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C.Birth of Computers (1940-1950) A.1965) Chapter V .1957) Chapter IV .First Generation (1950 .1975) Chapter VI .000 B.1985) Chapter VII .Fifth Generation (1985 . to 1940 A. Ancient Civilizations B.Present) . and Jacquard C. Von Neumann Chapter III .The Early days (1.Table of Contents Chapter I .Second Generation (1957 . Babbage D. Leibnitz. World War II B.Third Generation (1965 . Hollerith Chapter II . Pascal.Fourth Generation (1975 .

the history of computing goes back at least 3. Indians on the base-10 decimal numbering system and concept of zero . no. and Persians were all interested in logic and numerica l computation. to 1940) ³Ancient Civilizations´ Computers are named so because they make mathematical computations at fast speeds. But how did computers as we know them come to exist? Did someone sitting in his lab just one day say. John Napier invented logarithms to simplify difficult mathematical computations. and medicine. many years of brilliant ideas and research from many different individuals contributed to modern computing. "Aha! I've got it! The computer?! Well. The slide rule was introduced in the year 1622.Brief History of Computers (A Look Back at Computing) Computers have become one of the most important parts of modern society. the Chinese on trigonometry. and Blaise Pascal spent most of his life in the 1600's working on a calculator called the . Nearly everything that is modern required or uses computer related technology in some way. Egyptians. that is not how this happened. Indians. Pascal. The Greeks. Babylonians. As a result. Chinese. The field is constantly evolving at a pace unlike anything before it as techniques are polished and new breakthroughs are made. Rather. The Early days (1. chemistry. the Egyptians on simple addition and subtraction. and Jacquard During the first half of the 17th century there were very important advancements in the automation and simplification of arithmetic computation. and the Persians on algorithmic problem solving.000 B. Leibnitz.000 years ago. fueling advancements in areas like astronomy.C. The Greeks focused on geometry and rationality. These developments carried over into the more modern centuries. the Babylonians on multiplication and division. when ancient civilizations were making great strides in arithmetic and mathematics.

subtraction. The first device that did satisfy these requirements was a loom developed in 1801 by Joseph Jacquard. albeit not very well in all instances. Babbage noticed that he could perfect his Difference Engine by using 8. and division. After this Babbage began to draw up plans for an Analytical Machine. Jacquard's idea of punched cards was later used by computer companies like IBM to program software. Neither the Pascaline nor Leibnitz wheel can be categorized as computers because they did not have memory where information could be stored and because they were not programmable. Babbage Charles Babbage was a mathematics professor at Cambridge University who was interested in automated computation. . using punched cards that told the machine what pattern to weave. 2 between 1847 and 1849. In 1674 the German mathematician Gottfried Leibnitz created a mechanical calculator called the Leibnitz Wheel. It did this. Jacquard built his loom to automate the process of weaving rugs and clothing.000 parts rather than 25. subtraction. Where there was a hole in the card the machine would weave and where there was no hole the machine would not weave. Many people consider this to be the first true computer system even though it only ever existed on paper. multiplication. and division to 6 digits-.000 and could solve up to 20 digits instead of just 6. Along with addition. multiplication. a general-purpose programmable computing machine. The Pascaline was mostly finished by 1672 and was able to do addition and subtraction by way of mechanical cogs and gears. It was never actually completed because the British Government cut off funding for the project in 1842. In 1823 he introduced the Difference Engine. This 'wheel' could perform addition. the largest and most sophisticated mechanical calculator of his time. The Analytical Machine had all the same basic parts that modern computer systems have.Pascaline. While designing the Analytical. He drew schematics for a Difference Engine no.the Difference Engine could also solve polynomial equations.

Hollerith In America during the late 1800's there were many immigrants pouring in from all over the world.After twelve years spent trying to get his Difference Engine No. so he left the U. Census Bureau to found the Computer Tabulating Recording Company. it worked just as Babbage had envisioned. who proposed that the use of automation machines would greatly reduce the time needed to do the census.S. The British Government was not interested in funding the machine and the technology to build the gears. and levers for the machine did not exist in that time period. Miraculously. In 2002 the same museum created a fully fledged model of the Difference Engine No.S.S. A duplicate of this engine was built and was sent to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. By the time they finished it would be 1900. and they'd have to do the census all over again! The problem was that all of the calculations for the census were performed manually. To solve their problems the U. tally. Census Bureau held a competition that called for proposals outlining a better way to do the census. He then designed and built programmable card processing machines that would read. and finally resurfaced around 150 years after they'd each been conceived. Babbage's plans for the Difference Engine and Difference Engine No. a statistician. The 1880 census had taken 8 years to complete and the population was 30% smaller then. In 1991 a team of engineers at the Science Museum in London completed the calculating section of Babbage's Difference Engine. Hollerith's machines were not all-purpose computers but they were a step in that direction. Census Bureau estimated that it would take ten to twelve years to do the 1890 census. They successfully completed the census in just 2 years. 2 that weighs 5 tons and has 8. Babbage had to give up.000 parts. The winner of the competition was Herman Hollerith. 2 were hidden away after his death. Officials at the U. Then these cards were taken to a tabulator (counting and tallying) or sorter (ordering alphabetically or numerically). The census data was coded onto cards using a keypunch. cogs. His punch-card machines became national bestsellers and in . and sort data entered on punch cards. which meant that automated processing was definitely more efficient for large scale operations. CA to be demonstrated and displayed until May 2009. 2 built. Hollerith saw the potential in his tabulating and sorting machines.

