Computer

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Computer

A computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a finite set of arithmetic or logical operations. Since a sequence of operations can be readily changed, the computer can solve more than one kind of problem. Conventionally, a computer consists of at least one processing element, typically a central processing unit (CPU) and some form of memory. The processing element carries out arithmetic and logic operations, and a sequencing and control unit that can change the order of operations based on stored information. Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source, and the result of operations saved and retrieved. The first electronic digital computers were developed between 1940 and 1945. Originally they were the size of a large room, consuming as much power as several hundred modern personal computers (PCs).[1] In this eramechanical analog computers were used for military applications. Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space.[2] Simple computers are small enough to fit into mobile devices, and mobile computers can be powered by smallbatteries. Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as ―computers.‖ However, the embedded

computers found in many devices from MP3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are the most numerous.
Contents
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1 History of computing

o o

1.1 Limited-function early computers 1.2 First general-purpose computers

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1.2.1 Key steps towards modern computers

1.3 Stored-program architecture 1.4 Semiconductors and microprocessors

2 Programs

o o o o

2.1 Stored program architecture 2.2 Bugs 2.3 Machine code 2.4 Programming language

  o 

2.4.1 Low-level languages 2.4.2 Higher-level languages

2.5 Program design

3 Components

o o o o o o o o 

3.1 Control unit 3.2 Arithmetic logic unit (ALU) 3.3 Memory 3.4 Input/output (I/O) 3.5 Multitasking 3.6 Multiprocessing 3.7 Networking and the Internet 3.8 Computer architecture paradigms

4 Misconceptions

o 

4.1 Required technology

5 Further topics

o o

5.1 Artificial intelligence 5.2 Hardware

  o o o    

5.2.1 History of computing hardware 5.2.2 Other hardware topics

5.3 Software 5.4 Languages 5.5 Professions and organizations

6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

History of computing

The Jacquard loom, on display at theMuseum of Science and Industry in Manchester, England, was one of the first programmable devices.

Main article: History of computing hardware The first use of the word ―computer‖ was recorded in 1613 in a book called ―The yong mans gleanings‖ by English writer Richard Braithwait I haue read the truest computer of Times, and the best Arithmetician that euer breathed, and he reduceth thy dayes into a short number. It referred to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century. From the end of the 19th century the word began to take on its more familiar meaning, a machine that carries out computations.[3]

Limited-function early computers

The history of the modern computer begins with two separate technologies, automated calculation and programmability. However no single device can be identified as the earliest computer, partly because of the inconsistent application of that term. A few devices are worth mentioning though, like some mechanical aids to computing, which were very successful and survived for centuries until the advent of the electronic calculator, like the Sumerian abacus, designed around 2500 BC[4] of which a descendant won a speed competition against a modern desk calculating machine in Japan in 1946,[5] the slide rules, invented in the 1620s, which were carried on five Apollo space missions, including to the moon[6] and arguably the astrolabe and the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient astronomical analog computer built by the Greeksaround 80 BC.[7] The Greek mathematician Hero of Alexandria (c. 10–70 AD) built a mechanical theater which performed a play lasting 10 minutes and was operated by a complex system of ropes and drums that might be considered to be a means of deciding which parts of the mechanism performed which actions and when.[8] This is the essence of programmability. Blaise Pascal invented the mechanical calculator in 1642,[9] known as Pascal's calculator, it was the first machine to better human performance of arithmetical computations[10] and would turn out to be the only functional mechanical calculator in the 17th century.[11]Two hundred years later, in 1851, Thomas de Colmar released, after thirty years of development, his simplified arithmometer; it became the first machine to be commercialized because it was strong enough and reliable enough to be used daily in an office environment. The mechanical calculator was at the root of the development of computers in two separate ways. Initially, it was in trying to develop more powerful and more flexible calculators [12] that the computer was first theorized by Charles Babbage[13][14] and then developed.[15]Secondly, development of a low-cost electronic calculator, successor to the mechanical calculator, resulted in the development byIntel[16] of the first commercially available microprocessor integrated circuit.

First general-purpose computers
In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard made an improvement to the textile loom by introducing a series of punched paper cards as a template which allowed his loom to weave intricate patterns automatically. The resulting Jacquard loom was an important step in the development of computers because the use of punched cards to define woven patterns can be viewed as an early, albeit limited, form of programmability.

It was the fusion of automatic calculation with programmability that produced the first recognizable computers.[19] Limited finances and Babbage's inability to resist tinkering with the design meant that the device was never completed—nevertheless his son. fully automatic computing machine. . completed a simplified version of the analytical engine's computing unit (the mill) in 1888.000 punched cards to create (1839). This machine was given to the Science museum in South Kensington in 1910. Charles Babbage owned one of these portraits. his analytical engine. In 1837. it inspired him in using perforated cards in his analytical engine. It was only produced to order. Henry Babbage. Charles Babbage was the first to conceptualize and design a fully programmable mechanical computer. He gave a successful demonstration of its use in computing tables in 1906. considered the world's first working programmable.The Most Famous Image in the Early History of Computing[17] This portrait of Jacquard was woven in silk on a Jacquard loom and required 24. 1941.[18] The Zuse Z3.

Earlier uses of machine-readable media had been for control. which used a direct mechanical or electrical model of the problem as a basis for computation. However. punched cards and tape. had begun to appear: Boolean algebra. Large-scale automated data processing of punched cards was performed for the 1890 United States Census by Hollerith's company. and the keypunch machines. In 1936. These three inventions were the foundation of the modern information processing industry. By the end of the 19th century a number of ideas and technologies. focused only on those capabilities.Ada Lovelace. translated an article by Italian military engineer Luigi Menabrea on the engine. many scientific computing needs were met by increasingly sophisticated analog computers. Herman Hollerith invented the recording of data on a machine-readable medium. that would later prove useful in the realization of practical computers. Lovelace's notes are important in the early history of computers. These notes contain what is considered the first computer program – that is. he settled on punched cards. these were not programmable and generally lacked the versatility and accuracy of modern digital computers. which she supplemented with an elaborate set of notes of her own. and the teleprinter. the vacuum tube (thermionic valve). not data. Ada Lovelace. Alan Turing is widely regarded as the father of modern computer science. simply calledNotes. She also developed a vision on the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others. an algorithm encoded for processing by a machine. considered to be the first computer programmer.[23] Of his role in the creation of the modern . [21] In the late 1880s.‖[22] To process these punched cards he invented the tabulator. an analyst ofCharles Babbage's analytical engine. During the first half of the 20th century..[20] Between 1842 and 1843. which later became the core ofIBM. Turing provided an influential formalization of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine.. providing a blueprint for the electronic digital computer. including Babbage himself. ―After some initial trials with paper tape.

