This period in the history of modern computers had brought us to a well-known name that most of us will have heard of. IBM means “International Business Machines”, the biggest computer company in the entire world today. When it comes to computers, IBM is the leader for the inventions.
The Background of IBM
IBM was incorporated in 1911 as a major producer of punch card tabulating machineries. Series of calculators were also built during the 1930s based on these punch card processing tools.
In the year 1944, IBM finally shared funds with Harvard University for the invention of Mark 1 computer, it was the first machine capable of automatic long calculations.
IBM 701, the General Purpose Computer was Developed
In the year 1953, IBM’s 701 EDPM was developed which was the first commercially successful general-purpose computer. Its invention was due to the Korean War effort. And its inventor, Thomas Johnson Watson, Jr. desired to contribute what he called a “defense calculator” to help in the UN’s policing of Korea.
One problem he needed to surpass was persuading his father, Thomas Johnson Watson Sr. (The CEP of IBM) that the new computer will not negatively affect IBM’s money-making punch card processing industry. These 701 computers were incompatible with IBM’s punched card processing tools, IBM’s huge money – maker.
There were only nineteen 701 computers were manufactured which could be rented for $15000/month. The first 701 departed to New York, it is the IBM’s world headquarters. All these 701s manufactured went to the following agencies:
• Atomic Research Laboratories – Three 701s
• Aircraft Companies – Eight 701s
• Other Research Facilities – Three 701s
• Government Agencies – Two 701s, included the first use of computer by US Department of Defense
• Navy – Two 701s
• US Weather Bureau – Received one 701 in early 1955
IBM’s 701 Features
The 701’s 1953 model had the following features:
1. Electrostatic storage tube memory.
2. Used magnetic tape to store information.
3. Binary, fixed-point, single address hardware.
4. A speed limited by the speeds of its memory; the processing units were approximately 10 times faster than with the core memory.
5. The 701 also led to the invention of FORTRAN, a programing language.
IBM’s 704 Computer Models
In the year 1965, 701 had been upgraded to 704 which was considered as an early super-computer and the first equipment that incorporated floating-point hardware. It used magnetic core memory which was faster and more dependable than the magnetic drum storage that can be found in the 701 models.
IBM’s 7090 Computer Models
Moreover, part of the 700 series was the IBM 7090 which was considered as the first commercial transistorized computer. It was built in 1960 and was the fastest computer in the entire world that time. IBM had therefore dominated the mainframe and mini-computer market for twenty years with its 700 series.
IBM’s 650 Computer Models
After the 700 series were released, IBM 650 EDPM was then developed. It’s a computer which was highly compatible with the earlier 600 calculator series. It has the same card processing peripherals like the earlier calculators which started the trend for loyal customers to make upgrades. The 650 computers were the IBM’s first mass-produced computers (60% discount were offered to the universities).
IBM’s PC Models
In the year 1981, IBM created its first personal home utility computer called IBM PC. It’s another milestone in the computer history.