At the same time as the Mark 1. J. The Mark 1 was completed in 1944. It was the first computer to use the base-2 binary system. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly headed the project and eventually created the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). and gears. and crack secret codes. It was operational for 15 years and performed many calculations for the U. In 1931 the U. It was about a thousand times faster than the Mark 1 at multiplying numbers and 300 times faster at addition. was programmable. helping us win the war against the Nazis. .000 vacuum tubes and absolutely gigantic. The Mark 1 was still a mix of electronic and mechanical.1924 Hollerith's company changed its name to IBM after a series of mergers with other similar companies. The United States needed to calculate ballistics.S. by Alan Turing. These firing tables were created by way of intense mathematical calculation that took a very long time to manually compute. 10 feet high. Birth of Computers (1940-1950) World War II World War II brought concerns about how to calculate the logistics of such a large scale battle. During WWII the United States army was building new artillery that required firing tables. To help make this process quicker the Army started a project in 1943 to build a completely electronic computing device. Another computer designed during WWII was the Colossus. This computer cracked the German Enigma code. 100 feet long. The computer age was about to begin. deploy massive amounts of troops.The Mark 1 had a memory for 72 numbers and could perform 23-digit multiplication in 4 seconds. Navy during WWII. relays. however. The ENIAC had 18. which was completed in 1946. Navy and IBM began working together to build a general-purpose computer called the Mark 1. magnets. there was another project taking place. and 30 tons.S. and made of vacuum tubes. The military started a number of research projects to try and build computers that could help with these tasks and more.

First Generation (1950 . The Z1 project. . which is still implemented today in computers that use the 'Von Neumann Architecture'. headed by Konrad Zuse. Neumann created the idea of the stored computer program. connectors. called the EDSAC. Jon Von Neumann helped work on the ENIAC and figured out how to make computers even better. The UNIVAC predicted very early on that Eisenhower would beat Stevenson. Bureau of the Census in March. It was sold to the U. and it was the first time that many people had the chance to see this elusive new technology called the computers.Germany themselves were designing a computer much like the ENIAC. The television network had rented the computer to boost ratings. code named the Z1. planning to have the computer predict who would win the election. which was correct. was never completed. Von Neumann wanted to make programming something that was internalized. Network executives were skeptical and did not go live with the prediction until they had arrived at the same conclusion using manual methods. 1951. Von Neumann Though the computers developed in the second World War were definitely computers. they were not the kind of computers we are used to in modern times. Instead of rerouting wires and plugs. developed in a project led by Von Neumann himself. a person could write a different sequence of instructions that changes the way a computer runs. The ENIAC was programmed externally with wires. The UNIVAC 1 made a famous appearance on CBS in November. The EDVAC was commercialized and called the UNIVAC 1. The UNIVAC sat right behind CBS staff during the broadcast.S.1957) The first computer to implement Von Neumann's idea was the EDVAC in 1951. At the same time a computer using stored programs was developed in England. This was actually the first computer ever built for sale. and plugs. 1952 during the presidential election.

IBM's first production computer was the IBM 701 Defense Calculator. The JOHNNIAC was named in honor of Jon Von Neumann. Computers at this time were usually kept in special locations like government and university research labs or military compounds. The EDVAC. the Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL) programming language was released. The IBM 701 was used mostly for scientific calculation. Because they used vacuum tubes to calculate and store information. and IBM 701 were all large. Only specially trained personnel were granted access to these computers. More universities. EDSAC. In 1959. and JOHNNIAC. It was developed by IBM for scientific and engineering use. businesses. [Some other computers of this time worth mentioning are the Whirlwind. computers were now cheaper. these computers were also very hard to maintain. introduced in April. COBOL was designed to serve business environments with their finances and administrative tasks. First generation computers also used punched cards to store symbolic programming languages. and unreliable pieces of technology-. expensive. and cheaper than ever before. UNIVAC 1. Before . Computers were now implementing transistors. all computers of this time. slow. 1952. and government agencies could actually afford computers now. more reliable. developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. which had been invented in 1947 by a group of researchers at Bell Laboratories. Because of the transistor and advances in electrical engineering. In 1957 the first FORTRAN compiler was released. Most people were indirectly affected by this first generation of computing machines and knew little of their existence.1965) The second generation of computing took place between 1957 and 1965. The Whirlwind was the first computer to display real time video and use core memory. Where FORTRAN was designed for science and engineering. Second Generation (1957 . by the Rand Corporation. instead of vacuum tubes. FORTRAN was the first high-level programming language ever made. These two programming languages essentially helped to create the occupation of a programmer.

