler, a program that allows a computer user to use English-like words instead of numbers. Other compilers based on A-0 followed: ARITH-MATIC, MATH-MATIC and FLOW-MATIC [software]
IBM 726 Dual Tape Drives

Magnetic tape allows for inexpensive mass storage of information and so is a key part of the computer revolution.  The IBM 726 was one of the first practical high-speed magnetic tape systems for electronic digital computers.  Announced on May 21, 1952, the system used a unique ‘vacuum channel’ method of keeping a loop of tape circulating between two points allowing the tape drive to start and stop the tape in a split-second.  The Model 726 was first sold with IBM’s first electronic digital computer the Model 701 and could store 2 million digits per tape—an enormous amount at the time.  It rented for $850 a month.


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