Inventions 1981-1991

1981-1991 is very interesting decade, especially when we talk about inventions. This is an era of first computers, network and operation systems and all this staff have changed our life drastically. Connections and transportations are better, medicine and science have had huge progress too. People’s life have become much easier and comfortable. Here a detailed timeline of all essential inventions during this period.

1981 – MS-DOS was invented.

“Life begins with a disk drive.” – Tim Paterson
On August 12, 1981, IBM introduced its new revolution in a box, the “Personal Computer” complete with a brand new operating system from Microsoft, a 16-bit computer operating system called MS-DOS 1.0. The operating system or`OS is the foundation software of a computer, that which schedules tasks, allocates storage, and presents a default interface to the user between applications.


1981 – The first IBM-PC was invented.

On August 12, 1981, IBM released their new computer, re-named the IBM PC. The first name was ‘Acorn’, something as a code name. The “PC” stood for “personal computer” making IBM responsible for popularizing the term “PC”. The first IBM PC ran on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor. The PC came equipped with 16 kilobytes of memory, expandable to 256k. The PC came with one or two 160k floppy disk drives and an optional color monitor. The price tag started at $1,565, which would be nearly $4,000 today.


1981 – The scanning tunneling microscope was invented by Gerd Karl Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer.

The scanning tunneling microscope ( STM ) is widely used in both industrial and fundamental research to obtain atomic-scale images of metal surfaces. It provides a three-dimensional profile of the surface which is very useful for characterizing surface roughness, observing surface defects, and determining the size and conformation of molecules and aggregates on the surface.


1982 – Human growth hormone was genetically engineered.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a microscopic protein substance that is secreted in short pulses during the first hours of sleep and in response to stress. It is made throughout a person’s lifetime, but is more plentiful during youth. It stimulates growth in children and plays an important role in adult metabolism. Before the advent of genetic engineering, the only source of HGH was from human sources. It is produced in the pituitary gland of the brain. HGH is considered “the key” hormone because it controls so many functions. It’s responsible not only for youth, but also for vitality, energy and all of the health benefits we associate with youth.


1983 – The Apple Lisa was invented.

The Apple Lisa—also known as the Lisa—is a personal computer designed by Apple Computer, Inc. (now Apple, Inc.) during the early 1980s. The Lisa was first introduced on January 19, 1983 and cost US$9,995 ($21,693.67 in 2009 dollars). It was the second personal computer system with a graphical user interface (GUI) to be sold commercially, the first being the Xerox Star. It used a Motorola 68000 CPU at a 5 MHz clock rate and had 1 MB RAM.


1983 – Soft bifocal contact lens was invented.

Contact lenses were created earlier than people think. But in 1983, bifocal daily wear soft contact lenses became available for commercial distribution. Bifocal contact lenses are designed to provide good vision to people who have a condition called presbyopia. In addition all soft bifocal contact lenses are considered “simultaneous vision” because both far and near vision corrections are presented simultaneously to the retina, regardless of the position of the eye. Of course, only one correction is correct, the incorrect correction causes blur. Commonly these are designed with distance correction in the center of the lens and near correction in the periphery, or vice versa.


1983 – Programmer Jaron Lanier first coined the term “virtual reality”.

Virtual reality, also known as virtuality, is a term that applies to computer-simulated environments that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds. The term “artificial reality”, coined by Myron Krueger, has been in use since the 1970s; however, the origin of the term “virtual reality” can be traced back, in 1938, to the French playwright, poet, actor, and director Antonin Artaud. However, in the late 1980s, the term “virtual reality” was popularized for first time by Jaron Lanier, one of the modern pioneers of the field.


1983 – First Cabbage Patch Kids were sold.

In 1976, Xavier Roberts invented ‘Little Person’ dolls, the first Cabbage Patch Kids. Roberts was a teenager when he started the Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia, where people could adopt a baby (the hand sewn dolls were never called dolls) complete with adoption papers. Roberts and five friends started the Original Appalachian Artworks company to produce the dolls. The Coleco toy company liked Roberts’ ideas and began mass-marketing the dolls in 1983, under the new name of ‘Cabbage Patch Kids.’


1984 – The Apple Macintosh was invented.

