Category Archives: IBM

From the Archives: The IBM 701 and Software-as-a-Service

Sixty years ago today, the IBM 701 was formally announced.  Its official name was the Defense Calculator, “specifically selected to appeal to the patriotism of the older Watson and to avoid the use of the unacceptable word, computer,” according to Emerson Pugh … Continue reading

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15th Anniversary of Deep Blue Glory

Today in 1997, an IBM computer called IBM Deep Blue beat the world chess champion after a six-game match: two wins for IBM, one for the champion and three draws. The match lasted several days and received massive media coverage around the … Continue reading

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Computer Tape Automation Born

Fifty years ago today, IBM announced the Hypertape Automatic Cartridge Loader, the first device to permit automatic loading and unloading of magnetic tape for electronic computers. Ten years earlier, IBM introduced the magnetic tape drive vacuum column, making it possible for … Continue reading

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Think, Think, Think

Today in 1997, Apple Computer launched the “Think different” marketing campaign. The campaign’s television commercials featured black-and-white footage of 17 iconic 20th century personalities and a free-verse poem read by Richard Dreyfuss:

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Spinning Disks

Fifty-five years ago today, IBM introduced the disk drive. In 1953, Arthur J. Critchlow, a young member of IBM’s advanced technologies research lab in San Jose, California, was assigned the task of finding a better information storage medium than punch-cards. … Continue reading

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Birth of the IBM PC

Thirty years ago today, IBM announced the IBM Personal Computer, model 5150. The PC featured a 4.77MHz Intel 8088 CPU containing 29,000 transistors, 16KB RAM (64KB standard, expandable to 256KB), 40KB ROM, one or two Tandon brand 5.25-inch floppy drives (160KB capacity), a … Continue reading

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Computing Milestones

Sixty-five years ago today, the Subcommittee on Large-Scale Computing Devices (LCD) of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) was formed, evolving in 1963 into the IEEE. Also today, in 1944, the IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC)–also known as the … Continue reading

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Typographer Invented

Today in 1829, William Austin Burt, a surveyor from Mount Vernon, Michigan, received a patent for the typographer, the earliest forerunner of the typewriter. Fifty years ago this month (July 31), IBM introduced the IBM Selectric, replacing typebars and the moving carriage with … Continue reading

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The Internet of Things Launched

Today in 1974, a Universal Product Code (UPC) label was used to ring up purchases at a supermarket for the first time. The first UPC ever scanned is on a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum (now on display at the Smithsonian’s National … Continue reading

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What’s the Big Idea? IBM @100

Today in 1911, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company was incorporated. It changed its name to IBM in 1924. Many commentators on IBM’s centenary attribute its longevity to the power of idea or ideas.

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