Eight Significant Events in the 50 Year History of Computing

  • T. William Olle
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 145)


The history of computing is relatively short compared with that of any other area of human knowledge, be it science, engineering, medicine, law, or accounting. On the other hand, the development of the field has been meteoric and computing now occupies a position as a major employer of professional persons, a major facet of industry and a body of knowledge to be disseminated at educational institutions and used - hopefully as a benefit to mankind.

To have a broad perspective on the history of computing for the purposes of education, it is informative to review something like a fifty year period and to identify the really significant events which have paid a major role in developing computing technology as we see it and use it at the present time. This paper is inevitably subjective, but is based on the author’s fifty year involvement on different levels and in different facets of computing. The number “eight” is chosen, albeit arbitrarily, as a appropriate number for a subject such as computing.

Key words

Computing Significant Events 50 years Stored program Ferrite core memory Higher level languages Disc memory IBMSystem/360 Data base management Personal computers Internet 


  1. [7]
    “International Federation for Information Processing Working Group 2.1 ALGOL Bulletin 1959–1976”
  2. [15]
    Internet Society (ISOC) “All about the Internet: Brief history of the Internet”

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. William Olle
    • 1
  1. 1.T. William Olle AssociatesEngland

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