[26] the machine was not programmable.[24] Atanasoff is considered to be one of the fathers of the computer.‖[23] The ENIAC. The Atanasoff–Berry Computer (ABC) was the world's first electronic digital computer. states: ―The fact remains that everyone who taps at a keyboard. opening a spreadsheet or a word-processing program. and built with the assistance of graduate student Clifford Berry. The computer did employ parallel computation. is working on an incarnation of a Turing machine. Time magazine in naming Turing one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Programmers Betty Jean Jennings (left) and Fran Bilas (right) are depicted here operating the ENIAC's main control panel. EDSAC was one of the first computers to implement the stored-program (von Neumann) architecture.computer. is considered to be the first general-purpose electronic computer.[25] Conceived in 1937 by Iowa State College physics professor John Atanasoff. albeit not programmable. being designed only to solve systems of linear equations. which became operational in 1946. . A 1973 court ruling in a patent dispute found that the patent for the 1946 ENIAC computer derived from the Atanasoff–Berry Computer.

who built the Z3. The use of digital electronics (largely invented by Claude Shannon in 1937) and more flexible programmability were vitally important steps. therefore being the world's first operational computer. and regenerative capacitor memory.[30][31][32][33]  The non-programmable Atanasoff–Berry Computer (commenced in 1937. Zuse is often regarded as the inventor of the computer. a large-scale electromechanical computer with limited programmability. in 1941.  The secret British Colossus computers (1943). which was the first to use binary circuits to perform an arithmetic operation.  The Harvard Mark I (1944). Shannon 1940 Notable achievements include:  Konrad Zuse's electromechanical ―Z machines. but defining one point along this road as ―the first digital electronic computer‖ is difficult. gradually adding the key features that are seen in modern computers. including floating point arithmetic and a measure of programmability.‖ on which he had assembled it). binary numbers.The first program-controlled computer was invented by Konrad Zuse.[27] The first programmable electronic computer was the Colossus. since intermediate results could be stored and then fed back into the same set of computation elements. Later models added greater sophistication including complex arithmetic and programmability. In 1998 the Z3 was proved to be Turing complete.‖ The Z3 (1941) was the first working machine featuring binary arithmetic. George Stibitz is internationally recognized as a father of the modern digital computer.[35] . Stibitz invented and built a relay-based calculator he dubbed the ―Model K‖ (for ―kitchen table. The use of regenerative memory allowed it to be much more compact than its peers (being approximately the size of a large desk or workbench). It was used for breaking German wartime codes. an electromechanical computing machine. While working at Bell Labs in November 1937.[29] Thus. completed in 1941) which used vacuum tube based computation.[28] Key steps towards modern computers A succession of steadily more powerful and flexible computing devices were constructed in the 1930s and 1940s. built in 1943 by Tommy Flowers.[34] which had limited programmability but demonstrated that a device using thousands of tubes could be reasonably reliable and electronically re-programmable.

came up with a far more flexible and elegant design. however. nonexperimental implementation of the stored-program design and was put to use immediately for research work at the university. the machine originally described by von Neumann's paper—EDVAC—was completed but did not see full-time use for an additional two years. making it the single trait by which the word ―computer‖ is now defined.75 mm) in its packaging Beginning in the 1950s.S. completed a year after the SSEM at Cambridge University. Soviet scientists Sergei Sobolev and Nikolay Brusentsov conducted research on ternary computers. Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor(actual size: 12×6. This design was first formally described by John von Neumann in the paper First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC. general-purpose computers of the 1940s. The Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC). Initially. Nearly all modern computers implement some form of the stored-program architecture. While the technologies used in computers have changed dramatically since the first electronic. was the first practical. The U. Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory ENIAC (1946). Please help improve this section byadding citations to reliable sources. which came to be known as the ―stored-program architecture‖ or von Neumann architecture. and 1 rather than the . devices that operated on a base three numbering system of -1.(July 2012) Several developers of ENIAC. distributed in 1945. 0. the first of which was completed in 1948 at the University of Manchester in England. most still use the von Neumann architecture. A number of projects to develop computers based on the stored-program architecture commenced around this time. the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM or ―Baby‖). Stored-program architecture This section does not cite any references or sources. which used decimal arithmetic and is sometimes called the first general purpose electronic computer (since Konrad Zuse's Z3 of 1941 used electromagnets instead of electronics). recognizing its flaws. Shortly thereafter. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. ENIAC had an architecture which required rewiring a plugboard to change its programming.

By the late 1970s. That is to say that some type of instructions (the program) can be given to the computer. and as of 2009 may well be the most common form of such computers in existence. but by the 1960s they had been largely replaced by transistor-based machines. such as the Intel 4004. and . but supplanted by the more common binary architecture. The 1980s witnessed home computers and the now ubiquitous personal computer. and they started to appear as a replacement to mechanical controls in domestic appliances such as washing machines. which were smaller. With the evolution of the Internet. and were more reliable. faster.[citation needed] Programs Alan Turing was an influential computer scientist. personal computers are becoming as common as the television and the telephone in the household.[36] In the 1970s. They designed the Setun. Semiconductors and microprocessors Computers using vacuum tubes as their electronic elements were in use throughout the 1950s. The device was put into limited production in the Soviet Union. cheaper to produce. further decreased size and cost and further increased speed and reliability of computers. The defining feature of modern computers which distinguishes them from all other machines is that they can be programmed. The first transistorized computer was demonstrated at the University of Manchester in 1953. a functional ternary computer.[citation needed] Modern smartphones are fully programmable computers in their own right. integrated circuit technology and the subsequent creation ofmicroprocessors. required less power. many products such as video recorders contained dedicated computers called microcontrollers. at Moscow State University.conventional binary numbering system upon which most computers are based.

the world's first stored-program computer. This is called the flow of control within the program and it is what allows the computer to perform tasks repeatedly without human intervention. These are called ―jump‖ instructions (or branches). These instructions are read from the computer's memory and are generally carried out (executed) in the order they were given. there are usually specialized instructions to tell the computer to jump ahead or backwards to some other place in the program and to carry on executing from there. a computer program may be just a few instructions or extend to many millions of instructions.it will process them. Modern computers based on the von Neumann architecture often have machine code in the form of an imperative programming language. Large computer programs consisting of several million instructions may take teams of programmers years to write. at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. Furthermore. . In most cases. and due to the complexity of the task almost certainly contain errors. they may at times jump back to an earlier place in the text or skip sections that are not of interest. a computer may sometimes go back and repeat the instructions in some section of the program over and over again until some internal condition is met. England This section applies to most common RAM machine-based computers. Similarly. etc. While a person will normally read each word and line in sequence. send a message to some external device. jump instructions may be made to happen conditionally so that different sequences of instructions may be used depending on the result of some previous calculation or some external event. A typical modern computer can execute billions of instructions per second (gigaflops) and rarely makes a mistake over many years of operation. as do the programs for word processors and web browsers for example. In practical terms. move some data from one location to another. Stored program architecture Main articles: Computer program and Computer programming Replica of the Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM). Program execution might be likened to reading a book. Many computers directly support subroutines by providing a type of jump that ―remembers‖ the location it jumped from and another instruction to return to the instruction following that jump instruction. However. computer instructions are simple: add one number to another.

