course mod topic first name date completed
cit-115 hardware timline
module learning objectives
A 1-terabyte hard disk drive up for auction by Goodwill online store! How much would 1TB of hard disk storage cost in 1995? What kind of computer devices might be found in a Goodwill donation bin at that time?
computer fundamentals > computer history timeline

Technology growth timeline

To make the seemingly magical and exponential growth of computer power over the past 60 years, we are organizing important events in this process on a timeline on the scale of an entire wall. The following four sub-sections each describe a type of "marker" or, as its called below, component, that can be placed along the timeline.

Timeline component type 1: Anchor computer model feature box

Choose one of your own anchor computer models to feature on the timeline using these steps:

  1. Look up and verify the specifications of this system using the rows in our tracking spreadsheet as your guide (i.e. release year, manufacturer, CPU, range of RAM compatibility, non-volatile storage)
  2. Create a system title card that displays the following information in as big a font as possible:
    • Model number
    • Manufacturer
    • Release year
    • Retail price in 2018 dollars
    • Why did you choose this model? What makes its release significant?
  3. Make a note about the sources of your data in smaller font in the lower corner of your poster.
  4. Locate an image of the system that's a decent enough resolution that you can print it on a full size sheet of paper using the color printer provided.
  5. Attach the entry to the master timeline using clips and/or wire

Timeline component type 2: Hardware specimen

We can attach actual hardware components to the timeline at their release years. By including specifications for each, timeline viewers can touch and see examples of computer technology growth through time. Follow these steps to create an excellent timeline component:

  1. Choose a hardware specimen from a system designated for parts dissection that is both of interest to you AND not already on the timeline.
  2. Before extracting the component from other components (if it is attached), record on your draft specimen card which other components it is connected to, such as a power supply or motherboard or case. Record any relevant model numbers of connecting parts.
  3. Conduct some research on this component and determine the following (with sources!):
    • Manufacturer
    • Model number/name
    • Release year
    • Most important specifications
    • Retail cost in release year converted to 2018 dollars
  4. Once you have the research done, you're ready to decide how to mount or hang the component on the timeline wall. You may want to hang the component directly using wire, or put it in a bag and hang the bag on the timeline with a year marker.

Timeline component type 3: "Human interest" event

Not just computers matter! Choose a human-related event, such as the release of a music album that's important to you, the birth or death of somebody important to you, or a major societal event.

Create a colorful, interesting feature page or pages about this human event with the year in big, bold font. Print it out and hang it on the timeline in the appropriate location.

Timeline component type 4: Visualize technological growth

We want to be able to visualize the change in computing power over time with some interesting visualizations. For this component, create a way to compare TWO points along the timeline related to some type of computer component that has changed dramatically over teh past several decades, such as storage per dollar or processor cycles per second.

Engineer/ design a way to compare these values at two points along the timeline. For example, perhaps you can show how much more data you can store on a $200 hard drive that one could buy in 1995 versus 2015. You could represent the amount of storage at each point on the time line by calculating how many of your favorite songs you can store on that drive. Copy and paste that numbver of band icons or something onto paper the appropriate number of times and print those copies out and prepare them for hanging on the timeline.

Be creative!