“Hello, I am Macintosh. Never trust a computer you cannot lift… I’m glad to be out of that bag” – talking Macintosh Computer.
On January 24, 1984, Apple announced the Macintosh to its Board of Directors – and to the world. The tiny computer was a radical departure from the large Lisa with it’s 12″ screen, just as the Lisa itself had been a huge departure from the Apple II series and the growing family of MS-DOS computers on the market. In 1984 most computers on the computer market, even DOS ones, shipped with 64 KB or 128 KB of memory and had one or two 5.25″ floppy drives. Hard drives, when available, where $1,500 options. The Macintosh was different. First, there was the mouse, just like Lisa had. In fact, Apple was so adamant that you use the mouse that the original Macintosh keyboard had no arrow keys. Then there was that 3.5″ floppy drive storing 400 KB of date – 25% more than the 320 KB 5.25″ disks in the IBM world. But when you turned it on, the Macintosh showed it’s greatest difference, a graphical user interface (GUI). Although similar to the interface from the Lisa, the Mac used square pixels instead of rectangular ones, making it far easier to accurately map graphics to the screen.
With the 1984 Apple Macintosh Steve Jobs made sure developers created software for the new Macintosh Computer. Jobs figured that software was the way to win the consumer over.


1984 – The CD-ROM was invented.

When Sony and Philips invented the Compact Disc (CD) in the early 1980s, even they couldn’t ever have imagined what a versatile carrier of information it would become. CD-ROM followed in 1984, but it took a few years longer to gain the widespread acceptance enjoyed by the audio CD. This consumer reluctance was mainly due to a lack of compelling content during the first few years that the technology was available. However, there are now countless games, software applications, encyclopedias, glossaries, presentations and other multimedia programs available on CD-ROM and what was originally designed to carry 74 minutes of high-quality digital audio can now hold up to 650MB of computer data, 100 publishable photographic scans, or even 74 minutes of VHS-quality full-motion video and audio. Many discs offer a combination of all three, along with other information besides.


1984—DNA Fingerprinting

Molecular biologist Alec Jeffreys devised a way to make the analysis of more than 3 billion units in the human DNA sequence much more manageable by comparing only the parts of the sequence that show the greatest variation among people. His method quickly finded its way into the courts, where it has used to exonerate people wrongly accused of crimes and to finger the true culprits.


1984 – HP introduced LaserJet, a new computer printer.

HP introduced the first laser printer for IBM compatible personal computers in May 1984 at the National Computer Conference (COMDEX). It was a 300-dpi, 8 ppm printer that sold for $3,495 with the price reduced to $2,995 in September of 1985, and featured an 8 MHz Motorola 68000 processor and could print in a variety of character fonts. It was controlled using PCL3. Due to the high cost of memory, the first LaserJet only had 128 kilobytes of memory, and a portion of that was reserved for use by the controller. The HP LaserJet printer had high print quality, could print horizontally or vertically, and produce graphics.It was ideal for printing memos, letters, and spreadsheets. It was virtually silent, so people could talk on the phone while sitting next to the HP LaserJet printer as it was printing.


1985 – Windows program was invented by Microsoft.

On November 10, 1983, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, Microsoft Corporation formally announced Microsoft Windows, a next-generation operating system that would provide a graphical user interface (GUI) and a multitasking environment for IBM computers. Microsoft promised that the new product would be on the shelf by April 1984, but they finally shipped Windows on 20th November 1985, almost two years past the initially promised release date. The first independent version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, achieved little popularity. It included a simple graphics painting program called Windows Paint; Windows Write, a simple word processor; an appointment “calendar”; a “cardfiler”; a “notepad”; a “clock”; a “control panel”; a “computer terminal”; “Clipboard”; and RAM driver. It also included the MS-DOS Executive and a game called Reversi.


1985 – Polymerase Chain Reaction

In 1985 biochemist Kary Mullis invented a technique that exploited enzymes in order to make millions of copies of a tiny scrap of DNA quickly and cheaply. No matter how small or dried-out a bloodstain is, forensic scientists can now gather enough genetic material to do DNA fingerprinting. With PCR, doctors also can search for trace amounts of HIV genetic code to diagnose infection much sooner than by conventional methods.

1986 – Synthetic skin was invented by G. Gregory Gallico, III.

Artificial skin can refer to skin grown in a laboratory that can be used as skin replacement for people who have suffered skin trauma such as severe burns or skin diseases. Alternatively, it can also refer to skin synthetically produced for other purposes. Synthetic skin is a form of artificial skin which is created out of flexible semiconductor materials that can sense touch. It has been demonstrated for first time in 1986.


1986 – A high-temperature super-conductor was invented by J. Georg Bednorz and Karl A. Muller.

