Friday, June 24, 2011

IBM turns 100 - An history about IBM...

IBM was founded in a merger of four separate companies in 1911 as the Computer Tabulating Recording Co. Clocks were one of their main products.

Scales (like the International Portable Scale above) and cheese slicers were also IBM specialties.

But most significantly for the future, IBM began making products that read data stored on punch cards, such as this contraption from 1948.

In the early-to-mid 1950s, IBM invented the first computer with a hard drive -- the RAMAC, or Random Access Method of Accounting and Control. The computer was launched in 1956, weighed over a tonne and had to be transported by plane.

IBM developed the bar code in the 1960s, revolutionising shopping.

In the 1960s, IBM engineer Forrest Parry had the idea of attaching magnetic strips that stored information to plastic cards. This was the forerunner to credit cards and EFTPOS. Above, a woman uses a card at shoe store in 1971.

IBM's Selectric typewriter captured 75 per cent of the US typewriter market in its prime. The typewriter launched in 1961

The then-president of IBM, Thomas J. Watson Jr., is shown with the System/360 mainframe computer in 1968. These computers were the first that could perform a wide range of commercial and scientific functions.

An article from The Australian in 1968 that reported upon IBM's proposed new data centre services division being built at Rosebury in Sydney

The IBM "personal computer" (or PC) made its debut in 1981

IBM created a chess-playing computer called Deep Blue in the late 1990s. In 1997, the computer defeated world champion Garry Kasparov.

The IBM ThinkPad was one of the first laptop computers. Above, the computer is shown next to a stack of textbooks in 2004.

A production worker at an IBM plant in the US checks on a wafer of computer chips in 2005.

The Cell Broadband Engine processor is shown during a presentation at IBM offices in New York in 2006. The processor powers the Playstation 3

IBM crunches data at sporting events, for instance, the score and player statistics at the Australian Open. The IBM operations bunker located beneath the seats at Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park in Melbourne last year.

IBM is working with medical groups in US, such as the Sharp Community Medical Group above, to allow doctors and patients to access their health information online. The company says innovation will be key for the next hundred years.