History and Introduction of computer
In 1971, the Italian engineer F. Faggin and the Americans T. Hoff and S. Mazer are those persons who launched the first microprocessor of the INTEL (4004), that is, the first IC means an integrated circuit that can condense in a 4 x 3 cm silicon chip, thanks to 2250 transistors, a complete logical unit of a computer (chip), which minimize the volume of the device, the calculation times and the financial costs. It was the first object to be mass-produced, always identical and with the same machinery, but which could work, with reprogramming, for thousands of different purposes.
Data and program memory were separate and eight-bit long instructions were processed four bits at a time. By making the central unit of the computer independent and arranging the memory and program on other chips, application to other equipment became inevitable. In fact, in 1972 the first pocket calculator was sold, equipped with the same calculation capacity as computers of 10 years ago.
The era of Video Games
In the same year, the era of video games was born in California, with the “Pong”: a ball that bounces on the screen and is relaunched by two bars that move with two potentiometers. But with Space Invaders (1978) and Pacman (1980), the progress becomes amazing.
In 1974 R. Moreno patented the microprocessor card which, instead of the magnetic tape, contains a logic circuit with a powerful memory.
In the same year, G. Kindall invents the universal computer operating program (CP / M), which allows the production of commercial software. Until 1974, each computer had its own operating system, i.e. the translation into the machine language of the instructions formulated by the user.
In 1976 the American R. Kurzweil created a computer capable of reading and recognizing any printed character (OCR system: Omnifont Character Recognition).
In the same year the first CRAY 1 supercomputer was born, capable of performing 180 million operations per second, thanks to 200 thousand integrated circuits mounted on 3400 cards and connected with 100 km of cables. It costs $ 17 million. In 1990 these machines will be able to perform 100 billion operations per second. (Today, scientists, after the unit of measurement in microseconds -one-millionth of a second-, prefer to speak of a nanosecond -one billionth of a second-, and we are already beginning to count in psychoseconds – one-thousandth of a billionth of a second).
Also in 1976, the first personal computer of APPLE (founded in 1975) was born. Revenue will drop from $ 1 million to $ 375 million a year in four years.
In 1978 HAYES launched on the market the first modem (modulator-demodulator), which transforms digital signals from computers into analogue signals, transmitted and received via the telephone. The user can thus connect with any other computer in the world.
Floppy Disk Invention
In the same year, APPLE and TANDY put on the market the first floppy disks (magnetic disks) that replace magnetic tapes, allowing the search for files in real-time. Meanwhile, the 8086 chip goes to 29,000 transistors in 1978.
In 1980, thanks to IBM, the MS / DOS system was born. APPLE rejects it. The inventor is 25-year-old Bill Gates, who at 15 years of age had set up MICROSOFT with a school friend. In the early 1990s, Gates, despite starting from scratch, became one of the wealthiest men in the USA.
First PC From IBM
In 1981 IBM launched its first PC with the MS / DOS system: it established itself as the world reference standard.
In 1982 the 80286 chip has 134 thousand transistors.
In 1983 the USA student F. Cohen made the first computer virus, which consisted of a set of apparently invisible instructions, capable of penetrating a computer via modem or floppy disk, causing destruction of files, memory etc.
In 1985 the 80386 chip has 275,000 transistors.
In 1988 PHILIPS and SONY in Japan launched the first interactive audio-video compact disk, in the sense that the user can interact with data, sounds, still or moving images, as part of a multimedia program. It combines the uses of music CDs (born in 1982) with optical discs used in the publishing (CD-ROM) and IT fields. 100,000 pages can fit on an 8 cm disc.
PHOTO-CDs was born in 1990, a hybrid photo-electronic system capable of digitizing traditional photographic images on 35 mm film and transferable onto a CD.
In 1989 the US inventor J. Lanier presented the first IT tools for virtual reality (three-dimensional artificial environments are recreated in which the user has the impression of moving, touching, acting, through sensors connected to computers: a helmet and electronic gloves send body movements to the computer and receive visual, auditory and tactile stimuli).
In the same year, the 80486 chip has 1.2 million transistors.