### milestones in IT development

**1617**. Scottish mathematician John Napier invents logarithms and constructs set of ‘rods’ or ‘bones’ for performing mechanical calculations.

**1642**. French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal constructs and demonstrates a mechanical adding machine.

**1666**. German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz writes on the value of binary numbers in *De Arte Combinatore*.

**1694**. Leibniz constructs first mechanical device to successfully perform all four arithmetic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).

**1804**. French engineer Joseph Jacquard develops punched card system for programming looms – weaving cloth to match a set of commands. Holes in the cards correspond to binary Open/Closed. This system of in-putting data into machines persists until 1960s

**1823**. English engineer Charles Babbage invents The Difference Engine – the first mechanical computer.

**1834**. Babbage designs and starts to build ‘Analytic Engine’ – Augusta Lovelace [Byron’s daughter] writes the first computer program.

**1847**. English mathematician George Boole publishes ‘Mathematical Analysis of Logic’ and uses the ideas of binary numbering to fuse logic with algebra.

**1925**. American engineer Vannevar Bush designs and builds the first multipurpose mechanical analogue computer.

**1936**. English mathematician Alan Turing puts together binary notation and Boolean logic to produce tests for mathematical probability. He proposes ‘Universal Turing Machine’ – a theoretical construct which contains all the logical and mathematical elements of what would be a modern analogue computer.

**1940**. American electrical engineer Claude Shannon uses Boolean logic to optimise relay-switching circuits in his MA thesis at MIT.

**1945**. Vannevar Bush publishes ‘As We May Think’ in *Atlantic Monthly*, outlining what we now call ‘hypertext’. Hungarian mathematician John van Neumann conceives the first stored computer program.

**1948**. First computer using stored program built at Manchester University. Turing’s proposal for a ‘Turing Computing Engine’.

**1962**. ‘Spacewar’ – first graphical computer game.

**1968**. Douglas Englebart demonstrates ‘windows’ and mouse in San Francisco.

**1969**. Myron Krueger develops first prototypes of virtual reality.

**1974**. Ted Nelson self-publishes *Computer Lib* and *Dream Machines* outlining his ideas on hypertext in paper form. Standard General Markup Language (SGML) first invented as a universal publishing language.

**1975**. Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft

**1978**. Philips and Sony introduce the laserdisk (analogue video)

**1981**. IBM introduces the first PC

**1983**. Microsoft launches its first version of Windows. Myron Krueger *Artificial Reality*

**1984**. Apple-Mac launched – DNS (Domain Naming System) introduced – Number of Internet hosts reaches 1,000

**1985**. Commodore Amiga launched (powerful graphics facility) – First Amstrad released in UK.

**1987**. Ted Nelson’s *Literary Machines* describes Project Xanadu – his scheme for electronic commerce and micro-payments. Hypercard (hypertext program) added to the Apple-Mac. Number of Internet hosts reaches 10,000

**1989**. Tim Berners-Lee develops Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) and the World Wide Web at CERN in Geneva. Howard Rheingold’s *Tools for Thought*. Number of Internet hosts reaches 100,000

**1990**. Archie (search tool) released by McGill University. Microsoft launches Windows 3.0

**1991**. CERN launches the World Wide Web. Howard Rheingold’s *Virtual Reality* – an early work on the sociology of computer users. Gopher (search tool) released by University of Minnesota.

**1992**. Veronica (search tool) released by University of Nevada. Number of Internet hosts reaches 1,000,000

**1993**. Marc Andreessen, NCSA, and University of Illinois develop Mosaic – the first graphical interface to the WWW. A recorded 341,634 per cent growth rate in Web traffic.

**1994**. First eCommerce (shopping malls and banks) arrive on the Web, and Web traffic second only to FTP-data transfers. Linux 1.0 open source operating system released.

**1995**. First search engines developed. Sun launches JAVA programming.

**1996**. Browser wars begin between Netscape and Microsoft. Web censorship in China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Germany, and New Zealand.

**1998**. Extensible Markup Language (XML) introduced. Dotcom boom takes off. Estimated size of Web – 320 million pages.

**2000**. Dotcom crash begins (April). Size of Web estimated at one billion pages.

**2003**. Google claims a searchable database of 3.6 billion web pages.

**2005**. Google claims a searchable database of 8.2 billion web pages.

**2006**. Google claims a searchable database of 25 billion web pages.

**2008**. Google claims a searchable database of 1.0 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) web pages.

© Roy Johnson 2009

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