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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Curiosity - People that changed our lives in the history of information technologies


We are here, in this modern era with technology and intelligent digital devices all around us. We depend on them, we live with them, and they play very significant role in every society. Ask yourselves what can you do today without the help of any digital device ? Can you run a company without computers ? Can you even get in touch with your employees without phone's or email services ?

The answer is obvious. But again did you ever asked yourselves who did this impact on our lives and who is responsible behind all this rapid technological growth and evolution ? Lets talk about most important peoples that changed our lives and still we depend on their clever thinking and useful minds.

Who invented the first computer ?

Who invented the first computer is not a question with a simple answer. There have been a lot of major milestones throughout history that warrant mentioning. The adventure starts in the year 1936.

(In the left, Apples first macintosh computer)

1936- Konrad Zuse invented the Z1 Computer. This was the first computer that was freely programmable.
1942- John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry created the ABC Computer.
1944- John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly came up with the idea for the ENIAC 1 computer. It was the first real scenario where vacuum tubes were used.
1948- Frederic Williams and Tom Kilburn invented the Manchester Baby Computer and the Williams Tube.
1951-John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly create the first UNIVAC Computer
1962-Steve Russell and MIT invent the Spacewar Computer Game, which was the very first functional computer game on record
1973-Robert Metcalfe and Xerox combined talents and ushered in a new era with the advent of Ethernet Computer Networking.
1984-Apple invented the Macintosh Computer. It was the first affordable home computer and created an entirely new revolution in desk top computing.

Who invented the telephone ?

The time where information's started to travel through wires. Alexander Graham Bell was born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Alexander Melville Bell and Eliza Grace Symonds, daughter of a surgeon in the Royal Navy. In 1866 Bell carried out a series of experiments to determine how vowel sounds are produced. He combined the notes of electrically driven tuning forks to make vowel sounds which gave him the idea of "telegraphing" speech.

Bell's interest in electricity continued and he attempted to send several telegraph messages over a single wire at one time. Lacking the time and skill to make the equipment for these experiments he enlisted the help of Thomas A. Watson from a nearby electrical shop. The two became fast friends and worked together on the tedious experimentation to produce sounds over the "harmonic telegraph." It was on June 2, 1875, while Bell was at one end of the line and Watson worked on the reeds of the telegraph in another room that he heard the sound of a plucked reed coming to him over the wire. 

The next day, after much tinkering, the instrument transmitted the sound of Bell's voice to Watson. The instrument transmitted recognizable voice sound, not words. Bell and Watson experimented all summer and in September, 1875, Bell began to write the specifications for his first telephone patent. 

The patent was issued on March 7, 1876. The telephone carried its first intelligible sentence three days later in the rented top floor of a Boston boarding house at 109 Court Street, Boston.

Who invented the internet ?

Again the invention of the internet was not work of a single human. The Internet is just a way to view files and information that someone puts onto a server. The Internet is just a way to access the information. And this invention that is considered one of the biggest inventions in the world of technology was not developed by a single person. The Internet as we know it really got started in the early 1960s. An MIT researcher named J.C.R. Licklider started writing memos about his vision for an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. His idea: link computers together across the globe; and anybody near a computer could share information. 

The Internet was originally developed by DARPA - the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - as a means to share information on defense research between involved universities and defense research facilities. Many scientists played a significant role in the evolution of the internet. The internet did not just popup there. The development was dynamic and by the time of researching and experimenting the idea of connecting all computers over the glove in a single network started to become more real and visible.

But for curiosity the internet would not exist without these people :
Larry G. Roberts created the first functioning long-distance computer networks in 1965 and designed the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the seed from which the modern Internet grew, in 1966. 

Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf invented the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) which moves data on the modern Internet, in 1972 and 1973. If any two people "invented the Internet," it was Kahn and Cerf - but they have publicily stated that "no one person or group of people" invented the Internet. 

Radia Perlman invented the spanning tree algorithm in the 1980s. Her spanning tree algorithm allows efficient bridging between separate networks. Without a good bridging solution, large-scale networks like the Internet would be impractical.

Who created the first operating system ?

An operating system is a bunch of programs gathered and linked together to help us manage the work with our computer. These programs have a core from where they are managed. And this core is responsible for sending commands that invoke different programs to run that are programmed for the targeted task. According to wikipedia it is generally thought that the first operating system used for real work was GM-NAA I/O, produced in 1956 by General Motors' Research division for its IBM 704. (Most other early operating systems for IBM mainframes were also produced by customers.) 

Again the development was dynamic and the invention of complex hardware led to the need of a system that will operate all the work, so the birth of the operating systems started.

In 1980, IBM first approached Bill Gates of Microsoft, to discuss the state of home computers and what Microsoft products could do for IBM. Gates gave IBM a few ideas on what would make a great home computer, among them to have Basic written into the ROM chip. 

As for an operating system (OS) for an IBM computer, since Microsoft had never written an operating system before, Gates had suggested that IBM investigate an OS called CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers), written by Gary Kildall of Digital Research. Kindall had his Ph.D. in computers and had written the most successful operating system of the time, selling over 600,000 copies of CP/M, his operating system set the standard at that time. IBM tried to contact Gary Kildall for a meeting, executives met with Mrs Kildall who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement. IBM soon returned to Bill Gates and gave Microsoft the contract to write a new operating system, one that would eventually wipe Gary Kildall's CP/M out of common use. That was the Microsoft Disk Operating System or MSDOS. MS-DOS was based on Microsoft's purchase of QDOS, the "Quick and Dirty Operating System" written by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products, for their prototype Intel 8086 based computer.

Who created the first website ?

Websites, todays most important source of information. We surf on the internet and search for valuable informations. And the endpoind where the information is stored is a website. The website is a way of calling files and informations on the server and displaying them in a styled and paper-like view for us to read or watch. Who created the first website ? Well it's Tim Berners-Lee. On August 6, 1991 he launched he's first website from a lab in Swiss Alps.

It was just plain HTML with text displaying informations. Images and videos were not supported at that time, but today the web services are getting more and more intelligent and thus we are not only getting informed about events and news, but we also contact and see our friends and family online with live cameras and sound. Nowadays websites that play most significant role in our lives are social networks, online news-papers, ecomerce websites and entertainment websites.

Berners-Lee's site went live in 1991, and was accessed by a decidedly small audience of fellow CERN researchers. It wasn't until 1993, when web browser Mosaic was released, that the Web took off, as Wired explained last year.

Who created the very first electronic device

Most of the inventions we discussed above work on top of electronic devices. So who created the very first electronic device ? The first electronic device ever invented is the relay, a remote switch controlled by electricity that was invented in 1835 by Joseph Henry, an American scientist, although it is also claimed that the English inventor Edward Davy "certainly invented the electric relay" in his electric telegraph c.1835.

It made modern telegraphy possible and evolved into the repeater- thus the relay- a remote controlled switch, was in effect the first ( Electronic) device, though not anything involving crystals, diodes, vacuum tubes etc. The first invented Relay was used as part of his telegraph system circa 1844. It was used in long distance telegraph circuits, repeating the signal coming in from one circuit and re-transmitting it to another.

Since then, relays found extensive use in telephone exchanges and early computers to perform logical operations.


The list of inventions can go on and on. We cannot talk about all peoples that dedicated their entire life to the growth of today's technology. However a brief listed inventions that where responsible for invoking other inventions where discussed in the text above. Hopefully they will be inspiring for you to make your first step that could surprisingly change the world.

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