4. Fourth Generation (1971-1991) – microprocessor

4. Fourth Generation (1971-1991) – microprocessor

  • 1971 – Gilbert Hyatt at Micro Computer Co. patented the microprocessor; Ted Hoff at Intel in February introduced the 4-bit 4004, a VSLI of 2300 components, for the Japanese company Busicom to create a single chip for a calculator; IBM introduced the first 8-inch “memory disk”, as it was called then, or the “floppy disk” later; Hoffmann-La Roche patented the passive LCD display for calculators and watches; in November Intel announced the first microcomputer, the MCS-4; Nolan Bushnell designed the first commercial arcade video game “Computer Space”
  • 1972 – Intel made the 8-bit 8008 and 8080 microprocessors; Gary Kildall wrote his Control Program/Microprocessor (CP/M) disk operating system to provide instructions for floppy disk drives to work with the 8080 processor. He offered it to Intel, but was turned down, so he sold it on his own, and soon CP/M was the standard operating system for 8-bit microcomputers; Bushnell created Atari and introduced the successful “Pong” game
  • 1973 – IBM developed the first true sealed hard disk drive, called the “Winchester” after the rifle company, using two 30 Mb platters; Robert Metcalfe at Xerox PARC created Ethernet as the basis for a local area network, and later founded 3COM
  • 1974 – Xerox developed the Alto workstation at PARC, with a monitor, a graphical user interface, a mouse, and an ethernet card for networking
  • 1975 – the Altair personal computer is sold in kit form, and influenced Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
  • 1976 – Jobs and Wozniak developed the Apple personal computer; Alan Shugart introduced the 5.25-inch floppy disk
  • 1977 – Nintendo in Japan began to make computer games that stored the data on chips inside a game cartridge that sold for around $40 but only cost a few dollars to manufacture. It introduced its most popular game “Donkey Kong” in 1981, Super Mario Bros in 1985
  • 1978 – Visicalc spreadsheet software was written by Daniel Bricklin and Bob Frankston
  • 1979 – Micropro released Wordstar that set the standard for word processing software
  • 1980 – IBM signed a contract with the Microsoft Co. of Bill Gates and Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer to supply an operating system for IBM’s new PC model. Microsoft paid $25,000 to Seattle Computer for the rights to QDOS that became Microsoft DOS, and Microsoft began its climb to become the dominant computer company in the world.
  • 1984 – Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh personal computer January 24.
  • 1987 – Bill Atkinson of Apple Computers created a software program called HyperCard that was bundled free with all Macintosh computers. This program for the first time made hypertext popular and useable to a wide number of people. Ted Nelson coined the terms “hypertext” and “hypermedia” in 1965 based on the pre-computer ideas of Vannevar Bushpublished in his “As We May Think” article in the July 1945 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.

Intel 4004 microprocessor in 1971, from Intel Museum

Apple I of 1976 , from Smithsonian NMAH

Wozniak and Jobs introduced Apple II in 1977, from History of Apple

MITS Altair 8800A 1975 from SDCM – cu

Apple II personal computer 1978 with 5.25-inch Disk drives, from SDCM –cu

IBM 5151 personal computer 1981, from SDCM –cu

Seagate ST-251 5-inch 40 MB hard drive 1978, from SDCM – cu

Memorex Model 101 hard drive, 10 MB, 1983, from SDCM – cu

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