Timeline of Computer History
 

1959  
Components
First Planar transistor
Jean Hoerni's Planar process, invented at Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp., protects transistor junctions with a layer of oxide. This improves reliability and, by allowing printing of conducting channels directly on the silicon surface, enabled Robert Noyce's invention of the monolithic integrated circuit. 
Computers
IBM STRETCH
IBM´s 7000 series mainframes were the company´s first transistorized computers. At the top of the line of computers — all of which emerged significantly faster and more dependable than vacuum tube machines — sat the 7030, also known as the "Stretch." Nine of the computers, which featured a 64-bit word and other innovations, were sold to national laboratories and other scientific users. L. R. Johnson first used the term "architecture" in describing the Stretch.
Robots & Artificial Intelligence
APT ashtray
MIT´s Servomechanisms Laboratory demonstrated computer-assisted manufacturing. The school´s Automatically Programmed Tools project created a language, APT, used to instruct milling machine operations. At the demonstration, the machine produced an ashtray for each attendee.
Software & Languages
ERMA characters
ERMA, the Electronic Recording Method of Accounting, digitized checking for the Bank of America by creating a computer-readable font. A special scanner read account numbers preprinted on checks in magnetic ink.

 


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