In pictures: 31 years of tech

Computerworld Australia has turned 31! To celebrate, we take a look at some of the technology that has helped shape the last 31 years.

  • The first compact disc player was sold in Japan in 1982.

  • 1994 saw the first release of the Netscape Navigator web browser. In 1995 Microsoft revamped its Windows operating system and released Windows 95. Microsoft flaunted the new GUI features of Windows 95 with a series of television commercials which featured the 80's Rolling Stones hit 'Start Me Up'.
  • In 1999, the 'Melissa' virus infected more than one million computers worldwide, causing $US80 million in damage. Pictured: Melissa virus author David L Smith

  • In 2000 CSIRAC - Australia's first digital computer - was bought back to life in a museum, AOL and Time Warner merged and the .com bubble burst, leaving thousands of tech companies broke.

  • In 1987 The ASX was formed and in 1988 CSIRO developed the polymer banknote to enhance the security of the existing paper banknotes.

  • In 1991, the number of computers connected to the Internet reached 1 million, Linus Torvalds released the first version of Linux and Samba was written by Australian Andrew Tridgell.

  • In 2007 the Rudd Government swooped into power with a catchy election slogan, Kevin 07, and an election promise to revamp Australia’s broadband network, and Apple transformed mobile phones with the release of the decade’s must-have gadget, the iPhone. In 2008 Microsoft entered into drawn out negotiations in an attempt to buy Yahoo for a staggering $US44.6 billion, while Sony’s Blu-ray HB out shines rival format, HD DVD.

  • In 2005 Microsoft released the Xbox 360 and the Airbus A380 made its first flight from Toulouse.

  • In 1997, Microsoft became the world's most valuable company, valued at $US261 billion. The following year in 1998, Google was founded and Apple launched the iMac.

  • 2009 The Federal Government decides to go for a $43 billion fibre-to-the-home NBN, ditching the previous bidding process and fibre-to-the-node plan. Construction begins in Tasmania, NBN Co is formed and the government makes moves to separate Telstra's wholesale and retail arms. Meanwhile, revenue from wireless LAN technology settlements boost CSIRO's bottom line by $205 million. Microsoft goes all out with the launch of Windows 7 after the failure of Window Vista, while Apple hits a milestone with the one billionth download in the iPhone App Store.
  • In 1996, CSIRO wireless LAN technology was granted US patent, DVDs launched, the number of computers connected to the Internet reached 10 million and eBay started online trading. Pictured: The WLAN Project Team (L-R): Mr Graham Daniels, Dr John O'Sullivan, Dr Terry Percival, Mr Diet Ostry, Mr John Deane.

  • In 1983, Microsoft Word was first released as well as the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program. The following year in 1984, the Apple Macintosh first went on sale and Sony began manufacturing the first 3.5 inch floppy disk.

  • In 2006, Nintendo released the Wii and Google bought YouTube for $US1.65 billion.

  • Sony introduced the [[xref:|first Walkman cassette player]] in 1979, which revolutionised the consumer electronics industry by changing the way people enjoy music. It cost $US200 and was dubbed "one of the hottest new status symbols around" by The Wall Street Journal. Despite the high price tag, the hype surrounding its release created a back-log in orders.

  • 2002 Mars Odyssey finds signs of water ice deposits on Mars. 2003 The Concorde makes its last commercial flight. 2004 Oracle and PeopleSoft merged.
  • In 1989, AARnet was formed in Australia and the first public ISP was launched, Pegasus Networks. Meanwhile the first 24 satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS) were placed into orbit, Nintendo released the Game Boy and Intel launched the 486 series of microprocessors.

  • The classic arcade game Pac-Man was released in 1980. The iconic, pill-popping 1980s video game superstar will still be recognised long after Donkey Kong, Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog are long forgotten.`

  • In 1981, IBM launched its first-ever PC, the 5150, complete with MS-DOS software. This computer helped IBM become a major player in the home PC market, along with Apple, Commodore and Atari.

  • 2001 saw the rise and fall of online music file sharing network Napster. The battle between Napster and RIAA ended with an out of court settlement. Pictured: Napster founder Shawn Fanning. Also that year, Apple released the iPod, Microsoft released Windows XP and Wikipedia launched.
  • In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee (pictured) wrote the first web page and Microsoft released Windows 3.0

  • Commercial CD manufacturing and distribution began in 1985. That same year, Microsoft released its first version of Windows: Windows 1.0. In 1986, IBM unveiled the first laptop computer, called the 'PC Convertible', and Intel launched the 386 series of microprocessors.

  • In 1992, Microsoft released Windows 3.1 and Microsoft Works. The following year in 1993, Intel introduced the Pentium microprocessor, the World Wide Web was born at CERN and Telstra was formed.

  • Martin Cooper, the inventor of the mobile phone. In 1978, Bell company introduced the first mobile phone system. Computerworld Australia has been covering all that's hot in IT in Australia for more than 30 years. Sign up for our regular daily newsletters.

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