From room-sized computers to handheld computers, the computing world has undergone a wide range of changes in all these years. The past forty years has ushered in a swarm of changes in the computing field. Technology has taken over, and the changes have even made considerable changes in the way we live our lives. Our modes of communication and businesses have undergone a drastic change all thanks to the growth of software developments. The following are some of the most influential software programs that changed the whole world of computing.
Xerox Alto OS
Are you someone who uses GUI (Graphical User Interface) like Mac OS X, Windows or editing software like MS Word, computers connected to printers, and using super-fast gaming computers? All these had originated from Xerox-alto Operating System. It was originated under Alan Kay at Xerox Parc research facility in 1973. The reason why we are not using Xerox OS is that Apple OS was inspired by Alto OS and soon outdone Xerox Alto.
Smalltalk is the first programming language with OOPS (Object Oriented Programming) concept which allowed the users to define objects. If the programmer wishes to draw a triangle, it allowed defining it as a function. Not just shapes, it also allows using sounds and videos too as objects. Smalltalk is the primary software application model that inspired many programming languages such a C++ and Visual Basic. The disadvantages of these object-oriented programming are that the executable software has become huge and had to be delivered on multiple CDs.
VisiCalc software application was written for one of the Apple Inc computers named Apple II, and this was the first ever spreadsheet program that was written successfully. This was the first ever program the made people realized the necessity of computers and showed them that computers could do a lot which normal papers and pencils can’t do.
What VisiCalc did with numbers, WordStar did with words! WordStar program could calculate the number of words in the documents, and when printed, it printed one line forward and the following line backward. It helped organizations to send printed letters to its customers.
Earlier, the programs would be written using text editors like WordStar and processed in different compiler and linkers. EMACS was introduced as an editing software system for UNIX OS. It would allow the users to execute the program without manually compiling and linking. There was still a compiler and linker in the program, but the process of execution was hidden.
Even now, some of the companies use UNIX programming language for coding. It can run on anything from supercomputers to phones. UNIX is the most popular programming code used by many programmers. It is well known for its powerful compilers, excellent editors, and easy adaptability to adjust to different OS platforms.
Some products become so popular that the brand name is tagged as a synonym for the product. Say, for example, we always ask for Xerox documents. Likewise, we now use the term Photoshop images instead of saying editing images. Photoshop was originally developed by John and Thomas Knoll and was written by Adobe. Adobe is currently the leading name in media software industry.
WWW (World Wide Web)
On a NeXT Computer, in 1990, Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote a document outlining the basics of World Wide Web and introduced the first web browser and web server. It is the most important influential concept that changed the whole world. Now, the whole world remains connected to each other through the world wide web(WWW).