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    Timelines – Computers

    Abacus (2400 BC): The origins of the computer can be traced back to the development of the abacus, an early counting device. Although it doesn’t compute in the way modern computers do, it set the foundation for manual calculation methods, which are crucial in the evolution of future computing systems.

    Analytical Engine (1837): Designed by Charles Babbage, the Analytical Engine is often cited as the first mechanical computer. It was created to evaluate any mathematical equation, no matter how complex, and is also known for being the first programmable machine.

    ENIAC (1945): The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) marks an important milestone in the digital age as it was the world’s first general-purpose electronic computer. Funded by the U.S. army during World War II, it covered 1800 square feet and weighed almost 50 tons.

    UNIVAC (1951): First commercially available computer, the Universal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC), was created by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly, the developers of ENIAC. It was used for business and administrative purposes, marking the realization of computers as a pragmatic tool.

    Integrated Circuits and Microprocessors (1958 – 1971): The integrated circuit (IC), a system of electronic circuits in a small semiconductor material chip, was invented by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce in 1958. This paved the way for Ted Hoff at Intel to develop the microprocessor in 1971, an entire CPU on a single chip, significantly advancing the speed and efficiency of computers.

    Apple II and IBM PC (1977 – 1981): Apple II, introduced in 1977, was one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputers. IBM followed with the Personal Computer (IBM PC) in 1981, which began to standardize the architecture of home computers.

    World Wide Web (1989): Although not a computer per se, the creation of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee changed the way computers are used, making them a tool for communication and information sharing, altering the face of technology forever.

    Cloud Computing (Late 1990s): With cloud computing, users can store and process information in shared data centers. Services like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure brought about a huge shift in computing paradigms, leading to the concept of ‘Computing as a service’.

    Smartphones and Tablets (2007 onwards): The inception of smartphones and tablets, such as the iPhone (2007) and the iPad (2010), represent a significant shift in the computer evolution timeline. These devices advanced mobile computing, incorporating communication, entertainment, and work in one handheld device.

    Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Current era): In the present era, AI and Machine Learning represent the forefront of computer technology, enabling systems to learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions with minimal human intervention.