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The Industrial Era

2005 - 2006

From this chapter on we will observe game technology more closely which is hand over hand taking the lead in computer developments

Since one can not speak of historic events (historians take a period of 10-25 years) for this period and like the previous period (2002-2004) the editors continue the idea to display the trends in computing that drew attention in previous five or ten years. As well as promising inventions and other developments that might be of future value.

Also this and folowing pages will display some less serious subjects, just to get a smile on your face.

If you have an idea on what should be displayed on this and the next pages please mail us.


pre history | antiquity | pre industrial era | industrial era

1947 1949 1950 1952 1955 1958 1961 1963 1965 1969 1970 1972 1974
1976 1978 1980 1981 1982 1984 1986 1989 1991 1993 1994 1996 2000
2002 2005 2007                    



On February 23, Christie's holds an auction of rare documents and artifacts related to the growth of technology called "The Origins of Cyberspace: A Library on the History of Computing, Networking & Telecommunications".

christies auction page

The auction brings in more than $700,000 (initially valued at over 1.2 million). The auction —the first of its kind— is a signal that there's a growing interest in collecting technology, just as one might collect art.
The Computer History Museum(2)(*) is able to purchase some of the artifacts available at the auction, as some are purchased by others and then donated to the museum.(1)

Related Articles
Related Resources

Timeline Spam
Timeline Games
Timeline Internet
Timeline Virusses

May - Google now indexes over 8 billion pages

May 17 - The Microsoft Internet browser dips below 90% market share.

Mozilla has been downloaded over 50 million times since its release in Nov 2004. Other players in the "browser war" are Opera (Dec 1997), and Safari (Apple 2002). All three combined are taking up over 10% off Microsoft's market share of which Mozilla's Firefox (Nov 2004) is the fastest growing.


2007 amd State of the art prediction by Ian Pearson, head of the futurology unit at British Telecom:

'If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it's not a major career problem,' Pearson told The Observer. 'If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you're poor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine. We are very serious about it. That's how fast this technology is moving: 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT.' (3)

We'll just wait and see if your editor is still talking to you by then ;=)

This entry is just for fun: students of the University of Informatics of Kopenhavn Denmark receive the idea of brewing an open source beer during a workshop on intellectual rights given by Rasmus Nielsen.

open source beer
picture courtesy http://www.voresoel.dk; accessed 20050728

An expert on brewing beer also got invited and the students develop a recipe. The result is "Vores Oel", meaning: Our Beer. Students have designed a bottle label and build a web site on which the recipe is published. As is usual with open source anyone can use the recipe as long as the source is mentioned. Just like the web browser Firefox, anyone is invited to improve on the beer as long it says that the original comes from Vores Oel.



Spam still rules the waves.

At right is an illustration from Sophos, an anti spam software manufacturer, reporting on the first half of 2005.


AOL blocked an average of 1.5 billion spam messages per day. Approximately eight in 10 e-mails received at its gateway were blocked as junk.

robotics spam timeline



Nine months (September 30) after Google started its "print" project Yahoo is following suite and forms the Open Content Alliance with Adobe and Hewlett-Packard.

yahoo logo

The universities of California and Toronto, as well as the British National Archives are also part of the Alliance. California will offer 18,000 books to go on line. Books free from copyrights are freely available.

100dollarpc In January the MIT Media Lab launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world's children.

See the handle at the right side? With this you can crank the battery, turning it for 4 minutes will give you battery power for 15. The one megapixel low cost screen should do just fine.

mit 100 dollar pcMIT's 100 dollar PC

A non-profit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has been created to fund this initiative, announced by Nicholas Negroponte, Lab chairman and co-founder, at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland.

The $100 laptops will not be available for sale through the commercial channels and will only be distributed to schools directly through large government initiatives. (5)
In November the association showed the first prototype to Koffi Anan in Tunisia.
This is not a unique project though, in 2001 in India a group of scientists also constructed a comparable machine in the form of a PDA. This product was called: Simputer. But this one costs between $130 and $260, depending on screen size and type (monochrome or color)(6) For most farmers in India a steep price with a yearly income below $750 (7)


simputer, picture courtesy simputer.org


3dfx releases Voodoo.

It is the first consumer 3D accelerator, capable of rendering relatively complex scenes in real time and in hi-resolution.
QuakeGL (a GL port of Quake(11)) is the first popular game utilizing this new technology. Other games soon follow, including Tomb Raider.


robotics games timeline


logo courtesy x-3dfx


A few weeks later nVidia's main rival ATi announces X800 with nearly the same level of performance and feature support.

The card is showcased by the Ruby demo, delivering a smooth real-time rendering of what was previously in the exclusive realm of prerendered cinematics.


