1822: The Difference Engine, an automatic mechanical calculator designed to tabulate polynomial functions, proposed by Charles Babbage (1791–1871).
1837: The Analytical Engine, a proposed mechanical general-purpose computer, designed by Charles Babbage (1791–1871).
1842: The person regarded as the first computer programmer was Ada Lovelace (1815–1852), only legitimate child of the poet Byron and his wife Anne Isabella Milbanke, Baroness Wentworth.
1842: First programming language, the Analytical Engine order code, produced by Charles Babbage (1791–1871) and Ada Lovelace (1815–1852).
1854: Boolean algebra, the basis for digital logic, conceived by George Boole (1815–1864).
1912: Argo system, the world’s first electrically powered mechanical analogue computer, invented by Arthur Pollen (1866–1937).
1918: The flip-flop circuit, which became the basis of electronic memory (Random-access memory) in computers, invented by William Eccles (1875–1966) and F. W. Jordan (1882-?).
1936–1937: The Universal Turing machine invented by Alan Turing (1912–1954). The UTM is considered to be the origin of the stored programme computer used in 1946 for the “Electronic Computing Instrument” that now bears John von Neumann’s name: the Von Neumann architecture.
1939: The Bombe, a device used by the British to decipher German secret messages during World War II, invented by Alan Turing (1912–1954).
1943–1944: The Colossus computer – the world’s first programmable, electronic, digital computer – invented by Tommy Flowers (1905–1988).
1946–1950: ACE and Pilot ACE invented by Alan Turing (1912–1954).
1946–1947: The Williams tube, a cathode ray tube used to store electronically (500 to 1,000 bits of) binary data, developed by Frederic Calland Williams (1911–1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921–2001).
1948: The Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine – the world’s first modern, stored-programme computer – built by Frederic Calland Williams (1911–1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921–2001) at the Victoria University of Manchester.
1949: The Manchester Mark 1 computer developed by Frederic Calland Williams (1911–1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921–2001); historically significant because of its pioneering inclusion of index registers.
1949: EDSAC – the first complete, fully functional computer inspired by the von Neumann architecture, the basis of every modern computer – constructed by Maurice Wilkes (1913–2010).
Late 1940s/early 1950s: The integrated circuit, commonly called the microchip, conceptualised and built by Geoffrey Dummer (1909–2002).
1951: The Ferranti Mark 1 (a.k.a. the Manchester Electronic Computer), the world’s first successful commercially available general-purpose electronic computer, invented by Frederic Calland Williams (1911–1977) and Tom Kilburn (1921–2001).
1951: The first known recordings of computer generated music played on the Ferranti Mark 1 computer using a programme designed by Christopher Strachey (1916–1975).
1951: LEO made history by running the first business application (payroll system) on an electronic computer for J. Lyons and Co. Under the advice of Maurice Wilkes (1913–2010), LEO was designed by John Pinkerton (1919–1997) and David Caminer (1915–2008).
1951: Concept of microprogramming developed by Maurice Wilkes (1913–2010) from the realisation that the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer could be controlled by a miniature, highly specialised computer programme in high-speed ROM.
1952: The first graphical computer game, OXO or Noughts and Crosses, programmed on the EDSAC at Cambridge University as part of a Ph.D. thesis by A.S. Douglas (1921–2010).
1956 onwards: Metrovick 950, the first commercial transistor computer, built by the Metropolitan-Vickers Company of Manchester.
1958: EDSAC 2, the first computer to have a microprogrammed (Microcode) control unit and a bit slice hardware architecture, developed by a team headed by Maurice Wilkes (1913–2010).
1961: The Sumlock ANITA calculator, the world’s first all-electronic desktop calculator, designed and built by the Bell Punch Company of Uxbridge.
1962: The Atlas Computer – arguably the world’s first supercomputer, and fastest computer in the world until the American CDC 6600 – developed by a team headed by Tom Kilburn (1921–2001). Introduced modern architectural concepts: spooling, interrupts, pipelining, interleaved memory, virtual memory, and paging.
Late 1960s: Denotational semantics originated in the work of Christopher Strachey (1916–1975), a pioneer in programming language design.
1972: The Sinclair Executive, the world’s first small electronic pocket calculator, produced by Sir Clive Sinclair (born 1940).
1979: The first laptop computer, the GRiD Compass, designed by Bill Moggridge (1943–2012).
1979: Digital audio player (MP3 Player) invented by Kane Kramer (born 1956). His first investor was Sir Paul McCartney.
1980–1982: Home computers the Sinclair ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum produced by Sir Clive Sinclair (born 1940).
1981: The Osborne 1 – the first commercially successful portable computer, precursor to the laptop computer – developed by English-American Adam Osborne (1939–2003).
1984: The world’s first pocket computer, the (Psion Organiser), launched by London-based Psion PLC.
1984: Elite, the world’s first computer game with 3D graphics, developed by David Braben (born 1964) and Ian Bell (born 1962).
1985: ARM architecture introduced by Cambridge computer manufacturer Acorn Computers; the ARM CPU design is the microprocessor architecture of 98% of mobile phones and every smartphone.
1989: World Wide Web invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (born 1955).
1989: HTTP application protocol and HTML markup language developed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (born 1955).
1989: Launch of the first PC-compatible palmtop computer, the (Atari Portfolio), designed by Ian Cullimore.
1989: First touchpad pointing device developed for London-based Psion PLC’s Psion MC 200/400/600/WORD Series.
1990: The world’s first web browser invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (born 1955). Initially called World Wide Web, it ran on the NeXTSTEP platform, and was renamed Nexus in order to avoid confusion with the World Wide Web.
1991 onwards: The Linux kernel developed by English-born Andrew Morton (born 1959) and Alan Cox (born 1968).
2002: Wolfram’s 2-state 3-symbol Turing machine proposed by London-born Stephen Wolfram (born 1959).
2012: Launch of the Raspberry Pi, a modern single-board computer for education, designed and built by Cambridgeshire-based charity Raspberry Pi Foundation.