The Time Tunnel

The beginning_d.

History of an amazing machine

Jack St. Clair Kilby

(1923-2005 )

Engineer who grew up in Kansas and who independently invented the integrated circuit in 1958 at Texas Instruments, at the same time Robert Noyce was inventing it at Fairchild Semiconductor. The integrated circuits saved space, did away with the time consuming need for wiring components together, and enhanced reliability, and both Faichild and Texas Instruments began mass-producing them in 1962. In essence, the integrated circuit laid the foundation for modern microelectronics. Along with Jerry D. Merryman and James Van Tassel, Kilby also helped invent the first electronic handheld calculator by adapting the integrated circuit.


John Backus

(1924-2007)

Mathematician from Philadelphia who headed the IBM research team that created FORTRAN, the first machine-independent programming language that could be used on more than one computer. This language gave programmers a quicker, cheaper, and more reliable way of programming and became a standard.


Seymour Cray

1925-1996

Wisconsin born inventor who made the computer "super" and fast with his innovations and also founded the Control Data Corp. with William Norris and seven others. The long list of computers Cray designed or helped design includes the UNIVAC 1103, the 1604, and the CDC 7600 (often considerd the first supercomputer).



1977.Apple radioshack commodore.

Douglas Engelbart

(1925-2013 )

Oregon native who is famous for inventing and patenting the first computer mouse in 1963. He holds about 20 patents, mostly for basic features in microcomputing. He created the first two dimensional system and also unveiled such things as shared-screen viewing and mixed-text graphics, seeing early on that computers could be tools instead of giant adding machines. Finally, he founded the Bootstrap Institute, which encourages companies to collaborate on inventions.

John Kemeny

1926-1992

Hungarian native and Dartmouth mathematician who co-developed BASIC in 1964, along with Thomas Kurtz, because they wanted a simple computer language. The Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, which is often considered the biginner's bible in computing, is still included with almost every microcomputer. However, the language has many variations because the two men didn't copyright it. In the 1980's, they developed True BASIC, a more powerful version of BASIC that met ANSI and ISO standards. As a side note, as a doctoral student at Princeton, Kemeny was physicist Albert Einstien's research assistant.


Robert Noyce

1927-1990

Iowa electrical engineer who independently invented the integrated circuit in 1958 at Fairchild Semiconductor with the help of Gordon Moore, at the same time Jack Kilby was inventint it at Texas Instruments. Noyce used a planar process and discovered that silicon's conductivity was better than germanium's. The integrated circuits saved space, did away with the time-cosuming neeed for wiring components together, and enhanced reliability. Both Fairchild and Texas Instruments began mass-producing them in 1962. Noyce went on to co-found Intel Corp. in 1968, along with Moore, and in 1988, Noyce was named CEO of Sematech, a government-industry consortium that succeeded in its goal of advancing computer chip technology in the United States.


Bob Evans

(1927-2004)

Nebraskan who helped create IBM's 360 series, which was the first family of compatible processors, a cornerstone for future computers, and the basis for IBM's most durable and influential engineers until he left the company at age 57 for Hambrecht & Quist Inc.


Jean E. Sammet

(1928- )

New York-born leading expert on the history of programming languages. She developed FORMAC, the first widely used language for manipulating symbolic mathematical expressions, while at IBM and also wrote "Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals," which is often cosidered the standard book about programming languages. She was the first female president of the Association for computing machinery (ACM), the main professional society of the computer industry.

Thomas Kurtz

(1928- )

Illinois-born mathematician who co-developed BASIC in 1964, along with John Kemeny, because they wanted a simple computer language. The Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, which is often considered the beginner's bible in computing, is still included with almost every microcomputer. However, the language has many variations because the two men didn't copyright it. In the 1980's, they developed True BASIC, a more powerful version of BASIC that meets ANSI and ISO standards.


Gordon Moore

(1929- )

California native who helped Robert Noyce develop the semiconductor chip at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1958, at the same time Jack Kilby was inventing one at Texas Instruments. Noyce and Moore later co-founded the Intel Corp.


John Warnock

(1940-)

Invented PostScript PDL (Page description language), a major factor leading to the desktop publishing revolution. He and Charles Geschke founded Adobe Systems in 1982 to create desktop publishing.


Gordon Bell

(1934- )

Missouri-born engineer who made influential innovations in the design of everything from small computers to multiprocessors. Among these innovations were the open bus structure and general registers for memory addressing. He worked for Digital Equipment Corp., where he designed the company's first minicomputers and time-sharing computers. He later founded Encore computing, worked for the National science foudation, founded the Computer Museum in Boston with his wife, Gwen, and focused his efforts on the necessity on videotelephony.


Ted Nelson

(1937- )

Nelson coined the term "hypertext" in 1965. Hypertext refers to text that doesn't need to be linear, meaning it can link to or reference other texts. Nelson was one of the first to implement hypertext and the subsequent hypermedia (describing texts, pictures, sound and video that link to other media in a nonlinear way). Nelson also proposed Xanadu, which would put the world's literacy collection online and deal with copyright and accounting problems.

Marcian Hoff Jr.

(1937- )

Intel engineer who created a general-purpose programmable logic chip called the 4004. This first single chip microprocessor had the circuitry of a central processor on one silicon chip and yielded the microcomputer when paired with only four other chips. Hoff was aided by Federico Faggin and Stanley Mazor.


Donald Knuth

(1938- )

Milwaukee-born programmer, author, musician, and professor emeritus at Stanford who has written three volumes of a planned seven-volume book series called "The art of Programming," which is a summary of basic computer science. It already has been traslated into several languages. Knuth also developed a scientific typesetting language called tex and an alphabet design system called Metafont. He's published a scholarly book about the Bible, writes fiction, and built an 8 foot-high pipe organ.


