Timeline of Computer History
 

1960  
Computers
DEC PDP-1
The precursor to the minicomputer, DEC´s PDP-1 sold for $120,000. One of 50 built, the average PDP-1 included with a cathode ray tube graphic display, needed no air conditioning and required only one operator. It´s large scope intrigued early hackers at MIT, who wrote the first computerized video game, SpaceWar!, for it. The SpaceWar! creators then used the game as a standard demonstration on all 50 computers.
Networking
AT&T Dataphone
AT&T designed its Dataphone, the first commercial modem, specifically for converting digital computer data to analog signals for transmission across its long distance network. Outside manufacturers incorporated Bell Laboratories´ digital data sets into commercial products. The development of equalization techniques and bandwidth-conserving modulation systems improved transmission efficiency in national and global systems.
Software & Languages
COBOL design team
A team drawn from several computer manufacturers and the Pentagon developed COBOL, Common Business Oriented Language. Designed for business use, early COBOL efforts aimed for easy readability of computer programs and as much machine independence as possible. Designers hoped a COBOL program would run on any computer for which a compiler existed with only minimal modifications.

Howard Bromberg, an impatient member of the committee in charge of creating COBOL, had this tombstone made out of fear that the language had no future. However, COBOL has survived to this day.
LISP Programmer´s Reference
LISP made its debut as the first computer language designed for writing artificial intelligence programs. Created by John McCarthy, LISP offered programmers flexibility in organization.
C.A.R. Hoare circa 1965
Quicksort is developed. Working for the British computer company Elliott Brothers, C. A. R. Hoare developed Quicksort, an algorithm that would go on to become the most used sorting method in the world. Quicksort used a series of elements called “pivots” that allowed for fast sorting. C.A.R. Hoare was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000.

 


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