num cmp num. On the other hand. 0. a moth found trapped on a relay of the Harvard Mark II computer Errors in computer programs are called ―bugs.[37] Bugs Main article: Software bug The actual first computer bug.Comparatively. they may cause the program or the entire system to ―hang.‖ They may be benign and not affect the usefulness of the program. sum add No. set sum to 0 . add num to sum . the computer will perform the repetitive addition task without further human intervention. #1000 ble loop halt . 1. set num to 1 . But to add together all of the numbers from 1 to 1. compare num to 1000 . Bugs are . a person using a pocket calculator can perform a basic arithmetic operation such as adding two numbers with just a few button presses. Otherwise benign bugs may sometimes be harnessed for malicious intent by an unscrupulous user writing an exploit. if num <= 1000. For example: mov No.‖ becoming unresponsive to input such as mouseclicks or keystrokes. num loop: add num. or to crash. stop running Once told to run this program. code designed to take advantage of a bug and disrupt a computer's proper execution.000 would take thousands of button presses and a lot of time. sum mov No. with a near certainty of making a mistake. or have only subtle effects. add 1 to num . to completely fail. go back to 'loop' . 1. end of program. But in some cases. a computer may be programmed to do this with just a few simple instructions. It will almost never make a mistake and a modern PC can complete the task in about a millionth of a second.

such as in CPU caches. architecture. SUB. This leads to the important fact that entire programs (which are just lists of these instructions) can be represented as lists of numbers and can themselves be manipulated inside the computer in the same way as numeric data. an American computer scientist and developer of the first compiler. or stored program. [38] Admiral Grace Hopper. The fundamental concept of storing programs in the computer's memory alongside the data they operate on is the crux of the von Neumann. The simplest computers are able to perform any of a handful of different instructions. the more complex computers have several hundred to choose from. bugs are nearly always the result of programmer error or an oversight made in the program's design. Modern von Neumann computers display some traits of the Harvard architecture in their designs. In some cases. individual instructions are stored as machine code with each instruction being given a unique number (its operation code or opcode for short). the command to multiply them would have a different opcode and so on. a computer might store some or all of its program in memory that is kept separate from the data it operates on. MULT or JUMP. especially for complicated programs. each with a unique numerical code. is credited for having first used the term ―bugs‖ in computing after a dead moth was found shorting a relay in the Harvard Mark II computer in September 1947. it can also store the instruction codes. Converting programs written in assembly language into something the computer can actually understand (machine language) is usually done by a computer program called an assembler. While it is possible to write computer programs as long lists of numbers (machine language) and while this technique was used with many early computers. Since computers merely execute the instructions they are given. These mnemonics are collectively known as a computer's assembly language. The command to add two numbers together would have one opcode. Since the computer's memory is able to store numbers.usually not the fault of the computer. each basic instruction can be given a short name that is indicative of its function and easy to remember – a mnemonic such as ADD. .[39] Machine code In most computers. This is called the Harvard architecture after the Harvard Mark I computer.[40] it is extremely tedious and potentially error-prone to do so in practice. Instead.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. and more related to the language and structure of the problem(s) to be solved by the final program. or translated directly at run time by an interpreter. writing long programs in assembly language is often difficult and is also error prone.A 1970s punched card containing one line from aFORTRAN program. This is part of the means by which software like video games may be made available for different computer architectures such as personal computers and various video game consoles. Sometimes programs are executed by a hybrid method of the two techniques.(July 2012) . Unlike natural languages. Please help improve this section byadding citations to reliable sources. most practical programs are written in more abstract high-level programming languages that are able to express the needs of the programmer more conveniently (and thereby help reduce programmer error). For instance. programming languages are designed to permit no ambiguity and to be concise. an ARM architecture computer (such as may be found in a PDA or a hand-held videogame) cannot understand the machine language of an Intel Pentium or the AMD Athlon 64 computer that might be in a PC. Therefore. The card reads: ―Z(1) = Y + W(1)‖ and is labeled ―PROJ039‖ for identification purposes. They are purely written languages and are often difficult to read aloud. High level languages are usually ―compiled‖ into machine language (or sometimes into assembly language and then into machine language) using another computer program called a compiler. Low-level languages Main article: Low-level programming language Machine languages and the assembly languages that represent them (collectively termed low-level programming languages) tend to be unique to a particular type of computer.[41] Higher-level languages Main article: High-level programming language Though considerably easier than in machine language.[42] High level languages are less related to the workings of the target computer than assembly language. Programming language Main article: Programming language Programming languages provide various ways of specifying programs for computers to run. Program design This section does not cite any references or sources. They are generally either translated into machine code by a compiler or an assembler before being run. It is therefore often possible to use different compilers to translate the same high level language program into the machine language of many different types of computer.

Each circuit represents a bit (binary digit) of information so that when the circuit is on it represents a ―1‖. ALU. and the input and output devices (collectively termed I/O). the memory. The control unit. Control unit Main articles: CPU design and Control unit Diagram showing how a particular MIPS architecture instruction would be decoded by the control system. registers.Program design of small programs is relatively simple and involves the analysis of the problem. modules. . The task of developing large software systems presents a significant intellectual challenge. devising or using established procedures and algorithms. Components Main articles: Central processing unit and Microprocessor A general purpose computer has four main components: the arithmetic logic unit (ALU). the academic and professional discipline of software engineering concentrates specifically on this challenge. often made of groups of wires. and when off it represents a ―0‖ (in positive logic representation). Producing software with an acceptably high reliability within a predictable schedule and budget has historically been difficult. the control unit. Early CPUs were composed of many separate components but since the mid-1970s CPUs have typically been constructed on a single integrated circuit called a microprocessor. features such as subprograms. Inside each of these parts are thousands to trillions of small electrical circuits which can be turned off or on by means of an electronic switch. As problems become larger and more complex. providing data for output devices and solutions to the problem as applicable. collection of inputs. These parts are interconnected by buses. using the programming constructs within languages. Large programs involving thousands of line of code and more require formal software methodologies. formal documentation. and new paradigms such as object-oriented programming are encountered. and basic I/O (and often other hardware closely linked with these) are collectively known as a central processing unit (CPU). The circuits are arranged in logic gates so that one or more of the circuits may control the state of one or more of the other circuits.

