What Happened Today, January 23rd

Noyce's practical integrated circuit allowed printing of conducting channels directly on the silicon surface
Noyce's practical integrated circuit allowed printing of conducting channels directly on the silicon surface
 
Robert Noyce Conceives the Idea for a Practical Integrated Circuit
Robert Noyce, as a co-founder and research director of Fairchild Semiconductor, was responsible for the initial development of silicon mesa and planar transistors, which led to a commercially applicable integrated circuit. In 1968, Noyce went on to found Intel Corp. with Gordon Moore and Andy Grove.

What Happened This Week

 
IBM's PS/2 Technology to be Cloned
A group of small computer companies announces that they have succeeded in making microprocessors and software that would eventually allow clones of IBM's PS/2 line of personal computers, which had recently been released. In response, IBM threatened legal action to protect its technology.
Fragment of Babbage's Difference Engine
Fragment of Babbage's Difference Engine
 
Babbage's Analytical Engine Passes the First Test
The Analytical Engine of Charles Babbage was never completed in his lifetime, but his son Henry Provost Babbage completed portions of its "Mill," the part of the machine that carried out computation, using his father's drawings. The younger Babbage wrote, "The iron top and bottom frame plates were cast in 1880, and the work was carried on, somewhat intermittently, until the 21st. of January 1888, when the machine produced a table from 1st. to 44th. multiples of π to twenty-nine places of figures..." The results were later published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, April 1910.
Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak
Steven Jobs and Stephen Wozniak
 
Apple Computer Launches the Macintosh
Apple Computer launches the Macintosh, the first successful mouse-driven computer with a graphic user interface, with a single $1.5 million commercial during the Super Bowl. Apple's commercial played on the theme of George Orwell's 1984 and featured the destruction of Big Brother -- a veiled reference to IBM -- with the power of personal computing found in a Macintosh.
Noyce's practical integrated circuit allowed printing of conducting channels directly on the silicon surface
Noyce's practical integrated circuit allowed printing of conducting channels directly on the silicon surface
 
Robert Noyce Conceives the Idea for a Practical Integrated Circuit
Robert Noyce, as a co-founder and research director of Fairchild Semiconductor, was responsible for the initial development of silicon mesa and planar transistors, which led to a commercially applicable integrated circuit. In 1968, Noyce went on to found Intel Corp. with Gordon Moore and Andy Grove.
IBM's SSEC
IBM's SSEC
 
IBM Dedicates the SSEC
IBM dedicates the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC). Later the SSEC was put on public display near the company's Manhattan headquarters so passers-by could watch its operational speed. Before its decommissioning in 1952, the SSEC produced the moon-position tables used for plotting the course of the 1969 Apollo flight to the moon.
Original Macintosh, 1984.
Original Macintosh, 1984.
 
Apple Macintosh is released.
Apple Computer, Inc. released its Macintosh computer with an unprecedented media campaign, including a groundbreaking TV commercial shown during the 1984 Super Bowl. Selling for about 2,500 dollars, the Mac used a Motorola 68000 microprocessor and had 128k of RAM (memory). The Macintosh's graphical user interface (GUI) was revolutionary and led to its rapid adoption in education, desktop publishing and graphic design. Early sales were brisk, with 70,000 units sold in the first one hundred days after its introduction.
 
Robot Kills Auto Worker
Robert Williams of Michigan was the first human to be killed by a robot. He was 25 years old. The accident at the Ford Motor Company resulted in a $10 million dollar lawsuit. The jury deliberated for two-and-a-half hours before announcing the decision against Unit Handling Systems, a division of Litton Industries. It ordered the manufacturer of the one-ton robot that killed Williams to pay his family $10 million. The robot was designed to retrieve parts from storage, but its work was deemed too slow. Williams was retrieving a part from a storage bin when the robot's arm hit him in the head, killing him instantly. In the suit, the family claimed the robot had no safety mechanisms, lacking even a warning noise to alert workers that it was nearby.
 
Electronic vs. Paper Books in SF Library
The New York Times chronicles the debate between electronic and paper books in an article about the new San Francisco Public Library. Critics complained that the library sacrificed too much book space for computer terminals and too many books for online information, lamenting as well the end of the traditional card catalogue that has marked a move to the information age for many libraries.