Timeline of Computer History
 

1954  
Components
First production silicon junction transistors
A silicon-based junction transistor, perfected by Gordon Teal of Texas Instruments Inc., brought the price of this component down to $2.50. A Texas Instruments news release from May 10, 1954, read, "Electronic "brains" approaching the human brain in scope and reliability came much closer to reality today with the announcement by Texas Instruments Incorporated of the first commercial production of silicon transistors kernel-sized substitutes for vacuum tubes."

The company became a household name when the first transistor radio incorporated Tealīs invention. The radio, sold by Regency Electronics for $50, launched the world into a global village of instant news and pop music.
Computers
IBM 650
The IBM 650 magnetic drum calculator established itself as the first mass-produced computer, with the company selling 450 in one year. Spinning at 12,500 rpm, the 650´s magnetic data-storage drum allowed much faster access to stored material than drum memory machines.
People & Pop Culture
Alan Turing
Alan Turing was found dead at age 42. He had published his seminal paper, "On Computable Numbers," in 1936, as well as posing significant questions about judging "human intelligence" and programming and working on the design of several computers during the course of his career.

A mathematical genius, Turing proved instrumental in code-breaking efforts during World War II. His application of logic to that realm would emerge even more significantly in his development of the concept of a "universal machine."

 


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