100dollarpc Apple announce they are going to use Intel processors in upcoming macintosh computers. A landslide development that will bring new customers over to the Apple platform.

intel logo

apple logo

logo's are property of their respective owners


id Software releases QuakeWorld, a special version of Quake designed for Internet multiplayer.

quake world

A number of innovative features such as movement prediction makes the game playable even over low-speed and high-latency Internet connections.

robotics games timeline

100dollarpc On September 12, 2005 eBay acquired Skype for approximately  $2.6billion.


ebay logo

The Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), creates HUBO, and claims it is the smartest robot in the world. This robot is linked to a computer via a high-speed wireless connection, the computer does all of the thinking for the robot. 


robotics robotics timeline


picture courtesy KIT

MS DOS myth

The British writer and journalist Sir Harold Evans publishes the book: They Made America - From Steam Engine to the Search Engine relating the IT innovation in the USA. He writes how Microsoft through sheer luck and chance became one of the largest software companies. Tim Paterson not fully content with the drift of the story sued Evans for slander. Evans having been very careful in his research will be acquitted in 2007 of all charges.

q-dos manual(12)

Myth vs Truth?

In 1980 IBM shopped around for an OS on its first personal computer. It was then that Microsoft - still in its infancy - offered IBM to deliver the OS as well. Gates knew very well that Microsoft did not have the OS software and concealed that fact for IBM.
Microsoft asked Tim Paterson, who's company sold the OS 86-DOS to sell the rights to Microsoft. This version of DOS was based on CP/M made by Gary Kildall.
Patterson never agreed to this version of the myth and accused Evans of slander.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly noted that DOS' true lineage already has been widely questioned in the computer industry. "Even before IBM unveiled the IBM Personal Computer, the industry began to note similarities between DOS and CP/M," Zilly wrote. As a result, Zilly ruled that Evans' characterization of DOS as a "rip off" of CP/M is legally protected opinion under the First Amendment, in part because it's based on some facts not generally in dispute. Ultimately, Zilly said that "Tim Paterson has failed to provide any evidence that statements in Sir Harold Evans' chapter on Gary Kildall are provably false or defamatory." (13)

to be continued



Spam intensifies to 96% of all email, the number of contagious viruses increases per day.

Mobile phones and PDA's are increasingly infected with viruses targeted at mobile devices running on Debian linux or Palm OS.

robotics spam timeline & virus timeline


Yahoo and AOL introduce the email stamp. An idea previously proposed by Microsoft to dam the flooding of spam.

Here is our stamp ;=)

thocp stamp
thocp mail stamp designed by thocp
higher resolution upon request

They propose a levy of 0.25 to 1 U$ cent for companies. Yahoo and AOL will guarantee that mails provided with a stamp will pass filters as "friendly" spam, contrary to mail infected with viruses, or mail intended to PHish, or just plain spam.



On 2 march 2006 Wikipedia the free internet encyclopedia made by thousands of volunteer contributors worldwide passes the 1.000.000 English language articles. Wikipedia started on 15 January 2001.

image courtesy of wikipedea.org

On December 15 2005, the science journal Nature conducted a study to find out the quality of encyclopedia's in general. It appears that Wikipedia's quality is not less than the traditional encyclopedias like Encyclopedia Britannica.

How reliable is Wikipedia?

In order to test its reliability, the science journal Nature conducted a peer review of scientific entries on Wikipedia and the well-established Encyclopedia Britannica.

The reviewers were asked to check for errors, but were not told about the source of the information.

"Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each encyclopedia," reported Nature.

"But reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively." (8)

Read on how the research was conducted here.


March 21st; Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter sends his first tweet.

Twitter logo
original logo src: wikipedia

Initially there is no limit to the size of the message. Later a 140 character limit will be established. It took 3 years, two months and a day to reach the one billion tweets. Another 3 years later that will be every weeks number of tweets, with about 30 million regular users. The impact of Twitter on the media will be huge. It will be often that Twitter users are the first to report on events like earthquakes, revolts and accidents.(14)

news atavar

Though still in the laboratory this item is interesting enough to show how avatars (9) are used in a practical way. (October 16)


News at Seven is developed at North Western University in Illinois. News@7 will be available at the end of this year says Kristian Hammond, one of the developers.

It works like this, you start with adding your preferences and the news avatar compiles your daily news show. The program looks for RSS feeds, video clips, blogs and other information related to your preferences on the internet and sets up your personal news show.

(this expands the idea of Google Alerts enormously eds.)

The above picture is from a demo that is now offered via WUI's site. The avatar is still somewhat slowish and moves rather irkish but it clearly shows where this type of services is headed. It has in other words enormous potential.

news atavar

There are now more than 100 million web sites on the Internet.

site count 100 miljon

graph courtesy Netcraft.com (10)

The Internet has doubled in size since May 2004, when the survey hit 50 million. Blogs and small business web sites have driven the explosive growth this year, with huge increases at free blogging services at Google and Microsoft. From the picture above one can see that only half of the sites are active. Most of the latter only serve as mail box or billboard and no activity is detected therefore.

August 1995 18,957 hosts
April 1997 1 million sites
February 2000 10 million
September 2000 20 million
July 2001 30 million
April 2003 40 million
May 2004 50 million
March 2005 60 million
August 2005 70 million
April 2006 80 million
August 2006 90 million
November 2006 100 million

Data based on Netcraft.com



The GIF standard and pictures becomes officially free on October 1, 2006.

MS Vista


Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows Vista to corporations on November 30, 2006. A few months later the consumer versions will be available. This version is riddled with bugs and has a compatibility problem with equipment older than 2 years.



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Last Updated on March 25, 2011 For suggestions please mail the editors 

Footnotes & References