The original concept of relational databases was introduced with the publication of “A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Databanks” in 1970 by Dr. E.F.Codd. The SQL language itself was originally created by Donald Chamberlin and Raymond Boyce at  IBM based on Codd’s model in the early 70s.  Originally called SEQUEL (Structrued English Query Language), it was designed to be used with IBM’s RDBMS System R. It was later renamed to SQL due to a trademark on the original name held by an aircraft company.

In 1979 Relational Software, Inc., now known as Oracle, used the concepts created by Chamberlin and Boyce in the first commercially available implementation of SQL. Introduced as Oracle V2 for VAX computers, it was ahead of IBM’s System/38 computer by a few weeks. It was later also used in SQL/DS and DB2.  SQL would later go on to become the dominant query language for most relational databases including Microsoft’s SQL Server, MySQL, and many others, cementing it in technology history as the primary engine for most databases throughout the next several decades.

C Programming

The_C_Programming_Language_logo.svgThe C programming language was invented at Bell Labs in the early 70s by Dennis Ritchie and was intended to be used with Unix. It has since become a widely used language in many areas including system software and in computer science education. It has spawned C++ and influenced many other languages that came after. Initial development began in 1969 and reached it’s peak in 1973, with Richie calling it C after another programming language called B.  The origins of the system are now of mythical proportion, including a story about it being created solely to play one of the earliest computer games on a PDP-11. In 1973 Unix was rewritten entirely in C, a testament to it’s power. Today the language still lives on along with it’s other implementations.


networkNorman Abramson designed a network of radio links that allowed the exchange of data among computers located on four of the Hawaiian Islands. At the behest of Robert Taylor, then head of ARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office, funding was put into a network that sends messages through radio waves to computing it’s feasibility. In 1970 he hired Abramson at the University of Hawaii to take charge of the project. He sets up a system of small radios that transmit on the same frequency, each of them in turn linked to a host computer.

Larry Roberts succeeds Taylor later that year and is also interested in the idea, developing a theory with Bob Kahn on a mobile computer network. The Army becomes interested, and several “packet-radio networks” as they become known as, are installed. Kahn envisions a satellite network that would be capable of transmitting messages anywhere on the planet. Eventually he organizes SATnet, and this development opens the possibility of connecting all networks on a global scale.


atmAn automatic teller machine or ATM allows a bank customer to conduct their banking transactions from almost every other ATM machine in the world. Don Wetzel was the co-patentee and chief conceptualist of the automated teller machine, an idea he said he thought of while waiting in line at a Dallas bank. At the time (1968) Wetzel was the Vice President of Product Planning at Docutel, the company that developed automated baggage-handling equipment. The other two inventors listed on the patent were Tom Barnes, the chief mechanical engineer and George Chastain, the electrical engineer. It took five million dollars to develop the ATM. The concept of the modern ATM first began in 1968, a working prototype came about in 1969 and Docutel was issued a patent in 1973. The first working ATM was installed in a New York based Chemical Bank.