Pioneers of Computer History

In today’s lecture, we discussed the pioneers of Computer History and how their research helped develop technology.

The first person that came to mind was Alan Turing which I will be mentioning in my essay (see essay plan here). Turing was a British pioneer who invented the Turing machine (1936) which carried out the Turing test (1950) that determines whether a computer has reached the level of Artifical Intelligence.

It also brought to mind the ENIAC machine which I also mention briefly in my essay.In 1947, the ENIAC was the first electronic general-purpose machine which was Turing-complete and capable of solving a large class of numerical problems. It was constructed by computer pioneers Presper Eckert and John Mauchly who were the founders of  Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp.

In 1977 computers were introduced to people’s home. The first one to do so was the TRS-80 Model I computer, followed by the Commodore PET and the Apple II which were introduced within months of the TRS-80 with the difference being that these two computers came ready assembled and ready to run.

The Frame Buffer which was a device able to capture video was developed by the company Evans & Sutherland founded by David Evans and Ivan Sutherland in 1968. Shortly after, in 1970, Palt Alto Research Center (PARC) produced groundbreaking inventions such as the personal computer graphic user interface, Ethernet, the laser printer and object-oriented programming.

For gamers like me, 1980 is an important year because this was when brothers Doug and Gary Carlston created the first games: Galactic Empire, Galactic Trader and Galactic Revolution. I mean, take a look at the mind-blowing graphics this game had:



After that came the invention of the Internet which us humans nowadays cannot possibly function without. It baffles me to think how people used to go on about their lives with no internet since our lives today are so influenced and dependent on the Internet, not to mention the amount of knowledge and help we get from the limitless information the internet has to offer. Work started in the early 1960s and was made public to the United States for research and educational purposes  in the 1980s. It was then completely commercialized in the U.S. by 1995 when all restrictions on the use of the Internet were removed. The internet was then expanded to Europe and Australia in the mid to late 1980s and to Asia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Shortly after the World Wide Web was made available to the public thanks to the amazing Tim Berners-Lee.


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