3. 7. a special memory cell (a register) that keeps track of which location in memory the next instruction is to be read from. there is another yet smaller computer called a microsequencer. transforming them into a series of control signals which activate other parts of the computer. 6.The control unit (often called a control system or central controller) manages the computer's various components. Read whatever data the instruction requires from cells in memory (or perhaps from an input device). Read the code for the next instruction from the cell indicated by the program counter. The location of this required data is typically stored within the instruction code. If the instruction requires an ALU or specialized hardware to complete. Since the program counter is (conceptually) just another set of memory cells. 2. A key component common to all CPUs is the program counter. Decode the numerical code for the instruction into a set of commands or signals for each of the other systems. it can be changed by calculations done in the ALU. Jump back to step (1). it reads and interprets (decodes) the program instructions. Write the result from the ALU back to a memory location or to a register or perhaps an output device. instruct the hardware to perform the requested operation.[44] The control system's function is as follows—note that this is a simplified description. The sequence of operations that the control unit goes through to process an instruction is in itself like a short computer program. Provide the necessary data to an ALU or register. Adding 100 to the program counter would cause the next instruction to be read from a place 100 locations further down the program. and indeed. 8. in some more complex CPU designs. 4.[43] Control systems in advanced computers may change the order of some instructions so as to improve performance. 5. Increment the program counter so it points to the next instruction. Arithmetic logic unit (ALU) Main article: Arithmetic logic unit . and some of these steps may be performed concurrently or in a different order depending on the type of CPU: 1. which runs a microcodeprogram that causes all of these events to happen. Instructions that modify the program counter are often known as ―jumps‖ and allow for loops (instructions that are repeated by the computer) and often conditional instruction execution (both examples of control flow).

These can be useful for creating complicated conditional statementsand processing boolean logic. until it was replaced by semiconductor memory. division. albeit with limited precision.‖ The information stored in memory may represent practically anything. etc. Superscalar computers may contain multiple ALUs. The computer can be instructed to ―put the number 123 into the cell numbered 1357‖ or to ―add the number that is in cell 1357 to the number that is in cell 2468 and put the answer into cell 1595. trigonometry functions such as sine.The ALU is capable of performing two classes of operations: arithmetic and logic. any computer that is capable of performing just the simplest operations can be programmed to break down the more complex operations into simple steps that it can perform. Therefore. even computer instructions can be placed into memory with equal ease. greater than or less than the other (―is 64 greater than 65?‖). any computer can be programmed to perform any arithmetic operation—although it will take more time to do so if its ALU does not directly support the operation. Since the CPU does not . Memory Main article: Computer data storage Magnetic core memory was the computer memory of choice throughout the 1960s. and square roots. allowing them to process several instructions simultaneously.[46] Graphics processors and computers with SIMD and MIMD features often contain ALUs that can perform arithmetic on vectors and matrices. or might include multiplication. A computer's memory can be viewed as a list of cells into which numbers can be placed or read. An ALU may also compare numbers and return boolean truth values (true or false) depending on whether one is equal to. Some can only operate on whole numbers (integers) whilst others use floating point to represent real numbers. cosine. Each cell has a numbered ―address‖ and can store a single number. However. OR. XOR and NOT.. [45] The set of arithmetic operations that a particular ALU supports may be limited to addition and subtraction. Logic operations involve Boolean logic: AND. numbers. Letters.

When negative numbers are required. the contents of RAM are erased when the power to the computer is turned off. often without the need for any intervention on the programmer's part. because it is notionally more like hardware than software. Registers are used for the most frequently needed data items to avoid having to access main memory every time data is needed. all of the required software may be stored in ROM. the ROM contains a specialized program called the BIOS that orchestrates loading the computer's operating system from the hard disk drive into RAM whenever the computer is turned on or reset. Other arrangements are possible. either from 0 to 255 or −128 to +127. A computer can store any kind of information in memory if it can be represented numerically. In a PC. so its use is restricted to applications where high speed is unnecessary. Modern computers have billions or even trillions of bytes of memory.differentiate between different types of information. The CPU contains a special set of memory cells called registers that can be read and written to much more rapidly than the main memory area. RAM can be read and written to anytime the CPU commands it. ROM is typically used to store the computer's initial start-up instructions. There are typically between two and one hundred registers depending on the type of CPU. it is the software's responsibility to give significance to what the memory sees as nothing but a series of numbers. As data is constantly being worked on. which frequently do not have disk drives. as it retains its data when turned off but is also rewritable. Flash memory blurs the distinction between ROM and RAM. reducing the need to access main memory (which is often slow compared to the ALU and control units) greatly increases the computer's speed. Computer main memory comes in two principal varieties: random-access memory or RAM and read-only memory or ROM. but are usually not seen outside of specialized applications or historical contexts. Each byte is able to represent 256 different numbers (2^8 = 256). In almost all modern computers. four or eight). several consecutive bytes may be used (typically. To store larger numbers. Software stored in ROM is often called firmware. but ROM is preloaded with data and software that never changes. It is typically much slower than conventional ROM and RAM however. they are usually stored in two's complement notation. In general. In embedded computers. which are slower than registers but faster than main memory. Input/output (I/O) Main article: Input/output . two. therefore the CPU can only read from it. but ROM retains its data indefinitely. Generally computers with this sort of cache are designed to move frequently needed data into the cache automatically.[47] In more sophisticated computers there may be one or more RAM cache memories. each memory cell is set up to store binary numbers in groups of eight bits (called a byte).

