Category Archives: History


Anniversary of Windows 1.0

Today is the anniversary of the day that Windows 1.0 was officially launched. Windows, developed by Microsoft, launched 1.0, a graphical personal computer operating system and it was the first of the well-known Windows line that we have come to love and rely on in recent years. Continue reading


Google founded September 4th 1998

Today, Google is the most widely used search engine, with users the world over utilising it as their portal in the web. The 4th of September 2014 marks sixteen years since the company was founded, so we thought we’d explore just how it came to be… Continue reading


Country Spotlight: Netherlands

The Netherlands is a small yet densely populated country and is the second largest exporter of goods after the United States. Ruled as a Kingdom by current monarch Willem-Alexander (since 2013), the country has been responsible for producing some of the world’s tallest people – men average a height of 184cm and women 170cm! On a more serious note, the Netherlands has also been the home of many different inventions and famous personages, including: Continue reading


Country Spotlight: Germany

Boasting the largest national economy in Europe and with a strong leaning toward engineering, manufacturing and the service industry, it is little wonder that Germany is one of the top markets for PDF editing software. We feel it is important to explore some of the major contributions German inventors and companies have made to the wider world, so below we explore just some of their famous scientists, engineers and innovations.

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Anniversary of the Rejection of the EU Software Patent Directive

The subject of software patents remains a complex and controversial one and in July 2005 the EU Software Patent Directive, a draft law that was 3 years in the making to provide a consistent and coherent approach to the granting of patents within the EU, was rejected by the European Parliament with a majority vote of 648 to 14.

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Image of IBM 650

IBM Announce the Model 650 Computer

In July 1953 IBM announced the release of the IBM 650 Magnetic Drum Data-Processing Machine, and such was its success that nearly 2,000 units were produced earning it the title of the world’s first mass-produced computer.

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The EDSAC

Anniversary of the EDSAC’s First Calculations

With early and significant breakthroughs being made in computing during the 1940’s, the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) earned its place in the history books as this first example of a stored program computer, which performed its first calculations at the University of Cambridge on 6th May 1949 in the form of a list of prime numbers and table of squares calculations.

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IBM Logo

IBM 370/135

42 years ago today IBM installed the first IBM 370/135 mainframe computer,  just one of the models included in the S370 series which IBM ran for nearly 20 years, achieving significant market share in the process.

 

Both developed and manufactured by IBM in the UK, the IBM 370/135 and 145 were the mid to lower end of the mainframe range, following on from the high end machines released in 1970 which superseded the System/360 family of computers.

 

Key features of the IBM 370/135 included:

 

  • 240,000 bytes of main memory capacity, four times greater than the S360/30 with Microcode reloadable control storage (RCS) supplementing this with a further 24,000 bytes.  The option was also available to increase the RCS to 36,000 or 48,000 bytes if required.
  • Monolithic circuitry that increased internal operating speeds, exceeding those of the S360/30 over four fold, resulting in speeds of 275 to 1,430 nanoseconds for one microinstruction completion.
  • ICAs – Integrated Communications Attachments allowing terminals to be linked to the central processor via up to 8 communication lines, without the need for separate control units.   The 370/135 also offered compatibility with virtually all of IBM’s terminal devices.
  • Expanded Channel capacity that enabled block multiplexing and increased system throughput.
  • Advanced self-checking features and console critical points status displays.
  • Increased disk storage, with optional integrated file adapter together with additional disk storage features were available, removing the need for separate disk control units.
  • Backward compatibility with the S/360 models, offered as standard with all 370/- models allowing customers easy migration to the 370/- mainframes.
  • OS/DOS program compatibility support.

 

With a starting price of nearly $500,000 ranging to over $1,000,000, rentals also proved popular with monthly contracts upwards of $10,000. Later additions to the 370/- portfolio saw the inclusion of full virtual memory before the range was finally superseded in the 1990’s by the IBM System/390.

 

Image credit: http://bit.ly/1nVE5EW

 


Anniversary of Windows Server 2003

 

April 24th 2003 saw the release of Windows Server 2003 by Microsoft, with the server operating platform set to provide greater performance and scalability compared to Windows 2000, its predecessor. At the same time as Windows Server 2003 Microsoft also launched Visual Studio .Net 2003 and the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2000, in turn enabling users to increase productivity with a more cost effective and reliable solution, as well as benefiting from a 30% increase in infrastructure efficiency that this new release offered over Windows NT 4.0

 

Following its beta version success, feedback confirmed that through Windows Server 2003 Microsoft were able to provide deployment cost reductions of up to 50% whilst providing a 40% increase in stability for some companies when compared to Windows NT 4.0.  Other benefits reported included a reduction of up to 30% in relation to the number of servers needed to achieve the same workload throughput with some customers also benefitting from a 20% reduction in management costs.

 

Windows Server 2003 was the first server designed to support Intel Itanium 64-bit systems and therefore able to serve high levels of demand and business workloads.  It offered increased scalability for those who needed it as well as a solution to meet the needs of the small business with simplicity and ease of use key features of the release.

 

Over 5,000 developers and 2,500 testers were involved in its production, Microsoft implemented 650 advancements and enhancements with Windows Server 2003 including increased security with changes made to default installation components and the IIS web server rewrite, as well as the first of Microsoft’s operating systems to be included in its Trustworthy Computing initiative, which it set up to address concerns regarding privacy, security and public confidence in the industry.  Further developments were evident in terms of improvements to Message Queuing, the Active Directory and Group Policy.  The Automated System Recovery which replaced rescue disk creation together with enhanced back up and disk management features were also included.  Greater management functionality was offered with the Manage Your Server Tool for administrators and support for watchdog timer for the restarting of a server was also included.

 

Microsoft offered Windows Server 2003 in five editions Web, Standard, Enterprise, Datacentre and Small Business and on December 6 2005, Windows Server 2003 RS was subsequently made available.

 

Windows Server 2003 would be succeeded by Windows Server 2008 following its release by Microsoft on 4th February 2008.

 

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1jA2DPF


Anniversary of the Launch of Apple’s OS X

Following the successful launch by Apple of the Mac OS X Server 1.0 on March 16th 1999, the Mac OS X desktop version known as Cheetah was released 2 years later on March 24th 2001 superseding the Mac OS 9.  The new generation of operating system was based on technology developed by Steve Jobs’ company NeXT through its OPENSTEP system, a move which saw Apple purchase NeXT and Jobs famously return to the company he co-founded taking the position of interim CEO.

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