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A History of Computers

by Andrew Moon
The reason for computers is to simplify everyday
tasks and improve our productivity. This idea,
however, has been around long before computers
even existed.

Before getting into computers themselves, here are

a few events that led up to the invention and use of
That thing does what?

The Abacus

Dates from about the

fourth century B.C.
Simple “Computer”
Used for Addition,
Subtraction, Multiplication,
A skilled user can do
problems nearly as fast as
somebody with a calculator
Looks like a box of chocolates

Pascal’s Adding

Created in 1642
Invented to help his father,
who was a tax collector
Inspired others to keep
working on similar devices
Automation Takes Off

The Flying Shuttle

Invented in 1733 by
John Kay
Allowed a single worker to
make larger and more complex
sheets of cloth in fractions of
the time it took before


Light bulb was NOT the

reason Edison is famous.
Edison’s distribution of
electricity ignited the
second industrial
Allowed automation of
many everyday tasks
through electric powered
Introduction of Computers

The Mainframe

Mark 1
Whopping 4 Arithmetic
500 Addition/Subtraction
operations a second
350 Multiplication operations

a second
50 Division operations a
Firststandardized language.
Helped define computers as
multipurpose tools.
Personal Computing

The Altair 8800

This thing costs $1200?

Came with no screen or
It was programmed by
flipping the switches on the
Blinking lights let you know
the results of your program
Birth of Microsoft
BillGates and Paul Allen
wrote the Basic Interpreter
which runs on the Altair
Word Processing is introduced
to the masses
The Personal Computer

Apple I + II
First PCs that resemble
modern day computers
Limited selection of software

Many early programs were

written by user enthusiast


One of the first major
programs for the Apple.
Helped show what the
computer was capable of
VisiCalc. People actually used
It’s so sticky..


Helped market PC’s to

the computer illiterate
Apple’s Lisa
Released in 1983
One of the first notable GUI’s

Microsoft Windows
Windows 1.0 was not a big
It wasn’t until Windows 3.1

that Microsoft took off with the

GUI. So far, so good, so
The Internet Rocks

For the average user,

the PC had little to offer
other than a word
processor and solitaire
ISP’s start up
Around 1995 Compuserve,
AOL, etc. started offering
internet access.
Instant communication with
anyone who has an email
Unless you’re like me, you
probably get loads of e-mail
that you couldn’t do without
Various other Internet
Online Shopping

Most Companies have

online stores available.
Online auction site
Possible to buy nearly
Online database for prices on
computer parts
No need to shovel over your
life savings for a craptastic pre-
made Compaq
You know you’ve done it

Chatting (Not porn)

Chatting is only slightly

less addictive than crack
Virtual communities of users
Easy to communicate ideas
within a large group
Instant Messaging
Instantly communicate with
your friends
Free, no cost for software
Computing into the Future

Microsoft Passport

Integrates the Internet

into your life
A single sign on to shop
and surf online
Be able to buy from passport
participating sites with a single
Secure shopping

Customized ads based on

your previous purchases

Controls kids surfing with
children’s passports

Thank you for listening to

my presentation. I will now
be taking questions and/or