By remembering where it was executing prior to the interrupt.[citation needed] Modern desktop computerscontain many smaller computers that assist the main CPU in performing I/O.e.[48]Devices that provide input or output to the computer are called peripherals.[49] On a typical personal computer. . Hard disk drives. A graphics processing unit might contain fifty or more tiny computers that perform the calculations necessary to display 3D graphics.‖ then the interrupt generator might be causing several hundred interrupts per second.Hard disk drives are common storage devices used with computers. the principal use for multitasking was to allow many people to share the same computer. in some systems it is necessary to give the appearance of running several programs simultaneously. I/O devices are often complex computers in their own right. peripherals include input devices like the keyboard and mouse. the computer can return to that task later. Multitasking Main article: Computer multitasking While a computer may be viewed as running one gigantic program stored in its main memory. This is achieved by multitasking i.[50] One means by which this is done is with a special signal called an interrupt. If several programs are running ―at the same time. causing a program switch each time. floppy disk drives andoptical disc drives serve as both input and output devices. I/O is the means by which a computer exchanges information with the outside world. having the computer switch rapidly between running each program in turn. it may appear that many programs are running at the same time even though only one is ever executing in any given instant. which can periodically cause the computer to stop executing instructions where it was and do something else instead. Since modern computers typically execute instructions several orders of magnitude faster than human perception. Computer networking is another form of I/O. and output devices such as the display and printer. This method of multitasking is sometimes termed ―time sharing‖ since each program is allocated a ―slice‖ of time in turn. with their own CPU and memory.[51] Before the era of cheap computers.

mainframe computers and servers. Some computers are designed to distribute their work across several CPUs in a multiprocessing configuration. a technique once employed only in large and powerful machines such as supercomputers. but most programs spend much of their time waiting for slow input/output devices to complete their tasks. in direct proportion to the number of programs it is running. Supercomputers in particular often have highly unique architectures that differ significantly from the basic stored-program architecture and from general purpose computers. and are being increasingly used in lower-end markets as a result. Multiprocessing Main article: Multiprocessing Cray designed many supercomputers that used multiprocessing heavily. multitasking would cause a computer that is switching between several programs to run more slowly. and specialized computing hardware. and cryptography applications. Such designs tend to be useful only for specialized tasks due to the large scale of program organization required to successfully utilize most of the available resources at once. Multiprocessor andmulti-core (multiple CPUs on a single integrated circuit) personal and laptop computers are now widely available. graphics rendering.[52] They often feature thousands of CPUs. Networking and the Internet Main articles: Computer networking and Internet .Seemingly. then it will not take a ―time slice‖ until the event it is waiting for has occurred. If a program is waiting for the user to click on the mouse or press a key on the keyboard. customized high-speed interconnects. Supercomputers usually see usage in large-scale simulation. This frees up time for other programs to execute so that many programs may be run simultaneously without unacceptable speed loss. as well as with other so-called ―embarrassingly parallel‖ tasks.

[53] In the 1970s.S. Initially these facilities were available primarily to people working in high-tech environments. fast networking technologies likeEthernet and ADSL saw computer networking become almost ubiquitous. computer engineers at research institutions throughout the United States began to link their computers together using telecommunications technology. often utilizing mobile phone networks. and the computer network that resulted was called theARPANET.Visualization of a portion of the routes on the Internet. such as peripheral devices. has meant networking is becoming increasingly ubiquitous even in mobile computing environments. Computer architecture paradigms There are many types of computer architectures:  Quantum computer vs Chemical computer . ―Wireless‖ networking. In time. A very large proportion of personal computers regularly connect to the Internet to communicate and receive information. but in the 1990s the spread of applications like e-mail and the World Wide Web. which led to a number of specialpurpose commercial systems such as Sabre. The effort was funded by ARPA (now DARPA). The emergence of networking involved a redefinition of the nature and boundaries of the computer. In fact. Computer operating systems and applications were modified to include the ability to define and access the resources of other computers on the network.[54] The technologies that made the Arpanet possible spread and evolved. the number of computers that are networked is growing phenomenally. stored information. combined with the development of cheap. military's SAGE system was the first large-scale example of such a system. Computers have been used to coordinate information between multiple locations since the 1950s. as extensions of the resources of an individual computer. The U. and the like. the network spread beyond academic and military institutions and became known as the Internet.

Therefore any type of computer (netbook. especially a programmable [usually] electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles. Required technology Main article: Unconventional computing .[55] Logic gates are a common abstraction which can apply to most of the above digital or analog paradigms. Misconceptions Main articles: Human computer and Harvard Computers Women as computers in NACA High Speed Flight Station "Computer Room" A computer does not need to be electronic. capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer can perform. nor RAM. supercomputer. nor even ahard disk. especially if the processing is purposeful. given enough time and storage capacity.     Scalar processor vs Vector processor Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) computers Register machine vs Stack machine Harvard architecture vs von Neumann architecture Cellular architecture The quantum computer architecture holds the most promise to revolutionize computing. While popular usage of the word ―computer‖ is synonymous with a personal electronic computer. or otherwise processes information. The Church–Turing thesis is a mathematical statement of this versatility: any computer with a minimum capability (being Turing-complete) is. correlates.‖[57] Any device which processes information qualifies as a computer. The ability to store and execute lists of instructions called programs makes computers extremely versatile. etc. the modern[56] definition of a computer is literally ―A device that computes. cellular automaton. nor even have a processor. stores. distinguishing them fromcalculators.) is able to perform the same computational tasks. in principle.

a computer can be made out of billiard balls (billiard ball computer). Computer programs that learn and adapt are part of the emerging field of artificial intelligenceand machine learning. keyboards. Further topics  Glossary of computers Artificial intelligence A computer will solve problems in exactly the way it is programmed to. Z3 Second generation (vacuum tubes) Calculators Atanasoff–Berry Computer. power supplies.Historically. DNA computers. computers evolved from mechanical computers and eventually from vacuum tubes to transistors. Arithmometer. Difference engine. Harvard Mark I. IBM 604. However different designs of computers can give very different performance for particular problems. However. neural computers. There is active research to make computers out of many promising new types of technology. printers and mice are all hardware. Circuits. and quantum computers. alternative solutions. Norden bombsight Jacquard loom. For example. History of computing hardware Main article: History of computing hardware Calculators First generation (mechanical/electromechanical) Programmable devices Pascal's calculator. displays. modern computers are made out oftransistors made of photolithographed semiconductors. or possible errors in the code. Hardware Main articles: Computer hardware and Personal computer hardware The term hardware covers all of those parts of a computer that are tangible objects. without regard to efficiency. Analytical engine. Most computers are universal. conceptually computational systems as flexible as a personal computer can be built out of almost anything.[citation needed] More realistically. cables. UNIVAC 120 . and are limited only by their memory capacity and operating speed. and are able to calculate any computable function. an often quoted example. for example quantum computers can potentially break some modern encryption algorithms (by quantum factoring) very quickly. possible shortcuts. such as optical computers. UNIVAC 60.

