Timeline of Computer History
 

1976  
Components
Zilog Z-80
Intel and Zilog introduced new microprocessors. Five times faster than its predecessor, the 8008, the Intel 8080 could address four times as many bytes for a total of 64 kilobytes. The Zilog Z-80 could run any program written for the 8080 and included twice as many built-in machine instructions.
Computers
Apple-1, signed by Steve Wozniak
Steve Wozniak, a young American electronics expert, designed the Apple-1, a single-board computer for hobbyists. With an order for 50 assembled systems from Mountain View, California computer store The Byte Shop in hand, he and best friend Steve Jobs started a new company, naming it Apple Computer, Inc.  In all, about 200 of the boards were sold before Apple announced the follow-on Apple II a year later as a ready-to-use computer for consumers, a model which sold in the millions.
Cray I
The Cray I made its name as the first commercially successful vector processor. The fastest machine of its day, its speed came partly from its shape, a C, which reduced the length of wires and thus the time signals needed to travel across them.
Project started:1972
Project completed:1976
Speed:166 million floating-point operations per second
Size:58 cubic feet
Weight:5,300 lbs.
Technology:Integrated circuit
Clock rate:83 million cycles per second
Word length:64-bit words
Instruction set:128 instructions
Networking
   The Queen of England sends first her e-mail. Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, sends out an e-mail on March 26 from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE) in Malvern as a part of a demonstration of networking technology.
Robots & Artificial Intelligence
Hirose´s Soft Gripper
Shigeo Hirose´s Soft Gripper could conform to the shape of a grasped object, such as this wine glass filled with flowers. The design Hirose created at the Tokyo Institute of Technology grew from his studies of flexible structures in nature, such as elephant trunks and snake spinal cords.
Software & Languages
CP/MCP/M
Gary Kildall developed CP/M, an operating system for personal computers. Widely adopted, CP/M made it possible for one version of a program to run on a variety of computers built around eight-bit microprocessors.

 


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