Fourth Generation (1975 . This is closely tied to the work that was being done on Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). adding to a general trend in the computer industry of miniaturization. E-mail originated sometime between 1961 and 1966. Computers were being used everywhere in business. government. Computer technology had advanced so rapidly that computers could fit in something the size of a typewriter. programming computers required electrical engineering knowledge. a mainframe computer that is considered one of the important milestones in the industry. The software industry came into existence in the mid 1970's as companies formed to write programs that would satisfy the increasing number of computer users. allowing computer users to send messages to each other as long as they were connected through a network. Because of their target market. The PDP-1 was also the computer that ran the very first video game. The Altair 8800 debuted in 1975 as a . It was actually a family of computer models that could be sold to a wide variety of businesses and institutions. This time period also had the first set of computing standards created for compatibility between systems. which can be called the first minicomputer due to its relatively small size. networking technology and innovation that would one day bring the internet. In 1960 the Digital Equipment Corporation introduced the Programmed Data Processor.1985) The fourth generation of computing spanned from 1975 to 1985. It is classified as a third generation computer because of the way it was built.these languages.1 (PDP-1). even though it was made before 1965. and education environments. A notable computer to mention from this time period is the IBM System/360. the first one being the Altair 8800. resistors. Third Generation (1965 ± 197 The third generation of computing spanned from 1965 to 1975. During this time integrated circuits with transistors. This reduced the price and size of computers. called Space war (written in 1962). and capacitors were etched onto a piece of silicon. the first software companies mostly offered accounting and statistical programs. This generation of computers also had an increase in the use of core memory and disks for mass storage. military. These were called microcomputers.

. It came with a keyboard and only required a monitor to be plugged into the back of the system. Computers were now being controlled with a mouse as well as keyboard. databases.Portable computers like the TRS-80 Model 100 / 102 and IBM 5155 followed afterward. that have computers inside to control their operation. called the Osborne 1. eventually leading to Microsoft Windows 1.Not all the computers of the time were small. These supercomputers were sold to companies. wristwatches. There were still being supercomputers built with the aim of being as fast as possible. This generation was also important for the development of embedded systems. Over the next few years MS-DOS became the most popular operating system in the world. and the military. and more. Computer networks and e-mail became much more prevalent as well.0 being released in 1985. and it quickly gained popularity. which was a novel idea for computers at that time. icons. An example of one such supercomputer is the Cray1. Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) was released to run on the Intel 8086 microprocessor. usually very tiny. These are special systems. The first truly portable computer.mail-order hobby kit. which was the first operating system to be completely graphical.made specifically for the 8800 Now that computers could fit on desks they became much more common. The first mouse was developed in 1981 by Xerox. of course. especially since Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft with a programming language called Altair BASIC-. thermostats. These embedded systems were put into things like cars. was released in 1981. Software became much more common and diverse during this period with the development of spreadsheets. and windows to make computing more user-friendly. universities. which was released in 1976 by Cray Research. Many people acknowledge the Altair 8800 as the computer that sparked the modern computer revolution. The Apple II was released the next year and was the first mass produced microcomputer to be commercially sold. Both Mac OS and Windows used pull-down menus. was established in 1976 and single handedly changed the industry forever. Inc. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs began to sell their Apple 1 computer that same year. and drawing programs. and also ushered in the era of personal computing. In 1981. It became one of the best known and most successful supercomputers ever for its unique design and fast speed of 250 MFLOPS. A small company called Apple Computer. In 1984 Apple introduced their Mac OS. microwave ovens.

offering all kinds of programs for almost anything you can think of. more reliable. an operating system that catapulted them to a new level of dominance. Intel and AMD are the main computer processor companies in the world today and are constant rivals. There are many different personal computer companies that usually sell their hardware with a Microsoft Windows operating system preinstalled. and many times faster. For this reason. Nvidia and ATI are two companies in constant battle with one another to be the computer graphics hardware king. In 1995 Microsoft released Windows 95. Computer graphics have gotten very powerful and are able to display full three dimensional graphics at high resolution. Popular companies like Google and Yahoo! were started because of the internet. In 1991 Linus Torvalds wrote the Linux kernel that has since spawned countless open source operating systems and open source software. Apple has a wide line of hardware and software as well.Fifth Generation (1985 . Microsoft Windows still dominates the operating system scene. . Computers have become more and more online orientated in modern times. In 2008 the IBM Roadrunner was introduced as the fastest computer in the world at 1.Present) The changes that have occurred since 1985 are plentiful. Computers have gotten tinier. Computers are mostly built using components from many different corporations. especially with the development of the World Wide Web.026 PFLOPS. Fast supercomputers aid in the production of movie special effects and the making of computer animated movies. it is easier to focus on specific component advancements. The software industry has grown a lot as well. In 1999 Apple revamped its operating system with the release of Mac OS X.

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