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What is Computer

What is Computer

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Published by: varshu0703 on Jul 07, 2011
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What is Computer?Computer is an electronic device. It accepts raw data from us, process it andgives meaningful information as required by user as per given instruction.Characteristics of a Computer(a)Computer is very fast.(b)Computer is accurate.(c) They can process millions of instructions per second.(d)Computer is very versatile.(e)Computer works at constant efficiency.(f)Perform repetitive tasks very well without error.(g)Computer can store information for future retrieval or use.(h)Computer can communicate with other computer systems.History of Computers450 BC - ABACUS The Egyptians developed it and Improvements made by Chinese & Japanese.1614 AD - Napier's BonesDeveloped by John Napier Scottish Mathematician. A set of 11 rods further dividedinto 9 diagonal numbered parts, based on logarithms. Improved in 1917 AD.1620 AD - Slide RuleWilliam Oughtred developed it, which is an analog device.1642 AD - Pascal's Adding MachineBlaise Pascal, a French Philosopher consisted o mechanical gears. It is forerunnerof all mechanical machines.1694 AD - Gottfried Calculating MachineDeveloped by Gottfried Von Leibnitz, a German Mathematician who was animprovement over Pascal's adding machine.
All the above were based on mechanical precision and since mechanical precision was not that accurateduring those days the reliability of the machines was rather questionable.
1880 AD - Jacquard Punched Cards Machine Joseph Jacquard, French textile manufacturer, developed a machine, which usedpunched cards to make intricate patterns on woven cloth.Absence of hole=Leading to warp thread raisedPresence of hole=Leading to warp thread not raised This basic principle of one or other of the two states is the fundamental basis of the binary coding system used in computers.1623 AD - Binary Codes The first use of binary codes for numerical representation by Francis Bacon.1822 AD - Difference Engine & Analytical Engine
Charles Babbage, English Professor of Mathematics developed both of them. In Difference Engine thelevel difference between the values computed for a formula, remains the same.
For example,Compute the Squares of first 6 natural numbers
 
Computer Fundamental By Raju Sharma/2
NumberSquare112439416525636We compute the level of differences 2 times since we have squared thenumbers and find that the level difference at the 2nd instances are equal as below :-Squares1st Difference2nd Difference1144-1=33-1=299-4=55-3=21616 - 9 = 77-5=22525 - 16 = 99-7=23636 - 25 = 1111 - 9 = 2
Similarly, if we work out the cubes, the third level difference will be equal. Based on this principle CharlesBabbage developed ANALYTICAL ENGINE which could calculate up to 20 decimals at about 60 additions perminute. However, financial constraints and inadequate technological advancements (electricity was discovered onlyin 1840's), his devices remained unfinished. But for his pioneering work he is called the FATHER OF COMPUTER.Similarly, Lady Ada Lovelace is famous as the First Programmer, for having devised a suitable use ofBinary Number system for programs and data to be fed into the Analytical Computer.
GEORGE BOOLE developed the application of logic in computers, which whenapplied to mathematical operation came to be known as Boolean Algebra.1889 AD - Card Punching & Reading Machine
 
Herman Hollerith, a census statistician at the US Census Bureau developed card punching and readingmachines. He formed his own company later, "The Computing Tabulating Recording Company" which is better knowntoday as one of the largest manufacturers of computers - IBM or International Business Machine Corporation -Headquartered in the USA.
1906 AD - Thermionic ValvesLee De Forest, in 1906, made a breakthrough in developing the technology of "Thermionic Valves".1937-1944 AD - MARK I ComputerHoward Aiken with IBM's support built the first automatic Electro-mechanicalcomputer using relays and switches. The BUGS There is a well known fable about Mark I which indication to the adoption of theword "BUG" for use in computers.
Once Mark I developed a certain fault and no amount of effort was spared to locate the same. Every portion of thehuge Mark I, computers of those days used to be monstrously big machines occupying several rooms, wasthoroughly searched for the fault. After spending considerable time and effort it was found that on one of the electricalconnections of the "Back-Plane Panel" of the machine a "MOTH" had got struck bringing the machine to a grindinghalt. The moth was removed when Mark-I started functioning. It was then stated that "Mark I was 'Debugged'."
Computer Fundamental By Raju Sharma/3
Bug was incorporated into the computer vocabulary to mean all kinds of errors and like-wise debuggingmeant removing those errors. These two words are commonly used words now in relation to both the hardware andsoftware of computer.
1946 AD - ENIAC
Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator were developed for World War II use. After this theprogress in the Digital Computers has been simply stupendous (amazing).

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