IBM celebrates 100 years of invention and breakthroughs

first_imgIt’s coming up to IBM’s 100th anniversary, which is set to happen on on June 16 this year. As part of the celebrations the videos you see above and below have been released as a reminder of what IBM has achieved over those years.For younger generations, who just know IBM as that company registering thousands of patents every year, it may not register that this technology giant created the precursor to the modern PC, was the computing power behind the Apollo shuttle missions, put in place the system that would become the universal barcode, invented the relational database, DRAM, fractal geometry, and that little nub on laptops you can use instead of a mouse.Highlights of the video include a discussion of the System 360 which was a huge risk for IBM at the time when production lines were running out of memory. But today over 70% of the world’s data resides on those systems proving it was a huge success and the right risk to take.Project SABRE, first developed in 1958 to solve a problem airlines had with managing customer data, is still used today by Amtrack, the 911 system, Expedia, Travelocity, and many more. It was meant to handle thousands of transactions a day, but scaled to now cope with 30,000 a second.Another project all geeks are thankful for is the IBM Personal Computer. A team of 12 young engineers managed to create the first prototype of what became the PC in just four months. Other facts you may not know are that the motherboard was developed by a woman on that team and that Pac-man was used as a test case for whether the machine worked.Not satisfied with just creating the IBM Personal Computer a team at the company was tasked with answering the question: “What if you could redo computer architecture from scratch the right way?”. The result was the RISC architecture.Away from technology IBM was forward-thinking when it came to people. Not just employing those that could make the breakthroughs, but also not discriminating against anyone. In 1914 they employed the first disabled workers, in 1934 the first women were employed for technology positions, and in 1935 IBM ruled they would get equal pay to men in the same positions. Then in 1953 the company decided to make it clear they would not discriminate against race, color or creed going forward and decades before anyone else.More recently IBM has been involved with the Genographic project which uses DNA as a tool to track back humans to their beginnings. But the work being done, the data collected, and the systems being produced could one day lead to a very much more personalized health care solution tailored to the individual.This second video shows one person for every year IBM has been around giving a short history of the company.  It’s more evidence if any were needed as to how influential the people who form IBM have been.I wonder what the IBM videos created in 2111 to celebrate the 200th anniversary will show?via Engadgetlast_img read more