Paul Brainerd

(1947- )

Former Minnesota newspaperman who founded Aldus Corp., the company that popularized desktop publishing (a term that Brainerd himself coined). His revolutionary program, Aldus page maker, let users chage and view type styles without typing tedious codes and to combine and manipulate text and imported graphics on a page. All of this could be done with a low-cost computer and laser printer. Brainerd, who grew up in Oregon, sold Aldus in 1994 and founded the Brainerd Foundation, which is dedicated to protecting the environment in the Pacific Northwest.


Mitchell Kapor

(1950- )

New York-born software designer who created Lotus 1-2-3, along with Jonathan Sachs, and founded Lotus Development in 1982 in Cambridge, Mass. He made Dan Bricklin's electronic spredsheet (VisiCalc) a more powerful and friendly tool, and Lotus 1-2-3 has gone on to become the world's most widely used application. Kapor resigned from Lotus in 1986. Ironically, he had once tried (unsuccessfully) to interest IBM in Lotus 1-2-3; eventually, IBM ended up taking over Lotus. In 1990, along with Steve Wozniak, Kapor co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit civil liberties group dedicated to understanding the social impact of the digital revolution in a free and open society. Kapor also founded ON Techology, a developer of software appications for workgroup computing, and he is now an adjunct professor in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT.


Steven Wozniak

(1950- )

Electrical engineer from California who co-founded Apple Computer, along with Steve Jobs, after creating the Apple computer in Jobs' parents'garage. (Wozniak is generally considered the "father" of the Apple and Jobs the ambitious force.) The pair founded Apple computer Inc. In 1976 and created the phenomenally successful Apple II, which moved the PC industry into the big time and chaged Apple from a garage company to a multimillion dollar one. Apple is noted for the user-friendliness of its Macintosh. Some consider "Woz" the peston most responsible for making the PC and Silicon Valley what they are. In 1985, he left Apple for his own company, CL-9 (Cloud 9), which designed remote control products, and reportdly vowed that he wanted to abandon the computer business fo good. However, he now devotes his time to helping young people learn about computers. He also helped Mitch Kapor found the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit civil liberties group dedicated to understanding the social impact of the digital revolution and protecting online freedom.


Paul Allen

(1953- )

Former Boston engineer who, along with Bill Gates, wrote the software, a form of BASIC for MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) Altair. In the 1980's, IBM hired Allen and Gates to create an operating system fa a new PC. The pair purchased the rights to a simple operating system (manufactured by Seattle Computer Products) and use it as a template. In a decision with monumental repercussions for the computer industry, IBM chose to market the operating system under its own name while allowing another company, known as Microsoft (which was started by Allen and Gates), to retain the rights to market the operating system under its own name also. These new operating system, MS-DOS and PC DOS, soon became the most popular operating systems. Microsoft eventually became the largest software company in the world, leading the PC industry from the character oriented DOS to the graphical Widows operating systerm. Allen left the company in 1985 but remained on the board of directors and has since founded or supported financially several innovative computer ventures, including Asymetrix and Starware Corp. He is involved with a variety of other projects, including a Jimi Hendrix Museum in Seattle, The Allen foundation for the Arts, and the Paul Allen Group (founded to encourage communication among the companies in which he has invested).


Steven Jobs

(1955-2011 )

California college dropout who, along with Steve Wozniak, co-founded Apple Corp., after creating the Apple computer in Jobs' parents' garage. The pair later invented the phenomenally successful Apple II, which moved the computer industry into the big time and changed Apple Corp. from a garage company to a multimillion dollar one. Jobs was considered the ambitious one who controlled the business side. After he left Apple in 1985 (after a power struggle with president John Scully), he went on to co-found NeXT software inc., where he is chairman and CEO. Jobs is also the CEO of Pixar Inc., an animation company.


William Gates III

(1955- )

Seattle-born Harvard dropout who, along with Paul Allen, wrote the software, a form of BASIC, for the MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry systems) Altair. In the 1980s, IBM hired Gates and Allen to create an operating system for new PCs. The pair purchased the rights to a simple operating system (which was manufactured by Seattle Computer Products) and use it as a template. In a decision that had monumental repercussions in the computer industry, IBM then decided to market the operating system under its own name while allowing another company, known as Microsoft (which was formed by Gates and Allen), to retain the rights to the operating system's code and market the operating system under its own name as well. These two new operating systems, MS-DOS and PC DOS, soon became the most popular ones on the market, and Microsoft eventually became the largest software company in the world, leading the computer industry from the text-based DOS to the graphical Windows operating system.

On June 15 2006, Microsoft announced that Bill Gates has established a two-year transition plan that will enable him to spend more time on the foundation's work, starting in july 2008.

Melinda Gates has also confirmed her plans to continue encreasing her own daily involvement in our work. Microsoft chairman Bill Gate, said recently that by 2009, the biggest software company in the world should introduce an update to its window operating system, but this project is still in the planning stages.


Tim Berners-Lee

(1955-)

British Oxford graduate who is essentially the father of the World Wide Web. While working for European Paricle Physics Laboratory (CERN) in Geneva, he proposed a method that would let scietists browse each other's papers. For the project, he created a code Known as the hypertext Markup language (html) and a standard called the hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), with a Universal resource locator (URL) that could locate data. Berners-Lee is now the director of the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, an organization that aims to let the Web realize its full potential and ensure its stability as it rapidly evolves.


Alan Kay

(1940-)

Mathematician who is best known for conceiving the basic concepts of high-level, object oriented programming and subsequently designing smalltalk, the first completely object-oriented language, while working at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. Kay is sometimes called the father of the PC, and many of his ideas are common in personal computing. He's been with Apple computer since 1984.


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