Exactly 70 years ago this month the world’s first electronic programmable digital computer was created. It was called Colossus and was engineered in the UK by code breakers working during the Second World War. Colossus was first shown to be working on December 8th, 1943, exactly 70 years ago today. By the end of the war there were 10 Colossus machines in operation at Bletchley Park. The machines led to a vast amount of extremely important information being captured by the British government.
In 1953, a full 10 years later, it was estimated that there 100 computers in use around the world. Computers and their uses have changed significantly over the past 70 years – primarily government machines quickly proved their worth in the business landscape, and more recently they have become commonplace in homes too. The shapes and sizes of computers have also changed – from vast machines that occupied entire rooms to small hand held devices that need not be much longer than a few centimeters in length.
Akita, a London IT support company has produced a large interactive page and infographic to showcase the developments in technology. It can be viewed in full here: http://www.akita.co.uk/computing-history/ or as a static image below.
The infographic focuses on key themes of popular computing in each decade since the inception of Colossus. Some notable dates and information that it includes are;
1943 – Colossus machine is created
1951 – J. Lyons & Co., a British firm pioneered commercial applications for computing, introducing the LEO I computer
1952 – The UNIVAC computer correctly predicted the U.S. election results
1968 – Intel was founded
1969 – ARPANET was created – the proceeder to the modern day internet
1975 – Microsoft was founded
1977 – Apple was incorporated
1981 – ZX Sinclair home computers are released
1982 – The birth of the modern internet
1990 – Microsoft Office was released
2007 – Apple released the first generation of the iPhone, setting a new precedent for smartphone functionality
2012 – Research suggests over 75% of SMEs are now using cloud services