Timeline of Computer History
 

1969  
Companies
Xerox
Xerox Corp. bought Scientific Data Systems for nearly $1 billion — 90 times the latter´s earnings. The SDS series of minicomputers in the early 1960s logged more sales than did Digital Equipment Corp. Xerox changed the series to the XDS computers but eventually closed the division and ceased to manufacture the equipment.
Robots & Artificial Intelligence
Stanford Arm
Victor Scheinman´s Stanford Arm made a breakthrough as the first successful electrically powered, computer-controlled robot arm. By 1974, the Stanford Arm could assemble a Ford Model T water pump, guiding itself with optical and contact sensors. The Stanford Arm led directly to commercial production. Scheinman went on to design the PUMA series of industrial robots for Unimation, robots used for automobile assembly and other industrial tasks.
Software & Languages
   The RS-232-C standard for communication permitted computers and peripheral devices to transmit information serially — that is, one bit at a time. The RS-232-C protocol spelled out a purpose for a serial plug´s 25 connector pins.
UNIX "license plate"
AT&T Bell Laboratories programmers Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie developed the UNIX operating system on a spare DEC minicomputer. UNIX combined many of the timesharing and file management features offered by Multics, from which it took its name. (Multics, a projects of the mid-1960s, represented the first effort at creating a multi-user, multi-tasking operating system.) The UNIX operating system quickly secured a wide following, particularly among engineers and scientists.

 


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