The original superconductor was invented in 1911 by Dutch physicist, Heike Kammerlingh Onnes, when these superconductors are cooled, they act as a perfect conductors with no resistance. Onnes experimented with mercury, tin, and lead. In 1986, Georg Bednorz and Alex Mueller, working at IBM in Zurich Switzerland, were experimenting with a particular class of metal oxide ceramics called perovskites. Georg Bednorz and Alex Mueller surveyed hundreds of different oxide compounds. Working with ceramics of lanthanum, barium, copper, and oxygen they found indications of superconductivity at 35 K, a startling 12 K above the old record for a superconductor. Soon researchers from around the world would be working with the new types of superconductors.


1986 – Fuji introduced the disposable camera.

Fuji introduced the disposable camera in 1986. We call them disposables but the people who make these cameras want you to know that they are committed to recycling the parts, a message they have attempted to convey by calling their products “single-use cameras.”


1987 – Disposable contact lenses were invented.

Vistakon made vision correction history when created the ACUVUE Contact Lens, the world’s first disposable contact lens. For first time it was introduced in Florida, in 1987.


1988 – Digital cellular phones were invented.

PCS (Personal Communication Services): Used to describe a newer class of wireless communications services recently authorized by the FCC. PCS systems use a different radio frequency, the 1.9 GHz band, than cellular phones and generally use all-digital technology for transmission and reception. After the Federal Communications Commission declared in 1987 that cellular licensees could employ alternative cellular technologies in the 800 MHz band, the cellular industry began to research new transmission technology as an alternative to AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone Service) that had been the industry standard since 1978. In 1988, the Cellular Technology Industry Association was established to work with the cellular service operators and researchers to identify new technology requirements and set goals.


1988 – The first patent for a genetically engineered animal is issued to Harvard University researchers Philip Leder and Timothy Stewart.

In 1988, the first animal patent was issued to Harvard University for the “Oncomouse,” a transgenic mouse genetically modified to be more prone to develop cancers mimicking human disease. Since then, millions of transgenic mice have been produced. Transgenic rats, rabbits, monkeys, fish, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, cows, horses, cats, dogs, and other animals have also been created.


1988 – Prozac was invented at the Eli Lilly Company by inventor Ray Fuller.

Prozac is the registered trademarked name for fluoxetine hydrochloride and the world’s most widely prescribed antidepressant to-date, the first product in a major new class of drugs for depression called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. Prozac was first introduced to the US market in January 1988. It took two years for Prozac to gain its ‘most prescribed’ status. Prozac works by increasing brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is thought to influence sleep, appetite, aggression and mood.


1988 – The RU-486 (abortion pill) was created.

After years of controversy, the Food and Drug Administration in the end approved the use of RU-486, also known as the abortion pill. RU-486 was invented in France two decades ago and has been used for years to induce abortion in women in many European countries. When RU-486 acts on a woman’s body after the fertilized egg has implanted into the uterus, the embryo is aborted. Use of the abortion pill has sparked controversy because of divided moral stances on the issue of abortion.


1989 – High-definition television was invented.

High-definition television (HDTV) is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems (standard-definition television). HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD (1280 x 720 = 921,600 for 720p, or 1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600 for 1080p). Early HDTV broadcasting used analog techniques, but today HDTV is digitally broadcast using video compression.


1990 – The World Wide Web and Internet protocol (HTTP) and WWW language (HTML) were created by Tim Berners-Lee.

Before there was the public internet there was the internet’s forerunner ARPAnet or Advanced Research Projects Agency Networks. ARPAnet was funded by the United States military after the cold war with the aim of having a military command and control center that could withstand nuclear attack.
The World Wide Web is a global information medium which users can read and write via computers connected to the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee was the man leading the development of the World Wide Web (with help of course), the defining of HTML (HyperText Markup Language) used to create web pages, HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and URLs (Universal Resource Locators). All of those developments took place between 1989 and 1991.
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, it is the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HTML is used to define the structure and layout of a Web page, how a page looks and any special functions. HTML does this by using what are called tags that have attributes. Tim Berners-Lee was the primary author of html, assisted by his colleagues at CERN, an international scientific organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.


1991 – The digital answering machine was invented.


1991 – The Kelvin Probe Force Microscope (KPFM) was invented.

This microscope is also known as the surface potential microscope. KPFM is a version of the atomic force microscope. The function produced by KPFM gives information about the “composition and electronic state of the local structures on the surface of a solid.”

2 comments on “Inventions 1981-1991

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