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Computing Facilities

by Nancy Brill

Computer Network Changes

  • 1979: Walk to computing center to type and read in computer cards
  • 1981: Dialup modem (0.3 kbs) to communicate with mainframe computer
    • 1983: Dialup modem (1.2 kbs) to communicate with mainframe computer
    • 1985: Dialup modem (2.4 kbs) to communicate with mainframe computer
    • 1986: Dialup modem (9.6 kbs) to communicate with mainframe computer
  • 1987: First local area network (Appletalk, bus type)
    • Series connections caused problems for everyone when a single connection failed
  • 1987: First laser printer added to Mac network (Laserwriter II, 300 dpi)
  • 1991: First electronic mail
    • Bus network changed to star network for better reliability
  • 1992: First file server added to network for file exchange
  • 1994: Color printer and slide scanner added to network; dial-in service added (connect to local area network from home or field)
  • 1995: Slide printer added to network

Computer Hardware Changes

  • 1979: Mainframe computer; access using card punch, card reader
  • 1980: Mainframe computer; access using dumb terminals
  • 1981: Northstar with S100 bus, floppy disk drive, monochrome monitor, keyboard and dot matrix printer (first microcomputer in Horticultural Science)
    • Some data storage: cassette tape
  • 1981: Radio Shack TRS-80 Model II
    • 8" floppy (0.1 Mb), 0.032 Mb RAM, RS (2 MHz)
  • 1982: IBM PC (proposed as the departmental standard)
    • 5.25" floppy (0.2 Mb), 0.064 Mb RAM, Intel (4.77 MHz)
  • 1983: Apple Lisa (purchased by JC Raulston for arboretum use)
    • 5.25" floppy (0.4 Mb), 0.128 Mb RAM, Motorola 68000 (8 MHz)
  • 1984: Apple Macintosh (purchased by computing center for general use)
    • 3.5" floppy (0.4 Mb), 0.128 Mb RAM, Motorola 68000 (8 MHz)
  • 1990: Data storage was Syquest 40 Mb 5.25" removable hard disk cartridges (fragile)
  • 1993: Data storage was Syquest 128 Mb 3.5" rewriteable magneto-optical disks

Macintosh Microcomputer Changes

  • 1983: Apple Lisa
    • 5.25" floppy (0.4 Mb), 0.128 Mb RAM, Motorola 68000 (8 MHz)
  • 1984: Apple Macintosh 128
    • 3.5" floppy (0.4 Mb), 0.128 Mb RAM, Motorola 68000 (8 MHz)
  • 1985: Apple Macintosh 512
    • 3.5" floppy (0.8 Mb), 0.512 Mb RAM, Motorola 68000 (8 MHz)
  • 1986: Apple Macintosh Plus
    • 3.5" floppy (1.4 Mb), 1 Mb RAM, Motorola 68000 (8 MHz)
  • 1987: Apple Macintosh II
    • 3.5" floppy (1.4 Mb), 1 Mb RAM, Motorola 68020 (16 MHz)
  • 1988: Apple Macintosh IIx
    • 3.5" floppy (1.4 Mb), 2 Mb RAM, Motorola 68030 (16 MHz)
  • 1989: Apple Macintosh IIci
    • 3.5" floppy (1.4 Mb), 4 Mb RAM, Motorola 68030 (25 MHz)
  • 1990: Apple Macintosh Portable
    • 3.5" floppy (1.4 Mb), 4 Mb RAM, Motorola 680C0 (25 MHz)
  • 1991: Apple Macintosh Quadra 950
    • CD-ROM (600 Mb), 16 Mb RAM, Motorola 68040 (25 MHz)
  • 1992: Apple Macintosh Powerbook
    • CD-ROM (600 Mb), 16 Mb RAM, Motorola 68C30 (25 MHz)
  • 2002: Apple PowerMac G4
    • CD/DVD-RW (4700 Mb), 2048 Mb RAM, Motorola G4 (2x1250 MHz)