CSIRAC. IBM System/32. IBM 7080. IBM System/360. x8664 Embedded computer Intel 8048. PowerPC. ARM architecture 64-bit microcomputer[58] Alpha. LSIintegrated circuits) Minicomputer IBM 7090. EDVAC. IBM 702.Programmable devices Colossus. Ferranti Pegasus. Intel 8051 Personal computer Desktop computer. WDC 65816/65802 Fourth generation (VLSI integrated circuits) 32-bit microcomputer Intel 80386. Chemical computer. IBM System i 4-bit microcomputer Intel 4004. MOS Technology 6502. Intel 8080. IBM System/36 Minicomputer VAX. Ferranti Mercury. Tablet PC. Motorola 6800. Laptop computer. UNIVAC I. Portable computer. MIPS. Spintronics . Motorola 68000. DNA computing. MSI. Motorola 6809. Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine. Manchester Mark 1. Pentium. PDP-11. PA-RISC. SPARC. Intel 4040 8-bit microcomputer Intel 8008. Z22 Mainframes Third generation (discrete transistors and SSI. ENIAC. IBM 650. EDSAC. Personal digital assistant (PDA). IBM 701.Optical computer. Wearable computer Theoretical/experimental Quantum computer. BUNCH PDP-8. Zilog Z8000. Zilog Z80 16-bit microcomputer Intel 8088. Home computer.

Windows 7. USB Ethernet. Windows XP. MS-DOS. Windows Me. protocols. FDDI Software Main article: Computer software Software refers to parts of the computer which do not have a material form. When software is stored in hardware that cannot easily be modified (such as BIOS ROM in an IBM PC compatible). Windows Vista. Windows NT. teleprinter Short range Computer busses Long range (computer networking) RS-232.based computer Other hardware topics Input Mouse. IBM AIX. data. PCI. SCSI. ATM. webcam. Solaris (SunOS). joystick. such as programs. IRIX. etc. printer. hard disk drive.‖ Unix and BSD UNIX System V. Windows 2000. Mac OS X . image scanner. it is sometimes called ―firmware. keyboard.microphone Peripheral device(input/output) Output Monitor. Windows 98. Windows 8 DOS 86-DOS (QDOS). graphics tablet. loudspeaker Both Floppy disk drive. PC-DOS. DR-DOS. optical disc drive. Comparison of Linux distributions Operating system Microsoft Windows Windows 95. HP-UX. List of BSD operating systems GNU/Linux List of Linux distributions. FreeDOS Mac OS Mac OS classic.

MPEG. KDE. Robotic manufacturing. HTTP. FTP. Computer music . Standard Template Library Protocol Data File format TCP/IP. OpenAL C standard library. Oberon/Bluebottle. CDE. 3D modeler. Computer-aided manufacturing. Spreadsheet. Accounting software Internet Access Browser. Scheduling & Time management. Plant management. SMTP HTML. Presentation program. E-mail client. OpenGL. Desktop publishing. Aqua Command-line interface. Audio synthesis.Embedded andrealtime List of embedded operating systems Experimental Amoeba. 3D computer graphics. Mail transfer agent. JPEG. Database management system. GNOME. Supply chain management Graphics Raster graphics editor. PNG Graphical user interface (WIMP) User interface Text-based user interface Microsoft Windows. Audio playback. Instant messaging Application Design and manufacturing Computer-aided design. Image processing Audio Digital audio editor. Kermit. Plan 9 from Bell Labs Multimedia Library Programming library DirectX. XML.Video editing. Animation editor. Text user interface Office suite Word processing. Web server. GEM. Vector graphics editor. Mixing. QNX Photon.

First-person shooter. Ruby.File manager Languages There are thousands of different programming languages—some intended to be general purpose. Platform. Pascal. List of programming languages. BASIC. Perl Professions and organizations As the use of computers has spread throughout society. Revision control. Generational list of programming languages. C#. Educational game. C++. Text editor. JavaScript. Installer/Package management systems. others useful only for highly specialized applications. Python. NonEnglish-based programming languages Commonly used assembly languages ARM. Fortran. Interactive fiction Misc Artificial intelligence. Massively multiplayer. C. Lisp. . Integrated Software engineering development environment. Arcade. there are an increasing number of careers involving computers. Object Pascal Commonly used scripting languages Bourne script. Software performance analysis. Flight simulator Games Strategy. Malware scanner. Java. x86 Commonly used high-level programming languages Ada. Serious game. List of programming languages by category. Antivirus software. Simulation.Compiler. Debugger. COBOL. MIPS. Software configuration management Educational Edutainment. Interpreter. Puzzle. PHP. Programming languages Lists of programming languages Timeline of programming languages. Assembler.

Desktop publishing. a modern laptop computer may use around 30 W. Information technology. ENIAC required an estimated 174 kW. BCS Free/open source software groups Free Software Foundation. clubs and societies of both a formal and informal nature. By comparison. Software engineering. Apache Software Foundation See also Information technology portal        Computability theory Computer insecurity Computer security List of computer term etymologies List of fictional computers Pulse computation TOP500 (list of most powerful computers) Notes 1. IEEE. Optical engineering. Organizations Standards groups ANSI. AIS. Computer engineering. Mozilla Foundation. Computer engineering. Electronic engineering. IETF. Nanoengineering Softwarerelated Computer science. ^ In 1946. W3C Professional societies ACM.Computer-related professions Hardwarerelated Electrical engineering.Information systems. ISO. Computational science. nearly six thousand times . Telecommunications engineering. Human–computer interaction. Web design The need for computers to work well together and to be able to exchange information has spawned the need for many standards organizations. IET. IEC. Video game industry. IFIP.

4. Babbage's ideas have only been properly appreciated in the last ten years. and many of these operations are more complicated and useful than early computer operations. ^ "Heron of Alexandria". Copland. ^ "The arithmetical machine produces effects which approach nearer to thought than all the actions of animals. ^ "Discovering How Greeks Computed in 100 B.C. Pascal. Pensées Bartleby. 10. Retrieved 20 February 2010.11 5. John Wiley & Sons. New York: John Wiley & Sons.). The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer.udel. p. Great Books online. 31 July 2008. From 2700 to 2300 BC."Pickett Apollo Box Scans".. Retrieved 27 March 2010. ^ Babbage's Difference engine in 1823 and his Analytical engine in the mid-1830s 13. ^ According to advertising on Pickett's N600 slide rule boxes."Intel Core2 Duo Mobile Processor: Features". as to the animals. Retrieved 20 June 2009. ^ computer. ^ * Ifrah. ^ See the paragraph Pascal's calculator#Competing designs 12. or The history of the counting machine. 9. 3. 19. Mechanical arithmetic. Dorr E. but we now realize that he . 8. Blaise Pasdcal. ^ ―It is reasonable to inquire. ^ Early computers such as Colossus and ENIAC were able to process between 5 and 100 operations per second. Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed. A modern ―commodity‖ microprocessor (as of 2007) can process billions of operations per second.". Oxford University Press.com. ^ Felt. Chicago: Washington Institute.Georges Ifrah. (1916). p. Intel Corporation. whether it is possible to devise a machine which will do for mathematical computation what the automatic lathe has done for engineering. Felt 10. Edmund Berkeley 6. Giant Brains.Dorr E. Retrieved 15 January 2008.less. Retrieved 20 June 2009. But it does nothing which would enable us to attribute will to it. ^ Berkeley. "Approximate Desktop & Notebook Power Usage". 1989. Retrieved 10 April 2009. pp. Edmund (1949). ISBN 0-471-39671-0. n. therefore. Georges (2001). University of Pennsylvania. The first suggestion that such a machine could be made came more than a hundred years ago from the mathematician Charles Babbage.edu.". Thoughts 11. or Machines That Think. 2. 7. The New York Times.

