Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.


Happy Birthday UNIVAC!

Filed under: Apple,Deep Thoughts,Fun Work,Geek Work,Linux,MicroSoft,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Today is the birthday of UNIVAC.
According to Writer’s Almanac, it was on this day in 1951 the world’s first commercially produced computer was unveiled. UNIVAC, as it was known, weighed eight tons, used 5,000 vacuum tubes, and cost a quarter million dollars. But it could perform a thousand calculations per second, the fastest rate in the world at the time. The first one was bought by the U.S. Census Bureau. Not a big surprise, I guess, considering that no one else at the time had any idea what to use a computer for, besides quickly tabulating large numbers.
I remember a Troop Leader in Boy Scouts who worked on computers like this. He talked about the first “portable” calulators which were the size of laptops today, were filled with vacuum tubes, and could only add, subtract, multipy and divide. We’ve come a long way, baby! Now, we’ve got pretty graphics, free operating systems, and giant multi-national corporations all focused on selling us the next machine and suite of applications to go with it. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry and has almost generated a whole new economy. Heck, it’s what makes it possible for you to even read this.
I wonder what the next fifty years will bring in the computer world?

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