J.S. Billings, then director of what was to become the National Library of Medicine, suggests to Herman Hollerith that a mechanical system based on cards be used to tabulate the Census. Hollerith develops a punch card system used with the 1890 Census.
Timeline: Digital Technology and Preservation
IBM introduces a rectangular hole punch card that becomes the industry standard.
The 8" floppy disk appears. It doesn't seem large at the time.
Laserdiscs are introduced.
The first 5.25" floppy disks are introduced. When this product reaches the PC market it causes an explosive growth in digital information storage.
Philips releases the laserdisc player.
Laserdiscs begin to develop "Laser rot" due to oxidation of the aluminum layer.
Sony introduces the first 3 1/2" floppy drives and diskettes.
Sony and Philips introduce the first CD player.
Compact Disk-Digital Audio (CD-DA) is introduced to the market jointly by Philips and Sony.
The QIC Standard becomes the first standard in computer history for tape drives.
Philips and Sony introduce CD-ROM technology.
Philips and Sony join forces to create the CD-Interactive or CD-I format.
Digital Audio Tape (DAT) is introduced.
CDs outsell vinyl records.
Science Citation Index® is published on compact disk.
Philips introduces Compact Disc Interactive (CD-I) player for music and video.
The digital Sony Mini-Disc is introduced.
CDs outsell cassette tapes.
MP-3 players for downloaded Internet audio appear.
A commercial Digital Video Recording (DVR) system is developed by TiVo, Inc. Reruns of Columbo can now be recorded digitally, saved, and viewed anytime.
Apple's family of personal music players, the iPod, dominates the market with over 5.7 million units sold since their debut in late 2001.