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Electronics The Digital Revolution

The Digital and Electronic Revolution some important milestones

We could not in all fairness separate out Electrical / Electronics / Digital / Computers / Internet for the History Timeline Below because often each is incumbent on earlier milestones that may not seem instantly apparent. Just a couple of examples We would not have Personal Computers if Microprocessor did not exist and they would not exist if Transistors were not invented , each of those is dependent on earlier steps, I could have taken it back to Electricity or Valves for example but decided to start from Transistors as they are the building block for everything else in our digital age. In the same way Google would not exist without the Internet and the Internet Would Not Exist without the early work on ARPANET 40 Years Ago. This Page Lists The First Use or First Sales Of Technological Advances . It would also be impossible to include each and every new technology step, so I have included those I personally believe are milestones ( If I have missed any Important steps please please take the time to let me know )


The Transistor is invented

ENIAC, one of the world's first digital computers, is turned on after a memory upgrade. It will remain in continuous operation until October 2, 1955.


Random Access Storage Device For Computer England by Freddie William's team

Transistor Radio demonstrated By Bell Labs


The Manchester Mark 1 Computer fully operational ( Ferranti / British Government / Freddie William's team


The world's first commercially available computer The Ferranti Mark 1 Released


First pocket practical transistor radio available to buy the " Regency TR-1" from Texas Instruments goes on sale for $49.95 equiv. $370 at today's value.


First production hard disk created by IBM the "IBM 305" storing five megabytes


The MicrochipCo-Invented Independently by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor


IBM ships the first 1401 Data Processing System using Solid-state devices including transistors and the new generation of IBM Hard Discs.


Computer Mouse Prototype invented by Douglas Engelbart and Bill English, It was more than 20 years later that the public first gained any idea of how it could and would be used when it appeared in the Apple Macintosh in 1984


BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), an easy to learn high level programming language is introduced.

IBM announces the System/360. . Many consider this Computer to be one of the most important steps forward in Computer design for businness users due to it's design concept allowing for companies to start with a cheap basic model and then upgrade to larger systems as their needs increased ( Many will quote the IBM/360 as the first true mainframe and it achieved fantastice success helping to make IBM dominent in the Computer industry for many years.

Sony introduces the first VCR Home Video Recorder

Betamax 1965

Sony introduces the first Betamax video recorder


Creation of ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet

UNIX is developed by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs


Intel releases world's first microprocessor, the 4004.

Texas Instruments releases the first pocket calculator

8" Floppy Disk Drives Introduced


First scientific hand-held calculator (HP-35) introduced (price $395).

Atari Pong Introduced As an Arcade Game In A Large Box finding a place alongside traditional Pinball Machines


The first use of UPC or Universal product Code BAR CODE UPC scanner ( 1952 for first bar code use but not UPC ) or the standard used today


The name "Micro-soft" (for microcomputer software) and Microsoft becomes a registered trademark

The Microcomputer Altair 8800 is released

Steven Sasson, an engineer at Eastman Kodak creates the first working Digital Camera

Cray-1 , the first commercially developed supercomputer, invented by Seymour Cray Installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory the next year


Apple Computer Company is formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak

Matsushita introduces the VHS home video cassette recorder to compete with Sony's Beta max system.

Ink Jet Printer Technology Created


The first Apple II computers went on sale

Atari Games Console 2600


Space Invaders Launches Craze for Computer Video Games

The first computer BBS bulletin board system is created

Bell Labs launched a trial of first commercial cellular network


Sony introduces the Sony Walkman costing $200.00


Digital Equipment Corporation, Intel and Xerox introduce the DIX standard for Ethernet

Release of Pac-Man arcade game

First available Domestic Camcorders available in Japan


IBM in US launches it's first IBM PC which uses Microsoft Software MS DOS

The term INTERNET first mentioned

MS-DOS released by Microsoft


Times man of The Year is THE COMPUTER

First CD player Made By Sony goes on sale in Japan


ARPANET officially changes to use the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

Lotus 1-2-3 is released

IBM releases the IBM PC XT

Microsoft Word is first released

Swatch introduce their first watches

The first hand held mobile phone becomes commercially available


The first Apple Macintosh goes on sale

Sony makes the first 3 1/2" computer disk Which will replace the older style floppy disks


The first .Com domain name,, is registered by the Symbolics corporation. However, .edu domains, for educational institutions, still predominate over the commercial .com ones

Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.


