Timeline of Computer History
 

1988  
Components
   Compaq and other PC-clone makers developed enhanced industry standard architecture — better than microchannel and retained compatibility with existing machines. EISA used a 32-bit bus, or a means by which two devices can communicate. The advanced data-handling features of the EISA made it an improvement over the 16-bit bus of industry standard architecture. IBM´s competitors developed the EISA as a way to avoid paying a fee to IBM for its MCA bus.
Computers
NeXT
Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who left Apple to form his own company, unveiled the NeXT. The computer he created failed but was recognized as an important innovation. At a base price of $6,500, the NeXT ran too slowly to be popular.

The significance of the NeXT rested in its place as the first personal computer to incorporate a drive for an optical storage disk, a built-in digital signal processor that allowed voice recognition, and object-oriented languages to simplify programming. The NeXT offered Motorola 68030 microprocessors, 8 megabytes of RAM, and a 256-megabyte read/write optical disk storage.
Networking
ARPANET worm
Robert Morris´ worm flooded the ARPANET. Then-23-year-old Morris, the son of a computer security expert for the National Security Agency, sent a nondestructive worm through the Internet, causing problems for about 6,000 of the 60,000 hosts linked to the network. A researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California discovered the worm. "It was like the Sorcerer´s Apprentice," Dennis Maxwell, then a vice president of SRI, told the Sydney (Australia) Sunday Telegraph at the time. Morris was sentenced to three years of probation, 400 hours of community service, and a fine of $10,050.
Morris, who said he was motivated by boredom, programmed the worm to reproduce itself and computer files and to filter through all the networked computers. The size of the reproduced files eventually became large enough to fill the computers´ memories, disabling them.
People & Pop Culture
Still from Pixar's Tin Toy
Pixar´s "Tin Toy" became the first computer-animated film to win an Academy Award, taking the Oscar for best animated short film. A wind-up toy first encountering a boisterous baby narrated "Tin Toy." To illustrate the baby´s facial expressions, programmers defined more than 40 facial muscles on the computer controlled by the animator.

Founded in 1986, one of Pixar´s primary projects involved a renderer, called Renderman, the standard for describing 3-D scenes. Renderman describes objects, light sources, cameras, atmospheric effects, and other information so that a scene can be rendered on a variety of systems. The company continued on to other successes, including 1995´s "Toy Story," the first full-length feature film created entirely by computer animation.

 


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