Computer Innovation Anniversaries: The PC is 25, Hard Drive 50, and iPod 5

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California hosted a symposium last month to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Intel’s microprocessor. But that’s only the beginning of milestone anniversary dates in computer history this year. As a result, anniversary celebrations seem to be on the rise in Silicon Valley. Some are attributing this to the computer industry coming to terms with no longer being as young as it once was. Whatever the case, here is a list of the most notable computer innovation anniversaries for this year:

  • The iPod is five years old as of October.
  • The IBM personal computer turns 25.
  • The first hard-disk drive is 50 years old (the original model was the size of a cupboard and stored five megabytes).
  • This year is also the 60th anniversary of the first general purpose digital electronic computer, the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), which weighed 27 tons.
  • And last but not least, the term “Silicon Valley” was first used by Electronic News editor Don Hoefler exactly 35 years ago.

We definitely have come a long way since the early years of computer infancy. Though the industry does seem to be quite a bit more mature, I think innovation now is as exciting as ever.

See this article in the Economist (subscription required) for more details.

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