EMAP ( Internet Mail Access Protocol ) defined for e-mail transfer

The 386 series of microprocessor introduced by Intel.

IBM unveils the PC Convertible, the first laptop computer.


The first major computer virus infects computers connected to the Internet.


The first of 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System is placed into orbit

Nintendo begin selling the Game Boy in Japan

The 486 series of microprocessor introduced by Intel.

First release of Microsoft Office. which was a bundle of Microsoft's office applications, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel , Dependent on the Version you purchased would depend on which applications were included


Microsoft Releases Windows 3.0

A 16 megabit chip is shown for the first time


The first GSM Mobile Phone network opened in Europe

Internet is made available to unrestricted commercial use and number of computers on the net reaches 1 million

Tim Berners-Lee introduces the web browser. called WorldWideWeb

Microsoft Releases MS Dos 5.0

Sega Game Gear Handheld

Super Nes


The Pentium microprocessor introduced by Intel.

Windows NT 3.1 released by Microsoft

The World Wide Web was born at CERN


Worlds First Satellite Digital Television Service Launched

Netscape Navigator released quickly becoming market leader for browsing the web

David Filo and Jerry Yang start creating Their Own Personal Guide To The Internet which transforms to Yahoo

Jeff Bezos founds Amazon as an Online Bookstore


Windows 95 released by Microsoft

Microsoft Launches MSN for online services and ISP

DVD, optical disc storage media format, is announced.

Craig Newmark creates craigslist to allow free online classified advertisements


Ebay the online auction and shopping website, where people buy and sell goods and services worldwide.

In 12 months number of Internet host computers goes from 1 million to 10 million

Windows NT 4.0 released by Microsoft

Internet Explorer 3 web browser released

Ask Jeeves formed.


Internet Explorer version 4 released

Microsoft becomes the worlds most valuable company valued at $261 billion dollars


The Search Engine Google is founded.

Apple Computer unveils the iMac.

Nintendo Game Boy Color Handheld

Windows 98 released by Microsoft


The year 2000 problem known as the Y2K problem and the millennium bug was the most important thing on most companies minds in 1999. Critical industries (such as electricity or financial) and government functions could stop working at 12:00 AM, January 1, 2000. This fear was fuelled by the press coverage and other media speculation, as well as corporate and government reports. All over the world companies and organizations checked and upgraded their computer systems.

My Space was officially introduced to the Internet

Bluetooth announced.

The initial release of Napster

Internet Explorer version 5 released

The "Melissa" e-mail virus, infects more than 1 million computers worldwide causing more than $80 million in damage, clogging up E-Mail Systems around the world

Pyra Labs launches Blogger as a free Blogging Service charging for additional premium features


Following the fear and uncertainty about the millennium bug the world did not end, transportation, governments and business all went OK with just a few minor glitches on January 1st

The Dot Com Bubble Bursts and thousands of DotComs go bust


Wikipedia, a Wiki free content encyclopedia, goes online

Apple Computer releases the iPod.

Microsoft releases Windows XP

Napster is closed down by court order following an injunction on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),


Microsoft Xbox Released

The Creative Zen digital audio players released


Official Launch Of Myspace as a Social Networking Site

Google Aquires Pyra Labs and Blogger

WordPress Launches as a personal publishing system ( Blog )


Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz begin running The Facebook Social Networking Site Fulltime ( Facebook was earlier called thefacebook )

Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim create the online Video Sharing Site Youtube


The one billionth song is purchased from Apple iTunes.

Nintendo releases the Wii in North America with an MSRP of US$249.99

Google purchases YouTube for US$1.65 billion in stock

Jack Dorsey Creates the Online micro-blogging service Twitter


Apple Introduces The iPhone

Apple Introduces The new Itouch with built in WiFi and touch screen

Following it's introduction in late 2006 Nintendo Wii with it's motion sensitive controllers is the game system in demand.


Apple sells the new ultra-thin MacBook Air notebook that is less than an inch thick and turns on the moment it's opened.

Microsoft attempts to buy Yahoo for $44.6bn


Microsoft launches it's new search Engine Bing