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Electronic Campus Timeline

Friden EC132 Calculator (1965) | Fifty-pound calculator used in Northwest's Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics Department. First commonly available solid-state desktop electronic calculator. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)HP2115A Micro Computer (1971) | Purchased by Northwest in 1971 for use in the Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics Department. The first computer to be dedicated entirely to academic use. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Altair 8800 (1975) | First Personal Computer on the market. Purchased by Northwest's library in 1975. Unfortunately, the Altair was not capable of supporting library applications. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Commodore PET 2001 Series (1977) | Northwest's Computer Science Department purchased the Commodore PETs for teacher education in 1977. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Radio Shack TRS-80 (1978) | The TRS-80 was used in Northwest's Agricultural Department, primarily for the creation of Farm Management spreadsheets. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Apple II (1978) | Apple II computers were purchased by Northwest for Teacher Education in 1978. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Osborne (1980s) | The first portable personal computer was purchased and used by Northwest's Agricultural Department. Few programs would run, because the screen was limited to 40 character lines. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Kaypro 10 (1980s) | First practical portable computer. The Kaypro weighed 25 pounds. But the 9-inch screen was a vast improvement over the Obsorne's screen. The Kaypro was used by Northwest's Computing Services Department, now Information Technology.(Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Macintosh Plus (1986) | The MAC Plus computers were the first computers on campus with a graphical user interface. The MAC Plus computers were purchased for the Mass Communications Department, which was responsible for such publications as The Missourian and Tower Yearbook. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)DEC Rainbow (1986) | Two-hundred DEC Rainbows were purchased by Northwest in the 1980s. The DEC Rainbows were good text computers, but failed to keep up with the demand for graphics. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Zenith Data Systems (1988) | The Zenith Data Systems, which were purchased by Northwest for various departments such as Computer Science, ran a wide array of professional software and could handle colors and graphics. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Toshiba Notebook Computer (1994) | Two-hundred Toshiba Notebook Computers were purchased by Northwest for the EC Plus pilot program in 1994. The program was designed to provide students with a powerful portable education tool. But students were not interested in the program at the time and felt notebook computers were like a "ball and chain." (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)IBM Thinkpad (1996) | By 1996, there were around 600 university-owened notebook computers on the Northwest campus, including the IBM Thinkpad, which eventually replaced the Toshiba in popularity. Students, however, still did not see the value in having a  notebook computer. Thus, the majority on campus were in the hands of faculty. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)MTECH Computer (1997) | Two-thousand MTECH computers were purchased by Northwest in 1997. The computers had a removable hard-drive, which made maintenance easy and relatively hassle-free due to the standardized loadset. An MTECH was available in each residence hall room. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Gateway Notebook Computer (2005) | In 2005, more than 2,200 notebook computers were distributed to students signaling the beginning of a new Northwest notebook computer program that provided a wireless-ready notebook computer to every student living on campus. Students living off-campus had the opportunity to rent similar notebook computers for the semester. Unlike with the EC Plus program in the 1990s, students embraced the new technology. Desktop computers were permanently removed from residence halls as each student living in campus housing now had a notebook computer. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)HP Computers (2008) | Over 140 HP Desktop Computers were put into the general purpose computing labs in Owens Library in 2008.(Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)HP Notebook Computer (2008) | All full-time undergraduate and graduate students were provided with a Hewlett Packard (HP) 6515 wireless-ready notebook computer in 2008 as part of the expanded Northwest Notebook Computer program. (Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)Northwest Notebook Computers (2008) | More than 6,000 notebook computers were handed out in Fall 2008 much to the approval of the student body.(Courtesy of the Jean JENNINGS Bartik Computing Museum)