Irascible Genius. ISBN 3-540-06169-X 16.. 1973. 1953. England.) 19. Edited by Brian Randell. page 99. V.. Big deal now". Proposed automatic calculating machine. time-consuming and absurd. the development of calculating machinery has continued at an increasing rate. He understood more about the logic of these machines than anyone else in the world had learned until after the end of the last war. ^ ―. 1964.. ^ In the proposal that Aiken gave IBM in 1937 while requesting funding for the Harvard Mark I we can read: ―Few calculating machines have been designed strictly for application to scientific investigations. and his efforts were regarded as futile.com 18. England: Cambridge University Press.. Charles Babbage. Pitman publishing corporation 14.understood clearly all the fundamental principles which are embodied in modern digital computers‖ Faster than thought. Most of his life he spent in an entirely unsuccessful attempt to make a machine which was regarded by his contemporaries as utterly preposterous. Intel. 1989). Since the time of Babbage.. reprinted in: The origins of Digital computers.com. edited by B.‖ Howard Aiken. the notable exceptions being those of Charles Babbage and others who followed him . page 298. Science and Reform: Selected Works of Charles Babbage (Cambridge. Hutchinson 15.‖ Foreword... ^ The analytical engine should not be confused with Babbage'sdifference engine which was a non-programmable mechanical calculator. Babbage devoted his energy to the design and construction of an analytical engine of far higher powers than the difference engine . 17. . Selected Papers. It is in the collection of the Science Museum in London. Bowden. In the last decade or so we have learnt how his ideas can be embodied in a modern digital computer. After abandoning the difference engine. London. Retrieved 29 January 2012. Big deal then. inventor by Maboth Moseley. ^ From cave paintings to the internet HistoryofScience. ^ See: Anthony Hyman. ed. ^ "Intel Museum – The 4004. (Delve (2007).Among this extraordinary galaxy of talent Charles Babbage appears to be one of the most remarkable of all.

^ Fuegi. is working on an incarnation of a Turing machine" 24. 19. National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation.)German inventor of the computer" 32. 23.1253887. 27. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 37 37. ^ "John Vincent Atanasoff and the Birth of Electronic Digital Computing". 36.1109/85. Columbia.edu. Retrieved 11 December 2010. All the .. 28.com: "Konrad Zuse earned the semiofficial title of "inventor of the modern computer"" 34. ^ GermanWay: "(. Google Books. "Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'". Popular Science.20. 28 September 2009. 25. Columbia. ^ Rojas. (1998). ^ Monsters & Critics: "he(Zuse) built the world's first computer in Berlin" 33. ^ About. Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers. "How to make Zuse's Z3 a universal computer". 22. 21. Time Magazine.edu. ^ RTD Net: "From various sides Konrad Zuse was awarded with the title "Inventor of the computer". ^ B. Stibitz".707574. ^ "Spiegel: The inventor of the computer's biography was published". ed. R." 31. ^ a b "Alan Turing – Time 100 People of the Century". Annals of the History of Computing25 (4). ^ Fuegi and Francis. 25. 29. pp. opening a spreadsheet or a word-processing program. Retrieved 11 December 2010.. Inc.. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 2006 35.1109/MAHC. Francis. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 20 (3): 51–54. doi:10.. (2003).2003. Cs. p. ^ "Atanasoff-Berry Computer". 30. ^ "Inventor Profile: George R. J. Jack Copeland. Retrieved 11 December 2010. doi:10.iastate. ^ This program was written similarly to those for the PDP11minicomputer and shows some typical things a computer can do. J.edu. ^ "Columbia University Computing History: Herman Hollerith". 26. ^ Lavington 1998. ^ "John Vincent Atanasoff – the father of the computer". 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2010. 18– 26. "The fact remains that everyone who taps at a keyboard. October 1944. ^ "Robot Mathematician Knows All The Answers". Retrieved 29 January 2012. Der Spiegel. Oxford University Press. pp.

TIME. (Digital Equipment Corporation 1972) 38. Computer hardware may fail or may itself have a fundamental problem that produces unexpected results in certain situations. Although the control unit is solely responsible for instruction interpretation in most modern computers. which were often one-of-a-kind and totally incompatible with other computers. For example. ^ High level languages are also often interpreted rather than compiled. 39. ^ It is not universally true that bugs are solely due to programmer oversight. Some minicomputers like the DECPDP-8 could be programmed directly from a panel of switches.. by another program called aninterpreter. while running. as well as programs designed for earlier microprocessors like the Intel Pentiums and Intel 80486. this method was usually used only as part of thebooting process. III (16 April 1984). Alexander L. 43. Retrieved 17 February 2007. 41. Interpreted languages are translated into machine code on the fly. Most modern computers boot entirely automatically by reading a boot program from some nonvolatile memory. ^ However. For instance. This is especially the case with specialized computing hardware that may be partially self-contained. the Pentium FDIV bugcaused some Intel microprocessors in the early 1990s to produce inaccurate results for certain floating point division operations. EDVAC. "The Wizard Inside the Machine". 40. However. ^ Taylor. This contrasts with very early commercial computers. one of the .text after the semicolons are comments for the benefit of human readers. These have no significance to the computer and are ignored. ^ Even some later computers were commonly programmed directly in machine code. this is not always the case. An x86-64compatible microprocessor like the AMD Athlon 64 is able to run most of the same programs that an Intel Core 2microprocessor can. Many computers include some instructions that may only be partially interpreted by the control system and partially interpreted by another device. This was caused by a flaw in the microprocessor design and resulted in a partial recall of the affected devices. 42. ^ The control unit's role in interpreting instructions has varied somewhat in the past. there is sometimes some form of machine language compatibility between different computers.

