A Brief History of Computers and the Internet

The history of both computers and the internet are vast topics. Here I hope to touch on some of the significant and/or interesting people and technological breakthroughs that led up to the dawn of the modern Internet.

The prevalence of PCs and use of the internet has seen an explosive growth in the last 30 years. We'll talk about this more on another day, and throughout the rest of the semester to give context to other lessons where relevant.

Early (Mechanical) Computers

The Binary System

Portrait of George Boole
George Boole (1815-1864) mathematician, philosopher, logician

The Analytical Engine

Portrait of Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) mathematician, philosopher, inventor, mechanical engineer
Portrait of Ada Lovelace
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)

Electromagnetic Computers and Pioneering Theories

Portrait of Konrad Zuse
Konrad Zuse (1910-1995) German civil engineer, inventor
Portrait of Alan Turing
Alan Turing (1912-1954) mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner
Portrait of Grace Hopper
Grace Murray Hopper (1906-1992) American Computer Scientist, US Navy rear admiral
ENIAC Computer
ENIAC Computer
UNIVAC Computer
UNIVAC Computer at NASA

The Personal Computer

Kilby Integrated Circuit
Jack Kilby's first integrated circuit, 1958

The Homebrew Computer Club (mid-1970s)

The Trinity of Personal Computers (1977)

Commodor PET 2001 series computer
Commodore PET 2001 Series Computer (source)
Apple II Computer
Apple II Computer (source)
Tandy (Radioshack) TRS-80
Tandy (Radioshack) TRS-80 Computer (source)

Setting the Stage for Modern Operating Systems (1981)

IBM PC model 5150, 1981
IBM PC model 5150
PC-DOS logo
PC-DOS logo
PC-DOS screenshot
PC-DOS 1.10 screenshot
Windows 1.0 screenshot
Windows 1.0 screenshot
The first computer mouse
The Apple Macintosh

Early Networks, ARPANET

DEC VT100 Terminal
DEC VT100 Terminal
ARPANET map 1974
ARPANET map 1974 (source)

The Internet

Portrait of Tim Burners-Lee
Tim Burners-Lee