Technology That Shouldnt Be Forgotten This Memorial Day

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Technology That Shouldnt Be Forgotten This Memorial Day

by Jeffrey Burt

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IBM 701

This is the mainframe computer that started it all off, more than 50 years ago. And now, a half century later, IBM's mainframe business is not only still a viable one, but is growing, with new workloads being added to the massive systems.

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IBM Model 350 Disk File

The IBM Model 350 Disk File was the first hard disk drive. It had 24-inch disks, could store about 4.4 MB of data, spun at 1,200 rpm and provided storage capacities of five, 10, 15 or 20 million characters. Rolled out in 1956, it was used with the IBM 305 RAMAC.

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IBM 5150 PC

Rolled out in 1981, IBM's 5150 was the first of the real PCs and the basis for what would be known as the "IBM-compatible computer."

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Apple Macintosh

Coming out three years after the IBM 5150, Apple's Mac changed the way people looked at computers, using a mouse, icons and GUI rather than the command-line interface of the IBM-compatible systems.

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Intel i386

Launched in 1985, the Intel chip was the first of the 32-bit x86 architectures and first used by Compaq. Twenty years later, it was still in use, though mostly in embedded systems.

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The first of the Windows operating systems, MS-DOS 1.0 was introduced in 1982 to run on IBM PCs. However, Bill Gates kept the rights to the OS, setting the stage for Microsoft's dominance.

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Sun1 Workstation

Sun shipped its first Sun-1 workstation in 1982. The Andy Bechtolsheim-designed system included a 16-bit Motorola chip that runs a Unix operating system and offered high-resolution graphics and Ethernet networking capabilities. Fewer than 200 were built, according to Sun.

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Unix OS

Developed in 1969 at Bell Labs, the operating system—though squeezed by Windows and Linux—is still cranking along, thanks to IBM with its AIX variant, HP with HP-UX and Sun with Solaris.

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Handspring VisorPhone

Handspring's VisorPhone, released in 2001, was among the first devices to bring together the cell phone and PDA to create a smartphone, paving the way for the BlackBerrys, Treos and Apple iPhones of the world.

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AMD Opteron

Certainly not much of a legacy technology at 6 years old, the server chip—which offered such features as an integrated memory controller and 32- and 64-bit capabilities—forced Intel to abandon its plans to push Itanium as the 64-bit computing platform of the future and raised the issue of energy efficiency in technology.