. Experts. 45. 111. 45. Grace Todino. p. therefore the program counter usually increases by the number of memory locations required to store one instruction. used a central control unit that only interpreted four instructions. Ltd. ISBN 978-0-262-08285-3. it is also very common to construct supercomputers out of many pieces of cheap commodity hardware. ISBN 978-0-596-00261-9. Learning the UNIX Operating System: A Concise Guide for the New User. Eck (2000). 12. Dan I. Porat (1976). p. CRC Press. O'Reilly. John Strang (2002). 54. 46. All of the arithmetic-related instructions were passed on to its arithmetic unit and further decoded there. making it less useful for heavy random access usage. Prentice-Hall. usually individual computers connected by networks. 85. Wiley.ISBN 978-0-471-05051-3. ^ Instructions often occupy more than one memory address. CRC Press. While custom architectures are still used for most of the most powerful supercomputers. ^ Donald Eadie (1968). Davis (2002). 52. These so-calledcomputer clusters can often provide supercomputer performance at a much lower cost than customized designs. (Verma & Mielke 1988) 48. ^ However. (TOP500 2006) 53. 51. Hughes (2000). 161. Noise Reduction in Speech Applications. ^ Gillian M. ISBN 978-0-8247-4067-2. ^ Agatha C. Introduction to Microcomputers and the Microprocessors. and Computers. ISBN 978-0-8493-0949-6." . p. p. 49. Introduction to the Basic Computer. ^ Arpad Barna. 47. ISBN 978-1-56881128-4. ^ Jerry Peek. ^ Flash memory also may only be rewritten a limited number of times before wearing out. A K Peters.. "The experience of SAGE helped make possible the first truly large-scale commercial real-time network: the SABRE computerized airline reservations system. p. Handbook of Parallel Computing and Statistics. 44.MIT Press.earliest stored-program computers. The Most Complex Machine: A Survey of Computers and Computing. ^ David J. there has been a proliferation of cluster computers in recent years. ^ Erricos John Kontoghiorghes (2006). 50. 130. Systems. p. p.

4 (October–December 2003): Digital Object Identifier  a Kempf. Horst. Jack (13 November 2006). N.  a Shannon. J. Tony (2000). Thefreedictionary. Aberdeen Proving Ground (United States Army). Simon (1998). existed in 32-bit forms before their 64-bit incarnations were introduced.  Meuer. Erich. American Mathematical Society. . A History of Manchester Computers (2 ed.  a Phillips. when it referred to ―A person who makes calculations. Internet Society.).com. Mielke.  Digital Equipment Corporation (1972). "The Antikythera Mechanism I". page 340. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 25 No. (1988). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 56. and Francis. Retrieved 20 September 2008. J. Strohmaier. Simon. Dumas 2006. A symbolic analysis of relay and switching circuits. ^ "A Brief History of the Internet". ISBN 978-0-902505-01-8. Karl (1961). References  Fuegi. the word computer dates back to the mid 17th century.‖ 57. Retrieved 27 November 2006.  Lavington. Reliability performance of ETOX based flash memories. G. "Architectures Share Over Time". ^ "Computer architecture: fundamentals and principles of computer design" by Joseph D. IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium. Dongarra. Hans..54. All of the architectures listed in this table. 2007). "Lovelace & Babbage and the creation of the 1843 'notes'". Swindon: The British Computer Society. PDP-11/40 Processor Handbook (PDF). ^ According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (6th ed. Retrieved 5 April 2006. Historical Monograph: Electronic Computers Within the Ordnance Corps. Maynard. except for Alpha. ^ "Definition of computer". Retrieved 29 January 2012. Claude Elwood (1940). TOP500. MA: Digital Equipment Corporation. ^ Most major 64-bit instruction set architectures are extensions of earlier designs.  Verma. 55. specifically a person employed for this in an observatory etc. 58.

 Berkeley. John Wiley & Sons. Edmund (1949). Mechanical arithmetic. ISBN 0-471-39671-0. External links Find more about Computer at Wikipedia'ssister projects Definitions and translations from Wiktionary Media from Commons Learning resources from Wikiversity News stories from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Source texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks  A Brief History of Computing – slideshow by Life magazine [hide]    V T E . (1916). Georges (2001). Stokes. San Francisco: No Starch Press. or The history of the counting machine.  Ifrah. The Universal History of Computing: From the Abacus to the Quantum Computer. Inside the Machine: An Illustrated Introduction to Microprocessors and Computer Architecture. New York: John Wiley & Sons.  Felt. ISBN 978-1-59327-104-6. Chicago: Washington Institute. or Machines That Think. Dorr E. Jon (2007). Giant Brains.

Computer sizes Classes of computers   Larger    Mini        Super Minisuper Mainframe Midrange Supermini Server Personal Workstation Desktop Home SFF Nettop Micro      Plug Portable Video game arcade cabinet Arcade system board Video game console .

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                                               Bân-lâm-gú Башҡортса Беларуская Беларуская (тарашке Български Boarisch བོད་ཡིག Bosanski Brezhoneg Català Чӑ ашла Cebuano Česky Cymraeg Dansk Deutsch Diné bizaad Eesti Ελληνικά Emiliàn e rumagnòl Эрзянь Español Esperanto Euskara ‫ف ار سی‬ Fiji Hindi Føroyskt Français Frysk Furlan Gaeilge Gaelg Gàidhlig Galego 贛語 ગુજરાતી Hak-kâ-fa 한국어 Hausa Հայերեն हिन्दी Hrvatski Ido Igbo Ilokano а) .

                                               Bahasa Indonesia Interlingua ᐃᓄᒃ ᑎᑐᑦ /inuktitut IsiXhosa IsiZulu Íslenska Italiano ‫עברית‬ Basa Jawa ಕನ್ನಡ Kapampangan Къарачай-малкъар ქართული /‫ر‬ Қазақша Kernowek Kiswahili Kongo Kreyòl ayisyen Kurdî Кыргызча Ladino Лезги ລາວ Latina Latviešu Lëtzebuergesch Lietuvių Limburgs Lingála Lojban Lumbaart Magyar Македонски Malagasy മലയാളം Malti मराठी მარგალური ‫م صرى‬ ‫ما ر ی‬ Bahasa Melayu Mirandés Монгол မမမမမမမမမမ Nāhuatl Nederlands .

                                               Nedersaksies नेपाली 日本語 Nnapulitano Norfuk / Pitkern Norsk bokmål Norsk nynorsk Occitan Олык марий ଓଡ଼ିଆ Oʻzbekcha ਪੰ ਜਾਬੀ ‫پ نجاب ی‬ ‫پ ښ تو‬ Plattdüütsch Polski Ποντιακά Português Qırımtatarca Română Runa Simi Русиньскый Русский Саха тыла संस्कृतम ् Sardu Scots Seeltersk Shqip Sicilianu Simple English Slovenčina Slovenščina Сло ѣньскъ / Ślůnski Soomaaliga ‫وردی‬ Српски / srpski Srpskohrvatski / српскохр атски Suomi Svenska Tagalog தமிழ் Татарча/tatarça .

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