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“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”



Although the first known calculator (abacus) in Babylon could be created in 2400 BC, this section will concentrate in recent centuries on the boom in the field of information technology.

In the early nineteenth century, the English engineer and polymath Charles Babbage conceptualized and invented the first mechanical machine. It was initially developed to assist navigational calculation, known as the ‘Difference Engine.’ In 1833, Babbage, also regarded as the ‘Computer Father’ invented a more general ‘Analytical Engine,’ which could be used in non-navigational fields. Funding limitations meant that Babbage had died without the completion of his machine, but his son Henry made the machine much easier in 1888 and was demonstrated to the public successfully in 1906.

In the mid 1900’s, early computers were not designed to solve the problem of torpedo fire on a moving target when a compacter electromechanical device using trigonometry had been mounted in the US underground.

Invention by German engineer Konrad Zuse in 1939, The Z2, the first electromechanical digital device used electrical switches to drive and relay calculations. Machines like Z2 had extremely low operating speeds and all electric machines like the first fully automatic 1941 Z3 developed by Zuse were gradually replaced more quickly.

Colossus, the world’s first programmable digital electronic computers, was developed between 1943 and 1945. Popularized by its use during World War II, Colossus used encrypted German messages from the Enigma machine to decrypt and decode them. In his 1936 seminal paper ‘On Computable Numbers’ (On Computable Numbers), English computer scientist, mathsmatician and biologist Alan Turing conceptualized modern computers.

The Manchester Mark 1 from the Victoria University in Manchester was also an early programmable computer. The system started work in August 1948 with Frederic C. Wiliams, Tom Kilburn and Geoff Tootill, but the computer’s first working version was not made ready until 1949. The Manchester Mark 1, which provoked an ongoing controversy with the University of Manchester, was controversial in that British media outlets referred to this as an electronic brain. They asked if the machine could really be imaginative. They asked.

The first general computer worldwide was available in the commercial sector until 1951, when electrical engineering firm Ferranti International plc produced the Ferranti Mark 1. The first Ferranti Mark 1 to be used by the Victoria University in Manchester was also named the Manchester Electronic Computer.

The Lyons Tea Company developed the first machine to boost business performance in 1951 – Leo I, in the processing of commercial applications.

A brief timeline of some other important events is listed below:

  • 1835 – Morse Code invented by Samuel Morse
  • 1838 – Electric Telegraph invented by Charles Wheatstone and Samuel Morse
  • 1843 – Typewriter invented by Charles Thurber
  • 1877 – Microphone invented by Emile Berliner
  • 1888 – Hertz produces radio waves
  • 1893 – Wireless communication invented by Nikola Tesla
  • 1895 – Radio signals invented by Guglielmo Marconi
  • 1898 – Remote control invented by Nikola Tesla
  • 1907 – Radio amplifier invented by Lee DeForest
  • 1919 – James Smathers develops the first electric typewriter
  • 1923 – Electronic Television invented by Philo Farnsworth
  • 1933 – The FM radio is patented by inventor Edwin H. Armstrong
  • 1937 – Alan Turing conceptualises the computing machine
  • 1948 – One of the first programmable computers, the Manchester Mark 1 designed by Frederic C. Williams, Tom Kilburn, and Geoff Tootill
  • 1951 – MIT’s Whirlwind becomes the first computer in the world to allow users to    input commands with a keyboard
  • 1956 – Optical fibre invented by Basil Hirschowitz, C. Wilbur Peters, and Lawrence E. Curtis
  • – The hard disk drive invented by IBM
  • 1958 – Silicon Chip: the first integrated circuit is produced by Jack Kilby and  Robert Noyce
  • 1959 – The first photocopier, the Xerox Machine enters the consumer market
  • 1961 – Optical disc invented by David Paul Gregg
  • 1963 – Computer mouse invented by Douglas Engelbart
  • – Cloud computing invented by Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider
  • 1967 – Hypertext software invented by Andries Van Dam and Ted Nelson
  • 1971 – E-mail invented by Ray Tomlinson
  • – Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) invented by James Fergason
  • – Floppy Disk invented by David Noble
  • – First commercially available microprocessor, the Intel 4004 is invented
  • 1972 – The first video game console designed for use on TV’s is invented – the        Magnavox Odyssey
  • 1973 – Ethernet invented by Bob Metcalfe and David Boggs
  • – The personal computer invented by Xerox
  • 1976 – The inkjet digital printer is invented by Hewlett-Packard
  • 1982 – WHOIS (pronounced who is) is released as one of the earliest domain search engines
  • 1984 – The first laptop computer enters the commercial market
  • 1989 – World Wide Web (the internet) invented by Sir Tim-Berners Lee
  • 1990 – A student at McGill University in Montreal develops the first search engine named Archie
  • 1993 – Benny Landau unveils the E-Print 1000 as the world’s first digital colour printing press
  • – Xerox 914 is released as the first successful commercial plain paper copier
  • 1996 – The Nokia 9000 Communicator is released in Finland as the first internet-enabled mobile device
  • 1998 – Google established
  • – PayPal is launched, enabling large scale payment via the internet
  • 2000 – Microsoft develop the first tablet computer
  • 2001 – Digital Satellite Radio
  • – Apple releases the iPod
  • 2003 – WordPress, an open-source website content management system is launched by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg
  • 2003– LinkedIn is established
  • 2004 – Emergence of Web 2.0 – Humans move away from consumers of internet material to active participation
  • 2004– Facebook established by Mark Zuckerberg
  • 2005 – USB Flashdrives replace floppy disks
  • 2005– Google Analytics established
  • 2005– YouTube is launched as a video platform
  • 2006 – Twitter is launched to the public
  • 2007 – Apple Inc. debuts the iPhone
  • – Amazon releases the Kindle, marking a new era in reading and book technology
  • 2009 – Bitcoin is developed by unknown programmers under the name of Satoshi     Nakamoto
  • 2010 – Apple debuts the iPad
  • – The beginning of responsive website design
  • 2011 – 22-nanometre computer chips enter mass production
  • 2012 – Quad-core smartphones and tablets are released, offering faster processing   power
  • 2014 – 14-nanometre computer chips are released
  • – The market for smartwatches reaches 5 million
  • 2015 – Apple releases the Apple Watch
  • 2016 – Supercomputers reach 100 petaflops
  • – Mobile devices overtake wired devices as a means of using the internet
  • 2017 – 10-nanometre chips enter service
  • 2020-iPhone 12 introduced.

Implications of IT in the workplace

No matter how big an organization, the implementations and results of IT systems in all sectors of a market have been tangible and intangible. The implementation of IT has all affected company communications, performance, mobility and culture.



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